Artists

Artists of Biloxi, Mississippi

Albert Duckett

Albert Duckett

Albert Duckett (1907-1978) was born October 28, 1907 at Springfield, Illinois, the son of Reginald Vernon Duckett (1868-1953) and Lottie Louise Biggs Duckett (1879-1933).  He was the fifth of their seven children: Harold Vernon Duckett (1898-1968); Marcia Louise Duckett (1901-1994) married Ray Counihan (1886-1963); Florence Elizabeth Duckett (1902-1989) married Wallace Sale; Henry Oliver Duckett (1904-1990); Albert Duckett (1907-1978); Warren Biggs Duckett (1913-1996); and Doris Arline Duckett (1915-2004) married John Molek (1901-1994).  Reginald V. Duckett was born near Chapin, Morgan County, Illinois.  He made his livelihood working for the railroad division of the U.S. Postal Service.(1900 Sangamon Co., Illinois T623 343, p. 2A, ED 98 and 1910, 1920, and 1930 Cook Co., Illinois Federal Census T624_237, p. 7A, ED 5; T625_357, p. 2B, ED 3; and R413, p. 5A, ED 1980)

Artist

Before 1910, the Reginald V. Duckett family had relocated to Berwyn, Illinois where Albert Duckett was educated.  In 1926, he found employment with The Chicago American, a major Chicago journal, as an artist.  He later became a syndicated cartoonist with The Chicago Herald Examiner.  In 1936, the Ducketts relocated to Detroit where he was the editorial art director forThe Detroit Times, a William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) publication.  Some of Mr. Duckett’s historic assignments were covering the Alphonse Capone (1899-1947) trial in the fall of 1931 and spending a day with the Dionne quintuplets who were born in Ontario Province, Canada in 1934.(The Daily Herald, April 21, 1978, p. A2 and The Ocean Springs Record, December 2, 2004, p. B4)

Aubrey H. Gardner

Aubrey H. Gardner

Aubrey H. Gardner (1911-2004) was born February 10, 1911 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to George Gardner (1867-1930+) and ? . Parents divorced before 1920.  Attended art school in Los Angeles, California.  Came to Biloxi, Mississippi via KAFB and after discharge worked in civil service in their graphics art department.  Began Gardner Signs on Caillavet Street south of Division Street in the 1950s.  Gardner also designed and built stage settings for many carnival organizations prior to the Mardi Gras season.  Aubrey married Faye Stratton on July 27, 1935.  He and Faye resided on Iroquois Street for many years.  No children.  In 1969, the Gardners moved to D’Iberville, Mississippi north of Biloxi where he continued to paint signs.  Aubrey went to a retirement home at Ocean Springs in his old age.  He passed on July 1, 2004 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

305 5th Avenue

In October 1969, Aubrey and Faye Gardner acquired a house and lot at 305 5thAvenue in Block 38, Section 22, T7S-R9W D’Iberville, Harrison County, Mississippi from Sadie Loudan Ables, a widow.  The consideration for the 124 feet by 188 feet tract which included a garage and shed was $6500.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 6, p. 145 and Trust Deed Bk. 8, pp. 459-461)

In August  1999,  the Gardners sold their property at 10101 5thAvenue, the address had changed, to Alice C. Jenkins.  Mr. Gardner had acquired power-of-attorney from his spouse in June 1999.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 343, p. 522 and Bk. 342, p. 218)

 

Azaleas

  The Picnic        

      Pirate's Treasure

REFERENCES:

The Biloxi-D’Iberville Press, “More Stuff”-Aubrey Gardner, Artist-Illustrator, October 16, 1985.

The Sun-Daily Herald, “Gardner exhibit at Depot Gallery [Pascagoula, Mississippi]”, August 18, 1985.

Charles Evald Hultberg

Avery Island, Louisiana

 

Charles Evald Hultberg (1874-1948) was born in Sweden.

 

REFERENCES:

 

The Daily Herald, 'Biloxi News Paragraphs', April 16, 1934.

 

The Daily Herald, 'Exhibit work of Charles E. Hultberg', January 22, 1938.

 

The Daily Herald, 'Hultberg Art Exhibit', October 21, 1949.

 

The Times-Picayune, 'Up and Down the Street', October 28, 1949.

 

 

Dismukes, Mary Ethel

Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952)

Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952) was born at Pulaski, Tennessee, on April 13, 1870,the daughter of George Dismukes (d. 1909) and Adella McDonald Dismukes (1846-1924).  Her father expired at Pulaski in March 1909.   She was present for his demise.(The Daily Herald, March 22, 1909, p. 1)

Miss Dismukes came to Biloxi in 1897, with her family.  Mary Ethel was an artist and made her livelihood as an art teacher and supervisor of arts for the Biloxi Public Schools.  She resided at 113 Lameuse Street with her mother.  Her brother was George E. Dismuke (1874-1937).  Miss Dismukes was a member of the Woman’s Club (Biloxi), Magnolia Art Club, Biloxi Tree Association.(The Daily Herald, February18, 1952, p. 4)

George E. Dismukes and Adolyn Gale

George Edward Dismukes (1874-1937) was a mining engineer.  He was born at Pulaski, Tennessee on July 17, 1874, and educated in a private college there.  George E. Dismukes married Adolyn Gale (1864-1953), a native of Memphis, Tennessee.  His livelihood took him to Georgia, Alaska, California, Oregon and other mining districts of North America.  Dismukes was an authority on gold mining and a mine appraiser.  He expired at Ethel’s home at 113 Lameuse Street on August 18, 1937.  George and Adolyn had lived with Miss Dismukes for approximately ten years.  His corporal remains were sent to Memphis, Tennessee for burial in the Elmwood Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, August 18, 1937, p. 2)

Adolyn Gale Dismukes was also an artist.  In 1929, her oil paintings were exhibited in the Tennessee Painter’s Exhibit, an annual show, which was held at the Watkins Institute in Nashville.  Since the 1890s, Mrs. Dismukes had traveled to Alaska with her husband.  Works from this region dominated her exhibition as she had oil paintings titled:  Bering Sea, Aurora Light, andValley of The Thousand Smoke.(The Daily Herald, June 13, 1929, p. 2)

Adolyn G. Dismukes expired at Biloxi, Mississippi on July 22, 1953.  She was the daughter of Thomas Gale (1816-1912), an Englishman, who founded the Lemon-Gale Dry Goods Company in Memphis.  Colonel Gale had come to America in 1823, and spent his entire life in the South, primarily in Tennessee.  Adolyn G. Dismukes’ corporal remains were interred in the Elmwood Cemetery at Memphis, Tennessee.(The Daily Herald, July 23, 1953, p. 12)

Education

Ethel Dismukes studied art in Nashville, Baltimore and New York.  She was a student at the Art Students’ League of New York for two years.  Here she studied with John H. Twachtman, Clifford Carleton, and Kenyon Cox.  Ethel had a studio in New York City for two years and before she came to teach in the Biloxi Public schools in 1902, her studio was situated at Pulaski, Tennessee. Miss Dismukes planned to teach her Biloxi students drawing in charcoal and pen and ink, painting in oil, pastel, watercolor, and mineral oil [China painting].  She also taught pyrography-burnt wood etching and gave private art lessons.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, May 30, 1902, p. 8)

Biloxi School of Art

By June 1910, Miss Dismukeshad opened a private art academy at 131 Lameuse Street, her family home.  Classes in drawing and painting were held in the weekday mornings during the summer months.(The Daily Herald, May 30, 1910, p. 8)

Dresden Exhibit

In 1911, Ethel Dismukes traveled to the International Art Exhibit at Dresden, Germany.  Dresden, a large industrial and arts center, is situated in east central Germany on the Elbe River.  Dresden china is made at Meissen, fourteen miles to the northwest. (Webster’s, 1988, p. 343 and 748)

1913 Western Tour

In early July 1913, Miss Dismukes ventured to the West Coast to reacquaint herself with relatives and friends residing there.  Before her fall return to Biloxi, she planned side trips to the Mariposa and Calararus Valleys, as well as Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks.  While in California, Miss Dismukes went to San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.(The Daily Herald, July 7, 1913, p. 7)      

Invite to Leipsic (Leipzig)

In December 1913, the Biloxi city schools received an invitation to participate in the May 1914, International Art Exhibit at Leipsic, Germany.  Leipsic, now spelled Leipzig, is a large industrial-cultural center in east central Germany, about 60 miles south east of Dresden.  It is the site of Karl Marx University and the burial place of J.S. Bach.  The quality of the art produced by Miss Dismuke’s Biloxi pupils made an excellent impression at Dresden, which secured an offer to exhibit at Leipsic.(The Daily Herald, December 29, 1913, p. 3 and Webster’s, 1988, p. 660)

Retirement

Ethel Dismukes retired from her position teaching art in the Biloxi schools at the end of the 1913-1914 school year.  The culmination of her teaching career was marked by an exhibition of student works from all the city schools held at the Central school’s art department, in May 1914.  Student artisans demonstrated their abilities in traditional art as well as stained glass window design, sofa pillow design, paper cutting, home design and interior furnishings.  Miss Dismukes was lauded as having, “done magnificent work as instructor in this department”.  She planned to hold private art classes after her teaching career ended.(The Daily Herald, May 22, 1914, p. 2)    

Lameuse Street

In June 1919, Miss Dismukes acquired a house and lot on the west side of Lameuse Street between Water Street and Beach Boulevard, from F.L. and Edith Stone.  The Dismukes lot was forty-five feet wide and one hundred-one feet deep.(HARCO, Ms. Deed Trust Deed Bk. 124, pp. 69-70). 

In September 1935, Ethel Dismukes sold her house to Mrs. Geneva Adams Hale of Elkins, West Virginia.  The consideration was $1500 cash.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 206, pp. 549-550)

In September 1940, Ethel Dismukes and Geneva A. Hale recorded a lease purchase agreement in the Chancery Court of Harrison County, Mississippi.  The rent payable to Grant and Tonsmeire, local attorneys, was $20 per month in advance on the 14th day of each month.  Miss Dismukes was responsible for the water rent.  She had an option to purchase the house from Mrs. Hale, for $1500 plus interest of 8% annually from February 11, 1933 to the date of purchase.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 234, pp. 566-567)

In September 1941, Mrs. Hale vended her Lameuse Street property to Miss Dismukes for $2350.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 243, pp. 406-407)  

Ethel Dismukes sold her house to Mrs. Victoria S. Kornman for $12,600. (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 243, pp. 406-407)

1927 Exhibit

When the Gulf Coast Art Association, which was led by Professor William Woodward (1859-1939), held its first exhibit at the Biloxi Public Library from February 4th until February 20th, 1927, Miss Dismukes, then secretary of the organization, exhibited photography and oil paintings.(The Daily Herald,

1928 Exhibit

At an exhibition of her works sponsored by the Woman’s Club and held at the Biloxi Public Library from February 23 to February 27, 1928, Miss Dismukes displayed an eclectic ensemble of approximately eighty art objects-over forty photographs, eighteen oil paintings, four watercolors, two pastels and craft work in china, copper, and wood.  In addition, she delivered two lectures, History and Legends of the Gulf Coast and the Vieux Carre.  By popular vote, visitors to her exhibition selected “Rosy Dawn” and “Reflections” as the best in her show.  Miss Dismukes sold several pieces and received solicitations for portraits.(The Daily Herald, February 22, 1928, p. 2, February 23, 1928, p. 2, February 25, 1928, p. 2, and February 27, 1928, p. 2)

1929 Exhibit

When the Coast Zone of Woman’s Clubs meeting was held in the Biloxi Public Library on October 31, 1929, an exhibit of Miss Dismukes photographs were on display in the clubroom.  The images were of local scenery appropriate for the occasion.(The Jackson County Times, November 9, 1929, p. 3)

Woman’s Club

Miss Dismukes served as chairman of the art department for the Biloxi Woman’s Club for several years.  In March 1930, she presented a talk to this group titled, “the art of moving picture”.(The Daily Herald, March 20, 1930, p. 2)

1932 Exhibit

In late October 1932, Miss Dismukes replaced her former “sidewalk” display of oil paintings and photographs in a store window on West Howard Avenue in Biloxi, with a new showing of her work.  This photographic work dealt primarily with the Jefferson Davis family of Beauvoir.(The Daily Herald, October 31, 1932, p. 2)

1932 Exhibit GCAA

The 1932 non-juried art show of the Gulf Coast Art Association was held in mid-December 1932, at the Biloxi Public Library.  Fourteen member artists exhibited their oils, watercolors, pastels, etchings, and wood block prints.  There were no craft works in the show.  Dean Babcock of Denver, Colorado planned to donate three wood block prints and six prints to Biloxi High school, if they were desired.(The Daily Herald, December 10, 1932, p. 2)

 

Art Center

In early December 1932, local artists decided to commence an “Art Center” in Biloxi.  Located on the north side of West Howard Avenue between Reynoir and Fayard Streets, adjacent to D’Aquin’s Drugstore, the “Art Center” may have been the first artist public meeting place and artisit co-op on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  In addition to rotating art exhibits and association meetings, the Gulf Coast Art Association planned to have a workroom in their building, with north light, which is considered excellent for drawing and painting.  Classes and workshops were planned for the workroom.  The “Art Center” opened in late December 1932.(The Daily Herald, December 6, 1932, p. 2 and December 29, 1932, p. 2)

Photographic recognition

“Bellman Street Oak”, a photographic image made by Miss Dismukes won the Mississippi Award given by the American Forestry Association in their competition “Most Beautiful Photographs of Trees in America”A 1934, traveling exhibition of award winning photographs and other excellent images was planned by the American Forestry Association.  They selected four additional photographs by Ethel Dismukes for this venue, which was limited to one hundred photographs.  They were: “Ruskin Oak”, “Crawford Oak”, “Close Up of Crawford Oak”, and “Parkingham Oak”.(The Daily Herald, January 9, 1934, p. 2)

 

Beauvoir
Beauvoir

Iberville's Landing
I'berville's Landing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PWA 1934

Mary Ethel Dismukes was chosen by Professor Ellsworth Woodward (1861-1939), director of the Issac Delgadgo Museum of Art at New Orleans, to participate in the Government sponsored Public Works of Art project.  Her commission, which commenced in mid-December 1933, was to paint in oils, of Beauvoir, the Church of the Redeemer, the monument commemorating the site where Iberville landed in 1699, and a phase of the fishing industry.  Miss Dismukes commissioned ended on February 15, 1934.(The Daily Herald, February 2, 1934, p. 6)

1936 Exhibit

The 1936 juried art show of the Gulf Coast Art Association was held in the sun parlor of the White House Hotel.  The forty-nine-piece show opened on March 1, 1936 and was available for public viewing for about one week.    Miss Dismukes exhibited three photographs: “Inn by the Sea” (oil tinted); “Lover’s Lane”; and “Wind Swept”.  Professor William Woodward of Biloxi showed the following: “Portrait of Patricia” (oil); “Biloxi Light”, “Ship at Sunset”, and Ship in Moonlight” (Rafaelle oil crayons); and “Benachi Avenue Bioxi”, “Oyster Wharf”, “Yellow Fever Quarantine”, and “Pass Christian” (etchings).   Dean Babcock of Denver, Colorado presented several wood engravings.(The Daily Herald, March 2, 1936, p. 2)

1948 Biloxi Arts and Crafts Club

At the May exhibition of the Biloxi Arts and Crafts Club held at the Biloxi Community Center, Miss Dismukes displayed 135 photographic images which had been created when she covered the State of Mississippi taking photographics for the History of Mississippi.  Her subjects depicted Biloxi industries, boat races, historic homes, unusual trees and gardens, and wild flowers.(The Daily Herald, May 4, 1948, p. 8)

Dismukes Art School of Art

The Dismukes Art School of Art was the vehicle through which Miss Dismukes gave private art instruction in the city of Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, May 31, 1949, p. 5)

Demise

 

REFERENCES:

Patti Carr Black, Art in Mississippi (1720-1980), (University of Mississippi Press: Jackson, Mississippi-1998).

Cantey V. Sutton, History of Art in Mississippi, (Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1929).

Webster’s New Geographical Dictionary, (Merriam-Webster Inc.: Springfield, Massachusetts-1988)

Journals

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Art Department”, May 30, 1902.The Daily Herald, “City News”, March 22, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, May 30, 1910.

The Daily Herald, “Leading Memphian Died Early Today At Home In Biloxi”, April 19, 1912.

The Daily Herald, “Local News Paragraphs of Interest”, July 7, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit At Central School”, May 22, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Dismukes honored at State Federation”, May  3, 1926.

The Daily Herald, “Opening of Art Exhibit at Library”, February 3, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Award Made by Jury of Gifted and Competent Artists for Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibition at Biloxi February 4”, February 5, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Jalan Pottery Arrives”, February 9, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Opening of Art Exhibit at Library”, February 3, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibits Closes Saturday”, February 14, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibits Closes”, February 21, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Exhibition of Pictures”, February 22, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit At Library”, February 23, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit Great Success”, February 25, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit To Remain Open”, February 27, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Another Biloxian Exhibits”, June 13, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Woman’s Club Meeting”, March 20, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Dismukes’ Exhibit”, October 31, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Art Center to Open”, December 6, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Exhibit Opens Sunday”, December 10, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Art Center Interesting”, December 29, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Wins Recognition”, January 9, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “Coast Artists Are Painting Scenes For PWA Art Project”, February 2, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “Fifty pictures at art exhibit”, December 10, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “George Dismukes Dies”, August 18, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit Excellent”, March 2, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “Exhibit of Photos”, May 31, 1948.

The Daily Herald, “Visit Art Exhibit”, May 31, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Ceramics Display”, October 1, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Fall Art Exhibit”, October 22, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Coast Art Exhibits Are Being Planned”, October 29, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit”, November 7, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Dismukes Dies”, February 18, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Dismukes Dies”, July 23, 1953, p. 12.

The Jackson County Times, “Woman’s Club Notes”, November 9, 1919.

Joe Moran

JOE MORAN

In 1959, Joe Moran while assisting his son turn a boat over, suffered severe injuries to his aorta and the displacement of his heart from its sac.  While hospitalized, his physician requested that he sketch boats.  Impressed with Joe's ability, the doctor enrolled him a home study art course.  By 1962, Mr. Moran realized that he would never have the physicality to build boats again.  He began to study art with William Steene.(The Mississippi Press, January 9, 1994, p. 12-C)
 
William Robert Steene (1887-1965) was born at Syracuse, New York on August 18, 1887.  He was a nationally known portrait painter and muralist. Steene studied under Colarossi and Julian in Paris, after his initial art education at the Art Students’ League and National Academy of Design in New York City. Among his portraitures possibly familiar to local residents are: President Franklin D. Roosevelt; Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi; Governor Henry Whitfield of Mississippi; Dr. Karl Meyer, head of Cook County Hospital at Chicago; E.V Richards, president of the Navy League of America and Paramount Richards Theatres; and golfing legend, Robert Trent “Bobby” Jones.(Who’s Who in America, Vol. 31, 1960-1961 and Bradford-O’Keefe Burial Book 48, p. 245)
 
William Steene built a home and studio at Gulf Hills in 1950. In 1956, from his Gulf Hills studio, W.R. Steene completed a large mural depicting the 1953 Louisiana Sesquicentennial Celebration, a remembrance of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, at New Orleans.  President Eisenhower is at the center of this 50-foot long, ten-foot tall, triptych mural, which took a year to complete.  The painting hangs in the Presbytery of the Louisiana State Museum at New Orleans.(The Daily Herald, “Know Your Coast”, November 15, 1957)
 
 
 
Clovinia Lucinda Ohr

Clovinia L. Ohr (1892-1989), called Clo, was born at Biloxi on May 1, 1892.  She was baptized on June 5, 1892, in the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church.  On April 15, 1909, Clo eloped and married Fredric Andrew Moran (1888-1972), a well-known boat builder and schooner racer of Biloxi.  He was the son of Ernest Moran and Catherine Kornman (1854-1922).(Lepre, 1991, p. 243, HARCO, Ms. MRB Bk. 21, p. 188 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 16, 1909, p. 1)

Clo and Freddie Moran were the parents of four children: Fredric “Elwood” Moran (1910-2001), Julia Moran (1912-1989) m. Ray Z. Sutton (1906-1966), Josephine Moran (1915-1997) m. John Morykwas, and Joseph “Joe” Moran (1915-1999) m. Dorothy Davis (1917-2011).   

Joe Moran, like his father, also built boats and in his later life became a nationally acclaimed painter.  Several of Mr. Moran’s works are in the Smithsonian Institute and two American presidents have acquired his art.(The Sun Herald, December 1, 1989, p. B-2 and The Sun Herald, March 24, 1999)     

E.W. Blossman Collection-Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Joseph W. Moran (1915-1999), called Joe, was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on December 6, 1915.  He expired on March 23, 1999.  Mr. Moran had married Dorothy 'Dot Davis (1917-2011), the daughter of George E. Davis and Cathwerine Schaeffer, in Harrison County, Mississippi on February 18, 1939.(Harrison County, Mississippi Circuit Court MRB 49, p. 450)

Children: Joseph Moran II (1942-1954); Beverly "Bev" Moran; Richard "Dick" Moran; Tommy Moran; Christopher Glenn Moran (b. 1952) m. Martha Joyce Ann Eleuterius and Lana June Koman; Cindy Moran Williams; Mary Moran Rogers; JoAnn Moran; Margaret Moran; Joseph Moran III; and Kathryn Moran Coggin.  

Grandchildren: Joseph Moran IV, Corinna Cannette, Peter Moran, Eva King, Wayne Moran, Steven Moran, Jennifer Seymour, TJ Moran, Jared Moran, Kelsey Moran, Marsha Jones, Justin Pearce, Kody Coggin and Brandon Coggin. She has numerous great grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews. 

Agnew Painting
 
 
In October 1969, a Joe Moran (1915-1999) oil painting of Biloxi shrimp trawlers was presented to Spiro T. Agnew, vice president of the United States, for his assistance following Hurricane Camille of August 1969.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 23, 1969, p. 10)
 
In November 1974, Mr. Moran held an exhibit of his work at the Blossman Building on Washington Avenue in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Edward W. 'Woody' Blossman (1913-1990) was a patron of Joe Moran and acquired his paintings which are on public display in the Blossman Building.  Joe was named to the 1974 edition of Who's Who in Mississippi.(The Ocean Springs Record, November 21, 1974, p. 1)
 
 
 
Dorothy 'Dot' Davis
Born January 13, 1917 and died December 11, 2011
 

 

Seafood Museum Art Gallery-Biloxi, Mississippi

[on loan from Dennis O'Keefe' brother]

 

REFERENCES:

The Daily Herald, “Frederic A. Moran”, July 11, 1972.

The Mississippi Press, 'Acccident led boatbuilder to become artist', January 9, 1994, p. 12-C.

The Ocean Springs Record'A Moran [painting] goes to Washington', October 23, 1969, p. 10.

The Ocean Springs Record, 'Joe Moran to give demonstration', May 4, 1972, p. 4.

The Ocean Springs Record'Moran exhibition at Blossman Building', November 21, 1974, p. 1.

The State Times [Baton Rouge], “Gala one-man show at Gerard's features Joe Moran”, December 3, , 1981.

The Sun, “Otto T. Ohr”, April 21, 1982.

The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Marguerite Ohr”, July 25, 1986.

The Sun Herald, “Carl Ohr”, October 22, 1986.

The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Clo L. Ohr Moran”, December 1, 1989.

The Sun Herald, “Ojo Ohr”, March 24, 1991.

The Sun Herald, “Some of Ohr's pottery comes back to grandson”, February 18, 1993.

The Sun Herald, “Carl Otto Ohr”, March 5, 1996.

The Sun Herald, “Moran leaves mark on Coast”, March 24, 1999.

The Sun Herald, “Wayne M. Morykwas”, July 29, 2005

 The Sun Herald, "Ohr's grandson [Joe Moran's photographs] in the spotlight", November 27, 2007, p. B-8.

The Sun Herald, “Dorothy 'Dot' Davis Moran, December  13, 2011

The Times-Picayune, “Exhibit [Mobile, Alabama] to open, May 9, 1965.

The Times-Picayune, “Award Winner [Tommy Moran], July 22, 1973.

 

Manuel Eugene Jalanivich (1898 - 1944)

MANUEL EUGENE JALANIVICH (1898-1944)

[Courtesy of Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock]

Chronology

1897-Born on June 24th, at Biloxi, Mississippi, son of Luca Jalanivich (1866-1902) and Manuella Morranna (1859-1929).

1902- Luca Jalanivich expired at Biloxi on August 20, 1902, from heat prostration.

1905-Mrs. Manuella M. Jalanivich married Francisco Mueso (1860-1940), a Spanish immigrant, at Biloxi on November 18th.

1903-1914-Manuel E. Jalanivich studied art in the Biloxi public school system with Miss Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952).  She had training in oils and watercolor with J.H. Twatchman (1853-1902) and Kenyon Cox (1856-1919) of New York City, among others.

1910?-1912?-Studied pottery with George E. Ohr (1857-1918), “The Mad Potter” of Biloxi. 

1915-Operated his own pottery booth on Howard Avenue next to Keller's Barbershop.

1917?-Studied at the Niloak Pottery in Benton, Arkansas.

1918-1919-Enlisted in the US Navy at New Orleans, Louisiana on March 28, 1918. Stationed at Newport, Rhode Island.  Discharged here on March 12, 1919, with the rating of Seaman 2nd Class.

1919-1921? Durant Kilns to study with Leon Volkmar (1879-1959) at the Bedford Village Pottery, Westchester County, New York City.  Here he met his life long companion, Ingvardt Olsen (1888-1959), a 1908 Danish immigrant from Copenhagen who had been trained as a technician at the Royal Danish Copenhagen Chinese Kilns.

1921?-Jalanivich and Olsen went to Central America and worked in Panama for awhile.

1922-Moved to San Francisco.

1925- Taught a short pottery course at the National Academy of Design in Honolulu, Hawaii.   

1927-Jalanivich showed several pieces of his California pottery at the 1st Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit held at the Biloxi Public Library in February.

1929-Jalanivich’s mother expired in July on Lameuse Street at Biloxi, Mississippi.

1937-1939-Taught at the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, now the San Francisco Art Institute.  Jalanivich instructed his students primarily

1938- Jalanivich-Olsen commenced a ceramics school for women in the San Francisco Bay area.

1939-Jalanivich and Olsen works, a bowl and table pieces on loan from the S.G. Gump Company of San Francisco, displayed at the San Francisco Golden Gate International Exposition.  Closed San Francisco studio and moved to Belmont, California.

1940-Moved to Belmont, California and built a home in rural setting at 901 Holly Road.

1942-1943 Jalanivich and Olsen taught art and pottery to recovering wounded American veterans of the South Pacific theatre at the Letterman Hospital in Presidio at San Francisco.

1944-Expired at Belmont, San Mateo County, California on June 15, 1944.  Buried at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Colma, California.

 

Jalanivich bust

(courtesy of Maxine McGraw Palmer.  Image by Mary Himel Wichmann-2002)

 

MANUEL E. JALANIVICH (1897-1944): Biloxi’s Bootblack Potter

Manuel Eugene Jalanivich who was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on June 24, 1897, the son of Luca Gevenilovich, Genovish, Givulinovich or Giovulnovich (1861-1902), anglicized to Jalanivich, and Manuella Morrano (1858-1929), often spelled Morano.  He was baptized Emmanuel Genovish (sic) in the Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Biloxi, on December 25, 1897.(Lepre, 1991, p. 131)

In the 1900 Federal Census of Harrison County, Mississippi, Luca Jalanivich listed Austria as his country of origin, which indicates that he was probably a Croatian immigrant.  Family lore relates that Luca may have come from Trieste.  Jalanivich had been in the United States for ten years.  Mrs. Jalanivich was born at New Orleans, Louisiana of Louisiana born parents, although in the 1910 Federal Census, they are listed as being French.  In 1900, the Jalanivich family resided on Croesus Street in Biloxi, Mississippi.(1900 Federal Census Harrison County, Ms., p. 46 and Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock, January 11, 2002)            

Manuel Jalanivich and Mauella Morano Jalanivich Mueso (1858-1929) in the redwoods of California

[Courtesy of Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock]

Luca and Manuella Jalanivich married at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother Roman Catholic Church in Biloxi, Mississippi on October 13, 1894.   They were also the parents of John Matthew Jalanivich (1895-1967) and Mary Amelia Louise J. Sablich (1900-1991).(Lepre, 1991, p. 132 and  HARCO, Ms. MRB 10, p. 264) 

In 1902, Luca Jalanivich was employed as a cook.  He expired from a heat stroke on August 20, 1902.  His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 22, 1902, p. 6)

Francisco Mueso

On November 18, 1905, Mrs. Manuella M. Jalanivich married Francisco Mueso (1860-1940) at Biloxi.  Frank Mueso was a native of Spain.  At Biloxi, he made his livelihood as a fisherman at an oyster factory.  In 1914, the Muesos were living at 519 Lameuse Street.(The Biloxi Herald, November 20, 1905, p. 4,  The Biloxi City Directory, 1914, p. 155, and 1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms., p. 266)         

Early art training

At an early age, Manuel E. Jalanivich demonstrated an artistic ability, which was observed in his Biloxi public school classroom by Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952).  Miss Dismukes, the daughter of George Dismukes (d. 1909) and Adella McDonald (1846-1924), was a native of Pulaski, Tennessee.  She came to Biloxi in 1897, with her family.  Mary Ethel, called Ethel, was an artist and photographer.  She made her livelihood as the supervisor of arts for the Biloxi Public Schools, until her retirement in May 1914.  As early as 1910, Ethel Dismukes taught art classes on a private basis.  As late as May 1949, she was having public displays in Biloxi of her student’s work in pencil, wax crayons, oil, and watercolor.( The Daily Herald, May 30, 1910, May 22, 1914, p. 2, and  May 31, 1949, p. 5)

Miss Dismukes worked in oil, watercolor and ceramics.  Her art education was with John Henry Twachtman (1853-1902) and Kenyon Cox (1856-1919) of New York City, Louis Loeb (1866-1909) and Clifford Carlton (1867-1946).  She was an active member of the Gulf Coast Art Association, New Orleans Art Association, Nashville Art Association, among others.  Ethel Dismukes had art studios at Pulaski, Tennessee, San Antonio, Texas, and New York City.(Sutton, 1929, pp. 168-169)

It is apparent that Manuel Jalanivich was enrolled as a private art pupil of Miss Dismukes prior to May 1913.  At this time, she held a display of her students’ works in china painting, charcoal, and watercolor.  It was described as,“one of the most attractive and artistic exhibits that has ever been arranged in Biloxi.”  Of Miss Dismukes’ twenty pupils, nineteen were female, young Jalanivich being the lone male.  He was described as, “Biloxi’s talented little bootblack artist.”(The Daily Herald, May 21, 1913, p. 8)

Biloxi School days

Manuel Jalanivich began to win recognition and awards for his artwork in the Biloxi Central School as early as the seventh grade.  The Thanksgiving holiday of 1913 was celebrated in the public school with songs, recitations, and dances.  Jalanivich’s contribution to the program, which was well lauded, was a series of illustrations depicting scenes from the daily regimen of the Pilgrims.  As each picture was shown to the student audience, an appropriate paragraph was read describing the action.(The Daily Herald, April 11, 1914, p. 8 and December 4, 1913, p. 6)

In mid-May 1914, Miss Dismukes of Biloxi public school art department, held an exhibition of student arts and crafts in the Central school art room.  Pupils from both the high school and primary schools of the city had their art on review for their family and friends.  A highlight of the student exhibition was a three-masted vessel built by Manuel Jalanivich.  The model ship was about 1 ½ feet in length.  During the past winter, Jalanivich had sold more than $30 of his sketches and paintings.(The Daily Herald, May 22, 1914, p. 1)

Souvenir pamphlet

In the spring of 1914, Manual Jalanivich was preparing a small book on Biloxi.  His marvelous watercolor illustrations were of Biloxi landmarks and scenes: Beauvoir; the Biloxi Lighthouse; the new Biloxi High School; the Elks Club; the U.S. Post Office; the Back Bay bridge; the Biloxi Yacht Club; the Country Club; the Biloxi Hotel; Benachi Avenue; East Beach; West Beach; Back Bay; Beach piers; large watermelons; Piney Woods; and a private yacht.  Jalanivich’s narrative of Biloxi was excellently illustrated in calligraphy.(The Daily Herald, April 11, 1914, p. 8)      

George E. Ohr Jr.-Joseph Fortune Meyer

In addition to Miss Dismukes, another artistic neighbor of the Jalanivich family was George E. Ohr Jr. (1857-1918), “The Mad Potter” of Biloxi.  Ohr’s art pottery was situated on Delauney Street, only 500 feet, as the crow flies, from the Jalanivich residence at 519 Lameuse Street.   Here on the west side of Lameuse Street near the corner of McElroy Street, the Mueso-Jalanivich family resided in a “double shot-gun house”. (Sanborn Map-Biloxi 1914, Sheet-6)

A young Manuel Jalanivich was taken in by Ohr, the retired genius potter, and taught to use the potter’s wheel.  Manuel worked as a shoeshine boy on the streets of Biloxi possibly to succor his family or buy art supplies.  Joseph Fortune Meyer (1848-1931), the tutor and sponsor of George E. Ohr and master potter at Newcomb College, also resided at Biloxi during Jalanivich’s adolescent years.(Evans, 1973, p. 24 and The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11)

Pottery booth

In March 1915, Manual Jalanivich opened a pottery booth on Howard Avenue next to Keller's Barbershop.  The young potter made his wares at his home on Reynoir Street.  Here he had a lathe [potter's wheel] and had built an oven [kiln] for burning [firing] his green ware.  Jalanivich acquired his clay on Back Bay and up the Tchoutacabouffa River, as did George E. Ohr.(The Daily Herald, March 13, 1915, p. 2)

Niloak in Arkansas

Circa 1917, Manuel Jalanivich left Biloxi to study at the Niloak Pottery, which was situated at Benton, Arkansas about fifteen miles southwest of Little Rock.  Niloak is a palindrome of kaolin.  The Arkansas pottery was named for the fine deposits of very, pale, white clay found here.  Post Civil War, John Hyten began potting here making utilitarian items for local farmers and families such as, jugs, crocks, and butter churns.  His sons, Paul, Charles, and Lee Hyten continued the business.(The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11 and hhtp://www.geocities.com/niloakpottery)

WW I (1918-1919)

After a year in Arkansas, Manuel Jalanivich enlisted in the US Navy on March 28, 1918, at New Orleans.  He trained for military duty at Newport, Rhode Island.  While there, he made the acquaintance of a wealthy patron who was enamored with his artistic creativity and exceptional ceramic forms.  Unfortunately, she expired during his tenure in Rhode Island, but her correspondence to the “Bedford Village Pottery” in New York, where he later found employment.  In March 1919, Jalanivich was discharged from the US Navy at Newport with the rating of Seaman 2ndClass.(National Archives and Records Administration-Military record and The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11)

Durant Kilns (1919-1920)

The Durant Kilns were located at Bedford Village, New York.  Mrs. Jean Durant Rice, the wife of a wealthy ophthalmologist, sponsored this Westchester County pottery, lead by American master potter, Leon Volkmar (1879-1959).  Volkmar came from a family of artisans.  His father, Charles Volkmar II, was a renowned painter and potter, while Leon Volmar’s grandfather, known as Carl Volkmar, specialized in portraiture.(Cloutier and Schmid, 1985, pp. 3-4) 

It was at the Durant Kilns that Manuel Jalanivich’s would met the two men, Ingvardt Olsen (1888-1959) and Leon Volkmar, who would most deeply influence his personal as well as creative life.  With Ingvardt Olsen, Jalanivich formed a life long bond that would result in their harmonious enterprise, the Jalan Pottery at San Francisco and Belmont, California.  Arguably, Leon Volkmar was the dominant artistic influence in Manuel’s Jalanivich’s brief but prolific ceramic career.  It was from Volkmar that he adopted his interest in the ancient pottery styles of the Orient and Mediterranean basin.  Like Volmar, Jalanivich would also flourish as a teacher of ceramics.              

The Biloxi News reported that while employed at the Durant Kilns, Manuel E. Jalanivich worked on a $3,000 pottery project for a Vanderbilt dinner.  This is corroborated as table and art ware were significant products of Durant from its conception until the demise of Mrs. Rice in 1919.  After her death, Leon Volkmar’s work at the Durant Kilns became more like studio pottery.  As with George “No two alike” E. Ohr Jr., duplication was not Volkmar’s modus operandi.(The Biloxi New, February 13, 1927, p. 11 and Cloutier and Schmid, 1985, p. 4)

Ingvardt Olsen (1888-1959) and Jalanivich-April 1973

Ingvardt Olsen

While at the Durant Kilns in eastern New York, Manuel Jalanivich met Ingvardt Olsen (1888-1959).  Olsen was a native of Copenhagen, Denmark and had studied at the Royal Danish Copenhagen Chinese Kilns. He came to the United States in 1908.  Jalanivich and Olsen became close friends and eventually settled together at San Francisco where Olsen had been an interior decorator.(The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11)

Hawaii-1924

Manuel E. Jalanivich and Ingvardt Olsen left San Francisco on March 1, 1924 aboard the SS President Adams for Honolulu, Hawaii and taught ceramics for several weeks at the National Academy of Design.(Crew Lists of Vessels arriving at Honolulu August 1912-November 1954, A3422 R 75 and The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 1)

1927 Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit

The Gulf Coast Art Association, which was led by Professor William Woodward (1859-1939) and Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952), held its first exhibit at the Biloxi Public Library from February 4th until February 20th, 1927.  The show, which was composed of oil paintings, water colors, pastels, lithographic drawings, block prints, sculpture, photography, pottery, metal work, and embroidery, was juried by Will H. Stevens of Newcomb College at New Orleans, Sarah K. Smith of Gulf Park College at Gulfport, Mississippi, and Edmund C. DeCelle of Mobile.(The Daily Herald, February 3, 1927, p. 2)

Those exhibiting at the Biloxi show were: Peter Anderson (1901-1984)-Ocean Springs; Gertrude Burton(Ocean Springs); Grace Cheeseman (Gulfport); Alethia B. Clemens (Biloxi); Edmund C. DeCelle (Mobile); Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952)-Biloxi; Camille J. Ehrenfels (NOLA); Robert H. Holmes (1869-1949)-Ocean Springs; Dorothy Hopkins (Biloxi); Charles W. Hutson (Biloxi); Charles E. Hultberg (1874-1948)-(Biloxi); Manuel E. Jalanivich (1898-1944)-Biloxi/California; Louise Mallard (1900-1975)-Biloxi); William H. Muir (Gulfport); Anne Wells Munger (Pass Christian); Christine Northrop (Pass Christian); Mrs. Granville Osoinach (Gulfport); Sarah K. Smith (Gulfport); Miss C.R. Tibb (Biloxi); Clara Tucker (Biloxi); Alice Walsh (Gulfport); Louise Giesen Woodward (1862-1937)-Biloxi; and William Woodward (1859-1939)-Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, February 5, 1927, p. 5)

On opening night of the juried exhibition, the winning artists selected by the three jurors were as follows: Gold Medal sponsored by The Peoples Bank for the best oil painting, “A Western Scene”, by Charles E. Hultberg; Gold Medal given by the Biloxi City Commissioners for the best Mississippi coast scene, “Our Street”; by William Woodward; and Ribbon for honorable mention was won by Edmund C. DeCille for “Mardi Gras”(The Daily Herald, February 5, 1927, p. 5)

On February 8, 1927, three pieces of Jalan pottery for the Biloxi exhibit arrived from California.  They consisted of a large jardinière worth $150.00, and two pieces, a light blue bowl and a small jar, valued at $20.00 apiece. These works of Manuel Jalanivich were lauded for their form, color, and glazing.  The ceramic art of Peter Anderson of the Shearwater Pottery at Ocean Springs was also praised.(The Daily Herald, February 9, 1927, p. 2)

The final award for the first Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit was given by The First National Bank on the basis of votes placed by visitors to the show.  The Gold Medal for the “most popular picture” was won by Miss Mary Ethel Dismukes for The Burden Bearer”.  Professor Woodward’s large oil painting of potters, Joseph Meyer and George Ohr, placed second.  Miss Dismukes photograph titled “Sunshine and Shadow” was third in popularity.  Woodward’s painting of two of the Biloxi Boys hangs in the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum at Biloxi, on loan from the Biloxi Library.(The Daily Herald, February 21, 1927, p. 2)

Mother’s death

Mrs. Manuella M. J. Mueso expired at the residence of her daughter, Mary L. Sablich, on July 1, 1929.  Mrs. Julius Sablich lived at 629 Lameuse Street.  Manuella was a Roman Catholic and member of the Woman’s Benefit Association.  Her survivors were: Francisco Mueso, John Jalanivich of Biloxi, Manuel Jalanivich of San Francisco, and Mary L. Sablich.  Manuel Jalanivich was touring in Mexico at the time of his mother’s demise.(The Daily Herald, July 2, 1929, p. 12)

Jalanivich on his potter's wheel

[Courtesy of Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock]

Jalan Pottery

Jalan Pottery was the name chosen by Jalanivich and Olsen to produce commercial ceramic ware in California.  It was identified by its large scale, simple form, color, style, and crackled glaze.  Jalanivich created wheel-thrown forms and also did extensive clay modeling, while Ingvardt Olsen specialized in glazing.  Olsen’s Persian or faience blue and “egg-plant” glazes were well accepted.  W.F. Dietrich in 1928, described the Jalan Pottery as:  Jalanivich and Olsen are making an attractive line of glazed pottery using a buff-burning body and lead glazes.  Their output is hand-molded on a potter’s wheel.  It is fired in a round kiln, approximately 3 feet inside diameter of their own design and built by the gas company, city gas being used for fuel.  The clay, from California sources, is fired to 2000 F and the glaze to 1500-1700 F. 

In June 1941, The American Home, a monthly magazine published from 1928-1977 by Nelson Doubleday, featured an article-'What's Happening in the USA', which was very complimentary of the Jalan Pottery ceramics.  It related Jalanivich's boyhood Biloxi mentors, Miss Dismukes and George E. Ohr, and the struggles that he and Olsen indured to establish their name in the California commercial market.  They spent almost nine years experimenting and perfecting the Jalan glazes that made their ceramic wares a treasure to buyers and now collectors.(The Daily Herald, June 11, 1941, p. 7)

Jalanivich and Olsen marketed their ceramics well.  In addition to their Bay area patronage, Gumps Department Store in San Francisco vended Jalan Pottery.  Jalan’s adaptation to a Chinese-style form met with great success in San Francisco, as many affluent citizens were decorating their domiciles with teak furniture, Coromandel screens, lacquered chests, and Middle Eastern of Oriental rugs.(Bray, 1980, p. 43)

1929-1939 Depression years

Jalanivich and Olsen were kind spirited gentlemen, as they believed that they had the responsibility to share their experience and knowledge with others.  For this and financial reasons they taught private studio lessons on one day or evening each week from 1929 to 1938.  Students worked in clay modeling utilizing slab and coil techniques as well as molds.  (Bray, 1980, p. 43)

1932-1933 South Sea Islands

In March 1933, Mary Jalanivich Sablich, Manuel's siter, received a letter from Manuel relating that he had spent eight months in the South Sea Islands and would be returning to his San Francisco studio by April 10, 1933.(The Daily Herald, March 20, 1933, p. 2)

San Francisco Art Institute

Manuel Jalanivich taught at the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute, from 1937 to 1939.  In 1937, he and Ingvardt Olsen commenced a ceramics school for women at their Baker Street home in San Francisco.  Their students ranged from socialites to schoolgirls.  Jalanivich said of his pupils: “most find a deep joy in working with their hands.  School teachers, weary of tussles with youngsters, come and find a curious peace in attempting to express some kind of beauty.”(Evans, 1973, p. 25 and The San Francisco Chronicle, November 1, 1937)

Vivika T. Heino

Vivika Timeriasieff Heino (1910-1995) who would later marry Otto Heino was a student of Jalanivich at the California School of Fine Arts.  Vivika also took private classes with him.  She went on to study with Glen Lukens (1887-1967) at USC and was awarded the second MFA degree from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1944.  Vivika and her husband, Otto Heino (b. 1915) were honored in October 1995, with an exhibit, “The Vivika and Otto Heino Retrospective”, which was held at Alfred University.  She had taught pottery to Otto Heino (b. 1915) and they eventually married and settled at Ojai, Ventura County, California.  Today in California, Otto continues his highly praised ceramic work.(Bray, 1980, p. 43 and www.ottospottery.com and http:nyscc.alfred.edu/mus/heino)

Belmont, California

In 1939, Olsen and Jalanivich closed their San Francisco ceramic operation and relocated to the sleepy, “Peninsula” town of Belmont, San Mateo County, California with a population of only three thousand.  Here, they built a modest home in 1940, at 901 Holly Road.  Their domicile is extant and situated in a quasi-rural, hillside environment, surrounded by over twenty-five thousand people, with a view of San Francisco Bay.(San Mateo County Auditor’s Records and Joan M. Levy, January 9, 2002)    

A review of the telephone books of Belmont, California from 1938 until 1946, reveal that the names of Jalanivich and Olsen first appeared in the white pages there in September 1941.  The listing is Jalanivich & Olsen Pottery on Holly Road, phone number 1264.  In March 1943, their listing was Manuel E. Jalanivich Holly Road, phone number 1264 and Ingvardt Olsen, same phone number.  After June 1945, there is no listing for either men.(Joan M. Levy, January 9, 2002)

WW II

Manuel E. Jalanivich and Ingvardt Olsen taught art and pottery to recovering wounded American veterans of the South Pacific theatre at the Letterman Hospital in the Presidio at San Francisco.(Evans, 1973, p. 25)

Deaths

Manuel Jalanivich expired at Belmont, California on June 15, 1944.  There are inconsistencies in the reporting of the cause and place of his death.  The Courier Bulletin, a local journal, related that he expired “in a Belmont sanitarium after a long illness”while The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that his death was “at his Belmont home following a brief illness” In Biloxi, Mississippi, Jalanivich’s demise was reported by The Daily Herald as a sudden heart attack at his home in Belmont, California.( The Courier BulletinJune 23, 1944, The San Francisco Chronicle, June 21, 1944, and The Daily Herald, June 19, 1944, p. 6)

On June 15, 1944, Manuel Jalanivich’s corporal remains were interred in Section N of the Woodlawn Memorial Park cemetery at Colma, California.  Private funeral services preceded his burial in the chapel of Crosby-N. Gray & Company at Burlingame. (The Courier Bulletin, June 23, 1944, p. 3)

Ingvardt Olsen passed on July 9, 1959, at San Francisco.  He was survived by a cousin, Edward W. Neison, of San Francisco.  Olsen’s corporal remains were interred at Woodland Memorial Park, Colma, California, next to those of Manuel Eugene Jalanivich.(San Francisco Examiner, July 14, 1959)

Jalanivich’s Estate

In March 1945, Ingvardt Olsen, the executor and only heir of the Estate of Manuel E. Jalanivich, filed for probate in the Superior Court of California of San Mateo County, California.  Jalanivich’s estate consisted of: real property in San Francisco, California, probably Baker Street, appraised at $8500; a 1938 Chevrolet Town Sedan appraised at $540; and $834.64 in cash in a commercial account on deposit in the Redwood City Branch of the Bank of America.  The market value of Jalanivich’s estate for tax purposes was established at $11,373.46 of which Mr. Olsen paid $792.64 in inheritance taxes.(The Superior Court of California, San Mateo County, Case No. 11473, March 1945)

Sablich remembers “Uncle Manuel”

James Eugene Sablich Sr. (1921-2005) was interviewed by Ray L. Bellande in May 2002, at his home on 440 Porter Avenue in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Present at the meeting were his wife, Shannon Randazzo Sablich, and Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock (b. 1924), a niece of Manuel Jalanivich.

Bellande-Jim, give us your early recollections of your Uncle Manuel (Jalanivich) in Biloxi?

Sablich-The earliest recollection that I have is that he came down to visit Biloxi and his sister (Jim’s mother) and brother, Johnny Jalanivich, with his friend, Ingvardt Olsen.  That was when we lived on 626 Lameuse Street and that wasn’t yesterday.  That was quite a few years ago.

Bellande-How old were you then?

Sablich-I was in the fifth or sixth grade-about ten, eleven, or twelve years old.  About 1931.  He (Manuel) came down to visit us and stayed with mother and daddy in the house with us.  He took over my bedroom and my brother’s bedroom.  Before he left Biloxi to go back, he had to sit down to make chalk crayon pictures of me and my brother.

Bellande-Were they pastels or colored chalks?

Sablich-Colored chalk.  I was so proud of that.

Bellande-Were they a good likeness?

Sablich-Very good.

Bellande-Did he (Jalanivich) ever talk about Ethel Dismukes?

Sablich-Oh, all the time.  She lived and had her studio on Lameuse Street, one block from the beach.  I visited that place many times too.

Bellande-Did she (Dismukes) recognize his early art talent in the Biloxi Public School system?

Sablich-Well, this is something that I don’t know anything about.

Bellande-When Manuel came here (Biloxi) did he ever visit her (Miss Dismukes)?

Sablich-Every time he came to Biloxi he visited Miss Dismukes and he would go to Ocean Springs to see Mr. Peter Anderson because they came up together and he would go down and watch him do his work.

Bellande-Did he (Jalanivich) ever talk about his early life in Biloxi?

Sablich-No.  But my mother (Mary Jalanivich Sablich) did.  My mother told me that when he was just a little tot that he would always go around Mr. Ohr’s  pottery shop on Delauney Street.  Mr. Ohr took a liking to him and gave him a broom to clean up his shop after him.  As the years went by, he taught my Uncle Manuel to do this pottery work.  As far as I know, he stayed here long enough to learn enough to go to California to start his own pottery.

Bellande-Did Jalanivich have his own pottery shop on Lameuse Street in Biloxi?

Sablich-I don’t know anything about that.

Bellande-Did Manuel make any pottery when he visited Biloxi?

Sablich-To my knowledge, no.

Bellande-Do you know anything about him (Jalanivich) going off to the Navy?

SablichYeah.  I don’t know if whether it was the Navy or Army, but that’s where he made the little statue that I got while he was in camp in Louisiana.  The war ended before he got any further and he came back to Biloxi.

Bellande-Do you know anything about him (Jalanivich) meeting a wealthy woman in Virginia?

Sablich-I don’t know anything about that.

Bellande-Is there anything else about his visits to Biloxi?

Sablich-He always visited friends involved in pottery and art.

Bellande-Was there anyone besides Miss Dismukes or Peter Anderson or Ohr?

Sablich-I knew somebody else in those days.  My daddy cut her hair.  Jesse Smiler.  I think she was involved with Miss Dismukes.  She was a real estate agent.

Bellande-Did you know Miss Dismukes sister-in-law?

Sablich-Well, I met her every time I went to see Miss Dismukes.

Bellande-Did you ever go anywhere with him (Jalanivich) in Biloxi?

Sablich-We always went to the beach-Wachenfeld’s Pier and Hagan’s Pier or the Riviera Pier.

Bellande-How long would he (Jalanivich) stay in Biloxi?

Sablich-Maybe two weeks.

Bellande-Do you have anything to add Gertrude (Medlock)?

Medlock-The time that I remember him coming to see us, he had a convertible touring car.  That’s about all that I can remember about him.

Sablich-He had a big, big Buick.  I remember Uncle Manuel and Ingvardt both made an extended trip to Africa and stayed there a year or better.  He made some pottery over there and as I told you earlier I have a statue made of a native and she had a big to do or bonnet or something.  When my mother and daddy moved out there over on the beach, I had it outside to load in the car and I forgot it.  I’d give every damn thing in the world if I could find it.

Bellande-Did he (Jalanivich) make several trips to Biloxi?

Sablich-Yes, I bet he made about three trips to Biloxi.  He brought Ingvardt when he made my picture.

Jalanivich-Olsen exhibitions:

The following are some of the known dates and locations of which the ceramics of the Jalan Pottery have been on public display:

1927 Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit, Biloxi, Mississippi

1935-California-Pacific International Exhibition, San Diego, California.

1936- National Ceramic Exhibition, Museum of Fine Art, Syracuse, New York also known as the Fifth National Ceramic Exhibition (Robineau Memorial) and named for American art potter, Adelaide Alsop Robineau (1865-1929), of Syracuse, New York.  The Amberg-Hirth Gallery, San Francisco, California.

1937-Contemporary Crafts Exhibition, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Oakland Art Gallery’s Exhibition of Sculpture where work received an honorable mention.

1939-Decorative Arts Exhibition of the Golden Gate International Exposition at San Francisco.

1948-(Ingvardt Olsen and Charles Nye) 7th Annual Pacific Coast Ceramic Exhibition, Rotunda Gallery, San Francisco, California.

1978-Oakland Museum, Oakland, California

1978-Lang Gallery of Scripps College, Claremont, California

1993-Oakland Museum, Oakland, California.

1994-Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

1994-Cincinnati Art Museum-Cincinnati, Ohio.

 2003-The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art-Biloxi, Mississippi, "Born of Biloxi-Joseph Meyer, George Ohr, and Manuel Jalanivich".

Manuel E. Jalanivich with sculptures

(Linda Jalanivich Seymour was inspired by the bust of the African woman in the center of this image)

(photo courtesy of Maxine McGraw Palmer)

Contemporary "Jalanivich" artists

Linda Jalanivich Seymour (b. 1947), the daughter of  David W. Jalanivich (1920-1980) and Faye Winton Krohn (1919-1999), resides in the St. Martin community north of Ocean Springs.  Like Manuel E. Jalanivich, her great uncle, Linda works in clay, primarily as a hand builder.  Linda was inspired by the bust of an African woman that Manuel E. Jalanivich had created.  In 2001, she studied pottery with Brian Nettles at the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art and sculpture with Dee Shaughnessey at the Spiral Gallery.  Linda J. Seymour had a show, "Just Faces", at the Art House in Ocean Springs in October 2005.  Twenty-five pieces of her sculptures were featured.(The Ocean Springs Record, October 6, 2005, p. B4)

Epilogue:

The Biloxi Boys, J.F. Meyer, G.E. Ohr Jr., and M.E. Jalanivich, were among the most notable American potters of the late 19th and 20th Century.  Being reared at Biloxi on the Mexican Gulf, they experienced the humid subtropical climate, tropical cyclones or hurricanes, and shared the joie de vivre provided by the unique southern European culture, which proliferated here until post-WW II.  While Meyer and Ohr were instrumental in the art scene at New Orleans being instructors in the early years of the Newcomb College art program instituted by William Woodward (1859-1939), Manuel E. Jalanivich shared his ceramic knowledge with eager students at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. 

Today, each of these native Biloxi art potters is remembered for his uniqueness: Meyer for his glazes, simple forms and affiliation with Newcomb Pottery; Ohr for his skill on the potter’s wheel, exciting glazes, and marketing schemes; and Jalanivich for his large forms and moulds.  All are collectible.  In recent years, the value of Ohr pottery has risen geometrically.  Meyer’s Newcomb Pottery has also become very valuable.  Jalanivich’s works are located primarily on the West Coast and are still reasonably priced if they can be located.  Ebay is an excellent place to commence a search for the works of these artists.              

Local Jalan collections-

Robert Guy Chatham (1950-2002)-see obituary, The Sun Herald, May 27, 2002, p. A-6.  Courthouse Road, Gulfport, Mississippi (228) 896-9006

Andrew W. “FoFo” Gilich II

2026 Tulleries Drive, Biloxi, Mississippi 39531-(228) 385-1232

Maxine McGraw Palmer (b. 1939)

279 Palmer Cove, Jackson, Mississippi 39272-(601) 372-7385

James E. Sablich (1921-2005)

440 Porter Avenue, Biloxi, Mississippi 39530-(228) 374-7321.

 

REFERENCES:

The Arts and Crafts Movement in California, (Oakland Museum and Abbeville Press: New York-1993).

Biloxi City Directory, 1913-1914, (Piedmont Directory Company: Ashville, North Carolina-1914)

Jean M. Bragg and Dr. Susan Saward, The Newcomb Style: Newcomb College Arts & Crafts and Art Pottery-Collector’s Guide, (Jean Bragg Gallery: New Orleans, La.-2002)

Hazel V. Bray, The Potter’s Art In California 1885 to 1955, (Oakland Museum Art Department; Oakland, California-1980)

Garth Clark, Robert A. Ellison Jr., and Eugene Hecht, The Mad Potter of Biloxi, (Abbeville Press: New York-1989)

Dane Cloutier and Bob Schmid, Journal of the American Art Pottery Association, “Leon Volkmar: The Master Potter Who Made History”Vol. 1, No. 3, May-June 1985.

Paul E. Cox, Potteries of the Gulf Coast, (Iowa State College: Iowa-1935), p. 197.

Paul Evans, “Jalan: Transitional Pottery of San Francisco”, Spinning Wheel (April 1937), p. 24.

David E. Gifford, “A Brief History of Arkansas Art Pottery-Ouachita, Niloak, and Camark”The National Society of Art Pottery Collectors, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring/Summer 1996.

Lois Lehner, Lechner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay, (Collector Books: Padukah, Kentucky-1988), p. 226.

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Vol. I, (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991).

The Potter’s Art in California 1885-1955, (Oakland Museum Art Department: Oakland, California-1980)

Cantey Venable Sutton, History of Art in Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1929)

Circuit Court

HARCO, Ms. Circuit Court Marriage Record Book 10, Giurilinovich-Morano, October 13, 1894, p. 264.

Superior Court of California

San Mateo County, California Case No. 11473, “In the Matter of the Estate of Manuel E. Jalanivich”March 1945.

Internet

hhtp://www.geocities.com/niloakpottery, “Niloak Pottery Company”

 

Journals

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Funeral of Luka Giovulnovich”, August 22, 1902.

The Courier Bulletin, “Jalanovich”, June 23, 1944.

The Courier Bulletin, “Well Known Ceramic Artist Dies in Belmont”, June 23, 1944.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, May 30, 1910.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi boy has artistic talent”, April 16, 1912.

The Daily Herald, “To Show Friends Their Art Work”, May 21, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi High Doings”, December 4, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Youth Is Talented Artist”, April 11, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit At Central School”, May 22, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi youth makes pottery”, March 13, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit is enjoyed by many”, May 22, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Sablich-Jalanivich”, June 6, 1918, p. 3.

The Daily Herald, “Opening of Art Exhibit at Library”, February 3, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Award Made by Jury of Gifted and Competent Artists for Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibition at Biloxi February 4”, February 5, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Jalan Pottery Arrives”, February 9, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibits Closes”, February 21, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Frank Mueso Dies”, July 2, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News”, March 20, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Manuel Jalanovich (sic) In California”, ????

The Daily Herald, “Jalanivich-Weems”, March 31, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “McGraw-Jalanivich”, February 8, 1937, p. 8.

The Daily Herald, “Mueso Funeral”, February 29, 1940.

The Daily Herald, “Jalanavich (sic) Gaining Fame As Potter”, June 11, 1941, p. 7.

The Daily Herald, “Visit Art Exhibit”, May 31, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Dismukes Dies”, February 18, 1952.

The Daily Herald“Manuel Jalanivich Dies in California”, June 19, 1944.

The Daily Herald, “J.M. Jalanivich”, October 9, 1967.

The Daily Herald, “David W. Jalanivich Sr.”, November 10, 1980.

The Ocean Springs Record, "The Biloxi Boys: Meyer, Ohr, and Jalanivich", September 5, 2002 to October 31, 2002.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Seymour's sculptures put faces in new perspectives", October 6, 2005, p.B4.

The San Francisco Chronicle, “S.F. Potters Rise To Fame”, May 8, 1919 or 1935?

The San Francisco Chronicle, “Clever Potters Bring Art To This City”, December 17, 1922.

The San Francisco Chronicle, “S.F. Women Reviving Old Art of Ceramics”, November 1, 1937.

The San Francisco Chronicle, “Death Splits Famed Team of Artists”, June 21, 1944.

The San Francisco Chronicle, “Funeral Notices”, July 14, 1959.

The San Francisco Examiner, “Funeral Notices”, July 14, 1959.

The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Mary Louise Sablich”, February 14, 1991.

The Sun Herald, “Gertrude Trosclair Jalanivich”, June 5, 1996.

The Sun Herald"James Eugene (Jimbo) Sablich", September 23, 2005, p. A6.

The Sun Herald"Mr. Dewey P. Jalanivich, Sr.", December 8, 2006, p. A10.

 

Personal Communication:

 

Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock-conversation at 13809 Plano Road, Gulf Hills, January 11-12, 2001.

Mark Jawgiel, e-mail January 31, 2002.

Joan M. Levy, San Mateo County Historical Museum, e-mail of her search of the Belmont, California telephone books from 1938-1946 on January 9, 2002.

Jeff Gunderson-e-mail from the San Francisco Art Institute, January 15, 2002

 <jgunderson@sfai.edu>

James E. Sablich-taped interview in May 2002.

Maxine McGraw Palmer-conversation at Byram, Mississippi on June 22, 2002.

Ray L. Bellande

 

 

RAY L. BELLANDE

Ray L. Bellande (b. 1943) is a Biloxi, Mississippi native.  He is the great grandson of Antoine V. Bellande (1829-1918), born at Marseille, France, and Marie Harvey (1840-1894) of Back Bay (now D’Iberville).  Bellande attended Biloxi parochial and public schools.  He matriculated at New Mexico Tech in 1961, and graduated with a B.S. Degree is Petroleum Geology from Mississippi State University in 1965.  Bellande was employed by Humble Oil (Exxon), Tenneco, and others before becoming an independent geologist and oil operator at Lafayette, Louisiana in 1980.  His hydrocarbon exploration and development endeavors has brought him to many petroleum provinces.  Bellande has resided or worked in Louisiana, California, Alaska, Texas, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mississippi, and Alabama.

 

Ray L. Bellande resides at Ocean Springs, Mississippi, home of his ancestors, where he has written since May 1993, a weekly historical column, “Sous Les Chenes”, for The Ocean Springs Record.  In addition he has published several books: The Bellande Cemetery: A History and Register (1990); From Marseille to Mississippi: A Bellande Family History (1991); and Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes (1994).  Bellande also wrote the text for Ocean Springs, The Way We Were (1900-1950) in 1996.

 

Ray L. Bellande was the first commandant of the Fort Maurepas Society.  He is currently vice-president of the Jackson County Historical Society and the Mississippi Coast Historical and Genealogical Society.  He is a member of the following: Mississippi Historical Society (life member), Ocean Springs Genealogical Society (life member), Pioneer America Society, Friends of the Mary C. O’Keefe Cultural Center, Fort Maurepas Society, Jackson County Historical Society, Jackson County Genealogical Society, Jackson County Tricentennial Commission, Ocean Springs Chamber of Commerce, American Association of Petroleum Geologist, and Gulf Hills Tennis Club.

 

Ray L. Bellande is an active participant in community preservation and cultural affairs.  He serves on the Ocean Springs Historical Commission and Museum Board.  His hobbies include tennis, hiking, windsurfing, and gardening.

  

 

 

1961

TO SOCORRO and FIRST SEMESTER of COLLEGE:

 

The Sunset Limited pulled-out of the Union Station at New Orleans in late August or early September 1961.  It was late on a Sunday evening, probably about 10 P.M.  I began to get anxious as the reality of leaving home, family, and friends for the first time began to set in.  I rode in a passenger car and slept very little until I got to El Paso about 2 A.M. on Tuesday.  I slept on a bench in the train station until dawn and then boarded the northbound Santa Fe for New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology at Socorro, New Mexico.

 

I can still feel and smell the cold, smoky, air-conditioned atmosphere of the train compartment.  The mustard taste of ham sandwiches remains, but some of the characters I met on the Southern Pacific passenger train like the Russian student from California, the G.I. going to Ft. Bliss, and the “southern belle” from Georgia will always be a part of the “insomnia journey” from the Crescent City.

 

Coincidentally, I met Bob Hossack who was also headed for New Mexico Tech on the Santa Fe portion of the journey.  Hossack was from La Mesa, California.  He was very intelligent, an excellent student, and a damn good tennis player.  Bob, is the only guy that I ever saw wear out the toe of a tennis shoe.  He did this by dragging his foot while serving the tennis ball.   

 

We arrived at Socorro on a beautiful cool clear September day.  I met my roommate, Hunter Smith, a “cowboy” from Pinon, New Mexico.  The first several weeks at college were very miserable.  I really missed something.  Was it the security of my former environment? 

 

School was difficult.  My objective here was to get a degree in Geology.  I had a poor high school foundation in mathematics and the physical sciences, which would haunt me all through my scholastic years.  I did do well in English, Art, and Physical Education, but only fair in Chemistry.  Failure was not met in Physics or Algebra, but I was near the bottom of the class in these subjects.

 

The art of art of studying had not yet been learned by this Mississippi lad.  It was much easier to get absorbed in sports as my dormitory room was only about 100 yards from the gym.  Soon I became a “gym rat” spending hours shooting baskets and playing round ball.  It was a great escape from studying.

 

The school had a basketball team called the “Ratheskeller”, named for the sponsor, a local lounge.  We played in the city league against the locals who were chiefly Chicanos.  I once scored twenty-five points in a game.  This experience also gave me the opportunity to officiate, which was very difficult. 

 

We also played softball and flag football as part of the intramural program.  I thoroughly enjoyed the keen competition, with the graduate students and staff.  I will always remember James McGettigan, our P.E. teacher, as a great competitor.

 

Probably, my biggest thrill at  New Mexico Tech was the trip to the Kelly-Graphic Mining District near Magdalena, New Mexico.  It was here that we went underground to search for the rare mineral, smithsonite, a zinc carbonate ore, which is present here in a boitroidal form.

 

In late November 1961, on a cool, clear Sunday afternoon, eight of us left the Socorro campus for Magdalena.  I had never been below ground and was quite anxious about the experience.  Little did I know that later that afternoon, I would experience some of the greatest anxiety of my life.  The entrance to the mine at Magdalena was 4-5 feet high and required one to walk in a stooped position.  We wore hard hats with acetylene lamps, carried geologic hammers, and an occasional person might have had water and a flashlight.  Sporadically, we stopped to collect from the walls of the mine, barite, calcite, and other common minerals.  The “turkey ore” or Smithsonite was much deeper.  I remember coming to a juncture in the mine tunnel were it was necessary to descend on ladders to another level.  I had no idea of our depth or direction.  Thus far, all was preceding well.  The group reached an area of the mine where the portal was about three feet wide.  I wasn’t eager to begin crawling through this small tunnel, but there was little choice.  Someone said that we were crawling through the fault zone.  I never did learn the geology of the area.  The proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” was a welcome sight. There was another surprise before we reached the stope or winze were the Smithsonite lie.  It was in the guise of crystallized sticks of dynamite!  We collected some fair quality mineral specimens of which a few, I still possess.

 

The return trip out of the Kelly-Graphic Mine was hairy.  We reached a location in the mine where one had to swing across a vertical shaft to reach the continuation of the tunnel.  I was with the point man and naturally, we were leading the party.  Suddenly behind us a muted shout or scream was heard.  My partner who had the light source felt that someone might have fallen into the shaft.  Immediately, he returned to determine the seriousness of the situation.  I was abandoned in TOTAL darkness.  It was blacker than black.  I wouldn’t move for fear of falling into a shaft.  It was deathly silent and the fact that I knew nothing of the potential disaster behind me only added to a growing sense of anxiety.  My heart began to pound violently in my chest cavity.  I was scared.  “Lord, deliver me from this tomb”, I prayed.  I started a litany:  “Don’t let me die alone”.  “I’ll never miss mass again”.  I had no concept of time or space.  It seemed like an hour before my partner returned.  I’m sure it was no more than ten minutes.  Fortunately, all was well and my companions and I returned safely to the surface.    

 

When we got back to the campus, I didn’t realize how hungry or dirty that I had become.  I remember picking dust, dirt, etc. out of my nose for twenty minutes while waiting for some hamburgers and a milk shake at the grill that evening.  A deep fatigued had also set in.

 

As the semester at New Mexico tech progressed, I realized that I couldn’t survive four years at Socorro.  I probably could have struggled through with a C average on the academic side, but the isolation and boredom that I felt as well as the expenses were difficult obstacles to overcome.  I went to the library to locate a college catalog for a school closer to Biloxi.  Mississippi State University was the only school in the State that I could find any information about.  I applied and was accepted for the Spring Semester.

 

When I left Socorro in January 1962, I wept.  It was my first experience away from home.  I had made some great relationships.  It was a small school, almost non co-ed.  We were all survivors.  I left the ship, but I know these guys all survived as well.

            

1962-1965

MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY

What a difference a college makes.  At Mississippi State, I found all the courses fairly easy, and made the Dean’s List.  Admittedly, I did study much more enthusiastically.  I got away from sports and became caught up in a competitive group of guys who wanted to excel academically.  Here, I continued my pursuit of a Geology degree.  Dr. Dunn had just retired and a new professor, Dr. Troy J. Laswell, had just taken over the Geology Department.  Don Keady was on his way to Texas A&M to work on his doctorate degree.  

 

My three and one-half years at Mississippi State were fairly routine.  I made good grades.  In fact, I was on the Dean’s List six out of the seven semesters that I attended that Institution and finished with a 3.12 QPA.  With the exception of a C in Structural Geology, my record in Geology courses was all A’s.  I never did understand how to use that strain ellipsoid.  Of my Geology classmates at State, I would later come across Owen Scott (Lafayette), John B. McGee (Sidney, Australia), Jesse Ellard (Tuscaloosa), and James Christian (New Orleans) on the “oil patch”.

 

After departing Mississippi State and Starkville in May 1965, I only returned twice.  I believe it was 1972 that I went for a Home Coming football contest with USM, and then later in 1984 when I went to Tuscaloosa to show some oil deals to Michigan Oil and an English based company.

 

At Starkville, only a few memorable events remain with me.  The most ecstatic being the May day that I departed the area.  Another event that occurred there that left a mark in my memory happened on the athletic field.  In 1964, we lost to Memphis State at Scott Field.  This was the first time that they had beaten a SEC team.  Following the contest, their fans stormed the field and attempted to tear down our goal posts.  Needless, to say, the “rednecks” and their cowbells held the day.  I observed some very nasty head wounds in Tiger fans on their way to the infirmary.

 

Another athletic event which is memorable was a State-Ole Miss football game in November 1963?  It was so cold.  I froze my ass off.  It took about two hours before my body quit shivering and I felt normal.  I’m sure that I was hypothermic.

 

The great State basketball teams led by Babe McCarthy are another fond memory.  I was fortunate to watch Red Stroud, Joe Dan Gold, and Leland Mitchell during the 1962-1964 seasons.  Even though State reached the Final Four in 1996, these teams with those of Bailey Howell a few years earlier may have been the acme of State basketball history.   

            

1964

SUMMER EMPLOYMENT-JACKSON

 

Interview with George Burchfield of Gulf Oil.  Went to work for Gulf in their Jackson, Mississippi office in May 1964, as a geological technician.  Worked with photogeologist, Harry ?,

Interviews with Texaco, Gulf, and Humble Oil & Refining Company.  Hired by Fred Sollars of Humble oil.

 

 

1965

DAYTON, TENNESSEE

 

1965

NEW ORLEANS

On August 5, 1965, I reported to Carl Patterson at the Jeff Davis Parkway office of Humble Oil & Refining Company.

 

1967

SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA

 

 

 

 

OIL FIELD GROCERIES

[written February 1992]

 

Its a cool damp wintry day in South Mississippi and I have the en vie to create a great gumbo.  After preparing a shopping list for the multitudinous ingredients, I decide to make some chilli instead.  Thank you Mr. McIlhenny.  These culinary thoughts surface memories of an oil patch experi-ence of yore.  Allow me to relate it to you.

 

As I best recall, it was about June 1967, and Humble (Exxon) transferred me to the Shreveport Production District to learn the real oil field.  My first venture into the patch was down the Mississippi River levee in Concordia Parish to a Wilcox oilfield called Fairview.  Since I was a real weevil, I was placed in the tutorship of a senior geologist.  We spent the night at Vidalia with the theory that a good nights sleep would sharpen the mind, and allow for a more lucid evaluation.  After a savory breakfast of eggs, bacon, grits, butter soaked biscuits, and copious amounts of coffee, we headed south the twenty odd miles to the rig at Fairview.

 

Our timing was superb as Big Blue had an induction log waiting for us.  After a quick inspection of the log, smiles radiated from us both.  There were at least five pay sands called Sharp, Artman, Minter, and other Anglo names like that.  I began to get excited since we were going to see some "real oil".  Well, the cores kept coming.  Industry's modus operandi was to shoot beaucoup sidewallscores since many Wilcox reser-voirs exhibit low resistivity characteristics due to the laminar bedding planes.  About 1 PM, I began to feel the pangs of hunger.  In a weak tone I suggested, "hey, Jim, lets go to Natchez for some groceries.  I hear they have some great food up there".  His reply was, "Huh?  We're working kid.  No food until the evaluation is complete".  "But, man, I don't think well without food," I said irritably.  "We should be done by 4 PM.  My wife made me a sandwich yesterday.  Its in the trunk of the car.  You're welcome to it", he replied amicably.  With the thought of ptomaine or some other stomach disorder in my head, I gracefully declined his offer for nourishment.

 

Instead, I suggested that it might be a good idea for me to go into the swamp to look for some natural organic health food like blackberries, heart of palmetto, pine seeds, etc.  I knew someday my Boy Scout training would come to play.  Was this the day?   When I opened the door of the doghouse, my oil and chlorothane saturated nostrils could barely sense it.  Yes, yes, an aroma of edible goodies in the atmosphere.  The Schlumberger operators were feasting out of a large ice chest near the logging truck.  Bologna, lunch meat, ham, pickles, tomatoes, bread, yeah, and lots of mayonnaise.  In  addition there was lots of sugar and caffeine in the colas to revive my weakened body and sluggish mind.

 

Sheepishly I asked if I might participate in their victual ritual.  "Sure", they replied gregariously, "this is the community lunch wagon".  This was to be my first oil field perk, but I didn't realize it then.As we ate a thick steak that evening in Monroe celebrating that rare event, a successful Wilcox well, I began to formulate an idea.  Yes, I'll stock my car with food the next time I venture into the backwaters of the oilfield to do wellsite work.  I did and have never regretted it.

 

 

    

1969

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA

 

 I departed LAX for Anchorage, Alaska in March 1969.  We stopped at Seattle and then flew non-stop to Alaska.  Dean Morgridge, the District Geologist for Alaska, was also aboard the Continental jet.  We arrived at Anchorage about 8 P.M.  The air temperature was a cool 14 degrees F.  Leaving balmy Southern California, I wasn’t totally prepared for the sub-Arctic cold.  

           

Dean Morgridge invited me to have dinner with him.  We went to a restaurant that specialized in beef.  Our order took nearly two hours and consisted of a small roast weighing about 20 ounces.  Needless to say that after the wait, we were literally hungry enough to eat a cow!

 

There was a strong blizzard on the North Slope and no aircraft were going in.  This allowed me to remain in the Anchorage area two additional days.  I took advantage of this time to do some shopping and sight seeing.  I rented a car and drove down the Turn Again Arm of the Cook Inlet to the ski resort at  ? and to see the Portage Glacier.

           

I believe it was St. Patrick’s Day when we boarded the King Air for the Prudhoe Bay camp.  I joined the company of three ARCO tool pushers.  They were pretty crusty characters-stereotypes of the oil field.  Where do they manufacture these men?  There must be a mill in Oklahoma or Texas that stamps them out complete with cowboy boots, diamond ring, and assorted gold jewelry.  Nugget watch bands and jewelry were popular in Alaska at this time.       

 

It was a three and one-half hour flight to the North Slope from Anchorage.  The weather was good and visibility at the altitude that we flew was great.  The Yukon River was still frozen and the rugose nature of the Brooks Range still remains strong in my memory.  I soon realized that we would be extremely difficult to find down there.  The North Slope was equally impressive.  It is a great Arctic desert which dips gently to the Arctic Ocean from the mountains to the south.  This vast, treeless, tundra terrain is about 100 miles wide and 400 miles in length.  It is transected by a few large north, flowing rivers such as the Colville and Sagavanirktov.  

 

When the King Air set down at the Dead Horse airstrip, it was cloudy and blowing snow with the temperature at 0 degrees F.  I was assigned to the ARCO-Humble Oil No. 1 Toolik-Federal, an exploratory hole, about 12 miles south of the Prudhoe Bay Field. 

           

At this time, the ARCO-Humble combine had three rigs running on the North Slope evaluating acreage for the upcoming September Alaska State lease sale.  The ARCO-Humble No. 1 Delta-State was drilling in the Sadelerochit truncation zone, southeast of the field discovery well, the No. 1 Prudhoe Bay-State.  It had been completed in 1967, and was located in the gas cap of the large Permo-Triassic reservoir.  ARCO-Humble No. 1 Lake-State was digging south of the field’s confirmation test, No. 1 Sag River-State.  Lake-State No. 1 was attempting to locate the oil-water contact for the large oil accumulation discovered by Sag River-No. 1.  Toolik-Federal No. 1 was a weak seismic prospect and probably should not have been drilled.  We had company in the immediate area as SOCAL was drilling their first well, No. 1 Dead Horse-State, between our No. 1 Lake and No. 1 Toolik-Toolik Federal. 

           

Immediately upon disembarkation from the aircraft and checking in at the base camp, we were transported in a pick-up truck to the rig.  The trucks on the North Slope ran continuously for fear that they would freeze up if shut down.     The drive from the ARCO base camp to the Toolik rig took about 45 minutes in good weather.  The road was paved with gravel which had been mined from the flood plain and bed of the Sag River, a large braided stream with many anamostizing channels.  It is interesting to note that this huge oil and gas field, which is about 10 miles wide and forty miles long and reservoirs about 12 billion barrels of oil and 27 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, might not have commercial to develop if it there had not been extensive gravel deposits in the immediate area.  The gravel insulates the tundra and provides a solid foundation for drilling pads, buildings, and an extensive network of roads as previously mentioned.  To reduce the large number of drill sites necessary to develop the field,  production wells were directionally drilled from pads similar to the development of an offshore field development.  This practice was also environmentally sound as it reduced the number of surface structures.

 

1971

JAKARTA, INDONESIA and SUMATRA

 

 

 

1972

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA and SABAH

 

 

 

1973

KINGSVILLE, TEXAS

 

I left Los Angeles, California in March of 1973, for Kingsville, Texas.  It was to be my last assignment with Humble Oil & Refining Company as the name of the company would soon change to Exxon.  I drove my Chevrolet Vega through the high California desert for the last time.  My first night out of LA was spent in Arizona on the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  The first view of that magnificent hole in the earth was remarkable.  I remember mumbling something like “oh, shit” with my first glimpse of it.  No doubt that the Grand Canyon is one of the great natural wonders of the world.  Snow was still present on the high Kaibab Pleateau.  

 

The next day I drove continuously stopping very briefly at Socorro, New Mexico to visit my alma mater, New Mexico Tech.  The campus had improved since my stay there in the Fall of 1961.  I arrived in El Paso, Texas before dusk and spent the night there.  Visited Jim Petrezelka, a class mate at New Mexico Tech.

 

I arose early and continued east passing through the rugged canyon country of Pecos and Crockett Counties in West Texas.  It is very beautiful.  I reached San Antonio in an exhausted state. 

 

The next day I made the two hour drive south to Kingville arriving there about 10:00 A.M.  I went to the Humble office and met Rod Boane who was the District Geologist.  Ed Sabatka would be my immediate supervisor and Bob Dubose in Corpus Christi was our Division Geologist.  There were some real characters in our Kingsville office.  Some were old veterans like Wally ?, Jack ?, Charlie ?, Fred Steuer, and Hollis Marshall.  There were a few newcomers like Rolly Oberg, Mitch Neilson, Ed O’Quinn, Paul Mayes, and Carl Musgrove.  I was replacing Dennis Barclay who had gone to work for Esso Norway in Stavenger.  

 

I had met Dennis Barclay in the 1966 Electric Well Logging School at Esso Production Research Company in Houston.  I’ll never forget the Saturday morning that he and I went to Galveston.  We got into a very intense rain storm on the Galveston bridge.  Traffic stopped because the visibility was zero.  There was a total “white-out” of rain water.

 

Barclay had gone to STANVAC at Jakarta, Indonesia on a temporary overseas assignment in 1969, and I followed in his tracks over there in 1971.  I had hoped to repeat and follow him to Norway.  Life is cruel at times.  In 1974, Dennis developed a melanoma or black mole and died in Norway within a few months while with Esso Norge.  He was very fair skinned with red hair, blue eyes, and freckles.  Dennis Barclay was a good geologist and friend.  I will always remember him although our acquaintance was chiefly by telephone.

 

At Kingsville, I settled in at the Santa Gertrudis Apartments.  A most appropriate name since the principal bovine on the king Ranch was the cow with the same name.  I believe the Santa Gertrudis hybrid was developed from the Brahma and Hereford breeds and the resulting animal is well suited for the climate of South Texas.

 

Humble’s Kingsville District consisted primarily of the oil an gas fields which had been discovered on the large King Ranch.  The King Ranch is approximately 1 million acres in size.  Someone toId me that it was leased by Humble Oil during the Great Depression.  The lease money helped pay the taxes and kept the Kleberg empire intact.  Subsequent exploration and development by Humble demonstrated that the King Ranch contained some major oil and gas fields.   

 

At one time, the King Ranch Gas Plant was one of the largest in the world.  I was in development geology and assigned to work the abnormal pressured Vicksburg gas trend in the Tijerna-Canales-Blucher and Seeligson areas.  The Oligocene Vicksburg age clastic reservoirs occur at relatively shallow depths in this area, i.e. 9000-10000 feet.  If you find a good reservoir, wells with capacities in the 20-30 MMCFG/D can be made.  

 

An interesting geological phenomena occurred at the King Ranch shortly before I arrive there.  In the 1950s, Humble had drilled an 8000-foot Frio flank well at T-C-B.  There was oil production up dip in the same apparent stratigraphic interval.  The up dip wells watered-out, but the down dip well continued to produce liquid hydrocarbons at a good rate and had accumulated a high production total.  

 

One very commendable facet of the reservoir engineering group in the Kingsville District is that they ran BHP (bottom hole pressure) tests on a regular basis.  They discovered the anomalous production condition on the east flank of T-C-B, and recommended that a well be drilled up dip of the “production anomaly” and the down dip of the abandoned wells.       

 

A geologist correlating the Frio wells of interest on the east flank of T-C-B would probably conclude that they were the same sand body.  An exploratory test was dug between the producing well and the up dip watered-out producers.  It came in flowing between 200 and 300 barrels of oil per day.  Rolly Oberg handled the mapping of this project and eventually six successful development wells were drilled on strike.  This was a great lesson in stratigraphy and production anomalies.  I would remember this and apply it successfully later at the Iota Field in Acadia Parish, Louisiana.

           

Although I remained in  the Kingsville district for only nine months, it was an interesting assignment and I met some good people.  One of these individuals was young Bill London from Oklahoma City.  We called Bill, “the kid”.  He had grown up in the “oil patch” of New Mexico and Oklahoma as his father owned a production company.  London graduated from Princeton University and came to Kingsville in May of 1973, directly from New Jersey.  

 

I have never met anyone who was as knowledgeable about the oil business at such a young age.   Bill London was about 24 years of age.  He developed a prospect within three weeks of his arrival and it was drilled immediately.  It was a stratigraphic play  that didn’t work, but nevertheless was a good idea.

 

Bill London, Rolly Oberg, and myself were the only batchelors in the office.  Bill and I sailed some at Rivera Beach and played tennis.  He called me at Lafayette after I had left and invited me to be in his wedding at Oklahoma City.  I hope he and Coe have done well with their life together.

 

Work wise I got two wells drilled during my short stay in Kingville.  Both were in the Canelo Field.  One was a marginal producer and the other probably made Humble lots of money.  I worked with an Australian engineer, Dave ?, on these projects.  He was good chap and very bright.

 

My days with Humble were numbered after I made several gaffs with the local management.  Living in California had set me free in some ways and added to my eccentricities.  My primary troubles started in the Summer of 1973.  It was very warm and humid in South Texas and I decided to set a new dress code for working in the “Texas Tropics”.  My choice of apparel was British walking shorts with white knee stockings.  This was not pleasing to District Geologist Boane.  

 

In addition, I was habitually late for work.  Office hours were from 7:00 A.M. until 4:30 P.M.  Historically, I am not an early morning person.  My hours were more like 7:15 to 5:00 P.M.  Boane would write company memos and send them out reminding everyone of the work schedule.  I would have appreciated it more if he had come to me personally and told me to be there at 7:00 A.M.!!

 

The final act that led to my leaving Humble Oil also occurred in the heat of 1973.  I had come into the office from a logging run on a very hot day.  The District Engineer, Harry Longwell?, wanted to see the log.  Unfortunately, I was wearing a tank top shirt.  Longwell?  later complained to Boane that, “I didn’t appreciate his (Bellande’s) hairy arm pit in my face”

 

During my trips from Kingsville to Biloxi, I usually stopped at Lafayette to visit John Borger, my old mate from the Offshore Distrci at New Orleans and from Alaskan well sitting days.  John had left Humble while in Los Angeles and joined Tenneco at Lafayette.  Tenneco at this time was very active in the Gulf of Mexico.  They were actively hiring experienced development geologist for their Lafayette office.  I met several management people, Dan Foder and Chuck Schultz, and liked them immediately. 

 

My employment with Humble Oil had exceeded eight years in August of 1973.  Until the incidents with Rod Boane at Kingsville, my career had gone smoothly.  Chuck Schultz began calling me at home in Kingsville offering employment with Tenneco.  As things began to deteriorate for me in Texas, I accepted an offer to meet Schultz in Houston to seriously consider leaving Humble.  We met in the airport and he offered me $1200 per month which I accepted.  The thought of leaving Humble was not pleasant as it was the only real job that I had ever had.  

 

John Henderson had replace Rod Boane as District Geologist.  I liked and respected Henderson.  He was smart and a leader.  Strangely to me, John Henderson wouldn’t accept my resignation.       

 

1973-1974

LAFAYETTE, LOUISIANA

 

 

 

1974-1975

GULFPORT, MISSISSIPPI

 

 

 

TIME LINE IMAGES

New Orleans-1944

 

Mississippi State Science Fair

1st Place Earth Science Class IV

[April 24, 1959-Jackson, Mississippi]

1960 BILOXI HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS TEAM

[L-R: Glenn Saucier?, Mike Rester, Ronnie Kettering, Ray L. Bellande]

 

 

Arco-Humble Toolik-Federal No. 1-North Slope, Alaska-March 1969

 

2002 painter and potter

 

 

"Glad Potter"

Ocean Springs, Mississippi-August 2013.

 

 

 

First Art Exhibit-Biloxi Public Library-November 2013

 

 

 

 

2017

 

Robert Oliver Crofton III

[Courtesy of Janice Hogan-November 2013]

Robert O. Crofton III

Robert Oliver Crofton III was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on October 18, 1908 to Robert O. Crofton II (1881-1937) and Loretta Gilbert Crofton who later married Henry Y. Tourner (1888-1945).  R.O. Crofton III expired February 5, 1956.

"Robert O. Crofton, 47, 206 W. Water St. Biloxi, commercial artist, designer and interior decorator, died at 8:50 pm Sunday, at Memorial Hospital, Gulfport, after a 17 month illness.  Mr. Crofton had been in the hospital five weeks.  He was a native Biloxian and had lived in Biloxi and Gulfport all of his life.  He was a World War Two veteran.  Mr. Crofton attended Biloxi High School and was graduated from St. Joseph Catholic School in Gulfport.  He had done considerable art work along the Coast.  At one time he was with the Saenger Theatres at Biloxi, Gulfport and other points on the circuit.  He was engaged in display work and remodeling and redecorating fronts of theatres and lobbies. He also formerly was with Northrop's, Gulfport.

He has been engaged in work for Biloxi carnival clubs.  He did designing and decorating for the Hotel Biloxi MacArthur Creole Room; Broadwater Driftwood Lodge, White House pool and other projects, including work for Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation at Pascagoula.  He was an active member of the Gulf Coast Art Assn.

He was survived by his mother, Mrs. Henry Tourner, Biloxi; sister, Mrs. C. L. Sheehan, Orlando, Fla.  Funeral services will be held at 10 am Tuesday from Bradford Funeral Home with services at the Church of the Nativity and burial in Biloxi Cemetery." (The Daily Herald, February 6, 1956, p.2)

REFERENCES:

The Daily Herald, “Robert O. Crofton”, February 6, 1956.

The Biloxi Boys: J.F. Meyer, George E. Ohr Jr., and Manual E. Jalanivich

[This article was published in The Ocean Springs Record from September 5, 2002 thru November 14, 2002]

Ah, “the Biloxi boys”, to some this nomenclature might rekindle one’s past memory to a time and place when audacious lads from Biloxi ventured across the Biloxi Bay bridge to capture the hearts of our local lovely lassies.  In dance halls, like the Mark Seymour’s Anchor Inn, they were usually repulsed and sent scurrying home by the jealous and protective guardians of our fair maidens!  

Then one might fancy “the Biloxi boys” as a rowdy group of young men from “the Point” or Back Bay who on a Saturday night in the spirit of bravado and machismo might venture into town and demonstrate their pugilistic talents to the locals. 

Well, surprise!  In the next weeks, we will investigate a more gentle and creative nature of “Biloxi boys”- a group of folk and studio potters all born in the 19th Century who claimed Biloxi as home and whose lives transcended almost a hundred years.  These men have left their art works in the galleries, private collections, and halls of higher learning from New York to San Francisco, and Biloxi to Chicago.  Their names from oldest to youngest are: Joseph Fortune Meyer (1848-1931), George Edward Ohr Jr. (1857-1918), and Manuel Eugene Jalanivich (1897-1944).       

Of the Biloxi Boys only George E. Ohr Jr., “the freak potter”, has become more than a regional name in the ceramics world.  Coincidentally, in April 1909, Ohr had to defend himself before a jury in the Chancery Court of Harrison County, to establish his sanity!  Joseph F. Meyer won his fame as the potter in residence at the Newcomb Art School in New Orleans, while Manuel E. Jalanivich reaped laurels for his wheel thrown and molded work in California.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 3, 1909, p. 1)  

19th Century Biloxi

The lives of the Biloxi Boys ranged from Ante-Bellum time to near the end of WW II, an era in which Biloxi developed from a small, seasonal, seaside resort into a major American seafood-packing center.  These men all shared a peninsular environment defined by its geographic setting on the Mexican Gulf and Biloxi Bay and regionally known for its verdant flora and magnificent Live Oaks; shell roads; Victorian architecture; Creole and other ethnic foods; Roman Catholicism; and the joie de vivre transported here by southern Europeans, primarily French and Spanish immigrants.  Such a semitropical haven also included: heat, humidity, hurricanes, ravaging insects, and occasional outbreaks of tropical diseases-yellow and dengue fever.

JOSEPH F. MEYER

In addition to sharing Biloxi, Mississippi as their home place, the Biloxi Boys were blessed with artistic creativity.  Joseph F. Meyer, the senior of the trio, was born of Alsatian parents, Francois Antoine Meyer (1813-1870) and Jeanne Françoise Begin (1817-1892) in the village of Buthiers, Haute-Saone, France on February 19, 1848. (Bragg and Saward, 2002, p. 79)

Here in the Franche Comte in the shadow of the Jura Mountains of eastern France, the Meyer family had been potters for several generations.  Francois A. Meyer left France alone and went to Pittsburgh and then settled at Biloxi, Mississippi circa 1851.  His family joined him at Biloxi in 1857.  Francois A. Meyer owned a home and store in the Back Bay section of Biloxi.  Here he also made pottery.  Young Joseph Meyer attended school and learned to pot from his father.  The 1860 August Hurricane destroyed the Meyer store and pottery.  It was described in 1928, by an aging Joseph Meyer that, "the hurricane just scattered our pottery through the whole beach, and ruined us".(Ibid. , p. 79 and The Daily HeraldJanuary 4, 1928, p. 10)

 

(photo)

Joseph F. Meyer at the potter’s wheel

Interestingly in September 1917, men excavating for the laying of a keel for a boat, at the Biloxi Shipyard and Box Factory at Elder's Point, on Back Bay found some art pottery shards.  Mrs. Joseph F. Meyer read an account of their discovery in The Daily Herald, and reported to the journal's staff that, "her husband's father fashioned these strange designs sixty odd years ago".( The Daily Herald, September 11, 1917 and The Daily Herald, September 18, 1917)

It these broken pots were indeed the work of F.A. Meyer, it would place their family habitat near present day East Bay View Avenue and Hiedenheim, or several blocks east of the Boomtown Casino.  There is no evidence in the land deed records of Harrison County, Mississippi that indicate that F.A. Meyer possessed land here.  This does not preclude the fact that he could have been a renter or lessee.

After the 1860 August Hurricane, conditions worsened for the Meyer family as Francois developed rheumatism and couldn't work effectively.  Then, unfortunately, the Civil War came to the Mississippi coast with its economically devastating sea blockade.  Joseph Meyer, then a lad of fourteen, supported the family by rowing deserters and unfortunate victims of the conflict to sanctuary on Union held Ship Island twelve miles south of Biloxi.  On one trip he earned fifty dollars.  The family also made salt by evaporating seawater.  When Federal forces departed Ship Island in April 1862, for their assault on New Orleans, Meyer happened to be there with a deserter.  The invading Yankee armada under Admiral David Glasgow Farragut (1801-1870) took him to the Crescent City.  There young Meyer after much difficulty located his father who had left Biloxi seeking work earlier.  Francois A. Meyer lived on St. Bernard Avenue, and worked as a potter in an old milk barn near City Park.  The area was still wilderness.  Joseph Meyer stayed with his father at the pottery until his death in 1870.(The Daily HeraldJanuary 4, 1928, p. 10)

  On October 26, 1872, Joseph Meyer married Felicie Laurance Pineau (1847-1920) at New Orleans.  They were childless, but did adopt Norma E. Lorrey, who would marry James E. Walther (1884-1974).  The Walthers gave the Meyer's two grandchildren; Norma Walther Kneale (b. 1926) who resides in the St. Martin community of west Jackson County, and James Walther (b. 1931), a Metairie, Louisiana resident.

Meyer-Ohr and the New Orleans Art Pottery Company

George E. Ohr Jr., a childhood friend and Biloxi blacksmith, was invited to New Orleans by Meyer.  He arrived there in 1879, to learn the pottery trade, and stayed until 1883.  Joseph F. Meyer closed down his kiln, and sold shoes and dry goods at New Orleans from 1883 until 1886.(The Daily Herald, January 4, 1928, p. 10)

In 1885, Ellsworth Woodward (1861-1939) and his brother, William Woodward (1857-1939), both creative and well-trained artists from Massachusetts, who had instructed young ladies in arts and crafts during the World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial (1884-1885), which was situated in present day Audubon Park, founded the Ladies' Decorative Art League.   After the Cotton Centennial had closed in June 1885, their young female students were eager to continue art classes.  The Ladies' Decorative Art League was chartered in 1885, as the vehicle to continue this style of education.  In order to offer a complete schooling to the young ladies, the Woodwards developed the New

Orleans Art Pottery Company.  Here pupils could understand the entire ceramic process, including kilns and glazes.  This corporation had a capital stock of $1000, and was located on Baronne Street opposite the facility, which housed the Ladies' Decorative Art League.  These institutions were vital in providing an uninterrupted period of art education to the young ladies at New Orleans from the Cotton Centennial until Newcomb College was established founded in September 1887, with Ellsworth Woodward as head of the art department.(Ormond and Irvine, 1976, pp. 11-13)

Since the Woodward brothers were visual artists and not ceramicists, they hired Joseph F. Meyer to construct a kiln and throw the green ware for their Baronne Street operation.  Meyer built a kiln similar to those used by French folk potters.  The Sevres Porcelain Works near Paris, also employed this type of furnace.(Cox, 1935, p. 154)   

For assistance with his ceramic classes, Meyer summoned G.E. Ohr, his young Biloxi protégé, to New Orleans.  Some of the clay for their operation was mined at Harrison County, Mississippi on the Tchoutacabouffa River probably at Holley's Bluff (NW/4, NW/4 Section 7, T7S-R9W).  It is believed that our own Peter Anderson (1901-1984) also utilized argillaceous deposits from this prominent escarpment.  The clay was transported to the New Basin by coastal schooner.  The terminal of the New Basin Canal conveniently was only four blocks from the New Orleans Art Pottery Company on Baronne Street.(Ormond and Irvine, 1976,  p. 13 and Bellande, 1995, p. 19)

Return to Biloxi

By 1890, the New Orleans Art Pottery was in decline and was reorganized as the New Orleans Art Pottery Club.  Joseph F. Meyers and spouse returned to Biloxi.  At Biloxi, in October 1890, Joseph Meyer bought Lots 3 and 10 in Square 3 of the Summerville tract on Point Cadet for $1200 from Ada C. Bailey.  In September 1901, the Meyers acquired the west half of Lot 4 and part of the west half of Lot 9 in Square 3 of Summerville for $600 also from Mrs. Bailey.  These tracts comprised one acre and were located on the water almost equidistant between Pine and Cedar Streets.  The Meyers maintained a residence at Biloxi on this site overlooking Deer Island.  At Biloxi, Joseph Meyer boarded guests and did some ceramic work.(Harrison County, Mississippi Land Deed Book 25, p. 514-515 and HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 49, p. 52 and The Daily Herald, January 4, 1928, p. 10)

Déjà vu-NOLA

In 1894, Joseph F. Meyer received an invitation from the Woodward brothers to erect a catenary kiln for the Newcomb Art School and subsequently returned o the Crescent City.  In 1896, he joined the staff at Newcomb after the dismissal of potters, Jules Gabry and George Wasmuth.  While at New Orleans creating pottery for the Newcomb Art School ladies to decorate, the Meyers also maintained their Biloxi home. 

Mrs. Lucretia Buzolich Lee (b. 1912) a life long resident of Point Cadet remembers her mother telling her that she took care of Mr. Meyer's chickens and got the eggs in return.  She also recalls that the Meyers later moved to Deer Island.  In May 1913, Joseph Meyer sold his beach front property at Biloxi to the Seafood Company for $4000.  The Grand Casino Biloxi occupies this site today.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 104, pp. 221-222 and Lucretia B. Lee, February 1995)

The Seafood Company had been incorporated in April 1913, by Henry E. Gumbel of New Orleans and Biloxians, Isidore Heidenheim (1857-1918) and Ed Glennan.  Mr. Heidenheim had just retired as manager of the Barataria Canning Company.(HARCO, Ms. Chattel Deed Bk. 14, p. 77 and The Daily Herald, September 19, 1912, p. 1)

Newcomb Art School

Joseph F. Meyer remained as potter of the Newcomb Art School from 1896 until his retirement in 1927.  His tenure at this institution was marked by the production of large volumes of high quality ceramic wares, which generally conformed to standard pottery shapes, although his miniature “Ali Baba” jars were considered unique.  Meyer was not a decorator, but seriously experimented with glazes and consistently studied the relationships between color, heat, and silicate chemistry.  Another of his many assets was his ability to coordinate with the individual decorators on their designs.  In 1904, Meyer lost the sight in an eye due to a cataract and needed an assistant from this time until he threw is last pot for student decoration in 1925.           

Deer Island

On June 23, 1916, Joseph F. Meyer for $200 bought Lot 1 of Block No. 10 from the Deer Island Improvement Company.  The lot was 51 feet wide and 150 feet deep.  It was located in Section 2, T8S-R10W, on the north side of Deer Island.  Here Meyer built a summer home on piers approximately seven feet above the sand.  It was the most easterly of the four homes on the island at that time.  Mr. Houston Gollott of Biloxi was the carpenter, and the lumber was transported probably from Pascagoula by schooner.  Meyer built the exterior stairway from ships' ballast.(Harrison County, Mississippi Deed Book 116, p. 294 and Captain Arthur Baker, February 1995)

Long time Deer Island resident, Captain Arthur Baker (1906-2000) of Biloxi, remembered "Uncle Joe", as Meyer was affectionately known to the locals, as: jovial, observant, and interested in Nature.  Baker recalled that Meyer once hauled some large concrete pillars, relics of the old Deer Island Improvement Company, in his metal-wheeled, wheelbarrow to build a bulkhead in front of his home.  Hurricane Camille in August 1969, destroyed the old Meyer home but his rock and mortar stairs survived.  They were demolished later.  Captain Baker also recalled that Uncle Joe Meyer once gave fellow artist, G.E. Ohr Jr., a small sailboat.(Arthur Baker, February 1995)

Last days

Mrs. Felicie Meyer died on April 4, 1920, at the age of seventy-three.  She suffered from diabetes.  It is believed that her remains were interred at New Orleans.  Joseph Meyer had permanently retired from the Newcomb Pottery in 1927, because of a heart condition and continued eyesight failure.  He spent the rest of his life with his adopted daughter, Mrs. James E. Walther, at 1202 Felicity Street.  Uncle Joe Meyer died on March 16, 1931 at New Orleans.  His remains were interred at the Old Biloxi Cemetery near life long friend and fellow artisan, George E. Ohr.(The Daily HeraldMarch 18, 1931, p. 2)

Professor William Woodward of Tulane and Newcomb is also buried at Biloxi where he died on November 17, 1939.  His corporal remains rest in the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery on the West Beach.

GEORGE E. OHR JR.

Art historians and critics generally are in agreement that George E. Ohr Jr. (1857-1918), the much maligned and not so “Mad Potter” of Biloxi, was the greatest ceramic artist of his time and possibly ever.  Ohr’s life is fairly well documented in the literature by himself (1901), Dolores “Bobbie” Davidson Smith (1965) of Ocean Springs, R.W. Blasberg (1973 and 1986), Garth Clark et al (1989), and others. 

This section will attempt to present a fairly comprehensive Ohr family genealogy and other previously undisclosed facts about the renowned Ohr family of Biloxi.    

George Edward Ohr Jr. was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on July 12, 1857.  His parents, George E. Ohr (1819-1904) and Johanna Wiedman Ohr (1821-1905) were immigrants from Alsace, that interesting piece of geography between the Rhine River and the Vosges Mountains, and Wurtemberg respectively.  Wurtemberg, a former constitutional monarchy, is now integrated into the German state of Baden-Wurtemberg in the southwest region of this western European nation, while Alsace is now a part of the French Deparments of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin.  The senior Ohr immigrated to America in 1850, from with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John George Ohr, who both expired at New Orleans in 1852.  At New Orleans, George E. Ohr met and married Johanna Wideman in 1853.(Clark, et al, 1989, p. 177 and Webster’s 1989, p. 39 and p. 1353) 

By 1852, G.E. Ohr and spouse had relocated to Biloxi where he made his livelihood as a blacksmith, while Mrs. Ohr would by 1880 operate a grocery store.  Mr. Ohr is believed to have been the first person to shoe horses in Biloxi.  In this relaxed peninsular village on the Mexican Gulf, George and Johanna Ohr brought into the world five children: Augustus Ohr (1854-1927), George E. Ohr Jr. (1857-1918), Emma Ohr Gruntz (1859-1909+), Louise Ohr Schultz (1863-1909+), and Mena Ohr (1867-1893+, but pre-1900).(The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 8, 1904, p. 5)           

Biloxi Lands

George E. Ohr began acquiring land in Biloxi on Pass Christian Road (now Howard Avenue) in August 1859, when he paid John and Josephine Scherer $300 for a tract with about 50 feet on Pass Christian Road that ran south 300 feet to Jackson Avenue.  It is very probable that the original Ohr blacksmith shop was situated on this parcel. (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 9, p. 175)

Less than ten years later, July 30, 1868, George E. Ohr added to this tract by purchasing from Francois Arbeau Caillavet (1815-1883) and Euranie Fayard Caillavet (1818-1895), my great-great grandparents; Charles Ferdinand Quave (1811-1894) and Rose Desiree C. Quave (1814-1883); Louise C. LeFaure (1817-1868+), the widow of Stephen LeFaure; and Marie C. Bousquet (1825-1883), the widow of Jean-Baptiste Bousquet; all the heirs of Louis Arbeau Caillavet (1790-1860), a native of the Opelousas Post, Louisiana and Marguerite Fayard Caillavet(1787-1863) of Biloxi, a parcel of ground adjacent to and west of their original holdings on Pass Christian Road (Howard Avenue).  This particular lot had a front of 50 feet on Jackson Avenue and ran north for 172 feet to the property of Priscilla Pebukst Ritch (1816-1905), the grandmother of two of Biloxi’s most renown and beloved school teachers, Mary Alma Ritch (1890-1964), and Priscilla Ritch (1893-1972), who toiled for decades at the now demolished Gorenflo Public School on LaMeuse Street in Biloxi.  The Ritch lot had 50 feet on Pass Christian Road.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.10, p. 604)

It wasn’t until late March 1873, that G.E. Ohr would buy the lot that would be the site of the Pot-Ohr-Ree and domicile of his soon to be famous son, G.E. Ohr Jr.  Arne Bernard and wife, Adele Ladner Delauney Caillavet Bernard (1812-1880), conveyed to Mr. Ohr a large lot on the northwest corner of Pass Christian Road and Delauney Street.  The Ohr tract had 90 feet on Pass Christian Road and 200 feet on Delauney Street.  John Harkness (1827-1903) was to the north and the Pineau property to the west.  The consideration was $650.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 13, pp. 626-627)

 It can be ascertained with some degree of certitude that George E. Ohr was not financially solvent from December 1875, until about 1890.  He borrowed sums of money ranging from $150 to $500 from fellow Biloxians, such as: Joseph Kuhn (1875); Josephine Scherer (1882); and John Bradford (1886 and 1887).(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 14, p. 618, Bk.19, p. 39, Bk. 21, p. 458, and Bk. 22, p. 45)

As we shall see, these Biloxi lands, the legacy of George and Johanna W. Ohr, would cause much grief in the family and contribute to some of the erratic behavior of the World’s Greatest Potter in the first decade of the 20th Century.

George E. Ohr passed on July 8, 1904.  Mrs. Ohr died on December 28, 1905, at the residence of her son, George E. Ohr Jr.  Their corporal remains were interred in Section E, Lot 5, the George Ohr family burial plot, in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 8, 1904, p. 5 and December 28, 1905, p. 2 and The Biloxi Cemetery Records Bks. A-C, 1841-1905)

The four children of George E. Ohr and Joanna W. Ohr who survived into the 20th Century found mates within their Germanic culture and language, as each married German natives or first generation German-Americans.  A brief biography of each Ohr child follows:

AUGUST OHR

 August Ohr (1854-1927) married Lizzie Hahn in May 1877.  She may have been the daughter of Elizabeth Hahn (1812-1904), the proprietor of the Magnolia Hotel.  Mrs. Hahn, a native of Hanover, Germany, arrived at Biloxi in 1847. (HARCO, Ms. MRB 6, p. 476 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 5, 1904, p. 5) )

Lizzie and August Ohr were the parents of two sons: Peter Joseph Ohr (1878-1953) and John Ohr (1879-1879).  Peter J. Ohr became a local farmer.  In September 1912, he acquired the NE/4 of the SE/4 of Section 12, T7S-R10W from John Canaan for $800.   Peter was a resident of New Orleans in June 1918, when he quitclaimed his tract to Lizzie Betz who held a deed of trust from him.  Peter’s nephew, Leo Edgar Ohr (1890-1970), immediately acquired these forty acres and it became his farm.  Peter J. Ohr died at Biloxi in mid-October 1953.  His corporalremains were passed through the Episcopal Church and interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 102, p. 107 and Trust Deed Bk. 10, p. 163 and The Daily Herald, October 13, 1953, p. 8)

August Ohr made his livelihood as a laborer.  He worked for the Texas Pacific Machine Shop and also for the Biloxi Ice Factory.  In his later life, Mr. Ohr was a night watchman.  In August 1892, Lizzie and August Ohr divorced in Harrison County, Mississippi.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 523-August 1892 and The Daily Herald, April 11, 1927, p. 2)

By 1906, Lizzie Hahn Ohr was married again.  Her new spouse was Antoine Muller or Miller.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 2200-Ocotber 1906 and Cause No. 2500-October 1907)

August Ohr married the widow of William Wachenfeld, Elizabeth Montag Wachenfeld (1842-1920), in May 1894.  She was born at Bodstadt, Hessen, Germany, the daughter of Joseph Montag and Katherine Sour.  Mrs. Ohr was the mother of: Charles W. Wachenfeld (1868-1936), Philip Wachenfeld (1871-1929), August Wachenfeld, and Christina W. Harvey (1872-1931), the wife of Louis Harvey (1874-1913).  Before his demise, Louis Harvey was foreman of the Gorenflo Packing Company at Biloxi.  Several of his descendants, Philip I. Harvey (b. 1941), David Harvey, and Elizabeth H. Joachim, are prominent in insurance and real estate at Ocean Springs.(HARCO, Ms. MRB 10, p. 206, The Daily Herald, August 29, 1920, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, September 17, 1913,  p1)

Mrs. Elizabeth W. Ohr died at Biloxi on August 18, 1920.  August Ohr expired on April 10, 1927.  Both were passed through the Episcopal Church and interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, August 19, 1920, p. 1 and April 11, 1927, p. 2)

GEORGE E. OHR JR.

On September 15, 1886, George Edward Ohr Jr. (1857-1918) married Josephine Gehring (1868-1930), a native of Gretna, Louisiana.  Like George’s parents, her father and mother were also German immigrants. By the last year of the 19th Century, Josephine had given George seven children, but only four survived, Leo E. Ohr (1890-1970), Clo L. Ohr (1892-1989), Otto T. Ohr (1895-1982), and Lio I. Ohr (1893-1914), to see the Federal Census taker on Delauney Street in June 1900.  Ellen Louise Ohr (1887-pre 1900), Asa Eugene Ohr (1888-1893), and Flo Lucretia Ohr (1897-1900) had expired before June 1900. .(HARCO, Ms. MRB 8, p. 217 and 1900 Federal Census-Harrison County, Ms. T623 Roll 808 p, 21B)

Post June 1900, Zio I. Ohr (1900-1904), Ojo J. Ohr (1903-1991) and George E. Ohr III (1906-1986) were born, but only the latter two survived to adulthood.

Josephine Gehring Ohr expired on March 17, 1930, in her home at 409 Delauney Street.  She had been a resident of Biloxi since 1885.  In addition to her children, she was survived by two brothers, George and Louis Gehring, and three sisters, Mrs. Nick Koenig, Mrs. William Hartley, and Mrs. L.G. Dauenhauer.  All of her siblings resided in the Greater New Orleans area.  Mrs. Ohr’s corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, March 17, 1930, p. 10)

The World’s Greatest Potter, George E. Ohr Jr., had preceded Josephine in death.  He passed at his Delauney Street residence on April 7, 1918, after several years of declining health.  Prior to his demise, Ohr had sought medical attention in the Crescent City with no avail.  After his corporal remains had been blessed in the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, they were interred in his burial lot designated as Block 13, Lot 173 of the 3rd Addition to the Biloxi City Cemetery.  In addition to George E. Ohr and Josephine G. Ohr, the graves of Leo E. Ohr, Lio I. Ohr and Marguerite Kuljis Ohr are marked in this family burial lot.(The Daily Herald, April 8, 1918, p. 1 and personal observation September 14, 2002)

The Ohr children

Consistently with his creative and eccentric nature, George E. Ohr Jr. derived the first name of his children from the first letter of their first, middle, and surname.  For example, “LEO” was created from Leo Edgar Ohr; “CLO” came from Clovinia Lucinda Ohr; etc.  A brief biography of the children of George E. Ohr Jr. and Josephine Gehring Ohr follows:

Ellen Louisa Ohr

Ellen L. Ohr (1887-pre-1900) was born on June 21, 1887.  She received the Holy Sacrament of Baptism in the Roman Catholic Church at the Nativity BVM in Biloxi on July 10, 1887.  Ellen passed on before June 1900.  No further information.(Lepre, 1991, p. 243)  

Asa Eugene Ohr

Asa E. Ohr (1888-1893) was born in 1888 and expired on December 7, 1893.  Young Asa must have been very special to his Aunt Mena Ohr who published a poem in his memory in the local journal following his funeral services and burial.  His remains were passed through the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church prior to internment. (Lepre, 1991, p. 243 and The Biloxi Herald, December 9, 1893, p. 8 and December 16, 1893, p. 8)

Leo Edgar Ohr

Leo E. Ohr (1890-1970) was born at Biloxi on September 20, 1890.  His baptism took place in the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church on October 20, 1890.  On January 22, 1926, Leo married Mamie Catchot (1890-1961), a native of Ocean Springs, and the daughter of Antonio “Toy” Catchot (1868-1952) and Adelia Mon (1876-1948). (Lepre, 1991, p. 243 and HARCO, Ms. MRB 37, p. 522)

As early as 1913, Leo E. Ohr was in the automotive garage and machine business.  With Otto T. Ohr, he commenced The Ohr Boy’s Garage at 411 Delauney Street just north of their familial domicile and on the site of his father’s famous Pot-Ohr-E.(Biloxi City Directory, 1913-1914, p. 180) 

In April 1915, Leo E. Ohr obtained the Harley-Davidson franchise on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  He rode the streets of Biloxi on his new twin cylinder Harley-Davidson as a demonstrator for interested customers.(The Daily Herald, April 26, 1915, p. 2)

By 1922, Leo had changed the name of his business to the Ohr Garage and by 1927, added “and Machine Works” to this title.  As late as 1949, he remained the proprietor of the Ohr Machine Shop.  In 1958, Leo E. Ohr was renting rooms at 208 Lameuse Street.(Biloxi City Directory, 1922-1923, p. 162, ibid. 1927, p. 158, ibid, 1949, p. 480, ibid. 1958, p. 641)  

Ohr Farm

In addition to being the proprietor of the Ohr Machine Shop at 409 Delauney Street, Leo E. Ohr was a farmer.  In June 1918, he acquired forty-acres of land, the NE/4 of the SE/4 of Section 12, T7S-R10W from Lizzie Betz for $500.  This land situated on the west side of Cedar Lake Road between Popps Ferry Road and US I-10 is now very commercial and includes the Cedar Lake Medical Plaza and surroundings.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 122, p. 329)

Here in 1934, Leo E. Ohr harvested the largest sugar cane crop ever grown in Harrison County.  From his fifteen-acres of seed grown sugar cane, he made over three thousand gallons of cane syrup.  Ohr sold over 1500 gallons to the State Welfare Board for its program to assist needy families in South Mississippi, as a result of the national economic Depression.  Leo was also in the process of erecting a plant to produce cane syrup, which had the potential of being a profitable local agricultural industry.(The Daily Herald, January 15, 1934, p. 8)

Leo E. Ohr died on August 17, 1970.  At the time of his death, he was possessed with his Cedar Lake farm and other Biloxi real estate.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 1162-May 1971l)

Clovinia Lucinda Ohr

Clovinia L. Ohr (1892-1989), called Clo, was born at Biloxi on May 1, 1892.  she was baptized on June 5, 1892, in the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church.  On April 15, 1909, Clo eloped and married Fredric Andrew Moran (1888-1972), a well-known boat builder and schooner racer of Biloxi.  He was the son of Ernest Moran and Catherine Kornman (1854-1922).(Lepre, 1991, p. 243, HARCO, Ms. MRB Bk. 21, p. 188 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 16, 1909, p. 1)

Clo and Freddie Moran were the parents of four children: Fredric “Elwood” Moran (1910-2001), Julia M. Sutton (1914-1996), Josephine M. Morykwas (1915-1997), and Joseph “Joe” Moran (1915-1999).   

Joe Moran, like his father, also built boats and in his later life became a nationally acclaimed painter.  Several of Mr. Moran’s works are in the Smithsonian Institute and two American presidents have acquired his art.(The Sun Herald, December 1, 1989, p. B-2 and The Sun Herald, March 24, 1999)           

Lio Irwin Ohr (1893-1914)

Lio I. Ohr was born at Biloxi on July 26, 1893.  His arrival was announced by the local journal as, “another potter arrived at the art pottery of Geo. Ohr  last Wednesday. Of course it’s a boy.”(The Biloxi Herald, July 29, 1893, p. 8)

Lio I. Ohr was baptized in the Catholic faith at the Nativity BVM on August 27, 1893. His godfather was Joseph F. Meyer (1848-1931), the Newcomb Art School potter.  Lio expired at his parent’s home on Delauney Street on December 12, 1914 from a tumor.  Lio had worked for Dr. Jason J. Harry (1854-1950) of Handsboro as his chauffeur until struck down with his fatal malady in November 1914.(Lepre, 1991, p. 242 and The Daily Herald, December 13, 1914, p. 4)

Otto Theodore Ohr

Otto T. Ohr (1895-1982), called Pie, was born September 11, 1895.  On October 6, 1895, he received the sacrament of Baptism at the Nativity BVM. Otto T. Ohr married Rosalie Elder (1890-1970), the daughter of Robert E. Lee Elder (1864-1931), called Lee, and Nellie Catherine Williams (1875-1926), at Pascagoula, Mississippi in November 1913.(Lepre, 1991, p. 243, The Daily Herald, November 20, 1913, p. 8, and JXCO, Ms. MRB 9, p 553)           

Elder-Foretich

Otto T. Ohr’s father-in-law, Mr. Lee Elder, was a prominent ice manufacturer in Biloxi.  Elder’s early career was as a licensed steamboat engineer.  He commenced ice making as an engineer with the Biloxi Artesian Ice Manufacturing Company in 1887.  By 1895, Elder was chief engineer of their plant with a capacity of making twenty-two tons of ice each day.  He was also a stockholder with John Walker, president; T.P. Dulion, treasurer; and W.K.M. Dukate (1852-1916), general manager and secretary.(Dyer, 1895, p. 19)  

Lee Elder married Nellie C. Williams at Biloxi on May 11, 1889.  They were the parents of: Rosalie E. Foretich Ohr (1890-1970), Ethel E. Entrekin (1894-1931+), H.W. “Will” Elder (1896-1931+), Ruth E. VanCourt (1899-1931+), Mrs. J.E. Collins, and Mrs. G. Rossini.(HARCO, Ms. MRB 8, p. 476 and The Daily Herald, September 28, 1931, p. 1)

In February 1907, Rosalie Elder had married Lawrence Foretich (1884-1966) in the Methodist Church at Gulfport.  They had two sons: Elliott L. Foretich (1908-1992) and Kenneth Lee Foretich (1911-1933).  Lee Foretich was murdered at New Orleans, during Mardi Gras madness in late February 1933.  He had recently moved to the Crescent City from Biloxi where he had been at the US Coast Guard base on Point Cadet.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 25, 1907, p. 1 and February 27, 1933, p. 2)

In late January 1914, Lawrence Foretich married Maud Kleyle of New Orleans, at the Hotel Brielmeire.  They initially were domiciled in Biloxi, but eventually relocated to New Orleans.  He expired there in 1966.( The Daily Herald, January 29, 1914, p. 2)          

Otto’s Life

As a young man, Otto T. Ohr began making a living as one of The Ohr Boy’s Garage owners with his brother, Leo E. Ohr.  By 1922, he, as his grandmother, Johanna W. Ohr, had done in the late 19th Century, became a grocer.  The Ohr store was situated at 742 Lameuse Street.  Circa 1925, Otto T. Ohr was sent to Chicago by Lee Elder to study refrigeration and ammonia.  Returning to Biloxi, he organized the Peoples’ Ice Company which commenced his long association with ice manufacturing in Biloxi and later at Bayou LaBatre, Alabama, where he was employed by the Alabama Ice Company.( Biloxi City Directory, 1913-1914, p. 180, Ibid. 1922-1923, p. 162 and Thelma O. Palmer, September 23, 2002)

  When the Otto T. Ohr family returned to Biloxi from Bayou LaBatre in the early 1930s, Otto worked as an engineer for the Anticich Ice Company and by 1936, had become the manager of the Gulf Service Ice Company.  By 1958, Otto T. Ohr was the engineer for the Biloxi Freezing Company. At the time of his death in April 1982, he was an engineer with the Biloxi Port Commission.(Biloxi City Directory, 1927, p. 158; ibid. 1931, p. 148; ibid. 1936, p. 193; ibid. 1958, p. 641 and The Sun, April 21, 1982)

The children of Otto T. Ohr and Rosalie Elder Ohr were: Carl Otto Ohr (1922-1996); Dorothy Ohr (1923-1999) married Willis Page (1915-1973); Carroll Ruth Ohr

(1924-1982) married Edgar L. Allen II; Marian Elizabeth  “Betty” Ohr (b. 1925) married Thomas R. O’Neil; Shirley (Lola) Ohr (1927-1986) married Charles F. Kitzmiller (1919-1997); Thelma Ohr (b. 1929) married Robert Palmer; and Mary Ohr (b. 1934) married Harry Lockwood.(The Sun, April 21, 1982, p. A-4 and Thelma O. Palmer, September 23, 2002))

Thelma Ohr Palmer, a resident of Semmes, Alabama, remember vividly from her childhood that her father would take all of his children to get ice cream in downtown Mobile.  The proprietor of the dairy parlor would invariably comment facetiously, “Here comes Mr. and Mrs. Ohr with their little paddles!

George Ohr Jr.’s only grandson, Carol Otto Ohr, married Helen Marie Anderson.  Their children were: Paula Maria Ohr Rutland (b. 1948) married Don Wayne Rutland; Mena Dianne Ohr Wentzell (b. 1950) married Bobby Ray Wentzell; Carl Monroe Ohr (1952-1986) married Rosella Ann McCaleb; and Sarah Ohr Murphy.(The Sun Herald, March 5, 1996, p. B-2)

Carl M. Ohr married Rosella McCaleb, the daughter of Joseph Ellsworth McCaleb and Dolores L. Lemmler.  Mr. Ohr was a Biloxi fireman and served as president of the M.L. Michel Middle School PTA.  They were the parents of Rachel Ann Ohr Sharp (b. 1975) and Brian Ohr, the great great-grandson of Biloxi’s “Mad” Potter.  Mrs. Ohr’s maternal grandfather, Henry P. Lemmler (1904-1953), had once owned a grocery store in Biloxi.(The Sun Herald, October 22, 1986, p. A-2 and The Daily Herald, October 13, 1953, p. 6)

Flo Lucretia Ohr

Flo L. Ohr (1897-1900) was born on December 17, 1897.  She was baptized January 16, 1898 in the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church at Biloxi.  She expired on March 21, 1900.  Flo was just over two years old and had reached that stage of her young life when her personality was developing.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Ohr family burial lot in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(Lepre, 1991, p. 243 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, March 23, 1900, p. 8) 

Zio Ignatius Ohr

Zio I. Ohr (1900-1904) was born at Biloxi circa September 20, 1900.  He expired on April 20, 1904 from blood poisoning.  Burial was in the Biloxi City Cemetery in the G.E. Ohr Sr. family burial lot.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 21, 1904, p. 1)

Ojo Julius Ohr

Ojo J. Ohr (1903-1991) was born January 25, 1903, at the Ohr home on Delauney Street.  He came into the world as a healthy twelve-pound baby boy.(The Biloxi Daily News, January 26, 1903, p. 6)

Ojo J. Ohr married Mae Miguez(1900-1968), the daughter of Numa Miguez and Homelia Miguez, at Pascagoula, Mississippi on September 12, 1924.  Two of her sisters, Mrs. Ralph Mattina and Mrs. Armond Broussard, had also married Biloxi men.  Mae was born at New Iberia, Louisiana on May 12, 1900.  Her father, Numa Miguez, was killed in late November 1931, in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, when his car driven by son, was struck by a train.(JXCO, Ms. MRB 15, p. 418 and The Daily Herald, November 24, 1931, p. 2)

In January 1945, Mae and Ojo J. Ohr divorced in Harrison County, Mississippi without having offspring.  Ojo had to pay the ex-Mrs. Ohr $2000, assign his interest in three lots located in Section 15, T7S-R9W, Jackson County, Mississippi, and convey a lot to her on Benachi Avenue in Biloxi.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 21563-January 1945)

Later in her life, Mae Miguez married Forrest L. Churchill (1899-1968), a native of Stoughton, Massachusetts.  He was a Master Sergeant in the USAF and had served in WW II.  The Churchills resided at 705 Dorries Street in Biloxi.  Mae M. Churchill expired at Biloxi on October 15, 1968.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery at Biloxi.  Mr. Churchill followed her closely in death, passing on December 12, 1968.  His remains were sent to Virginia for internment in the Arlington National Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, October 16, 1968, p. 2 and December 13, 1968, p. 2)

In July 1955, at Pascagoula, Ojo J. Ohr married Marguerite Kuljis (1913-1986), the daughter of Luka Kuljis (1886-1965) and Tadika Pitalo Kuljis (1884-1978).  He made his livelihood as the proprietor of Ojo’s Junk Yard and Machine Shop situated at 811 Benachi Avenue.  His residence was nearby.  Ojo passed on March 23, 1991.  Mrs. Ohr died July 24, 1986.  Their corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, July 25, 1986, p. A-2 and March 24, 1991, p. B-2, JXCO, Ms. MRB 82, p. 158)

Ohr Legacy

In addition to the Ohr patriarchal family home on Delauney Street and about six-thousand of his incredible “mud babies”, George E. Ohr Jr. left his wife and children a tract of land on the west side of Benachi Avenue situated north of Division Street and south of Bay Terrace.  He acquired this approximately 2.2-acre parcel in September 1890, from Charles Fayard.  The consideration was $130.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 25, p. 440)

 The Benachi Avenue tract was subdivided by the Mrs. Josephine Ohr and her  children between 1928 and 1930.  In October 1930, Ojo J. Ohr acquired a 115-foot lot fronting on Benachi between Geo E. Ohr and Leo E. Ohr.  He bought another lot on Benachi from Leo E. Ohr in February 1933.  This lot became the property of Mae Miguez Ohr after their 1945 divorce.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 187, p. 163 and Bk. 196, p. 587)

It was here on Benachi Avenue that Ojo J. Ohr would found his infamous “junkyard” on the south and east side of Bay Terrace, a development that was considered as one of Biloxi’s most fashionable subdivisions of the post WW II era.  Both Ojo and younger brother, Geo E. Ohr III, lived in this sylvan setting surrounded by a visual cacophony of abandoned household appliances, automobiles, buses, and other miscellaneous objects of no particular description or value. 

In 1959, the Ohr boys relocated their father’s remaining pots from the Delauney Street garage to a brick block building situated within “Ojoville” on the west side of Benachi Avenue, north of Division Street.  The “no two-alike, World’s greatest art pottery” had been crated for nearly sixty years, when a peripatetic “picker” from New Jersey came to town looking for antique automobile parts.

James W. Carpenter

James W. “Jim” Carpenter grew up in a dairy farming community in the Kittatinny Mountains of rural, northwestern New Jersey, light years from the art world of the east coast conurbation stretching from Washington, D.C to Boston.  As a young man, he tested milk and eventually owned his own milk truck, collecting the raw product from local dairy farmers.  As the milking business declined, Carpenter learned to barber, but also relied on his avocation, collecting antiques, to make his livelihood.  Even in the sleepy hollow of Montague, New Jersey with its paucity of fine art, Carpenter’s artistic father had introduced him to an aesthetic culture, and a deep appreciation of exceptional art and antiques.  His experience as an antiquer had brought him in contact with Rookwood, Weller, Roseville, and Newcomb pottery, some of which collected, others he wished that he had, as their worth has risen geometrically in recent times.  

With his natural talent for recognizing value and a ready market, Jim Carpenter literally put his barber chair in the corner and with his loving wife, Miriam, affectionately called Mim, became a full time antiques merchant, opening a store in their Delaware River valley domicile.  In addition to regional auctions, he traveled the hinterlands in search of treasures.  Florida was a favorite site to seek respite from the harsh New Jersey winter and “pick” for antiques, primarily antiquated motorcar components and accessories.

Biloxi

In 1966, Jim Carpenter wandered into New Orleans, with antique auto parts on his most wanted list.  He found a dealer and before his transactions were completed asked the man for additional references in order to continue his acquisitions of automotive paraphernalia.  “The Ohr Boys in Biloxi”, chimed the old junk man!  “How will I find them?” questioned Carpenter.  “Oh, no problem, everyone there knows them.  Do you imbibe a little?”  The august, aged gentleman of junk smiled and added, “I’ll tell you this, the Ohr Boys won’t do business with you unless you take a nip with them.”  I.W. Harper was their whisky of choice.

Armed with this valuable knowledge, Carpenter traveled east to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  With a bottle of bourbon in hand, he entered Ojo Ohr’s junkyard on Benachi Avenue north of Division Street.  Mr. Carpenter soon discovered that the Ohrs had a peculiar sense of bartering.  Firstly, they would insist that all have drinks until the bottle was empty.  When Jim Carpenter found antique auto parts of his liking, they would not give him their selling price, but insist that he make them an offer.  The Yankee antique seeker soon learned that his offering price was accepted only when tripled by the Ohrs, who obviously knew the value of a shrimp nickel! 

During this novel visit with the Ohr Boys, Carpenter was asked if he would like to see some of their father’s pottery?   When he agreed, Ojo Ohr placed some of George’s glazed pieces on a table for him to inspect.  Mr. Carpenter was surprised, as he had never seen art pottery of this style.  He wasn’t knowledgeable in this field of art and decided to consult others before making an offer to the Ohr family.  Robert W. “Bob” Blasberg, a well-respected scholar, and New Jersey friend of Carpenter, was conferred with and sight unseen, he recommended that Carpenter acquire the eclectic, ceramic collection, hidden at Biloxi.

The final trip

After several years of frustrating and futile negotiations with the Ohr family, Jim Carpenter gave up.  Two silent years passed, and surprisingly one morning he received a missive from Ojo Ohr, inquiring of Carpenter’s desire to still acquire George’s pots.  Ojo was ready to make a deal!  Somewhat bewildered but pregnant with hope, Jim Carpenter returned to Biloxi in the winter of 1972, or early 1973, with a cashier’s check.  Arriving at the Ohr’s Benachi Avenue site, he spent the next three days inspecting and crudely inventorying the approximately 6000 glazed, bisque, and ceramic trinkets and molds that had survived from George’s potting years.  The Ohr family finally accepted, what will be Carpenter’s legacy to the curious, a large number of green dollars whose value is speculated to range between $50,000 and $100,000, for their father’s “mud babies”.

Promoting George

After battling through several ice storms, in a rental truck, Jim Carpenter arrived safely back in New Jersey with his cache of G.E. Ohr’s pots.  He generously gave his neighbors each an Ohr vessel for assisting him and Mim, in unloading the truck!  Carpenter had just completed a new store building and although, he placed some Ohr on the shelves, his first year sales proved barren-sorry, George, but no sales, a familiar mantra for Ohr.  The initial Ohr season wasn’t an entire bust, as Carpenter’s collection did increase by two Ohr pots as he acquired them through ads that he had seen in trade journals.

Not fazed by Ohr’s lack of sales, Jim Carpenter decided that now was the time for him and Bob Blasberg to educate America about the genius of George E. Ohr.  In 1973, Blasberg published “George E. Ohr and his Biloxi Art Pottery”, which sold for $3.00.  This was followed by an exhibit of Ohr’s works, ten of which were selected for a juried American art pottery show, at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.  Carpenter sold about half of the three hundred Ohr pots that he brought to the Smithsonian exhibit.  After the show, he gave the Smithsonian, the ten juried pots, one of which, a combination coffee and tea pot, only about seven inches high, Carpenter considers as Ohr’s greatest work from his wheel.  It was from the Renwick Gallery exhibit, that George was discovered by ceramic collectors, especially those of Gotham.  

Sales, sales, and more sales

Once George became known and loved, Jim Carpenter chose an interesting marketing strategy.  Each year he limited the number of pots that he would vend.  Some years it took only two months to sell his year’s quota.  This scheme only wetted the appetites of collectors and drove the price up annually.  By the 1980s, New York City was really hot for Ohr, and Carpenter was making excellent sales there.  Once, NYC painter, Jasper Johns, offered to trade was of his paintings for an exceptional Ohr pot.  Carpenter refused and now regrets it as some of John’s work now sells for seven figure prices.

Thanks Jim

Biloxi and the art world owe James W. Carpenter much kudos for his ambitious speculation into a subject of which he was no expert.  Mortgaging his New Jersey farm, allowed Mr. Carpenter the necessary cash to acquire the art treasures of Biloxi’s Mad Potter. 

George E. Ohr III

George E. Ohr III (1906-1974), called Geo or G, was born on August 8, 1906.  His birth was simply noted in the local journal as “born to Mr. and Mrs. Geo E. Ohr, a boy.”(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 10, 1906, p. 2)

At Pascagoula, Mississippi on November 10, 1927, Geo married Iola Giadrosich (1906-1986), the daughter of Paul Giadrosich and Edna Apperson.  She had four brothers: Edward Giadrosich (1898-1968), Rudolph Giadrosich (1899-1978), Orville Giadrosich, and Paul Giadrosich Jr. (1916-1983) and a sister, Lottie G. Richards.(JXCO, Ms. MRB Land Deed Bk.18, p. 51 and The Daily Herald, October 16, 1968, p. 2)

Geo E. Ohr III had a wiry physique and the arm and hand strength of his blacksmith father.  Witnesses aver that he could do a pull-up using the power generated in his thumb and index finger.  Considered by many as a mechanical genius, Geo lived on Benachi Avenue near his brother, Ojo J. Ohr.  He owned three classic cars, an original 1903 Cadillac, a 1908 Culver Racer, and a 1900 McIntyre.  Geo gave the Culver Racer to Frank J. Duggan (1912-2000), a longtime employee of Ojo.  Geo retired from the Biloxi Fire Department having worked their as a mechanic.  A design engineer from American-LaFrance of Elmira, New York, a fire engine manufacturer, came to Biloxi to inspect one of its fire trucks that Geo had repaired the crankshaft.  He was amazed at this feat and brought back technology to his company that Mr. Ohr had used to redesign the cooling system for the crankshaft.(Frank J. Duggan Jr., October 8, 2002)

George E. Ohr III passed on February 23, 1974.  Mrs. Ohr expired on July 13, 1986.  Their corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, July 15, 1986, p. A-2)

 

EMMA OHR

            In 1890, Emily “Emma” Ohr (1860-1909+) was born at Biloxi in December 1860.  Circa 1890, she married Louis Gruntz (1864-1909+), a native of Germany who had come to America in 1880.  Louis made his livelihood as a grocer.  They had two children born in New Orleans: Louis Gruntz II (1892-1900+) and Emily Gruntz (1894-1900+).  In June 1900, the Gruntz family were residents of the 3rd Ward, 16th Precinct of NOLA.  No further information.(1900 Federal Census Orleans Ph., La., Roll 571, Book 1, p. 309)

LOUISE OHR

Louise Ohr (1865-1909+) was born at Biloxi in April 1865.  Circa 1886, she married Rupert L. Schultz (1855-1909+), an 1869 immigrant from Germany.  They were the parents of: J. Rupert Schultz (1887-1900+), Pearl Schultz (1890-1900+), and Annie Schultz (1892-1900+).  Mr. Schultz was a machinist and the family lived at McDonoughville, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.  No further information.(1900 Federal Census, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, p. 105a)

MENA OHR

Mena Ohr (1867-1893+) never married.  She died before 1900 and her body buried in the Ohr family burial plot in the Biloxi City Cemetery.  Mena had a good heart as she remembered the demise of her young nephew, Asa Eugene Ohr, in December 1893.  No further information.

Ohr family time line

The following chronological events from 1893 to 1910 demonstrate the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the Ohr family leading to the insanity trial of G.E. Ohr Jr. in April 1909.

 

1893

George and Josephine G. Ohr’s eldest son, Asa E. Ohr (1888-1893), expired on December 7, 1893.(Lepre, 1991, p. 242)

George E. Ohr Jr. traveled to Chicago to demonstrate his ceramic wares at The World’s Columbian Exposition, which was held between May and November 1893.

1894

The October fire destroyed the “Pot-Ohr-E” and Ohr residence on Delauney Street.  George E. Ohr Sr. had uninsured losses of $5000, while G.E. Ohr Jr. estimated his loss at $3000.  In a short period of time, “the toil and work of Ohr, the artistic potter, was reduced to ashes.”(The Biloxi Herald, October 13, 1894, p. 8)

 

1895

G.E. Ohr Jr. traveled to Atlanta with his “art and novelty pottery” to exhibit at the Cotton States International Exposition which commenced in mid-September 1895.  Ohr’s work was not selected for an award, but The Atlanta Constitution remarked of Ohr’s presence at the event: “Ohr is the comical genius with the long whiskers who makes all sorts of pottery in Machinery Hall, where he is always surrounded by an admiring crowd.”(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 4, 1896, p. 8)

 

1896

The Wonderful Wheela novel, which was inspired by the image projected by Biloxi’s Mad Potter, was written by Mary Tracy Earle (1864-1955) and published by the Century Company of New York.  Miss Earle was the daughter of Parker Earle (1831-1917) and Melanie Tracy (1837-1889) and resided at Ocean Springs for several years.  Some other published works by Mary Tracy Earle are: The Man Who Worked For Collister (1898)Through Old Rose Glasses (1900), and The Flag on the Hilltop (1902).

 

1897

On August 18, 1897, Jules Gabry (1829-1897), a native of France and the first potter at the Newcomb Pottery, committed suicide by drowning himself in the Mississippi Sound.  Monsieur Gabry was a friend of Ohr and left his kick wheel at the Pot-Ohr-E.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 21, 1897, p. 8)

 

1899

In December 1899, Ohr’s work was lauded at the Natural Arts Club in New York City as follows: “Among the potters unknown to New York is Geo. E. Ohr of Biloxi, Miss., whose exhibit is interesting, attaining in some pieces a great richness of color and in one a remarkable effect of dull metal.”(The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 3, 1899, p. 8)

1900

Flo L. Ohr (1897-1900), the daughter of George E. Ohr Jr. and Josephine G. Ohr expired on March 21, 1900.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, March 23, 1900, p. 8)   

George E. Ohr Jr. sent some of his art pottery to Paris, France to be exhibited at The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900.  His work was not chosen for an award.

1901

George E. Ohr Jr. exhibited his work at the Providence Art Club of Rhode Island in the spring of 1901 and at the Pan American Exposition at Buffalo, New York between May-November 1901.  He did not win an award at either event.

 

1904

Zio I. Ohr (1900-1904), the son of George E. Ohr Jr. and Josephine G. Ohr died on April 20, 1904, while his father, George E. Ohr Sr. (1819-1904), passed on July 8, 1904.  George E. Ohr Jr. attended and exhibited his art pottery at The Louisiana Purchase International Exposition at St. Louis, Missouri.  He was awarded a silver medal for his ceramic skills.

 

1905

Johanna Wiedman Ohr (1821-1905), the mother of George E. Ohr Jr. died on December 28, 1905.  She legated her estate to August Ohr (25%), Emma Ohr Gruntz (25%), Louise Ohr Schultz (25%), and Josephine G. Ohr (25%).  G.E. Ohr Jr. was to receive $500 from the sale of the estate and his residence and art pottery at 409 Delauney Street and 411 Delauney Street respectively.  Mrs. Johanna W. Ohr also requested that her property not be sold for ten years unless all legatees agreed to vend it sooner.  Rupert Schultz, her son-in-law, was named executor of her estate.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 2108)

           

1906

In March 1906, The Smithsonian Institution of Washington D.C. accepted a small red vase from the works submitted by George E. Ohr Jr. to the United States Potters’ Association at its annual convention.

In March 1906, August Ohr filed a forced heirship suit in the Chancery Court of Harrison County, Mississippi to sell the estate property of Johanna W. Ohr on the north side of Howard Avenue.  This litigation was ceased by August Ohr.(Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 2151)

In October 1906, August Ohr filed another forced heirship cause against the heirs of Johanna W. Ohr.  In addition to the Ohr estate lands and improvements north of Howard Avenue, it included those properties south of Howard Avenue.  In depositions, the Ohr estate properties were valued at $17,000 by J.W. Swetman (1863-1937), a local druggist, and between $15,000 and $16,000 by Charles Tanner, a Biloxi realtor.(Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 2281)

 

1907

In June 1907, Rupert and Louise Ohr Schultz, Louis and Emma Ohr Gruntz, and August and Elizabeth W. Ohr sold their right, title and interest as heirs of George E. Ohr and Johanna W. Ohr to Charles C. Redding and Joseph Lawrence for $12,000.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 81, pp. 388-389)

Charles C. Redding (1857-1926) was born at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, the son of Walter Redding, an Englishman, and Elodie Necaise.  Redding came to Biloxi about 1870, as a poor teen.  His work ethic and frugality propelled him to the forefront of Biloxi’s commercial leaders.  Redding owned a mercantile business on West Howard Avenue, a dozen schooners, and interests and stock in the Biloxi Canning Company, Biloxi Box factory, Cowart Sawmill, the Traction Company, and the Peoples Bank of which he was an organizer and director.  He also served three terms an alderman on the Biloxi City Council.(The Daily Herald, January 7, 1907, p. 1)

            In November 1886, Charles C. Redding married Ann Minerva Pittman (1868-1917), a native of Tennessee, and the daughter of William Pittman and Esther Reice.  They reared a family of four daughters and two sons in their large Victorian home situated on the northeast corner of Jackson Street and Delauney, G.E. Ohr Street.  The Redding House is utilized today to host wedding receptions and other special celebratory events.(p. 265) 

Joseph Lawrence (1867-1952) was the son of Spanish immigrants.  In September 1890, he married Catherine Tucei (1866-1939), a native of Naples, Italy and the daughter of Vincent Tucei and Seraphine Griese.  They were the parents of five children of which two survived into adulthood: Mary L. Coleman (1895-1952) and Joseph V. Lawrence (1902-1975).  Mr. Lawrence was a city laborer before he commenced repairing and selling shoes and doing business as The Guarantee Shoe Store on West Howard Avenue.  The French Café later occupied this site and was also a Lawrence family enterprise.  In 1902, Joseph Lawrence became a stockholder in the People Bank and was elected to the board of directors in 1911.  He assumed the positionof vice-president of the Peoples Bank in 1932.(Guice, p. 51, The Daily Herald, January 13, 1939, p. 6 and October 9, 1952, p. 1)

In May 1929, Joseph Lawrence let a contract to Manuel & Wetzel to refurbish the Lawrence Building on the northwest corner of West Howard and Delauney Street.  The Gabriel Jewelry Company, managed by J.R. Beggs, planned to move here in July.  They had recently acquired the merchandise of Edward Brady.(The Daily Herald, May 28, 1929, p. 2)

Ohr Heirs commercial rentals 1907-1909

Between July 15, 1907 and September 15, 1909, Charles W. Redding collected rents from the commercial properties of the Ohr Heirs on West Howard Avenue, as agent for Rupert Schultz, the executor of the estate of Johanna W. Ohr and spouse of Louise Ohr.  From Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 2473, the Sanborn Insurance Maps, and city directories of Biloxi, one can ascertain with a high degree of certitude, the lessees of the Ohr Heirs whose six rental buildings and ancillary outbuildings were situated Delauney Street north of West Howard Avenue and on the north and south side of West Howard Avenue between Delauney Street and Magnolia Street.  The north side addresses were: 401-405 Delauney; 202-208 West Howard; and 205-209 West Howard.(1909 Sanborn Map-Biloxi, Ms., Sheet 5)

            It is interesting to note that several of the Ohr Heir tenants were Italian immigrants or first generation Italian-Americans who were born in Biloxi or New Orleans.  Some of these Italian families who worked and lived in this section of Biloxi were:

Corso, Esposito, Fallo, Martino, Olivari, Randazzo, Seroolini, Solari, Taranto, Tedesco, and Tucei. 

            A brief chronology of the Ohr Heir tenants between 1907 and 1909 follows:

 

Moseley & Devitt

This partnership was a grocery business founded by John Moseley and Thomas Kirkland Devitt (1882-1946).  T.K. Devitt was born at Harbor Springs, Michigan.  In August 1907, he married Lily Rose Bourdon (1884-1951), the daughter of French immigrant, A.O. Bourdon, Sr. (1845-1901), and Marie Virgets (1847-1901) of New Orleans.  The Devitts resided on lower Lameuse Street.  Here they reared their three children: Thomas K. Devitt Jr., Matthew Devitt (Slidell, Louisiana), and Lily D. Stuart (Baltimore).( The Biloxi Daily HeraldAugust 16, 1907, p. . and The Daily Herald, December 16, 1946, p. 5)

            In addition to his grocery business, Mr. Devitt was seriously involved in the seafood packing industry at Biloxi, Ocean Springs, and in southeastern Louisiana.  With Patrick Henry Clark (1870-1927), a New Orleanian, he chartered Devitt & Clark at New Orleans on June 10, 1914.  They commenced operations in the canning business on Point Cadet at Biloxi, in August 1913, when it leased the plant of the Bourdon-Castanera Packing Company for the 1913-1914 shrimp and oyster season.  Devitt took the interest of Louis Harvey (1874-1913).  Their cannery, which was modern and well-equiped, was situated between the Dunbar, Lopez & Dukate factory and the Barataria Canning Company.(The Daily Herald, August 26, 1913, p. 8)

Circa 1926, T.K. Devitt became active in the seafood industry at Louisiana.  He was involved in packing operations at Braithwaite, Wyclosky, Golden Meadow, and Cutoff.  He sons were also in the seafood business at Louisiana.  Clark expired at New Orleans.  His remain were interred the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, December 16, 1946, p. 5)

 

Lawrence Romeo

Lawrence Romeo (1870-1932) was a grocer and fruit vendor.  Prior to entering commerce at Biloxi in 1896, he was a boat captain.   Mr. Romeo was the son of Antonio Romeo (1823-1898) and Angela Romeo (1834-1910).  The Romeo family came to America in 1889, from Riposto, an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily.  His siblings were: Louis Romeo (d. 1896) and Mrs. Grazzo (d. ca 1927).(The Daily Herald, April 7, 1932, p. 2)

In 1896, Lawrence Romeo married Josephine Taranto (1876-1967).  They were the parents of Louis Romeo (1898-1899), Anthony Romeo (1900-1900), Lawrence Romeo Jr. (1901-1968), Juliet R. Marchoni (1903-1932+), Joseph Romeo (1906-1976), Mrs. Edward Hilton (b. post 1910), and Julius D. Romeo (1916-1919).(1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 268) 

           

Lawrence Romeo paid the Ohr heirs $30 rent each month.

 

Francis M. Dillinger

Francis M. Dillinger (1855-1910+) was a native of Indiana.  He operated a candy store and paid Mr. Redding $18.00 each month for rent.(1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 268) 

 

Post & Son

Post & Son occupied this building from July 1907 to 1908.  They were jewelers and opticians and sold musical instruments.  Their monthly rent was $18.00.(1905 Biloxi City Directory, p. 27)

 

Abbley & Dancer

Abbley & Dancer was partnership composed of Frederick P. Abbley (1882-1941) and R. Anderson Dancer (1878-1915).  Frederick P. “Fred” Abbley (1882-1941) was born in North Biloxi, the son of Captain Fritz Abbley (1846-1905), a Swiss immigrant, and Margaret Harvey (1847-1886), the youngest daughter of French immigrant sailor, Pierre Harvey (1810-1883), and Zeline Moran (1811-1883). 

In March 1905, Fred Abbley married Viola Caillavet (1884-1968), the daughter of Francis Arbeau Caillavet (1856-1909) and Marie Dodart (1858-1942).  They were the parents of three children: Francis Abbley (1905-1905), Eunice A. Brocato (1908-1996), and Bernice A. Emile (b. 1909).

In 1909, Fred Abbley was the manager of an en plein air movie theater the “Airdome”.  The Airdome was situated at 413 Renoir Street and occupied a large lot, which extended to Fayard Street with a frontage on West Howard Avenue.  In late August 1909, Mr. Abbley was brought to the court of Judge Elmer and adjudicated innocent of violating a city ordinance for showing a movie on Sunday.  Another trial was held in September in the court of Judge Z.T. Champlin.  Abbley pleaded guilty and was fined $10 and court costs, which Judge Champlin suspended.  The people of Biloxi were generally apathetic to the so-called Blue Laws.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, Aaugust 30, 1909, p. 4 and September 10, 1909, pp. 1-2)

Mr. Abbley’s associate, R. Anderson Dancer (1878-1915), was born at Buenavista, Chickasaw County, Mississippi, the son of John W. Dancer and Carolina E. Bean.  He arrived at Biloxi circa 1900 and was the brother of Jessie Dancer Cousins (1874-1957), the spouse of Joseph H. Cousins (1874-1917).

In November 1911, R. Anderson Dancer married Carrie Engbarth (1889-1967+), a native of Rodney, Jefferson County, Mississippi, and the daughter of Emile Engbarth (1855-ca 1905) and Magalene Jeanette Arndt (1856-1938).  At the time, the Engbarth family resided on Porter Street in Ocean Springs.  Dr. Chipman of the Pascagoula Episcopal Church officiated.(The Daily HeraldDecember 1, 1911, p. 4 and The Ocean Springs News, April 15, 1915, p. 1)

            Circa 1909, Mr. Dancer had come to Ocean Springs, and opened a movie theater on Washington Avenue, called The Vaudette.  He sold it to E.W. Illing (1870-1947) in September 1909.  In November 1909, Mr. Dancer went to Lumberton, Mississippi with Willie Engbarth (1882-1957), his future brother-in-law, to open a movie house.  Apparently, things did not work asThe Ocean Springs News reported that R.A. Dancer sold his movie house and returned to Ocean Springs in December 1909, with Charles Engbarth (1893-1967).

After their marriage, Carrie and Anderson Dancer ran a store at Ocean Springs probably on the southeast corner of Porter and Washington.  Mr. Dancer expired on April 9, 1915.  He was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery, Ocean Springs. Carrie E. Dancer remarried Fred Meyers, and was residing at Pass Christian, Mississippi in 1962.  She was at Ocean Springs in 1967.  No further information.

            Abbley and Dancer paid $30.00 rent each month to Charles Redding.

 

Joseph Lawrence

Joseph A. Lawrence (1867-1952), “the Biloxi Shoe Man”, owner of Guarantee Shoe and Hat Company located at 205 West Howard Avenue.   His rent was $15.00 each month.

 

Pearson Brothers

The Pearson Brothers, grocers, operated two stores at Biloxi.  The “down-town” store was situated at 407 East Howard Avenue on the corner of Main Street and Howard Avenue and called the People’s Cash Grocery.  The Pearson Brothers were John P. Pearson and H.W. Pearson.  Their father, Clinton Patton Pearson (1843-1920), was a native of Missouri and was the spouse of E. Catherine Pearson (1848-1910), a Kentuckian.  He made his livelihood as a traveling salesman.  Their sister, May R. Pearson (1889-1914+), was the store’s cashier.  Their rent was $15.00 per month.  They moved out of their building in October 1908.(1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 227) 

            In January 1907, The Pearson Brothers advertised as having a “complete stock of fancy and staple groceries”.  One could purchase 18 pounds of granulated sugar for $1.00, Red Cross tomatoes at $.10 per can, and 2 pounds of butter for $.75.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 9, 1907, p. 4)

 

Nikola Martino

Nikola Martino (1860-1942) constructed and repaired shoes for his livelihood.  He and his spouse, Lena Genusa (1868-1910+), and son, Joseph Martino (1886-1941), emigrated from Italy to New Orleans in 1886.  Three Martino children were born in New Orleans, Leanora M. Stassi (1889-1973), Anthony J. Martino (1892-1956), and Camille M. Tedesco (1895-1942+), while Peter Martino (1897-1937) and Nickola Martino Jr. (1906-1942+) were Biloxi natives. 1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 266) 

            After the death of Lena G. Martino, Nikola married Jennie Coci Capuana (1873-1941), the daughter of Phillip and Rose Coci.  She was a widow and the mother of Philip Capuana (1906-1968), Mrs. Chris Tucei, and Mrs. Sidney Manuel.(The Daily Herald, January 5, 1942, p. 2)

            Nikola Martino’s rent was $10.00 each month.

In addition, the Ohr Heirs collected rents from two other lessees during the period 1907-1907.  They were Dr. H.M. Folkes (1871-1926) and L.D. Byrd.

Dr. Folkes’ rent was $30.00 while Byrd paid the same amount to Charles Redding.

 

1907

            It is interesting to note that in early 1907, John Harry Portman (1878-1917), the able assistant of G.E. Ohr Jr., was in the plumbing business with W.L. Via.  This and the fact that the few, if any, Ohr pots have been discovered with dates post-1906, indicate that “The World’s Greatest Potter” had greatly reduced his ceramic productivity.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 7, 1907, p. 3 and Clark, et al, 1989, p. 36) 

            J.H. Portman was a native of Biloxi and had been reared in the Ohr family home on Delauney Street.  Apparently his career as a plumber was short lived as in 1907, Portman left Biloxi for employment with the US Lighthouse Board, which became the US Lighthouse Service in 1910.  His first assignment was at the Sand Island Light at the entrance to Mobile Bay.  In 1915, J.H. Portman transferred to Round Island where he was employed until he became ill and expired in June 1917.  His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald,

June 14, 1917, p. 3)

            W.L. Via was apparently a man of wealth.  He and his wife wintered at the E.L. Sutter home on West Beach in 1913.  They were residents of Alabama at the time.  Mr. Via arrived at Biloxi aboard his motor yacht while Mrs. Via came by rail.(The Daily Herald, December 17, 1913, p. 8)

 

 

 

1909

In April 1909, Lemuel H. Doty Jr., an attorney, who represented Joseph Lawrence and Charles C. Redding, filed a request in the Chancery Court of Harrison County for a “non compos mentis” hearing for G.E. Ohr Jr.  A jury of his peers met at Gulfport and after reviewing the facts immediately declared George E. Ohr Jr. sane.  Ohr represented himself during the inquiry.  Mr. Doty was from an honorable family in Lexington, Mississippi, where his father Lemuel H. Doty (1844-1929) was active in civic and educational affairs.  His brother, A.M. Doty, was a physician.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 3, 1909, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, January 11, 1929, p. 1)

It is interesting to note that one of Ohr’s adjudicators was Caspar Vahle (1869-1922), a former resident of Ocean Springs.  He had been in the livery and hotel business while domiciled here.  His mother, Katherine Vahle (1838-1914) of German ancestry  was a principal in the Vahle House, a hostel situated on the northwest corner of Washington and Calhoun in the period from 1900 to 1916.  Casper Vahle’s sister, was married to druggist, Herman Nill (1863-1904).  The Vahle-Nill family left Ocean Springs and resettled in Gulfport shortly after the turn of the 20th Century, as they were victims of local arsonists. 

In early September 1909, F.S. Hewes, Clerk of the Harrison County Chancery Court, while attempting at public outcry to sell the Ohr Estate property on Delauney Street and West Howard Avenue, was struck in the face by G.E. Ohr Jr.  Ohr was vehemently opposed to this partition sale of his family’s commercial properties and had protested both verbally and in written letters against it.  He was particularly displeased with the Chancery Court not observing a clause in his mother’s last will and testament which specifically stated that my estate be kept and administered a period of ten years before being sold, divided or disposed of, unless all, and everyone of my heirs should want to have it divided and dispose of.”  For his blow against Hewes, Ohr was jailed at Biloxi.  Police Chief Louis Staehling (1866-1938), a witness to this minor pugilistic encounter, averred that he saw Mr. Ohr strike the chancery clerk with his hand and then attempt to hit him again with that of his spouse, Josephine G. Ohr.(The Daily Herald, September 6, 1909, p. 1 and Harrison County, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2108 )

In spite of G.E. Ohr Jr.’s displeasure a Commissioner’s Deed was issued to Charles Redding and Joseph Lawrence for the Ohr Estate property, by F.S. Hewes, special commissioner in October 1909.  The consideration was $12,000.  George and Josephine Ohr retained their domicile and art pottery at 409 and 411 Delauney Street respectively.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 92, pp. 42-43 and Harrison County, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 2473)

 

1910

            In October 1910, G.E. Ohr Jr. was again incarcerated in the Biloxi city jail in which he described to a local reporter interviewing him as a shameful place to lock a man up in and one of vile sanitary conditions.  He had been adjudicated guilty of trespassing and fined $10 by the court.  Ohr’s failure to pay the fine resulted in his short stay in the local calaboose.  Upon release, he wrote a letter published in The Daily Herald further condemning the Biloxi jail as: “ a filthy pen, a dirty brick walled jail where a nauseating unsanitary dirt receptacle-a dirty and rotten excelsior torn straw mattress is strewn on the floor that never gets a scrubbing.”(The Daily Herald, October 7, 1910, p. 1)

 

1918

            George Edgar Ohr Jr. expired at his residence, 409 Delauney Street, on the quiet Sunday morning of April 7, 1918.  His health had declined to a state where he sought medical treatment in New Orleans.  His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi Cemetery after funeral rites in the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.(The Daily Herald, April 8, 1918, p. 1)

 

1919

            In April 1919, The Daily Herald suggested that Biloxi organize a local museum to preserve its culture and heritage.  Contemporaneously, Colonel W.W. McCleland, a regular winter tourist from Denver, Colorado, commented more specifically in that he lauded the art pottery of George E. Ohr Jr.   McClellan boldly and confidently stated the following:

 

            “One hundred years from now, when the names of some of your great men are forgotten, people will be hunting for a piece of Mississippi “mud” with the name of George Orr (sic) on it.  His pottery is wonderful and worthy to be preserved by the city in which he lived and produced this pottery.  Certainly one specimen of each kind of articles he manufactured should be collected at any cost and placed in proper cases where the public may view them now and in time to come.”

 

            Some seventy odd years later, after much of Ohr’s valuable ceramic works had left Biloxi, primarily for art aficionados on the eastern seaboard, a museum was founded to honor and display his art in the Biloxi Public Library.  In recent years, with the O’Keefe family leading the charge, a world class Ohr Museum is planned for the Biloxi waterfront overlooking Deer Island, once the homestead of Ohr’s friend and mentor, Joseph Fortune Myer.

 

MANUEL E. JALANIVICH (1897-1944)

            The last of the Biloxi Boys was Manuel Eugene Jalanivich who was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on June 24, 1897, the son of Luca Gevenilovich, Genovish, Givulinovich orGiovulnovich (1861-1902), anglicized to Jalanivich, and Manuella Morrano (1858-1929), often spelled Morano.  He was baptized Emmanuel Genovish (sic) in the Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Biloxi, on December 25, 1897.(Lepre, 1991, p. 131)

 In the 1900 Federal Census of Harrison County, Mississippi, Luca Jalanivich listed Austria as his country of origin, which indicates that he was probably a Croatian immigrant.  Family lore relates that Luca may have come from Trieste.  Jalanivich had been in the United States for ten years.  Mrs. Jalanivich was born at New Orleans, Louisiana of Louisiana born parents, although in the 1910 Federal Census, they are listed as being French.  In 1900, the Jalanivich family resided on Croesus Street in Biloxi, Mississippi.(1900 Federal Census Harrison County, Ms., p. 46 and Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock, January 11, 2002)

Luca and Manuella Jalanivich married at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Mother Roman Catholic Church in Biloxi, Mississippi on October 13, 1894.   They were also the parents of John Matthew Jalanivich (1895-1967) and Mary Amelia Louise J. Sablich (1900-1991).(Lepre, 1991, p. 132 and  HARCO, Ms. MRB 10, p. 264) 

In 1902, Luca Jalanivich was employed as a cook.  He expired from a heat stroke on August 20, 1902.  His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 22, 1902, p. 6)

           

 

(photo)

Credit:Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock

A young Manuel E. Jalanivich

 

Francisco Mueso

On November 18, 1905, Mrs. Manuella M. Jalanivich married Francisco Mueso (1860-1940) at Biloxi.  Frank Mueso was a native of Spain.  At Biloxi, he made his livelihood as a fisherman at an oyster factory.  In 1914, the Muesos were living at 519 Lameuse Street.(The Biloxi Herald, November 20, 1905, p. 4,  The Biloxi City Directory, 1914, p. 155, and 1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms., p. 266)

           

Early art training

At an early age, Manuel E. Jalanivich demonstrated an artistic ability, which was observed in his Biloxi public school classroom by Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952).  Miss Dismukes, the daughter of George Dismukes (d. 1909) and Adella McDonald (1846-1924), was a native of Pulaski, Tennessee.  She came to Biloxi in 1897, with her family.  Mary Ethel, called Ethel, was an artist and photographer.  She made her livelihood as the supervisor of arts for the Biloxi Public Schools, until her retirement in May 1914.  As early as 1910, Ethel Dismukes taught art classes on a private basis.  As late as May 1949, she was having public displays in Biloxi of her student’s work in pencil, wax crayons, oil, and watercolor.( The Daily Herald, May 30, 1910, May 22, 1914, p. 2, and  May 31, 1949, p. 5)

           

(photo)

Jalanivich at the potter’s wheel

 

Miss Dismukes worked in oil, watercolor and ceramics.  Her art education was with John Henry Twachtman (1853-1902) and Kenyon Cox (1856-1919) of New York City, Louis Loeb (1866-1909) and Clifford Carlton.  She was an active member of the Gulf Coast Art Association, New Orleans Art Association, Nashville Art Association, among others.  Ethel Dismukes had art studios at Pulaski, Tennessee, San Antonio, Texas, and New York City.(Sutton, 1929, pp. 168-169)

            It is apparent that Manuel Jalanivich was enrolled as a private art pupil of Miss Dismukes prior to May 1913.  At this time, she held a display of her students’ works in china painting, charcoal, and watercolor.  It was described as, “one of the most attractive and artistic exhibits that has ever been arranged in Biloxi.”  Of Miss Dismukes’ twenty pupils, nineteen were female, young Jalanivich being the lone male.  He was described as, “Biloxi’s talented little bootblack artist.”(The Daily Herald, May 21, 1913, p. 8)

 

Biloxi School days

            Manuel Jalanivich began to win recognition and awards for his artwork in the Biloxi Central School as early as the seventh grade.  The Thanksgiving holiday of 1913 was celebrated in the public school with songs, recitations, and dances.  Jalanivich’s contribution to the program, which was well lauded, was a series of illustrations depicting scenes from the daily regimen of the Pilgrims.  As each picture was shown to the student audience, an appropriate paragraph was read describing the action.(The Daily Herald, April 11, 1914, p. 8 and December 4, 1913, p. 6)

            In mid-May 1914, Miss Dismukes of Biloxi public school art department, held an exhibition of student arts and crafts in the Central school art room.  Pupils from both the high school and primary schools of the city had their art on review for their family and friends.  A highlight of the student exhibition was a three-masted vessel built by Manuel Jalanivich.  The model ship was about 1 ½ feet in length.  During the past winter, Jalanivich had sold more than $30 of his sketches and paintings.(The Daily Herald, May 22, 1914, pp. 1-2)

           

Souvenir pamphlet

            In the spring of 1914, Manual Jalanivich was preparing a small book on Biloxi.  His marvelous watercolor illustrations were of Biloxi landmarks and scenes: Beauvoir; the Biloxi Lighthouse; the new Biloxi High School; the Elks Club; the U.S. Post Office; the Back Bay bridge; the Biloxi Yacht Club; the Country Club; the Biloxi Hotel; Benachi Avenue; East beach; West Beach; Back Bay; Beach piers; large watermelons; Piney Woods; and a private yacht.  Jalanivich’s narrative of Biloxi was excellently illustrated in calligraphy.(The Daily Herald, April 11, 1914, p. 8)      

 

George E. Ohr Jr.-Joseph Fortune Meyer

            In addition to Miss Dismukes, another artistic neighbor of the Jalanivich family was George E. Ohr Jr. (1857-1918), “The Mad Potter” of Biloxi.  Ohr’s art pottery was situated on Delauney Street, only 500 feet, as the crow flies, from the Jalanivich residence at 519 Lameuse Street.   Here on the west side of Lameuse Street near the corner of McElroy Street, the Mueso-Jalanivich family resided in a “double shot-gun house”. (Sanborn Map-Biloxi 1914, Sheet-6)

A young Manuel Jalanivich was taken in by Ohr, the retired genius potter, and taught to use the potter’s wheel.  Manuel worked as a shoeshine boy on the streets of Biloxi possibly to succor his family or buy art supplies.  Joseph Fortune Meyer (1848-1931), the tutor and sponsor of George E. Ohr and master potter at Newcomb College, also resided at Biloxi during Jalanivich’s adolescent years.(Evans, 1973, p. 24 and The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11)

 

Niloak in Arkansas

            Circa 1917, Manuel Jalanivich left Biloxi to study at the Niloak Pottery, which was situated at Benton, Arkansas about fifteen miles southwest of Little Rock.  Niloak is a palindrome of kaolin.  The Arkansas pottery was named for the fine deposits of very, pale, white clay found here.  Post Civil War, John Hyten began potting here making utilitarian items for local farmers and families such as, jugs, crocks, and butter churns.  His sons, Paul, Charles, and Lee Hyten continued the business.(The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11 andhhtp://www.geocities.com/niloakpottery)

 

WW I (1918-1919)

            After a year in Arkansas, Manuel Jalanivich enlisted in the US Navy on March 28, 1918, at New Orleans.  He trained for military duty at Newport, Rhode Island.  While there, he made the acquaintance of a wealthy patron who was enamored with his artistic creativity and exceptional ceramic forms.  Unfortunately, she expired during his tenure in Rhode Island, but her correspondence to the “Bedford Village Pottery” in New York, where he later found employment.  In March 1919, Jalanivich was discharged from the US Navy at Newport with the rating of Seaman 2nd Class.(National Archives and Records Administration-Military record and The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11)

 

Durant Kilns (1919-1920)

            The Durant Kilns were located at Bedford Village, New York.  Mrs. Jean Durant Rice, the wife of a wealthy ophthalmologist, sponsored this Westchester County pottery, lead by American master potter, Leon Volkmar (1879-1959).  Volkmar came from a family of artisans.  His father, Charles Volkmar II, was a renowned painter and potter, while Leon Volmar’s grandfather, known as Carl Volkmar, specialized in portraiture.(Cloutier and Schmid, 1985, pp. 3-4) 

            It was at the Durant Kilns that Manuel Jalanivich’s would met the two men, Ingvardt Olsen (1888-1959) and Leon Volkmar, who would most deeply influence his personal as well as creative life.  With Ingvardt Olsen, Jalanivich formed a life long bond that would result in their harmonious enterprise, the Jalan Pottery at San Francisco and Belmont, California.  Arguably, Leon Volkmar was the dominant artistic influence in Manuel’s Jalanivich’s brief but prolific ceramic career.  It was from Volkmar that he adopted his interest in the ancient pottery styles of the Orient and Mediterranean basin.  Like Volmar, Jalanivich would also flourish as a teacher of ceramics.              

            The Biloxi News reported that while employed at the Durant Kilns, Manuel E. Jalanivich worked on a $3,000 pottery project for a Vanderbilt dinner.  This is corroborated as table and art ware were significant products of Durant from its conception until the demise of Mrs. Rice in 1919.  After her death, Leon Volkmar’s work at the Durant Kilns became more like studio pottery.  As with George “No two alike” E. Ohr Jr., duplication was not Volkmar’s modus operandi.(The Biloxi New, February 13, 1927, p. 11 and Cloutier and Schmid, 1985, p. 4)

 

Ingvardt Olsen

            While at the Durant Kilns in eastern New York, Manuel Jalanivich met Ingvardt Olsen (1888-1959).  Olsen was a native of Copenhagen, Denmark and had studied at the Royal Danish Copenhagen Chinese Kilns. He came to the United States in 1908.  Jalanivich and Olsen became close friends and eventually settled together at San Francisco where Olsen had been an interior decorator.(The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 11)

 

Hawaii-1925

            Manuel E. Jalanivich took a steamship from the West Coast to Hawaii and taught ceramics for several weeks at the National Academy of Design.(The Biloxi News, February 13, 1927, p. 1)

 

1927 Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit

            The Gulf Coast Art Association, which was led by Professor William Woodward (1859-1939) and Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952), held its first exhibit at the Biloxi Public Library from February 4th until February 20th, 1927.  The show, which was composed of oil paintings, water colors, pastels, lithographic drawings, block prints, sculpture, photography, pottery, metal work, and embroidery, was juried by Will H. Stevens of Newcomb College at New Orleans, Sarah K. Smith of Gulf Park College at Gulfport, Mississippi, and Edmund C. DeCelle of Mobile.(The Daily Herald, February 3, 1927, p. 2)

            Those exhibiting at the Biloxi show were: Peter Anderson (1901-1984)-Ocean Springs; Gertrude Burton (Ocean Springs); Grace Cheeseman (Gulfport); Alethia B. Clemens (Biloxi); Edmund C. DeCelle (Mobile); Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952)-Biloxi; Camille J. Ehrenfels (NOLA); Robert H. Holmes (1869-1949)-Ocean Springs; Dorothy Hopkins (Biloxi); Charles W. Hutson (Biloxi); Charles E. Hultberg (Biloxi); Manuel E. Jalanivich (1898-1944)-Biloxi/California; Louise Mallard (1900-1975)-Biloxi); William H. Muir (Gulfport); Anne Wells Munger (Pass Christian); Christine Northrop (Pass Christian); Mrs. Granville Osoinach (Gulfport); Sarah K. Smith (Gulfport); Miss C.R. Tibb (Biloxi); Clara Tucker (Biloxi); Alice Walsh (Gulfport); Louise Giesen Woodward (1862-1937)-Biloxi; and William Woodward (1859-1939)-Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, February 5, 1927, p. 5)

            On opening night of the juried exhibition, the winning artists selected by the three jurors were as follows: Gold Medal sponsored by The Peoples Bank for the best oil painting, “A Western Scene”, by Charles E. Hultberg; Gold Medal given by the Biloxi City Commissioners for the best Mississippi coast scene, “Our Street”; by William Woodward; and Ribbon for honorable mention was won by Edmund C. DeCille for “Mardi Gras”(The Daily Herald, February 5, 1927, p. 5)

            On February 8, 1927, three pieces of Jalan pottery for the Biloxi exhibit arrived from California.  They consisted of a large jardinière worth $150.00, and two pieces, a light blue bowl and a small jar, valued at $20.00 apiece. These works of Manuel Jalanivich were lauded for their form, color, and glazing.  The ceramic art of Peter Anderson of the Shearwater Pottery at Ocean Springs was also praised.(The Daily Herald, February 9, 1927, p. 2)

            The final award for the first Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit was given by The First National Bank on the basis of votes placed by visitors to the show.  The Gold Medal for the “most popular picture” was won by Miss Mary Ethel Dismukes for The Burden Bearer”.  Professor Woodward’s large oil painting of potters, Joseph Meyer and George Ohr, placed second.  Miss Dismukes photograph titled “Sunshine and Shadow” was third in popularity.  Woodward’s painting of two of the Biloxi Boys hangs in the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum at Biloxi, on loan from the Biloxi Library.(The Daily Herald, February 21, 1927, p. 2)

 

Mother’s death

            Mrs. Manuella M. J. Mueso expired at the residence of her daughter, Mary L. Sablich, on July 1, 1929.  Mrs. Julius Sablich lived at 629 Lameuse Street.  Manuella was a Roman Catholic and member of the Woman’s Benefit Association.  Her survivors were: Francisco Mueso, John Jalanivich of Biloxi, Manuel Jalanivich of San Francisco, and Mary L. Sablich.  Manuel Jalanivich was touring in Mexico at the time of his mother’s demise.(The Daily Herald, July 2, 1929, p. 12)

 

Jalan Pottery

Jalan Pottery was the name chosen by Jalanivich and Olsen to produce commercial ceramic ware in California.  It was identified by its large scale, simple form, color, style, and crackled glaze.  Jalanivich created wheel-thrown forms and also did extensive clay modeling, while Ingvardt Olsen specialized in glazing.  Olsen’s Persian or faience blue and “egg-plant” glazes were well accepted.  W.F. Dietrich in 1928, described the Jalan Pottery as:

 

            Jalanivich and Olsen are making an attractive line of glazed pottery using a buff-burning body and lead glazes.  Their output is hand-molded on a potter’s wheel.  It is fired in a round kiln, approximately 3 feet inside diameter of their own design and built by the gas company, city gas being used for fuel.  The clay, from California sources, is fired to 2000 F and the glaze to 1500-1700 F.

 

            Jalanivich and Olsen marketed their ceramics well.  In addition to their Bay area patronage, Gumps Department Store in San Francisco vended Jalan Pottery.  Jalan’s adaptation to a Chinese-style form met with great success in San Francisco, as many affluent citizens were decorating their domiciles with teak furniture, Coromandel screens, lacquered chests, and Middle Eastern of Oriental rugs.(Bray, 1980, p. 43)

 

1929-1939 Depression years

            Jalanivich and Olsen were kind spirited gentlemen, as they believed that they had the responsibility to share their experience and knowledge with others.  For this and financial reasons they taught private studio lessons on one day or evening each week from 1929 to 1938.  Students worked in clay modeling utilizing slab and coil techniques as well as molds.  (Bray, 1980, p. 43)

 

San Francisco Art Institute

            Manuel Jalanivich taught at the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute, from 1937 to 1939.  In 1937, he and Ingvardt Olsen commenced a ceramics school for women at their Baker Street home in San Francisco.  Their students ranged from socialites to schoolgirls.  Jalanivich said of his pupils: “most find a deep joy in working with their hands.  School teachers, weary of tussles with youngsters, come and find a curious peace in attempting to express some kind of beauty.”(Evans, 1973, p. 25 and The San Francisco Chronicle, November 1, 1937)

 

Vivika T. Heino

Vivika Timeriasieff Heino (1910-1995) who would later marry Otto Heino was a student of Jalanivich at the California School of Fine Arts.  Vivika also took private classes with him.  She went on to study with Glen Lukens (1887-1967) at USC and was awarded the second MFA degree from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1944.  Vivika and her husband, Otto Heino (b. 1915) were honored in October 1995, with an exhibit, “The Vivika and Otto Heino Retrospective”, which was held at Alfred University.  She had taught pottery to Otto Heino (b. 1915) and they eventually married and settled at Ojai, Ventura County, California.  Today in California, Otto continues his highly praised ceramic work.(Bray, 1980, p. 43 andwww.ottospottery.com and http:nyscc.alfred.edu/mus/heino)

 

Belmont, California

            In 1939, Olsen and Jalanivich closed their San Francisco ceramic operation and relocated to the sleepy, “Peninsula” town of Belmont, San Mateo County, California with a population of only three thousand.  Here, they built a modest home in 1940, at 901 Holly Road.  Their domicile is extant and situated in a quasi-rural, hillside environment, surrounded by over twenty-five thousand people, with a view of San Francisco Bay.(San Mateo County Auditor’s Records and Joan M. Levy, January 9, 2002)    

            A review of the telephone books of Belmont, California from 1938 until 1946, reveal that the names of Jalanivich and Olsen first appeared in the white pages there in September 1941.  The listing is Jalanivich & Olsen Pottery on Holly Road, phone number 1264.  In March 1943, their listing was Manuel E. Jalanivich Holly Road, phone number 1264 and Ingvardt Olsen, same phone number.  After June 1945, there is no listing for either men.(Joan M. Levy, January 9, 2002)

 

WW II

            Manuel E. Jalanivich and Ingvardt Olsen taught art and pottery to recovering wounded American veterans of the South Pacific theatre at the Letterman Hospital in the Presidio at San Francisco.(Evans, 1973, p. 25)

 

Deaths

            Manuel Jalanivich expired at Belmont, California on June 15, 1944.  There are inconsistencies in the reporting of the cause and place of his death.  The Courier Bulletin, a local journal, related that he expired “in a Belmont sanitarium after a long illness”while The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that his death was “at his Belmont home following a brief illness” In Biloxi, Mississippi, Jalanivich’s demise was reported by The Daily Herald as a sudden heart attack at his home in Belmont, California.( The Courier BulletinJune 23, 1944, The San Francisco Chronicle, June 21, 1944, and The Daily Herald, June 19, 1944, p. 6)

            On June 15, 1944, Manuel Jalanivich’s corporal remains were interred in Section N of the Woodlawn Memorial Park cemetery at Colma, California.  Private funeral services preceded his burial in the chapel of Crosby-N. Gray & Company at Burlingame. (The Courier Bulletin, June 23, 1944, p. 3)

            Ingvardt Olsen passed on July 9, 1959, at San Francisco.  He was survived by a cousin, Edward W. Neison, of San Francisco.  Olsen’s corporal remains were interred at Woodland Memorial Park, Colma, California, next to those of Manuel Eugene Jalanivich.(San Francisco Examiner, July 14, 1959)

 

Jalanivich’s Estate

In March 1945, Ingvardt Olsen, the executor and only heir of the Estate of Manuel E. Jalanivich, filed for probate in the Superior Court of California of San Mateo County, California.  Jalanivich’s estate consisted of: real property in San Francisco, California, probably Baker Street, appraised at $8500; a 1938 Chevrolet Town Sedan appraised at $540; and $834.64 in cash in a commercial account on deposit in the Redwood City Branch of the Bank of America.  The market value of Jalanivich’s estate for tax purposes was established at $11,373.46 of which Mr. Olsen paid $792.64 in inheritance taxes.(The Superior Court of California, San Mateo County, Case No. 11473, March 1945)

 

Sablich remembers “Uncle Manuel”

James E. Sablich Sr. (b. 1921) was interviewed by Ray L. Bellande in May 2002, at his home on 440 Porter Avenue in Biloxi, Mississippi.  Present at the meeting were his wife, Shannon Randazzo Sablich, and Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock (b. 1924), a niece of Manuel Jalanivich.

 

Bellande-Jim, give us your early recollections of your Uncle Manuel (Jalanivich) in Biloxi?

Sablich-The earliest recollection that I have is that he came down to visit Biloxi and his sister (Jim’s mother) and brother, Johnny Jalanivich, with his friend, Ingvardt Olsen.  That was when we lived on 626 Lameuse Street and that wasn’t yesterday.  That was quite a few years ago.

 

Bellande-How old were you then?

Sablich-I was in the fifth or sixth grade-about ten, eleven, or twelve years old.  About 1931.  He (Manuel) came down to visit us and stayed with mother and daddy in the house with us.  He took over my bedroom and my brother’s bedroom.  Before he left Biloxi to go back, he had to sit down to make chalk crayon pictures of me and my brother.

 

Bellande-Were they pastels or colored chalks?

Sablich-Colored chalk.  I was so proud of that.

 

Bellande-Were they a good likeness?

Sablich-Very good.

 

Bellande-Did he (Jalanivich) ever talk about Ethel Dismukes?

Sablich-Oh, all the time.  She lived and had her studio on Lameuse Street, one block from the beach.  I visited that place many times too.

 

Bellande-Did she (Dismukes) recognize his early art talent in the Biloxi Public School system?

Sablich-Well, this is something that I don’t know anything about.

 

Bellande-When Manuel came here (Biloxi) did he ever visit her (Miss Dismukes)?

Sablich-Every time he came to Biloxi he visited Miss Dismukes and he would go to Ocean Springs to see Mr. Peter Anderson because they came up together and he would go down and watch him do his work.

 

Bellande-Did he (Jalanivich) ever talk about his early life in Biloxi?

Sablich-No.  But my mother (Mary Jalanivich Sablich) did.  My mother told me that when he was just a little tot that he would always go around Mr. Ohr’s  pottery shop on Delauney Street.  Mr. Ohr took a liking to him and gave him a broom to clean up his shop after him.  As the years went by, he taught my Uncle Manuel to do this pottery work.  As far as I know, he stayed here long enough to learn enough to go to California to start his own pottery.

 

Bellande-Did Jalanivich have his own pottery shop on Lameuse Street in Biloxi?

Sablich-I don’t know anything about that.

Bellande-Did Manuel make any pottery when he visited Biloxi?

Sablich-To my knowledge, no.

Bellande-Do you know anything about him (Jalanivich) going off to the Navy?

SablichYeah.  I don’t know if whether it was the Navy or Army, but that’s where he made the little statue that I got while he was in camp in Louisiana.  The war ended before he got any further and he came back to Biloxi.

Bellande-Do you know anything about him (Jalanivich) meeting a wealthy woman in Virginia?

Sablich-I don’t know anything about that.

Bellande-Is there anything else about his visits to Biloxi?

Sablich-He always visited friends involved in pottery and art.

 

Bellande-Was there anyone besides Miss Dismukes or Peter Anderson or Ohr?

Sablich-I knew somebody else in those days.  My daddy cut her hair.  Jesse Smiler.  I think she was involved with Miss Dismukes.  She was a real estate agent.

 

Bellande-Did you know Miss Dismukes sister-in-law?

Sablich-Well, I met her every time I went to see Miss Dismukes.

 

Bellande-Did you ever go anywhere with him (Jalanivich) in Biloxi?

Sablich-We always went to the beach-Wachenfeld’s Pier and Hagan’s Pier or the Riviera Pier.

 

Bellande-How long would he (Jalanivich) stay in Biloxi?

Sablich-Maybe two weeks.

 

Bellande-Do you have anything to add Gertrude (Medlock)?

Medlock-The time that I remember him coming to see us, he had a convertible touring car.  That’s about all that I can remember about him.

 

Sablich-He had a big, big Buick.  I remember Uncle Manuel and Ingvardt both made an extended trip to Africa and stayed there a year or better.  He made some pottery over there and as I told you earlier I have a statue made of a native and she had a big to do or bonnet or something.  When my mother and daddy moved out there over on the beach, I had it outside to load in the car and I forgot it.  I’d give every damn thing in the world if I could find it.

 

Bellande-Did he (Jalanivich) make several trips to Biloxi?

Sablich-Yes, I bet he made about three trips to Biloxi.  He brought Ingvardt when he made my picture.

 

Jalanivich-Olsen exhibitions:

            The following are some of the known dates and locations of which the ceramics of the Jalan Pottery have been on public display:

 

1927 Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit, Biloxi, Mississippi

1935-California-Pacific International Exhibition, San Diego, California.

1936- National Ceramic Exhibition, Museum of Fine Art, Syracuse, New York also known as the Fifth National Ceramic Exhibition (Robineau Memorial) and named for American art potter, Adelaide Alsop Robineau (1865-1929), of Syracuse, New York.  The Amberg-Hirth Gallery, San Francisco, California.

1937-Contemporary Crafts Exhibition, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Oakland Art Gallery’s Exhibition of Sculpture where work received an honorable mention.

1939-Decorative Arts Exhibition of the Golden Gate International Exposition at San Francisco.

1948-(Ingvardt Olsen and Charles Nye) 7th Annual Pacific Coast Ceramic Exhibition, Rotunda Gallery, San Francisco, California.

1978-Oakland Museum, Oakland, California

1978-Lang Gallery of Scripps College, Claremont, California

1993-Oakland Museum, Oakland, California.

1994-Renwick Gallery of the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

1994-Cincinnati Art Museum-Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

Future exhibits:

2003-The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum-Biloxi, Mississippi will present the works of “The Biloxi Boys” commencing in February 2003.   This extended show will feature the museum‘s new acquisitions of ceramics by Joseph Fortune Meyer, George E. Ohr Jr., and Manuel E. Jalanivich’s works from the private collection of Ray L. Bellande.

 

Epilogue:

            The Biloxi Boys, J.F. Meyer, G.E. Ohr Jr., and M.E. Jalanivich, were among the most notable American potters of the late 19th and 20th Century.  Being reared at Biloxi on the Mexican Gulf, they experienced the humid subtropical climate, tropical cyclones or hurricanes, and shared the joie de vivre provided by the unique southern European culture, which proliferated here until post-WW II.  While Meyer and Ohr were instrumental in the art scene at New Orleans being instructors in the early years of the Newcomb College art program instituted by William Woodward (1859-1939), Manuel E. Jalanivich shared his ceramic knowledge with eager students at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. 

Today, each of these native Biloxi art potters is remembered for his uniqueness: Meyer for his glazes, simple forms and affiliation with Newcomb Pottery; Ohr for his skill on the potter’s wheel, exciting glazes, and marketing schemes; and Jalanivich for his large forms and moulds.  All are collectible.  In recent years, the value of Ohr pottery has risen geometrically.  Meyer’s Newcomb Pottery has also become very valuable.  Jalanivich’s works are located primarily on the West Coast and are still reasonably priced if they can be located.  Ebay is an excellent place to commence a search for the works of these artists.   

           

REFERENCES:

 

Books and Periodicals

The Arts and Crafts Movement in California, (Oakland Museum and Abbeville Press: New York-1993).

 

Ray L. Bellande, Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society, “Holley’s Bluff-Where George E. Ohr Dug Clay”, Volume 31, No. 1, March 1995.

 

Biloxi City Directory, 1913-1914, (Piedmont Directory Company: Ashville, North Carolina-1914)

 

Robert W. Blasberg, George Edward Ohr and his Biloxi Art Pottery, (J.W. Carpenter: Port Jervis, New York-1973).

 

Robert W. Blasberg, The Unknown Ohr, (Peaceable Press: Milford, Pennsylvania-1986).

 

Jean Moore Bragg and Dr. Susan Saward, The Newcomb Style: Newcomb College Arts & Crafts and Art Pottery, (Jean Bragg Gallery: New Orleans, Louisiana-2002)

 

Hazel V. Bray, The Potter’s Art In California 1885 to 1955, (Oakland Museum Art Department; Oakland, California-1980)

 

Garth Clark, Robert A. Ellison Jr., and Eugene Hecht, The Mad Potter of Biloxi, (Abbeville Press: New York-1989)

 

Dane Cloutier and Bob Schmid, Journal of the American Art Pottery Association, “Leon Volkmar: The Master Potter Who Made History”Vol. 1, No. 3, May-June 1985.

 

Paul E. Cox, Potteries of the Gulf Coast, (Iowa State College: Iowa-1935).

 

Charles L. Dyer, Along The Gulf“Biloxi, Miss”, (Women of the Trinity Episcopal Church:  Pass Christian-1971).  Originally published 1895.

 

Paul Evans, Spinning Wheel, “Jalan: Transitional Pottery of San Francisco”, (April 1937).

 

David E. Gifford, “A Brief History of Arkansas Art Pottery-Ouachita, Niloak, and Camark”The National Society of Art Pottery Collectors, Vol. 1, No. 1, Spring/Summer 1996.

 

Julia Cook Guice, Harrison County Marriages (1841-1899), (City of Biloxi, Mississippi: 1968?)

 

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"Shearwater Pottery and the Andersons", (Jackson County Genealogical Society:  Pascagoula-1989).

 

Ralph and Terry Kovel, Kovel's American Art Pottery, (Crown Publishing Company:  New York-1993).

 

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume I, (Catholic Dioceses of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), pp. 242-243.

 

Lois Lehner, Lechner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain & Clay, (Collector Books: Padukah, Kentucky-1988), p. 226.

 

Suzanne Ormond and Mary E. Irvine, Louisiana's Art Nouveau:  The Crafts of the Newcomb Style, (Pelican Publishing Company:  Gretna, Louisiana-1976, pp. 145-146.

 

Cantey Venable Sutton, History of Art in Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1929)

 

Chancery Court

Harrison County, Mississippi Will Book 5, "Will of Felicie L. Meyer".

 

Chancery Court Cases

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 523, “Lizzie Ohr v. August Ohr”August 1892.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2108, “Estate of Johanna Ohr”,

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2151, “August Ohr v. Louise Ohr Schultz, at al”, March 1906.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2200, “Charles McCormack v. Lizzie and Antoine Muller”, October 1906.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2281, “August Ohr v. Emma Ohr Gruntz, et al”October 1906.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2473, “Charles Rushing v. Joseph Lawrence et al, June 1907.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2500, “Lizzie Muller v. P.J. Ohr”October 1907.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2507, Charles Rushing and Joseph Lawrence  v. Josephine Ohr

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2990, “Insanity of G.E. Ohr”1909.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 4162, “Rosalie E. Foretich v. Lawrence Foretich”, Julbe 1913.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 21563,  “Mae Migues Ohr v. Ojo Ohr”, January 1945.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No.

 

2nd Judicial District

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 1162, “Estate of Leo Edgar Ohr”, May 1971.(Annie Faye Chase or Annie Faye Campbell)

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 8188, “Guardianship of Marguerite Kuljis Ohr”September 1978.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P804B, “Estate of Iola G. Ohr”, August 1986.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P827B, “Estate of Marguerite K. Ohr”, September 1986.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 12296, “Estate of George E. Ohr”, July 1982.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P864B, “Estate of Carl Monroe Ohr”, (sealed).

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P1518B,  “Guardianship of Rachel Ann Ohr”, May 1989.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P1519B, “Guardianship of Brian Christopher Ohr”, May 1989.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P1957B, “Estate of O.J. Ohr”, April 1991.

 

Circuit Court

HARCO, Ms. Circuit Court Marriage Record Book 10, Giurilinovich-Morano, October 13, 1894, p. 264.

 

Superior Court of California

San Mateo County, California Case No. 11473, “In the Matter of the Estate of Manuel E. Jalanivich”March 1945.

Internet

hhtp://www.geocities.com/niloakpottery, “Niloak Pottery Company”

 

Journals

The Biloxi Herald, April 9, 1892.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, July 29, 1893.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, December 9, 1893.

The Biloxi Herald, “In Memoriam”, December 16, 1893.

The Biloxi Herald, “The Flames”, October 13, 1894.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Latest City News”, January 4, 1896, p. 8.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Tired of Life”, August 21, 1897.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local and Personal”, December 3, 1899, p. 8.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local and Personal”, March 23, 1900.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Funeral of Luka Giovulnovich”, August 22, 1902.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, January 26, 1903.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Zio Ignantz Ohr”, April 21, 1904.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “George Ohr, Sr.”, July 8, 1904.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Mrs. Elizabeth Hahn”, October 5, 1904.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Mrs. Joanna Ohr”, December 28, 1905.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Locals”, August 10, 1906.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Moseley & Devitt”, January 7, 1907.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “W.L. Via & Co.”, January 7, 1907.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Biloxi’s New Administration”, January 7, 1907.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Pearson Brothers”, January 9, 1907.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Foretich-Elder”, February 25, 1907.

The Biloxi Daily Herald"Bourdon-Devitt", August 16, 1907, p. 1.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “George Ohr Declared Sane”, April 3, 1909.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Moran-Ohr”, April 16, 1909.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Abbley Not Guilty Says State Jury”, August 30, 1909.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Barber Assumes Roll of Reformer”, September 10, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi youth makes pottery”, March 15, 1915.

The Courier Bulletin, “Jalanovich”, June 23, 1944.

The Courier Bulletin, “Well Known Ceramic Artist Dies in Belmont”, June 23, 1944.

The Daily Herald, “George Ohr Makes Trouble”, September 6, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, May 30, 1910.

The Daily Herald, “Geo. E. Ohr Released From Durance Vile”, October 7, 1910.

The Daily Herald"Dancer-Engbarth", December 1, 1911.

The Daily Herald"Heidenheim resigns as manager of Barataria Canning Company", September 19, 1912.

The Daily Herald, “To Show Friends Their Art Work”, May 21, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Devitt and Clark Have Lease On Bourdon-Castanera Co.’s Plant”, August 26, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Louis Harvey Died This A.M.”, September 17, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi High Doings”, December 4, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Local News Paragraphs of Interest”, December 17, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Ohr-Elder”, November 20, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Foretich-Kleyle”, January 29, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Youth Is Talented Artist”, April 11, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit At Central School”, May 22, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Lio Ohr Passes Away Saturday At Noon After Several Weeks Illness”, December 13, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Leo Ohr Has Agency”, April 26, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Harry Portman Dead”, June 14, 1917.

The Daily Herald"Excavaters Find Buried Pottery", September 11, 1917.

The Daily Herald, "Pottery is Made by a Biloxi Man", September 18, 1917.

The Daily Herald, “Pottery Wizard Dies in Biloxi”, April 8, 1918.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Museum Finds Favor”, April 14, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Sablich-Jalanivich”, June 6, 1918, p. 3.

The Daily Herald, “McClellan Honored”, August 21, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Colonel McLlellan Hear Mullet”, September 2, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Resident Died Yesterday”, August 19, 1920.

The Daily Herald, “Opening of Art Exhibit at Library”, February 3, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Award Made by Jury of Gifted and Competent Artists for Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibition at Biloxi February 4”, February 5, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Jalan Pottery Arrives”, February 9, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibits Closes”, February 21, 1927.

The Daily Herald"Joseph Meyer Lived In Biloxi", January 4, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Father of L.H. Doty Dies at Lexington”, January 11, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Renovating Lawrence Building”, May 28, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Frank Mueso Dies”, July 2, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Ohr Died Last Night”, March 17, 1930.

The Daily Herald"Joseph Meyer Buried", March 18, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Return From Funeral”, November 24, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Lawrence Romeo, Sr. Dies”, April 7, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Lee Foretich Killed”, February 27, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Leo Ohr Completes Manufacture Syrup”, January 15, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “Manuel Jalanovich (sic) In California”,  ?.

The Daily Herald, “Jalanivich-Weems”, March 31, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “McGraw-Jalanivich”, February 8, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “Jos. W. Swetman Taken By Death”, May 31, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Joseph Lawrence Dies at Biloxi Home”, January 13, 1939.

The Daily Herald, “Mueso Funeral”, February 29, 1940.

The Daily Herald, “Jalanavich (sic) Gaining Fame As Potter”, ?.

The Daily Herald, Fred Abbley Dies”, September 30, 1941.

The Daily Herald, “N. Martino Dies”, January 5, 1942.

The Daily Herald, “Manuel Jalanivich Dies in California”, June 19, 1944.

The Daily Herald, “T.K. Devitt Sr. Dies", December 16, 1946, p. 5.

The Daily Herald, “Visit Art Exhibit”, May 31, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Dismukes Dies”, February 18, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “Jos. V. Lawrence Vice-President Biloxi Bank Dies”, October 9, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “J.M. Jalanivich”, October 9, 1967.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Mae Churchill”, October 16, 1968.

The Daily Herald, “Edward Giadrosich”, October 16, 1968.

The Daily Herald, “F.L. Churchill”, December 13, 1968.

The Daily Herald, “Frederic A. Moran”, July 11, 1972.

The Daily Herald, “G.D. (sic) Ohr”, February 25, 1974.

The Daily Herald, “David W. Jalanivich Sr.”, November 10, 1980.

The Ocean Springs News, "R.A. Dancer Passes Away", April 15, 1915, p. 1

The San Francisco Chronicle, “S.F. Potters Rise To Fame”, May 8, 1919 or 1935?

The San Francisco Chronicle, “Clever Potters Bring Art To This City”, December 17, 1922.

The San Francisco Chronicle, “S.F. Women Reviving Old Art of Ceramics”, November 1, 1937.

The San Francisco Chronicle, “Death Splits Famed Team of Artists”, June 21, 1944.

The San Francisco Chronicle, “Funeral Notices”, July 14, 1959.

The San Francisco Examiner, “Funeral Notices”, July 14, 1959.

The Sun, “Otto T. Ohr”, April 21, 1982.

The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Marguerite Ohr”, July 25, 1986.

The Sun Herald, “Carl Ohr”, October 22, 1986.

The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Clo L. Ohr Moran”, December 1, 1989.

The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Mary Louise Sablich”, February 14, 1991.

The Sun Herald, “Ojo Ohr”, March 24, 1991.

The Sun Herald, “Carl Otto Ohr”, March 5, 1996.

The Sun Herald, “Gertrude Trosclair Jalanivich”, June 5, 1996.

The Sun Herald, “Moran leaves mark on Coast”, March 24, 1999.

 

Personal Communication:

Dolores Kneale Smith (Biloxi)-January 1995.

James Anderson (Shearwater Pottery)-January 1995.

Lucretia Buzolich Lee (Biloxi),-January 1995.

Captain Arthur Baker (Biloxi), February 1995.

Gertrude Jalanivich Medlock-conversation at 13809 Plano Road, Gulf Hills, January 11-12, 2001.

Mark Jawgiel, e-mail January 31, 2002.

Joan M. Levy, San Mateo County Historical Museum, e-mail of her search of the Belmont, California telephone books from 1938-1946 on January 9, 2002.

Jeff Gunderson-e-mail from the San Francisco Art Institute, January 15, 2002

 <jgunderson@sfai.edu>

James E. Sablich-taped interview in May 2002.

Maxine McGraw Palmer-conversation at Byram, Mississippi on June 22, 2002.

Thelma Ohr Palmer-telephone conversation on September 23, 2002.

Frank Duggan Jr.-telephone conversation on October 8, 2002.

 

Oral History Tape-Interview September 4, 1990, Murella Hebert Powell, History and Genealogy librarian Biloxi Public Library, with Lucretia Buzolich Lee.

The Ohr Family & Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art (OOMA)

THE OHR FAMILY and OHR-O'KEEFE MUSEUM of ART (OOMA)

Art historians and critics generally are in agreement that George E. Ohr Jr. (1857-1918), the much maligned and not so “Mad Potter” of Biloxi, was the greatest ceramic artist of his time and possibly ever.  Ohr’s life is fairly well documented in the literature by himself (1901), Dolores “Bobbie” Davidson Smith (1965) of Ocean Springs, R.W. Blasberg (1973 and 1986), Garth Clark et al (1989), and others. This article will attempt to present a fairly comprehensive Ohr family genealogy and other previously undisclosed facts about the renowned Ohr family of Biloxi.    

George Edward Ohr Jr. was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on July 12, 1857.  His parents, George E. Ohr (1819-1904) and Johanna Wiedman Ohr (1821-1905) were immigrants from Alsace, that interesting piece of geography between the Rhine River and the Vosges Mountains, and Wurtemberg respectively.  Wurtemberg, a former constitutional monarchy, is now integrated into the German state of Baden-Wurtemberg in the southwest region of this western European nation, while Alsace is now a part of the French Deparments of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin.  The senior Ohr immigrated to America in 1850, from with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John George Ohr, who both expired at New Orleans in 1852.  At New Orleans, George E. Ohr met and married Johanna Wideman in 1853.(Clark, et al, 1989, p. 177 and Webster’s 1989, p. 39 and p. 1353) 

By 1852, G.E. Ohr and spouse had relocated to Biloxi where he made his livelihood as a blacksmith, while Mrs. Ohr would by 1880 operate a grocery store.  Mr. Ohr is believed to have been the first person to shoe horses in Biloxi.  In this relaxed peninsular village on the Mexican Gulf, George and Johanna Ohr brought into the world five children: Augustus Ohr (1854-1927), George E. Ohr Jr. (1857-1918), Emma Ohr Gruntz (1859-1909+), Louise Ohr Schultz (1863-1909+), and Mena Ohr (1867-1893+, but pre-1900).(The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 8, 1904, p. 5)     

Biloxi lands

George E. Ohr began acquiring land in Biloxi on Pass Christian Road (now Howard Avenue) in August 1859, when he paid John and Josephine Scherer $300 for a tract with about 50 feet on Pass Christian Road that ran south 300 feet to Jackson Avenue.  It is very probable that the original Ohr blacksmith shop was situated on this parcel. (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 9, p. 175)

Less than ten years later, July 30, 1868, George E. Ohr added to this tract by purchasing from Francois Arbeau Caillavet (1815-1883) and Euranie Fayard Caillavet (1818-1895), my great-great grandparents; Charles Ferdinand Quave (1811-1894) and Rose Desiree C. Quave (1814-1883); Louise C. LeFaure (1817-1868+), the widow of Stephen LeFaure; and Marie C. Bousquet (1825-1883), the widow of Jean-Baptiste Bousquet; all the heirs of Louis Arbeau Caillavet (1790-1860), a native of the Opelousas Post, Louisiana and Marguerite Fayard Caillavet(1787-1863) of Biloxi, a parcel of ground adjacent to and west of their original holdings on Pass Christian Road (Howard Avenue).  This particular lot had a front of 50 feet on Jackson Avenue and ran north for 172 feet to the property of Priscilla Pebukst Ritch (1816-1905), the grandmother of two of Biloxi’s most renown and beloved school teachers, Mary Alma Ritch (1890-1964), and Priscilla Ritch (1893-1972), who toiled for decades at the now demolished Gorenflo Public School on LaMeuse Street in Biloxi.  The Ritch lot had 50 feet on Pass Christian Road.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk.10, p. 604)

It wasn’t until late March 1873, that G.E. Ohr would buy the lot that would be the site of the Pot-Ohr-Ree and domicile of his soon to be famous son, G.E. Ohr Jr.  Arne Bernard and wife, Adele Ladner Delauney Caillavet Bernard (1812-1880), conveyed to Mr. Ohr a large lot on the northwest corner of Pass Christian Road and Delauney Street.  The Ohr tract had 90 feet on Pass Christian Road and 200 feet on Delauney Street.  John Harkness (1827-1903) was to the north and the Pineau property to the west.  The consideration was $650.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 13, pp. 626-627)

It can be ascertained with some degree of certitude that George E. Ohr was not financially solvent from December 1875, until about 1890.  He borrowed sums of money ranging from $150 to $500 from fellow Biloxians, such as: Joseph Kuhn (1875); Josephine Scherer (1882); and John Bradford (1886 and 1887).(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 14, p. 618, Bk.19, p. 39, Bk. 21, p. 458, and Bk. 22, p. 45)

In January 1895, Contractor Burk was building a one-story commercial building on the corner of Pass Christian Street [Howard Avenue] and Delauney for the Ohr family enterprises.(The Biloxi Herald, January 9, 1895)

As we shall see, these Biloxi lands, the legacy of George and Johanna W. Ohr, would cause much grief in the family and contribute to some of the erratic behavior of the World’s Greatest Potter in the first decade of the 20th Century.

George E. Ohr passed on July 8, 1904.  Mrs. Ohr died on December 28, 1905, at the residence of her son, George E. Ohr Jr.  Their corporal remains were interred in Section E, Lot 5, the George Ohr family burial plot, in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 8, 1904, p. 5 and December 28, 1905, p. 2 and The Biloxi Cemetery Records Bks. A-C, 1841-1905)

The four children of George E. Ohr and Joanna W. Ohr who survived into the 20th Century found mates within their Germanic culture and language, as each married German natives or first generation German-Americans.  A brief biography of each Ohr child follows:

AUGUST OHR

August Ohr (1854-1927) married Lizzie Hahn in May 1877.  She may have been the daughter of Elizabeth Hahn (1812-1904), the proprietor of the Magnolia Hotel.  Mrs. Hahn, a native of Hanover, Germany, arrived at Biloxi in 1847. (HARCO, Ms. MRB 6, p. 476 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 5, 1904, p. 5) )

Lizzie and August Ohr were the parents of two sons: Peter Joseph Ohr (1878-1953) and John Ohr (1879-1879).  Peter J. Ohr became a local farmer.  In September 1912, he acquired the NE/4 of the SE/4 of Section 12, T7S-R10W from John Canaan for $800.   Peter was a resident of New Orleans in June 1918, when he quitclaimed his tract to Lizzie Betz who held a deed of trust from him.  Peter’s nephew, Leo Edgar Ohr (1890-1970), immediately acquired these forty acres and it became his farm.  Peter J. Ohr died at Biloxi in mid-October 1953.  His corporalremains were passed through the Episcopal Church and interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 102, p. 107 and Trust Deed Bk. 10, p. 163 and The Daily Herald, October 13, 1953, p. 8)

August Ohr made his livelihood as a laborer.  In the winter of 1901, he managed a steam wood mill on back bay at Reynoir Street.  It supplied stove wood, stove wood blocks and cord wood at reasonable prices.  August also worked for the Texas Pacific Machine Shop and the Biloxi Ice Factory.  In 1904, he was running a merry-go-round at Vicksburg, Mississippi before returning to Biloxi in late October suffering from malaria.  In his later life, Mr. Ohr was a night watchman.  In August 1892, Lizzie and August Ohr divorced in Harrison County, Mississippi.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 523-August 1892 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 15, 1901, p. 8, October 27, 1904, p. 5 and The Daily Herald, April 11, 1927, p. 2)

By 1906, Lizzie Hahn Ohr was married again.  Her new spouse was Antoine Muller or Miller.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 2200-Ocotber 1906 and Cause No. 2500-October 1907)

August Ohr married Mrs. Charles Wolbarth on July 25, 1893 in Orleans Parish, Louisiana.(see Hunting For Bears, Orleans Parish, Louisiana)

August Ohr married the widow of William Wachenfeld, Elizabeth Montag Wachenfeld (1842-1920), in May 1894.  She was born at Bodstadt, Hessen, Germany, the daughter of Joseph Montag and Katherine Sour.  Mrs. Ohr was the mother of: Charles W. Wachenfeld (1868-1936), Philip Wachenfeld (1871-1929), August Wachenfeld, and Christina W. Harvey (1872-1931), the wife of Louis Harvey (1874-1913).  Before his demise, Louis Harvey was foreman of the Gorenflo Packing Company at Biloxi.  Several of his descendants, Philip I. Harvey (b. 1941), David Harvey, and Elizabeth H. Joachim, are prominent in insurance and real estate at Ocean Springs.(HARCO, Ms. MRB 10, p. 206, The Daily Herald, August 29, 1920, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, September 17, 1913,  p1)

Mrs. Elizabeth W. Ohr died at Biloxi on August 18, 1920.  August Ohr expired on April 10, 1927.  Both were passed through the Episcopal Church and interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, August 19, 1920, p. 1 and April 11, 1927, p. 2)

GEORGE E. OHR JR.

On September 15, 1886, George Edward Ohr Jr. (1857-1918) married Josephine Gehring (1868-1930), a native of Gretna, Louisiana.  Like George’s parents,  her father and mother were also German immigrants. By the last year of the 19th Century, Josephine had given George seven children, but only four survived, Leo E. Ohr (1890-1970), Clo L. Ohr (1892-1989), Otto T. Ohr (1895-1982), and Lio I. Ohr (1893-1914), to see the Federal Census taker on Delauney Street in June 1900.  Ellen Louise Ohr (1887-pre 1900), Asa Eugene Ohr (1888-1893), and Flo Lucretia Ohr (1897-1900) had expired before June 1900. .(HARCO, Ms. MRB 8, p. 217 and 1900 Federal Census-Harrison County, Ms. T623 Roll 808 p, 21B)

Post June 1900, Zio I. Ohr (1900-1904), Ojo J. Ohr (1903-1991) and George E. Ohr III (1906-1986) were born, but only the latter two survived to adulthood.

Josephine Gehring Ohr expired on March 17, 1930, in her home at 409 Delauney Street.  She had been a resident of Biloxi since 1885.  In addition to her children, she was survived by two brothers, George and Louis Gehring, and three sisters, Mrs. Nick Koenig, Mrs. William Hartley, and Mrs. L.G. Dauenhauer.  All of her siblings resided in the Greater New Orleans area.  Mrs. Ohr’s corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, March 17, 1930, p. 10)

The World’s Greatest Potter, George E. Ohr Jr., had preceded Josephine in death.  He passed at his Delauney Street residence on April 7, 1918, after several years of declining health.  Prior to his demise, Ohr had sought medical attention in the Crescent City with no avail.  After his corporal remains had been blessed in the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, they were interred in his burial lot designated as Block 13, Lot 173 of the 3rd Addition to the Biloxi City Cemetery.  In addition to George E. Ohr and Josephine G. Ohr, the graves of Leo E. Ohr, Lio I. Ohr and Marguerite Kuljis Ohr are marked in this family burial lot.(The Daily Herald, April 8, 1918, p. 1 and personal observation September 14, 2002)

The Ohr children

Consistently with his creative and eccentric nature, George E. Ohr Jr. derived the first name of his children from the first letter of their first, middle, and surname.  For example, “LEO” was created from Leo Edgar Ohr; “CLO” came from Clovinia Lucinda Ohr; etc.  A brief biography of the children of George E. Ohr Jr. and Josephine Gehring Ohr follows:

Ellen Louisa Ohr

Ellen L. Ohr (1887-pre-1900) was born on June 21, 1887.  She received the Holy Sacrament of Baptism in the Roman Catholic Church at the Nativity BVM in Biloxi on July 10, 1887.  Ellen passed on before June 1900.  No further information.(Lepre, 1991, p. 243)  

Asa Eugene Ohr

Asa E. Ohr (1888-1893) was born in 1888 and expired on December 7, 1893.  Young Asa must have been very special to his Aunt Mena Ohr who published a poem in his memory in the local journal following his funeral services and burial.  His remains were passed through the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church prior to internment. (Lepre, 1991, p. 243 and The Biloxi Herald, December 9, 1893, p. 8 and December 16, 1893, p. 8)

Leo Edgar Ohr

Leo E. Ohr (1890-1970) was born at Biloxi on September 20, 1890.  His baptism took place in the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church on October 20, 1890.  On January 22, 1926, Leo married Mamie Catchot (1890-1961), a native of Ocean Springs, and the daughter of Antonio “Toy” Catchot (1868-1952) and Adelia Mon (1876-1948). (Lepre, 1991, p. 243 and HARCO, Ms. MRB 37, p. 522)

As early as 1913, Leo E. Ohr was in the automotive garage and machine business.  With Otto T. Ohr, he commenced The Ohr Boy’s Garage at 411 Delauney Street just north of their familial domicile and on the site of his father’s famous Pot-Ohr-E.(Biloxi City Directory, 1913-1914, p. 180) 

Julius M. Lopez (1886-1958), Biloxi entrepreneur and yachtsman, often had Leo E. Ohr as the engineer or pilot of the Belle L, his 30-foot, 145 HP race boat, which was lauded asthere is nothing in the Gulf that can near equal it in speed.".  In addition Leo owned the Anna May, also a racing speed boat.(The Daily Herald, July 13, 1913, p. 1 and p. 8)

In April 1915, Leo E. Ohr obtained the Harley-Davidson franchise on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  He rode the streets of Biloxi on his new twin cylinder Harley-Davidson as a demonstrator for interested customers.(The Daily Herald, April 26, 1915, p. 2)

By 1922, Leo had changed the name of his business to the Ohr Garage and by 1927, added “and Machine Works” to this title.  As late as 1949, he remained the proprietor of the Ohr Machine Shop.  In 1958, Leo E. Ohr was renting rooms at 208 Lameuse Street.(Biloxi City Directory, 1922-1923, p. 162, ibid. 1927, p. 158, ibid, 1949, p. 480, ibid. 1958, p. 641)  

Ohr farm

In addition to being the proprietor of the Ohr Machine Shop at 409 Delauney Street, Leo E. Ohr was a farmer.  In June 1918, he acquired forty-acres of land, the NE/4 of the SE/4 of Section 12, T7S-R10W from Lizzie Betz for $500.  This land situated on the west side of Cedar Lake Road between Popps Ferry Road and US I-10 is now very commercial and includes the Cedar Lake Medical Plaza and surroundings.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 122, p. 329)

Here in 1934, Leo E. Ohr harvested the largest sugar cane crop ever grown in Harrison County.  From his fifteen-acres of seed grown sugar cane, he made over three thousand gallons of cane syrup.  Ohr sold over 1500 gallons to the State Welfare Board for its program to assist needy families in South Mississippi, as a result of the national economic Depression.  Leo was also in the process of erecting a plant to produce cane syrup, which had the potential of being a profitable local agricultural industry.(The Daily Herald, January 15, 1934, p. 8)

Leo E. Ohr died on August 17, 1970.  At the time of his death, he was possessed with his Cedar Lake farm and other Biloxi real estate.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 1162-May 1971l)

Clovinia Lucinda Ohr

Clovinia L. Ohr (1892-1989), called Clo, was born at Biloxi on May 1, 1892.  she was baptized on June 5, 1892, in the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church.  On April 15, 1909, Clo eloped and married Fredric Andrew Moran (1888-1972), a well-known boat builder and schooner racer of Biloxi.  He was the son of Ernest Moran and Catherine Kornman (1854-1922).(Lepre, 1991, p. 243, HARCO, Ms. MRB Bk. 21, p. 188 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 16, 1909, p. 1)

Clo and Freddie Moran were the parents of four children: Fredric “Elwood” Moran (1910-2001), Julia M. Sutton (1914-1996), Josephine M. Morykwas (1915-1997), and Joseph “Joe” Moran (1915-1999).   

Joe Moran, like his father, also built boats and in his later life became a nationally acclaimed painter.  Several of Mr. Moran’s works are in the Smithsonian Institute and two American presidents have acquired his art.(The Sun Herald, December 1, 1989, p. B-2 and The Sun Herald, March 24, 1999)        

Lio Irwin Ohr

Lio I. Ohr (1893-1914) was born at Biloxi on July 26, 1893.  His arrival was announced by the local journal as, “another potter arrived at the art pottery of Geo. Ohr  last Wednesday. Of course it’s a boy.”(The Biloxi Herald, July 29, 1893, p. 8)

Lio I. Ohr was baptized in the Catholic faith at the Nativity BVM on August 27, 1893. His godfather was Joseph F. Meyer (1848-1931), the Newcomb Art School potter.  Lio expired at his parent’s home on Delauney Street on December 12, 1914 from a tumor.  Lio had worked for Dr. Jason J. Harry (1854-1950) of Handsboro as his chauffeur until struck down with his fatal malady in November 1914.(Lepre, 1991, p. 242 and The Daily Herald, December 13, 1914, p. 4)

 

OTTO THEODORE OHR

Otto T. Ohr (1895-1982), called Pie, was born September 11, 1895.  On October 6, 1895, he received the sacrament of Baptism at the Nativity BVM. Otto T. Ohr married Rosalie Elder (1890-1970), the daughter of Robert E. Lee Elder (1864-1931), called Lee, and Nellie Catherine Williams (1875-1926), at Pascagoula, Mississippi in November 1913.(Lepre, 1991, p. 243, The Daily Herald, November 20, 1913, p. 8, and JXCO, Ms. MRB 9, p 553)           

Elder-Foretich

Otto T. Ohr’s father-in-law, Mr. Lee Elder, was a prominent ice manufacturer in Biloxi.  Elder’s early career was as a licensed steamboat engineer.  He commenced ice making as an engineer with the Biloxi Artesian Ice Manufacturing Company in 1887.  By 1895, Elder was chief engineer of their plant with a capacity of making twenty-two tons of ice each day.  He was also a stockholder with John Walker, president; T.P. Dulion, treasurer; and W.K.M. Dukate (1852-1916), general manager and secretary.(Dyer, 1895, p. 19)  

Lee Elder married Nellie C. Williams at Biloxi on May 11, 1889.  They were the parents of: Rosalie E. Foretich Ohr (1890-1970), Ethel E. Entrekin (1894-1931+), H.W. “Will” Elder (1896-1931+), Ruth E. VanCourt (1899-1931+), Mrs. J.E. Collins, and Mrs. G. Rossini.(HARCO, Ms. MRB 8, p. 476 and The Daily Herald, September 28, 1931, p. 1)

In February 1907, Rosalie Elder had married Lawrence Foretich (1884-1966) in the Methodist Church at Gulfport.  They had two sons: Elliott L. Foretich (1908-1992) and Kenneth Lee Foretich (1911-1933).  Lee Foretich was murdered at New Orleans, during Mardi Gras madness in late February 1933.  He had recently moved to the Crescent City from Biloxi where he had been at the US Coast Guard base on Point Cadet.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 25, 1907, p. 1 and February 27, 1933, p. 2)

In late January 1914, Lawrence Foretich married Maud Kleyle of New Orleans, at the Hotel Brielmeire.  They initially were domiciled in Biloxi, but eventually relocated to New Orleans.  He expired there in 1966.( The Daily Herald, January 29, 1914, p. 2)           

Otto’s life

As a young man, Otto T. Ohr began making a living as one of The Ohr Boy’s Garage owners with his brother, Leo E. Ohr.  By 1922, he, as his grandmother, Johanna W. Ohr, had done in the late 19th Century, became a grocer.  The Ohr store was situated at 742 Lameuse Street.  Circa 1925, Otto T. Ohr was sent to Chicago by Lee Elder to study refrigeration and ammonia.  Returning to Biloxi, he organized the Peoples’ Ice Company which commenced his long association with ice manufacturing in Biloxi and later at Bayou LaBatre, Alabama, where he was employed by the Alabama Ice Company.( Biloxi City Directory, 1913-1914, p. 180, Ibid. 1922-1923, p. 162 and Thelma O. Palmer, September 23, 2002)

When the Otto T. Ohr family returned to Biloxi from Bayou LaBatre in the early 1930s, Otto worked as an engineer for the Anticich Ice Company and by 1936, had become the manager of the Gulf Service Ice Company.  By 1958, Otto T. Ohr was the engineer for the Biloxi Freezing Company. At the time of his death in April 1982, he was an engineer with the Biloxi Port Commission.(Biloxi City Directory, 1927, p. 158; ibid. 1931, p. 148; ibid. 1936, p. 193; ibid. 1958, p. 641 and The Sun, April 21, 1982)

The children of Otto T. Ohr and Rosalie Elder Ohr were: Carl Otto Ohr (1922-1996); Dorothy Ohr (1923-1999) married Willis Page (1915-1973); Carroll Ruth Ohr (1924-1982) married Edgar L. Allen II; Marian Elizabeth  “Betty” Ohr (b. 1925) married Thomas R. O’Neil; Shirley (Lola) Ohr (1927-1986) married Charles F. Kitzmiller (1919-1997); Thelma Ohr (b. 1929) married Robert Palmer; and Mary Ohr (b. 1934) married Harry Lockwood.(The Sun, April 21, 1982, p. A-4 and Thelma O. Palmer, September 23, 2002))

Thelma Ohr Palmer, a resident of Semmes, Alabama, remember vividly from her childhood that her father would take all of his children to get ice cream in downtown Mobile.  The proprietor of the dairy parlor would invariably comment facetiously, “Here comes Mr. and Mrs. Ohr with their little paddles!

George Ohr Jr.’s only grandson, Carol Otto Ohr, married Helen Marie Anderson.  Their children were: Paula Maria Ohr Rutland (b. 1948) married Don Wayne Rutland; Mena Dianne Ohr Wentzell (b. 1950) married Bobby Ray Wentzell; Carl Monroe Ohr (1952-1986) married Rosella Ann McCaleb; and Sarah Ohr Murphy.(The Sun Herald, March 5, 1996, p. B-2)

Carl M. Ohr married Rosella McCaleb, the daughter of Joseph Ellsworth McCaleb and Dolores L. Lemmler.  Mr. Ohr was a Biloxi fireman and served as president of the M.L. Michel Middle School PTA.  They were the parents of Rachel Ann Ohr Sharp (b. 1975) and Brian Ohr, the great great-grandson of Biloxi’s “Mad” Potter.  Mrs. Ohr’s maternal grandfather, Henry P. Lemmler (1904-1953), had once owned a grocery store in Biloxi.(The Sun Herald, October 22, 1986, p. A-2 and The Daily Herald, October 13, 1953, p. 6)

 

FLO LUCRETIA OHR

Flo L. Ohr (1897-1900) was born on December 17, 1897.  She was baptized January 16, 1898 in the Nativity BVM Roman Catholic Church at Biloxi.  She expired on March 21, 1900.  Flo was just over two years old and had reached that stage of her young life when her personality was developing.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Ohr family burial lot in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(Lepre, 1991, p. 243 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, March 23, 1900, p. 8)

 

ZIO IGNATIUS OHR

Zio I. Ohr (1900-1904) was born at Biloxi circa September 20, 1900.  He expired on April 20, 1904 from blood poisoning.  Burial was in the Biloxi City Cemetery in the G.E. Ohr Sr. family burial lot.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 21, 1904, p. 1)

OJO JULIUS OHR

Ojo J. Ohr (1903-1991) was born January 25, 1903, at the Ohr home on Delauney Street.  He came into the world as a healthy twelve-pound baby boy.(The Biloxi Daily News, January 26, 1903, p. 6)

Ojo J. Ohr married Mae Miguez(1900-1968), the daughter of Numa Miguez and Homelia Miguez, at Pascagoula, Mississippi on September 12, 1924.  Two of her sisters, Mrs. Ralph Mattina and Mrs. Armond Broussard, had also married Biloxi men.  Mae was born at New Iberia, Louisiana on May 12, 1900.  Her father, Numa Miguez, was killed in late November 1931, in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, when his car driven by son, was struck by a train.(JXCO, Ms. MRB 15, p. 418 and The Daily Herald, November 24, 1931, p. 2)

In January 1945, Mae and Ojo J. Ohr divorced in Harrison County, Mississippi without having offspring.  Ojo had to pay the ex-Mrs. Ohr $2000, assign his interest in three lots located in Section 15, T7S-R9W, Jackson County, Mississippi, and convey a lot to her on Benachi Avenue in Biloxi.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 21563-January 1945)

Later in her life, Mae Miguez married Forrest L. Churchill (1899-1968), a native of Stoughton, Massachusetts.  He was a Master Sergeant in the USAF and had served in WW II.  The Churchills resided at 705 Dorries Street in Biloxi.  Mae M. Churchill expired at Biloxi on October 15, 1968.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery at Biloxi.  Mr. Churchill followed her closely in death, passing on December 12, 1968.  His remains were sent to Virginia for internment in the Arlington National Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, October 16, 1968, p. 2 and December 13, 1968, p. 2)

In July 1955, at Pascagoula, Ojo J. Ohr married Marguerite Kuljis (1913-1986), the daughter of Luka Kuljis (1886-1965) and Tadika Pitalo Kuljis (1884-1978).  He made his livelihood as the proprietor of Ojo’s Junk Yard and Machine Shop situated at 811 Benachi Avenue.  His residence was nearby.  Ojo passed on March 23, 1991.  Mrs. Ohr died July 24, 1986.  Their corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, July 25, 1986, p. A-2 and March 24, 1991, p. B-2, JXCO, Ms. MRB 82, p. 158)

Ohr legacy

In addition to the Ohr patriarchal family home on Delauney Street and about six-thousand of his incredible “mud babies”, George E. Ohr Jr. left his wife and children a tract of land on the west side of Benachi Avenue situated north of Division Street and south of Bay Terrace.  He acquired this approximately 2.2-acre parcel in September 1890, from Charles Fayard.  The consideration was $130.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 25, p. 440)

The Benachi Avenue tract was subdivided by the Mrs. Josephine Ohr and her  children between 1928 and 1930.  In October 1930, Ojo J. Ohr acquired a 115-foot lot fronting on Benachi between Geo E. Ohr and Leo E. Ohr.  He bought another lot on Benachi from Leo E. Ohr in February 1933.  This lot became the property of Mae Miguez Ohr after their 1945 divorce.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 187, p. 163 and Bk. 196, p. 587)

It was here on Benachi Avenue that Ojo J. Ohr would found his infamous “junkyard” on the south and east side of Bay Terrace, a development that was considered as one of Biloxi’s most fashionable subdivisions of the post WW II era.  Both Ojo and younger brother, Geo E. Ohr III, lived in this sylvan setting surrounded by a visual cacophony of abandoned household appliances, automobiles, buses, and other miscellaneous objects of no particular description or value. 

 In 1959, the Ohr boys relocated their father’s remaining pots from the Delauney Street garage to a brick block building situated within “Ojoville” on the west side of Benachi Avenue, north of Division Street.  The “no two-alike, World’s greatest art pottery” had been crated for nearly sixty years, when a peripatetic “picker” from New Jersey came to town looking for antique automobile parts.

James W. Carpenter

James W. “Jim” Carpenter grew up in a dairy farming community in the Kittatinny Mountains of rural, northwestern New Jersey, light years from the art world of the east coast conurbation stretching from Washington, D.C to Boston.  As a young man, he tested milk and eventually owned his own milk truck, collecting the raw product from local dairy farmers.  As the milking business declined, Carpenter learned to barber, but also relied on his avocation, collecting antiques, to make his livelihood.  Even in the sleepy hollow of Montague, New Jersey with its paucity of fine art, Carpenter’s artistic father had introduced him to an aesthetic culture, and a deep appreciation of exceptional art and antiques.  His experience as an antiquer had brought him in contact with Rookwood, Weller, Roseville, and Newcomb pottery, some of which collected, others he wished that he had, as their worth has risen geometrically in recent times.  

With his natural talent for recognizing value and a ready market, Jim Carpenter literally put his barber chair in the corner and with his loving wife, Miriam, affectionately called Mim, became a full time antiques merchant, opening a store in their Delaware River valley domicile.  In addition to regional auctions, he traveled the hinterlands in search of treasures.  Florida was a favorite site to seek respite from the harsh New Jersey winter and “pick” for antiques, primarily antiquated motorcar components and accessories. 

Biloxi

In 1966, Jim Carpenter wandered into New Orleans, with antique auto parts on his most wanted list.  He found a dealer and before his transactions were completed asked the man for additional references in order to continue his acquisitions of automotive paraphernalia.  “The Ohr Boys in Biloxi”, chimed the old junk man!  “How will I find them?” questioned Carpenter.  “Oh, no problem, everyone there knows them.  Do you imbibe a little?”  The august, aged gentleman of junk smiled and added, “I’ll tell you this, the Ohr Boys won’t do business with you unless you take a nip with them.”  I.W. Harper was their whisky of choice.

Armed with this valuable knowledge, Carpenter traveled east to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  With a bottle of bourbon in hand, he entered Ojo Ohr’s junkyard on Benachi Avenue north of Division Street.  Mr. Carpenter soon discovered that the Ohrs had a peculiar sense of bartering.  Firstly, they would insist that all have drinks until the bottle was empty.  When Jim Carpenter found antique auto parts of his liking, they would not give him their selling price, but insist that he make them an offer.  The Yankee antique seeker soon learned that his offering price was accepted only when tripled by the Ohrs, who obviously knew the value of a shrimp nickel! 

During this novel visit with the Ohr Boys, Carpenter was asked if he would like to see some of their father’s pottery?   When he agreed, Ojo Ohr placed some of George’s glazed pieces on a table for him to inspect.  Mr. Carpenter was surprised, as he had never seen art pottery of this style.  He wasn’t knowledgeable in this field of art and decided to consult others before making an offer to the Ohr family.  Robert W. “Bob” Blasberg, a well-respected scholar, and New Jersey friend of Carpenter, was conferred with and sight unseen, he recommended that Carpenter acquire the eclectic, ceramic collection, hidden at Biloxi.

The final trip

After several years of frustrating and futile negotiations with the Ohr family, Jim Carpenter gave up.  Two silent years passed, and surprisingly one morning he received a missive from Ojo Ohr, inquiring of Carpenter’s desire to still acquire George’s pots.  Ojo was ready to make a deal!  Somewhat bewildered but pregnant with hope, Jim Carpenter returned to Biloxi in the winter of 1972, or early 1973, with a cashier’s check.  Arriving at the Ohr’s Benachi Avenue site, he spent the next three days inspecting and crudely inventorying the approximately 6000 glazed, bisque, and ceramic trinkets and molds that had survived from George’s potting years.  The Ohr family finally accepted, what will be Carpenter’s legacy to the curious, a large number of green dollars whose value is speculated to range between $50,000 and $100,000, for their father’s “mud babies”.

Promoting George

After battling through several ice storms, in a rental truck, Jim Carpenter arrived safely back in New Jersey with his cache of G.E. Ohr’s pots.  He generously gave his neighbors each an Ohr vessel for assisting him and Mim, in unloading the truck!  Carpenter had just completed a new store building and although, he placed some Ohr on the shelves, his first year sales proved barren-sorry, George, but no sales, a familiar mantra for Ohr.  The initial Ohr season wasn’t an entire bust, as Carpenter’s collection did increase by two Ohr pots as he acquired them through ads that he had seen in trade journals.

Not fazed by Ohr’s lack of sales, Jim Carpenter decided that now was the time for him and Bob Blasberg to educate America about the genius of George E. Ohr.  In 1973, Blasberg published “George E. Ohr and his Biloxi Art Pottery”, which sold for $3.00.  This was followed by an exhibit of Ohr’s works, ten of which were selected for a juried American art pottery show, at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.  Carpenter sold about half of the three hundred Ohr pots that he brought to the Smithsonian exhibit.  After the show, he gave the Smithsonian, the ten juried pots, one of which, a combination coffee and tea pot, only about seven inches high, Carpenter considers as Ohr’s greatest work from his wheel.  It was from the Renwick Gallery exhibit, that George was discovered by ceramic collectors, especially those of Gotham.  

Sales, sales, and more sales

Once George became known and loved, Jim Carpenter chose an interesting marketing strategy.  Each year he limited the number of pots that he would vend.  Some years it took only two months to sell his year’s quota.  This scheme only wetted the appetites of collectors and drove the price up annually.  By the 1980s, New York City was really hot for Ohr, and Carpenter was making excellent sales there.  Once, NYC painter, Jasper Johns, offered to trade was of his paintings for an exceptional Ohr pot.  Carpenter refused and now regrets it as some of John’s work now sells for seven figure prices.

Thanks Jim

Biloxi and the art world owe James W. Carpenter many kudos for his ambitious speculation into a subject of which he was no expert.  Mortgaging his New Jersey farm, allowed Mr. Carpenter the necessary cash to acquire the art treasures of Biloxi’s Mad Potter. 

George E. Ohr III

George E. Ohr III (1906-1974), called Geo or G, was born on August 8, 1906.  His birth was simply noted in the local journal as “born to Mr. and Mrs. Geo E. Ohr, a boy.”(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 10, 1906, p. 2)

At Pascagoula, Mississippi on November 10, 1927, Geo married Iola Giadrosich (1906-1986), the daughter of Paul Giadrosich and Edna Apperson.  She had four brothers: Edward Giadrosich (1898-1968), Rudolph Giadrosich (1899-1978), Orville Giadrosich, and Paul Giadrosich Jr. (1916-1983) and a sister, Lottie G. Richards.(JXCO, Ms. MRB Land Deed Bk.18, p. 51 and The Daily Herald, October 16, 1968, p. 2)

Geo E. Ohr III had a wiry physique and the arm and hand strength of his blacksmith father.  Witnesses aver that he could do a pull-up using the power generated in his thumb and index finger.  Considered by many as a mechanical genius, Geo lived on Benachi Avenue near his brother, Ojo J. Ohr.  He owned three classic cars, an original 1903 Cadillac, a 1908 Culver Racer, and a 1900 McIntyre.  Geo gave the Culver Racer to Frank J. Duggan (1912-2000), a longtime employee of Ojo.  Geo retired from the Biloxi Fire Department having worked their as a mechanic.  A design engineer from American-LaFrance of Elmira, New York, a fire engine manufacturer, came to Biloxi to inspect one of its fire trucks that Geo had repaired the crankshaft.  He was amazed at this feat and brought back technology to his company that Mr. Ohr had used to redesign the cooling system for the crankshaft.(Frank J. Duggan Jr., October 8, 2002)

In September 1947, Geo, his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Richardson of New Orleans were at Horn Island, a barrier island about thirteen miles southeast of Biloxi, when a hurricane hit the region.  They had gone to Horn Island to care for their property recently acquired from the U.S. Government.  Ohr and his party secured an Army Duck, an amphibious vehicle, to a tree and remained in it until the tempest had passed.  They had an ample supply of canned food and candles for illumination.  The Ohr party was rescued  by Leo Ohr, Eddie Cannette, and others from the vessel, Whip-O-Will.(The Daily Herald, September 22, 1947, p. 5)

George E. Ohr III passed on February 23, 1974.  Mrs. Ohr expired on July 13, 1986.  Their corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, July 15, 1986, p. A-2)

 

EMMA OHR

In 1890, Emily “Emma” Ohr (1860-1926) was born at Biloxi in December 1860.  Circa 1890, she married Louis Gruntz (1864-1930), a native of Germany who had come to America in 1880.  Louis made his livelihood as a grocer.  They had two children born in New Orleans: Louis Gruntz II (1892-1900+) and Emily Gruntz Birl, wife of Paul Birl (1894-1926+).  In June 1900, the Gruntz family were residents of the 3rd Ward, 16th Precinct of NOLA.(1900 Federal Census Orleans Ph., La., Roll 571, Book 1, p. 309)

Emily Ohr Gruntz expired at New Orleans on May 25, 1926.  She was a resident of the city since 1889 and was domiciled at 2623 St. Anne Street at the time of her demise.  Mrs. Gruntz was survived by her husband, who lived until July 12, 1930, and a daughter, Mrs. Paul Birl.  Her corporal remains were interred in St. Patrick Cemetery No. 2.(The Times Picayune, May 26, 1926, p. 2 and July 15, 1930, p. 2)

 

LOUISA OHR

Louisa Ohr (1865-1957) was born at Biloxi in April 1865.  Circa 1886, she married Rupert L. Schulz (1855-1930), an 1869 immigrant from Germany.  They were the parents of: Joseph Rupert Schulz (1887-1957+), Pearl Schulz Fitzgerald (1890-pre 1957),  Anna Schulz Hourguettes (1892-1957+), and Arthur L. Schulz (post 1900-1957+).  Mr. Schulz was a machinist and the family lived at McDonoughville, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.(1900 Federal Census, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, p. 105a)

Louisa Ohr Schulz expired at Gretna, Louisiana on June 13, 1957.  She had resided here since 1897.  In addition to three children, Mrs. Schulz was survived by a grandson, Rupert E. Fitzgerald, and a great granddaughter, Pearl E. Fitzgerald.  Her corporal remains were passed through the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gretna and they were interred in the McDonough Cemetery, also located in Gretna, Louisiana.  Mr. Rupert L. Schulz preceded his wife in death expiring on November 9, 1935.(The Times Picayune, November 10, 1935, p. 6 and June 16, 1957, p. 18)

 

MENA OHR

Mena Ohr (1867-1893+) never married.  She died before 1900 and her body buried in the Ohr family burial plot in the Biloxi City Cemetery.  Mena had a good heart as she remembered the demise of her young nephew, Asa Eugene Ohr, in December 1893.  No further information.

 

AN OHR FAMILY TIME LINE

The following chronological events from 1889 to 1923 demonstrate the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of the Ohr family leading to the insanity trial of G.E. Ohr Jr. in April 1909 and beyond.

1889

The Ohr pottery burned in mid-November 1889.  The pottery was the first structure to be supplied with water from the water works company.(The Biloxi Herald, November 16, 1889. p. 4) 

1890

George E. Ohr suggested to the Biloxi Herald reporter "that those who cannot afford to buy flower pots should put their pretty flowers in the rear of their houses."  Now that there is a first class pottery in Biloxi here is no excuse for placing pretty flowers and rare plants in old tin cans and painted pots.(The Biloxi herald, June 7, 1890, p. 4)   

1891

Ohr was awarded a prize for the “most grotesque costume” at the Mechanics Steam Fire Company No. 2 Mardi Gras ball held in the Knights of Labor Hall.  This was the grand culmination of the festivities at Biloxi on Fat Tuesday.(The Biloxi Herald, February 15, 1891, p. 1)

George Ohr, the artistic potter, has an elegant line of pottery on hand, to which he invites the inspection of the public. His stock embraces every variety and is well worth a visit to his pottery where all are welcome whether they buy or not.(The Biloxi Herald, May 30, 1891, p. 4)

1893

George and Josephine G. Ohr’s eldest son, Asa E. Ohr (1888-1893), expired on December 7, 1893.(Lepre, 1991, p. 242)

 George E. Ohr Jr. traveled to Chicago to demonstrate his ceramic wares at The World’s Columbian Exposition, which was held between May and November 1893.

1894

The October fire destroyed the “Pot-Ohr-E” and Ohr residence on Delauney Street.  George E. Ohr Sr. had uninsured losses of $5000, while G.E. Ohr Jr. estimated his loss at $3000.  In a short period of time, “the toil and work of Ohr, the artistic potter, was reduced to ashes.”  After examining his burned out pottery mr. Ohr estimated that about 1000 pieces of his artistic work were not harmed by the conflagration.(The Biloxi Herald, October 13, 1894, p. 8 and October 20, 1894, p. 8)

1895

G.E. Ohr Jr. traveled to Atlanta with his “art and novelty pottery” to exhibit at the Cotton States International Exposition which commenced in mid-September 1895.  Ohr’s work was not selected for an award, but The Atlanta Constitution remarked of Ohr’s presence at the event: Ohr is the comical genius with the long whiskers who makes all sorts of pottery in Machinery Hall, where he is always surrounded by an admiring crowd.”(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 4, 1896, p. 8)

1896

The Wonderful Wheela novel, which was inspired by the image projected by Biloxi’s Mad Potter, was written by Mary Tracy Earle (1864-1955) and published by the Century Company of New York.  Miss Earle was the daughter of Parker Earle (1831-1917) and Melanie Tracy (1837-1889) and resided at Ocean Springs, Mississippi for several years.  Some other published works by Mary Tracy Earle are: The Man Who Worked For Collister (1898), Through Old Rose Glasses (1900), and The Flag on the Hilltop (1902).

The celebrated potter of this city George E. Ohr has proven his interest in the human race by placing on Howard Avenue next to the Vienna cafe, a barrel of ice water, which is free to all.  The cooler is a specimen of his handwork in clay and no doubt those who imbibe will be thankful.  The cooler carries with it a number of poetic effusions which for originality are unsurpassed.(The Biloxi Herald, August 22, 1896, p. 8)

1897

On August 18, 1897, Jules Gabry (1829-1897), a native of France and the first potter at the Newcomb Pottery, committed suicide by drowning himself in the Mississippi Sound.  Monsieur Gabry was a friend of Ohr and left his kick wheel at the Pot-Ohr-E.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 21, 1897, p. 8)

1899

In December 1899, Ohr’s work was lauded at the Natural Arts Club in New York City as follows: “Among the potters unknown to New York is Geo. E. Ohr of Biloxi, Miss., whose exhibit is interesting, attaining in some pieces a great richness of color and in one a remarkable effect of dull metal.”(The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 3, 1899, p. 8)

1900

Flo L. Ohr (1897-1900), the daughter of George E. Ohr Jr. and Josephine G. Ohr expired on March 21, 1900.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, March 23, 1900, p. 8)   

George E. Ohr Jr. sent some of his art pottery to Paris, France to be exhibited at The Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900.  His work was not chosen for an award.

1901

George E. Ohr Jr. exhibited his work at the Providence Art Club of Rhode Island in the spring of 1901 and at the Pan American Exposition at Buffalo, New York between May-November 1901.  He did not win an award at either event.  J.B. Myers, formerly of Biloxi, reported in July 1901 that:  "Mississippi has no State exhibit at the great Pan American Exposition in Buffalo.  There are exhibits from the Smithsonian Institute and elsewhere, but none compare with Mr. Ohr's handiwork.  Rookwood is represented by a 1000 pieces but if they were cleaned of their paints and decorated  they would be a heavy, clumsy lot of clay, but every piece made by Ohr is light, brilliant and graceful, all in its own beauty."(The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 18. 1901, p. 8)

1902

Biloxi has a potter and a pottery.  The potter, George E. Ohr, is one of the most original artists in the world, and turns out high art pottery with all the ease that the ordinary potter turns out common earthen crocks.  He has thousands of pieces, and no two are alike.  At the great international expositions he has exhibited collections of his wares, and has been awarded diplomas and medals not a few, and that too, while in competition with the art potters of the earth.  He does not sell much of his work, because most people do not appreciate it, and refuse to pay his price.  Otherwise, he might become wealthy by selling his “trifles and trinkets” at 25 and 50 cents each.  The clay is found along one of the rivers that flow into Back Bay.(The Daily Picayune, Biloxi Rich in Historical Interest”, March 31, 1902, p. 10)

An exhibit of color photographic images by C.S. Jackson taken at Biloxi in May 1901, was shown at the Montross Hotel in late September.  Among these was one taken of the interior of the Ohr art pottery depicting multi-colored pots of earthenware with the art potter mounted on a pedestal in the background.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 25, 1902, p. 8)

1903

A poem appeared in the Biloxi Daily Herald about Mr. Ohr in April 1903, as follows: "George Ohr, he went to New Orleans the City sights to see; he wandered 'round' but nowhere found sights like Ohr's Pot-ohre.  Disappointed in the sights he wandered far to seek; he tied his mustache in a knot and will be back next week."(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 18, 1903, p. 8)

1904

Zio I. Ohr (1900-1904), the son of George E. Ohr Jr. and Josephine G. Ohr died on April 20, 1904.  George E. Ohr Sr. (1819-1904), passed on July 8, 1904.  George E. Ohr Jr. attended and exhibited his art pottery at The Louisiana Purchase International Exposition at St. Louis, Missouri.  He was awarded a silver medal for his ceramic skills.  He returned to Biloxi in late December 1904.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 26, 1904, p. 7)

1905

Johanna Wiedman Ohr (1821-1905), the mother of George E. Ohr Jr. died on December 28, 1905.  She legated her estate to August Ohr (25%), Emma Ohr Gruntz (25%), Louise Ohr Schultz (25%), and Josephine G. Ohr (25%).  G.E. Ohr Jr. was to receive $500 from the sale of the estate and his residence and art pottery at 409 Delauney Street and 411 Delauney Street respectively.  Mrs. Johanna W. Ohr also requested that her property not be sold for ten years unless all legatees agreed to vend it sooner.  Rupert Schultz, her son-in-law, was named executor of her estate.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 2108)           

1906

The Ohr Art Pottery had a fortunate break on the eve of January 8th, when its oil heater that Mr. Ohr had left burning to prevent his newly thown greenware from freezing, fell to pieces.  The burning oil from the furnace charred the floor and smoke filled the studio.  There had been a strong north wind blowing at the time, which would have directed anyfire onto West Howard Avenue in Biloxi's business district.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 9, 1906, p. 1)

In March 1906, the Smithsonian Institution of Washington D.C. accepted a small red vase from the works submitted by George E. Ohr Jr. to the United States Potters’ Association at its annual convention.

In March 1906, August Ohr filed a forced heirship suit in the Chancery Court of Harrison County, Mississippi to sell the estate property of Johanna W. Ohr on the north side of Howard Avenue.  This litigation was ceased by August Ohr.(Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 2151)

In October 1906, August Ohr filed another forced heirship cause against the heirs of Johanna W. Ohr.  In addition to the Ohr estate lands and improvements north of Howard Avenue, it included those properties south of Howard Avenue.  In depositions, the Ohr estate properties were valued at $17,000 by J.W. Swetman (1863-1937), a local druggist, and between $15,000 and $16,000 by Charles Tanner, a Biloxi realtor.(Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 2281)

1907

In June 1907, Rupert and Louise Ohr Schultz, Louis and Emma Ohr Gruntz, and August and Elizabeth W. Ohr sold their right, title and interest as heirs of George E. Ohr and Johanna W. Ohr to Charles C. Redding and Joseph Lawrence for $12,000.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 81, pp. 388-389)

Charles C. Redding (1857-1926) was born at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, the son of Walter Redding, an Englishman, and Elodie Necaise.  Redding came to Biloxi about 1870, as a poor teen.  His work ethic and frugality propelled him to the forefront of Biloxi’s commercial leaders.  Redding owned a mercantile business on West Howard Avenue, a dozen schooners, and interests and stock in the Biloxi Canning Company, Biloxi Box factory, Cowart Sawmill, the Traction Company, and the Peoples Bank of which he was an organizer and director.  He also served three terms an alderman on the Biloxi City Council.(The Daily Herald, January 7, 1907, p. 1)

In November 1886, Charles C. Redding married Ann Minerva Pittman (1868-1917), a native of Tennessee, and the daughter of William Pittman and Esther Reice.  They reared a family of four daughters and two sons in their large Victorian home situated on the northeast corner of Jackson Street and Delauney, G.E. Ohr Street.  The Redding House is utilized today to host wedding receptions and other special celebratory events.(p. 265) 

Joseph Lawrence (1867-1952) was the son of Spanish immigrants.  In September 1890, he married Catherine Tucei (1866-1939), a native of Naples, Italy and the daughter of Vincent Tucei and Seraphine Griese.  They were the parents of five children of which two survived into adulthood: Mary L. Coleman (1895-1952) and Joseph V. Lawrence (1902-1975).  Mr. Lawrence was a city laborer before he commenced repairing and selling shoes and doing business as The Guarantee Shoe Store on West Howard Avenue.  The French Café later occupied this site and was also a Lawrence family enterprise.  In 1902, Joseph Lawrence became a stockholder in the People Bank and was elected to the board of directors in 1911.  He assumed the position of vice-president of the Peoples Bank in 1932.(Guice, p. 51, The Daily Herald, January 13, 1939, p. 6 and October 9, 1952, p. 1)

In May 1929, Joseph Lawrence let a contract to Manuel & Wetzel to refurbish the Lawrence Building on the northwest corner of West Howard and Delauney Street.  The Gabriel Jewelry Company, managed by J.R. Beggs, planned to move here in July.  They had recently acquired the merchandise of Edward Brady.(The Daily Herald, May 28, 1929, p. 2)

Ohr Heirs commercial rentals 1907-1909

Between July 15, 1907 and September 15, 1909, Charles W. Redding collected rents from the commercial properties of the Ohr Heirs on West Howard Avenue, as agent for Rupert Schultz, the executor of the estate of Johanna W. Ohr and spouse of Louise Ohr.  From Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 2473, the Sanborn Insurance Maps, and city directories of Biloxi, one can ascertain with a high degree of certitude, the lessees of the Ohr Heirs whose six rental buildings and ancillary outbuildings were situated Delauney Street north of West Howard Avenue and on the north and south side of West Howard Avenue between Delauney Street and Magnolia Street.  The north side addresses were: 401-405 Delauney; 202-208 West Howard; and 205-209 West Howard.(1909 Sanborn Map-Biloxi, Ms., Sheet 5)

It is interesting to note that several of the Ohr Heir tenants were Italian immigrants or first generation Italian-Americans who were born in Biloxi or New Orleans.  Some of these Italian families who worked and lived in this section of Biloxi were:  Corso, Esposito, Fallo, Martino, Olivari, Randazzo, Seroolini, Solari, Taranto, Tedesco, and Tucei. 

A brief chronology of the Ohr Heir tenants between 1907 and 1909 follows:

Moseley & Devitt

This partnership was a grocery business founded by John Moseley and Thomas Kirkland Devitt (1882-1946).  T.K. Devitt was born at Harbor Springs, Michigan.  In August 1907, he married Lily Rose Bourdon (1884-1951), the daughter of French immigrant, A.O. Bourdon, Sr. (1845-1901), and Marie Virgets (1847-1901) of New Orleans.  The Devitts resided on lower Lameuse Street.  Here they reared their three children: Thomas K. Devitt Jr., Matthew Devitt (Slidell, Louisiana), and Lily D. Stuart (Baltimore).( The Biloxi Daily HeraldAugust 16, 1907, p. . and The Daily Herald, December 16, 1946, p. 5)

In addition to his grocery business, Mr. Devitt was seriously involved in the seafood packing industry at Biloxi, Ocean Springs, and in southeastern Louisiana.  With Patrick Henry Clark (1870-1927), a New Orleanian, he chartered Devitt & Clark at New Orleans on June 10, 1914.  They commenced operations in the canning business on Point Cadet at Biloxi, in August 1913, when it leased the plant of the Bourdon-Castanera Packing Company for the 1913-1914 shrimp and oyster season.  Devitt took the interest of Louis Harvey (1874-1913).  Their cannery, which was modern and well-equiped, was situated between the Dunbar, Lopez & Dukate factory and the Barataria Canning Company.(The Daily Herald, August 26, 1913, p. 8)

Circa 1926, T.K. Devitt became active in the seafood industry at Louisiana.  He was involved in packing operations at Braithwaite, Wyclosky, Golden Meadow, and Cutoff.  He sons were also in the seafood business at Louisiana.  Clark expired at New Orleans.  His remain were interred the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, December 16, 1946, p. 5)

Lawrence Romeo

Lawrence Romeo (1870-1932) was a grocer and fruit vendor.  Prior to entering commerce at Biloxi in 1896, he was a boat captain.   Mr. Romeo was the son of Antonio Romeo (1823-1898) and Angela Romeo (1834-1910).  The Romeo family came to America in 1889, from Riposto, an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily.  His siblings were: Louis Romeo (d. 1896) and Mrs. Grazzo (d. ca 1927).(The Daily Herald, April 7, 1932, p. 2)

In 1896, Lawrence Romeo married Josephine Taranto (1876-1967).  They were the parents of Louis Romeo (1898-1899), Anthony Romeo (1900-1900), Lawrence Romeo Jr. (1901-1968), Juliet R. Marchoni (1903-1932+), Joseph Romeo (1906-1976), Mrs. Edward Hilton (b. post 1910), and Julius D. Romeo (1916-1919).(1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 268) 

Lawrence Romeo paid the Ohr heirs $30 rent each month.

Francis M. Dillinger

Francis M. Dillinger (1855-1910+) was a native of Indiana.  He operated a candy store and paid Mr. Redding $18.00 each month for rent.(1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 268) 

Post & Son

Post & Son occupied this building from July 1907 to 1908.  They were jewelers and opticians and sold musical instruments.  Their monthly rent was $18.00.(1905 Biloxi City Directory, p. 27)

Abbley & Dancer

Abbley & Dancer was partnership composed of Frederick P. Abbley (1882-1941) and R. Anderson Dancer (1878-1915).  Frederick P. “Fred” Abbley (1882-1941) was born in North Biloxi, the son of Captain Fritz Abbley (1846-1905), a Swiss immigrant, and Margaret Harvey (1847-1886), the youngest daughter of French immigrant sailor, Pierre Harvey (1810-1883), and Zeline Moran (1811-1883). 

In March 1905, Fred Abbley married Viola Caillavet (1884-1968), the daughter of Francis Arbeau Caillavet (1856-1909) and Marie Dodart (1858-1942).  They were the parents of three children: Francis Abbley (1905-1905), Eunice A. Brocato (1908-1996), and Bernice A. Emile (b. 1909).

In 1909, Fred Abbley was the manager of an en plein air movie theater the “Airdome”.  The Airdome was situated at 413 Renoir Street and occupied a large lot, which extended to Fayard Street with a frontage on West Howard Avenue.  In late August 1909, Mr. Abbley was brought to the court of Judge Elmer and adjudicated innocent of violating a city ordinance for showing a movie on Sunday.  Another trial was held in September in the court of Judge Z.T. Champlin.  Abbley pleaded guilty and was fined $10 and court costs, which Judge Champlin suspended.  The people of Biloxi were generally apathetic to the so-called Blue Laws.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 30, 1909, p. 4 and September 10, 1909, pp. 1-2)

Mr. Abbley’s associate, R. Anderson Dancer (1878-1915), was born at Buenavista, Chickasaw County, Mississippi, the son of John W. Dancer and Carolina E. Bean.  He arrived at Biloxi circa 1900 and was the brother of Jessie Dancer Cousins (1874-1957), the spouse of Joseph H. Cousins (1874-1917).  Mr. Dancer worked for Lopez & Dukate at the Rigolets in 1904.

In November 1911, R. Anderson Dancer married Carrie Engbarth (1889-1967+), a native of Rodney, Jefferson County, Mississippi, and the daughter of Emile Engbarth (1855-ca 1905) and Magalene Jeanette Arndt (1856-1938).  At the time, the Engbarth family resided on Porter Street in Ocean Springs.  Dr. Chipman of the Pascagoula Episcopal Church officiated.(The Daily HeraldDecember 1, 1911, p. 4 and The Ocean Springs News, April 15, 1915, p. 1)

Circa 1909, Mr. Dancer had come to Ocean Springs, and opened a movie theater on Washington Avenue, called The Vaudette.  He sold it to E.W. Illing (1870-1947) in September 1909.  In November 1909, Mr. Dancer went to Lumberton, Mississippi with Willie Engbarth (1882-1957), his future brother-in-law, to open a movie house.  Apparently, things did not work as The Ocean Springs News reported that R.A. Dancer sold his movie house and returned to Ocean Springs in December 1909, with Charles Engbarth (1893-1967).

After their marriage, Carrie and Anderson Dancer ran a store at Ocean Springs probably on the southeast corner of Porter and Washington.  Mr. Dancer expired on April 9, 1915.  He was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery, Ocean Springs. Carrie E. Dancer remarried Fred Meyers, and was residing at Pass Christian, Mississippi in 1962.  She was at Ocean Springs in 1967.  No further information.

            Abbley and Dancer paid $30.00 rent each month to Charles Redding.

Joseph Lawrence

Joseph A. Lawrence (1867-1952), “the Biloxi Shoe Man”, owner of Guarantee Shoe and Hat Company located at 205 West Howard Avenue.   His rent was $15.00 each month.

Pearson Brothers

The Pearson Brothers, grocers, operated two stores at Biloxi.  The “down-town” store was situated at 407 East Howard Avenue on the corner of Main Street and Howard Avenue and called the People’s Cash Grocery.  The Pearson Brothers were John P. Pearson and H.W. Pearson.  Their father, Clinton Patton Pearson (1843-1920), was a native of Missouri and was the spouse of E. Catherine Pearson (1848-1910), a Kentuckian.  He made his livelihood as a traveling salesman.  Their sister, May R. Pearson (1889-1914+), was the store’s cashier.  Their rent was $15.00 per month.  They moved out of their building in October 1908.(1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 227) 

In January 1907, The Pearson Brothers advertised as having a “complete stock of fancy and staple groceries”.  One could purchase 18 pounds of granulated sugar for $1.00, Red Cross tomatoes at $.10 per can, and 2 pounds of butter for $.75.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 9, 1907, p. 4)

Nikola Martino

Nikola Martino (1860-1942) constructed and repaired shoes for his livelihood.  He and his spouse, Lena Genusa (1868-1910+), and son, Joseph Martino (1886-1941), emigrated from Italy to New Orleans in 1886.  Three Martino children were born in New Orleans, Leanora M. Stassi (1889-1973), Anthony J. Martino (1892-1956), and Camille M. Tedesco (1895-1942+), while Peter Martino (1897-1937) and Nickola Martino Jr. (1906-1942+) were Biloxi natives. 1910 Federal Census, Harrison County, Ms. T624, Roll 740, p. 266) 

After the death of Lena G. Martino, Nikola married Jennie Coci Capuana (1873-1941), the daughter of Phillip and Rose Coci.  She was a widow and the mother of Philip Capuana (1906-1968), Mrs. Chris Tucei, and Mrs. Sidney Manuel.(The Daily Herald, January 5, 1942, p. 2)

Nikola Martino’s rent was $10.00 each month.

In addition, the Ohr Heirs collected rents from two other lessees during the period 1907-1907.  They were Dr. H.M. Folkes (1871-1926) and L.D. Byrd.  Dr. Folkes’ rent was $30.00 while Byrd paid the same amount to Charles Redding.

1907

It is interesting to note that in early 1907, John Harry Portman (1878-1917), the able assistant of G.E. Ohr Jr., was in the plumbing business with W.L. Via (1855-1921).  This and the fact that the few, if any, Ohr pots have been discovered with dates post-1906, indicate that “The World’s Greatest Potter” had greatly reduced his ceramic productivity.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 7, 1907, p. 3 and Clark, et al, 1989, p. 36) 

J.H. Portman was a native of Biloxi and had been reared in the Ohr family home on Delauney Street.  Apparently his career as a plumber was short lived as in 1907, Portman left Biloxi for employment with the US Lighthouse Board, which became the US Lighthouse Service in 1910.  His first assignment was at the Sand Island Light at the entrance to Mobile Bay.  In 1915, J.H. Portman transferred to Round Island where he was employed until he became ill and expired in June 1917.  His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, June 14, 1917, p. 3)

1909

In April 1909, Lemuel H. Doty Jr., an attorney, who represented Joseph Lawrence and Charles C. Redding, filed a request in the Chancery Court of Harrison County for a “non compos mentis” hearing for G.E. Ohr Jr.  A jury of his peers met at Gulfport and after reviewing the facts immediately declared George E. Ohr Jr. sane.  Ohr represented himself during the inquiry.  Mr. Doty was from an honorable family in Lexington, Mississippi, where his father Lemuel H. Doty (1844-1929) was active in civic and educational affairs.  His brother, A.M. Doty, was a physician.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 3, 1909, p. 1 and The Daily Herald, January 11, 1929, p. 1)

It is interesting to note that one of Ohr’s adjudicators was Caspar Vahle (1869-1922), a former resident of Ocean Springs.  He had been in the livery and hotel business while domiciled here.  His mother, Katherine Vahle (1838-1914) of German ancestry  was a principal in the Vahle House, a hostel situated on the northwest corner of Washington and Calhoun in the period from 1900 to 1916.  Casper Vahle’s sister, was married to druggist, Herman Nill (1863-1904).  The Vahle-Nill family left Ocean Springs and resettled in Gulfport shortly after the turn of the 20th Century, as they were victims of local arsonists. 

In early September 1909, F.S. Hewes, Clerk of the Harrison County Chancery Court, while attempting at public outcry to sell the Ohr Estate property on Delauney Street and West Howard Avenue, was struck in the face by G.E. Ohr Jr.  Ohr was vehemently opposed to this partition sale of his family’s commercial properties and had protested both verbally and in written letters against it.  He was particularly displeased with the Chancery Court not observing a clause in his mother’s last will and testament which specifically stated that my estate be kept and administered a period of ten years before being sold, divided or disposed of, unless all, and everyone of my heirs should want to have it divided and dispose of.”  For his blow against Hewes, Ohr was jailed at Biloxi.  Police Chief Louis Staehling (1866-1938), a witness to this minor pugilistic encounter, averred that he saw Mr. Ohr strike the chancery clerk with his hand and then attempt to hit him again with that of his spouse, Josephine G. Ohr.(The Daily Herald, September 6, 1909, p. 1 and Harrison County, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2108 )

In spite of G.E. Ohr Jr.’s displeasure a Commissioner’s Deed was issued to Charles Redding and Joseph Lawrence for the Ohr Estate property, by F.S. Hewes, special commissioner in October 1909.  The consideration was $12,000.  George and Josephine Ohr retained their domicile and art pottery at 409 and 411 Delauney Street respectively.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 92, pp. 42-43 and Harrison County, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 2473)

1910

In October 1910, G.E. Ohr Jr. was again incarcerated in the Biloxi city jail in which he described to a local reporter interviewing him as a shameful place to lock a man up in and one of vile sanitary conditions.  He had been adjudicated guilty of trespassing and fined $10 by the court.  Ohr’s failure to pay the fine resulted in his short stay in the local calaboose.  Upon release, he wrote a letter published in The Daily Herald further condemning the Biloxi jail as: “ a filthy pen, a dirty brick walled jail where a nauseating unsanitary dirt receptacle-a dirty and rotten excelsior torn straw mattress is strewn on the floor that never gets a scrubbing.”(The Daily Herald, October 7, 1910, p. 1)

1911

In late February 1911, G.E. Ohr Jr. accused of trespassing again.(The Daily Herald, February 27, 1911, p. 8)

1918

It was reported that George E. Ohr Jr. left for a hospital at New Orleans for treatment and his family had not heard from him.(The Daily Herald, April 8, 1918, p. 1)

George Edgar Ohr Jr. expired at his residence, 409 Delauney Street, on the quiet Sunday morning of April 7, 1918.  His health had declined to a state where he sought medical treatment in New Orleans.  His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi Cemetery after funeral rites in the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.(The Daily Herald, January 9, 1918, p. 1)

1919

In April 1919, The Daily Herald suggested that Biloxi organize a local museum to preserve its culture and heritage.  Contemporaneously, Colonel W.W. McCleland, a regular winter tourist from Denver, Colorado, commented more specifically in that he lauded the art pottery of George E. Ohr Jr.   McClellan boldly and confidently stated the following: “One hundred years from now, when the names of some of your great men are forgotten, people will be hunting for a piece of Mississippi “mud” with the name of George Orr (sic) on it.  His pottery is wonderful and worthy to be preserved by the city in which he lived and produced this pottery.  Certainly one specimen of each kind of articles he manufactured should be collected at any cost and placed in proper cases where the public may view them now and in time to come.”

1922

[see Anthony V. Ragusin's article in The Daily Herald, January 28, 1922, p. 3)

1923

The Biloxi Chamber of Commerce had just relocated to their new office and locals were loaning items that were curiosities of Biloxi and to promote 'home grown' products and industries.  Josie Ohr loaned them some pottery of her late husband and it was recorded as: "One of the prettiest exhibits came from Mrs. George Ohr and consists of seven pieces of beautiful art pottery made in Biloxi by the late George Ohr. In the exhibit loaned by Mrs. Ohr is several glazed jars and a beautiful glazed miniature house." (The Daily Herald, January 5, 1923, p. 3)

Some seventy odd years later, after much of Ohr’s valuable ceramic works had left Biloxi, primarily for art aficionados on the eastern seaboard, a museum was founded to honor and display his art in the Biloxi Public Library.  In recent years, with the O’Keefe family leading the charge, a world class Ohr Museum is planned for the Biloxi waterfront overlooking Deer Island, once the homestead of Ohr’s friend and mentor, Joseph Fortune Meyer.

 

REFERENCES:

Books

Robert W. Blasberg, George Edward Ohr and his Biloxi Art Pottery, (J.W. Carpenter: Port Jervis, New York-1973).

Robert W. Blasberg, The Unknown Ohr, (Peaceable Press: Milford, Pennsylvania-1986).

Garth Clark, Robert A. Ellison Jr. and Eugene Hecht, The Mad Potter of Biloxi: The Art & Life of George E. Ohr, (Abbeville Press: New York, New York-1989).

Charles L. Dyer, Along The Gulf“Biloxi, Miss”, (Women of the Trinity Episcopal Church:  Pass Christian-1971).  Originally published 1895.

Julia Cook Guice, Harrison County Marriages (1841-1899), (City of Biloxi, Mississippi: 1968?)

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume I, (Catholic Dioceses of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1991), pp. 242-243.

Chancery Court Cases

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 523, “Lizzie Ohr v. August Ohr”August 1892.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2108, “Estate of Johanna Ohr”,

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2151, “August Ohr v. Louise Ohr Schultz, at al”, March 1906.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2200, “Charles McCormack v. Lizzie and Antoine Muller”, October 1906.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2281, “August Ohr v. Emma Ohr Gruntz, et al”October 1906.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2473, “Charles Rushing v. Joseph Lawrence et al, June 1907.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2500, “Lizzie Muller v. P.J. Ohr”October 1907.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2507, Charles Rushing and Joseph Lawrence  v. Josephine Ohr

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 2990, “Insanity of G.E. Ohr”1909.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 4162, “Rosalie E. Foretich v. Lawrence Foretich”, Jube 1913.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 21563,  “Mae Migues Ohr v. Ojo Ohr”, January 1945.

2nd Judicial District

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 1162, “Estate of Leo Edgar Ohr”, May 1971.(Annie Faye Chase or Annie Faye Campbell)

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 8188, “Guardianship of Marguerite Kuljis Ohr”September 1978.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P804B, “Estate of Iola G. Ohr”, August 1986.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P827B, “Estate of Marguerite K. Ohr”, September 1986.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. 12296, “Estate of George E. Ohr”, July 1982.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P864B, “Estate of Carl Monroe Ohr”, (sealed).

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P1518B,  “Guardianship of Rachel Ann Ohr”, May 1989.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P1519B, “Guardianship of Brian Christopher Ohr”, May 1989.

HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Case No. P1957B, “Estate of O.J. Ohr”, April 1991.

Journals

The Biloxi Herald, "Local and Personal Notes", 

The Biloxi Herald, "Local and Personal Notes", November 16, 1889.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, February 15, 1890.

The Biloxi Herald, “Biloxi’s Carnival”, February 15, 1891.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, May 30, 1891.

The Biloxi Herald, April 9, 1892, p. 1.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, July 29, 1893.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, December 9, 1893.

The Biloxi Herald, “In Memoriam”, December 16, 1893.

The Biloxi Herald, “The Flames”, October 13, 1894.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, October 20, 1894.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, January 9, 1895.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Latest City News”, January 4, 1896, p. 8.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Latest City News”, August 22, 1896.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Tired of Life”, August 21, 1897.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local and Personal”, December 3, 1899, p. 8.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local and Personal”, March 23, 1900.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local Happenings”, July 18, 1901.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, November 15, 1901.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, September 25, 1902.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, January 26, 1903.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, "To and Fro", April 18, 1903.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Zio Ignantz Ohr”, April 21, 1904.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “George Ohr, Sr.”, July 8, 1904.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Mrs. Elizabeth Hahn”, October 5, 1904.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, October 27, 1904.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, November 26, 1904.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Mrs. Joanna Ohr”, December 28, 1905.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, January 9, 1906.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Locals”, August 10, 1906.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Moseley & Devitt”, January 7, 1907.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “W.L. Via & Co.”, January 7, 1907.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Biloxi’s New Administration”, January 7, 1907, p. 1.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Pearson Brothers”, January 9, 1907.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Foretich-Elder”, February 25, 1907.

The Biloxi Daily Herald"Bourdon-Devitt", August 16, 1907, p. 1.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “George Ohr Declared Sane”, April 3, 1909.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Moran-Ohr”, April 16, 1909.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Abbley Not Guilty Says State Jury”, August 30, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “George Ohr Makes Trouble”, September 6, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “Ohr fined for striking Chancery Clerk Hewes", September 7, 1909.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Barber Assumes Roll of Reformer”, September 10, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “Geo. E. Ohr Released From Durance Vile”, October 7, 1910.

The Daily Herald, “George Ohr Again in Trouble”, February 27, 1911.

The Daily Herald"Dancer-Engbarth", December 1, 1911.

The Daily Herald, “Devitt and Clark Have Lease On Bourdon-Castanera Co.’s Plant”, August 26, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Louis Harvey Died This A.M.”, September 17, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Ohr-Elder”, November 20, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Foretich-Kleyle”, January 29, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Lio Ohr Passes Away Saturday At Noon After Several Weeks Illness”, December 13, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Leo Ohr Has Agency”, April 26, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Harry Portman Dead”, June 14, 1917.

The Daily Herald, "Whereabouts of [George E.] Ohr unknown", January 9, 1918.

The Daily Herald, “Pottery Wizard Dies in Biloxi”, April 8, 1918.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Museum Finds Favor”, April 14, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “McClellan Honored”, August 21, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “McClellan?, September 2, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Resident Died Yesterday”, August 19, 1920.

The Daily Herald, “Art work of Tchouticabouffa clay lasting memorial to potter”, January 28, 1922.

The Daily Herald, "Exhibits enlarged at Chamber of Commerce", January 5, 1923, p. 3.

The Daily Herald, “Father of L.H. Doty Dies at Lexington”, January 11, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Renovating Lawrence Building”, May 28, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Ohr Died Last Night”, March 17, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Return From Funeral”, November 24, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Lawrence Romeo, Sr. Dies”, April 7, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Lee Foretich Killed”, February 27, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Leo Ohr Completes Manufacture Syrup”, January 15, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “Jos. W. Swetman Taken By Death”, May 31, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Joseph Lawrence Dies at Biloxi Home”, January 13, 1939.

The Daily Herald, Fred Abbley Dies”, September 30, 1941.

The Daily Herald, “N. Martino Dies”, January 5, 1942.

The Daily Herald, “T.K. Devitt Sr. Dies", December 16, 1946, p. 5.

The Daily Herald, “Survive Storm in Army Duck at Horn Island", September 22, 1947.

The Daily Herald, “Jos. V. Lawrence Vice-President Biloxi Bank Dies”, October 9, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “Ohr Death”, October 13, 1953.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Mae Churchill”, October 16, 1968.

The Daily Herald, “Edward Giadrosich”, October 16, 1968.

The Daily Herald, “F.L. Churchill”, December 13, 1968.

The Daily Herald, “Frederic A. Moran”, July 11, 1972.

The Daily Herald, “G.D. (sic) Ohr”, February 25, 1974.

The Daily Picayune, "Biloxi Rich in Historical Interest", March 31, 1902, p. 10.

The Ocean Springs News, "R.A. Dancer Passes Away", April 15, 1915, p. 1

The Sun, “Otto T. Ohr”, April 21, 1982.

The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Marguerite Ohr”, July 25, 1986.

The Sun Herald, “Carl Ohr”, October 22, 1986.

The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Clo L. Ohr Moran”, December 1, 1989.

The Sun Herald, “Ojo Ohr”, March 24, 1991.

The Sun Herald, “Some of Ohr's pottery comes back to grandson”, February 18, 1993.

The Sun Herald, “Carl Otto Ohr”, March 5, 1996.

The Sun Herald, “Moran leaves mark on Coast”, March 24, 1999.

The Sun Herald, “Wayne M. Morykwas”, July 29, 2005

The Sun Herald, “Ohr's grandson [Joe Moran's photographs] in the spotlight", November 27, 2007, p. B8.

The Times Picayune, (Emily Ohr) Gruntz”, May 26, 1926.

The Times Picayune, (Louis) Gruntz”, July 15, 1930.

The Times Picayune(Rupert L.) Schulz”, November 10, 1935.

The Times Picayune, (Louisa Ohr) Schulz”, June16, 1957.

Personal Communication:

Thelma Ohr Palmer-telephone conversation on September 23, 2002.

Frank Duggan Jr.-telephone conversation on October 8, 2002.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

POST KATRINA IMAGES

  

'The Pods'

[images made December 2007 by Ray L. Bellande]

[images made August 2009 by Ray L. Bellande]

________________________________________________________________________________________________

MUSEUM DIRECTORS

199?-2008

MARGIE GOWDIE

         

2008-2013

DENNY MECHAM

Denny Mecham announced in April 2013 that she would be retirng from her full-time position as Executive Director of OOMA.

2013-

KEVIN O'BRIEN

Kevin O'Brien became OOMA director in October 2013 coming from West Lafayette, Indiana.  He is a native of Minnesota and was reared at South Bend, Indiana.  O'Brien matriculated to Notre Dame University where he completed a bachelor degree in fine arts.  He earned a master degree in fine arts and painting from Tulane University.  Kevin met Grace Benedict, his wife, while they were both students at Tulane.  Grace is an artist and active in her profession.(The Sun Herald, December 15, 2013, p. F1)

 

Ellen J. Lippert

Image by Ray L. Bellande-December 7, 2013.

Ellen J. Lippert, associate professor of art history and Western humanities at Thiel College, Greenville, Pennsylvania, was on the Coast this past weekend to introduce ‘George Ohr-Sophisticate and Rube’, her recent book on Biloxi’s Mad Potter published by the University Press of Mississippi.  Ellen made an appearance at the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art and Pass Christian Books.  She held book signings as well as relating the salient points of her treatise of George Ohr as a man and potter during the Gilded Age.  Ellen was received enthusiastically in both venues.  She was hosted by Carol Messer of OOMA while at Biloxi.

 

REFERENCES:

The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe chief retires as final phase begins", April 24, 2013, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, "[Kevin O'Brien] Opportunity to make a difference", December 15, 2013, p. F2.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

OHR-O’KEEFE MUSEUM BIBLIOGRAPHY

Journals

The Sun Herald, “The hour of Ohr”, April 2, 1991, p. C-1.

The Sun Herald, “Mad Potter Society to promote Biloxi’s Ohr”, July 12, 1992, p. F-1.

The Sun Herald, “Some of Ohr’s pottery comes back to grandson”, February 18, 1993, p. B-1.

 

2000

The Sun Herald, “Main Street Wants Museum Kept Downtown”, March 21, 2000, p. A-3.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr-O'Keefe Museum could become jewel in the Coast crown", July 9, 2000.

The Sun Herald, “Architect Gehry talks about Biloxi, Berlin, and Hollywood”, October 12, 2000, p. A-1

The Sun Herald, “Gehry shares idea for museum”, October 10, 2000, p. A-1.

 

2001

The Sun Herald, “Fanciful Forms”, July 8, 2001.

The Sun Herald, “Millions still needed to build art museum complex”, July 8, 2001

The Biloxi-D’Iberville Press, “Ohr site’s pre-history”, July 11, 2001, p. 4.

The Sun Herald, “Biloxi toasts Gehry design”, July 12, 2001.

The New York Times, “Recognition For Biloxi’s Mad Potter”, July 20, 2001, p. B-33.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr naturally (photo), July 27, 2001, p. A-1.

The Sun Herald, Museum receives Ohr scrapbook”, July 27, 2001, p. A-6.

The Sun Herald, “$5 million in bonds sought for Ohr”, August 18, 2001.

The Sun Herald, “Museum bond vote put off by council”, August 22, 2001, p. A-1.

The Sun Herald, “Museum bond issue on agenda”, August 25, 2001, p. A-5.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr museum drops request for bonds”, August 29, 2001, p. A-1.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr’s biggest artwork coming home to coast”, August 29, 2001, p. A-8.

The Sun Herald, “Carpetbagger or art savior?”, September 11, 2001, p. A-1 and A-7.

The Sun Herald, “Shedding light on bits of Ohr”, September 13, 2001, p. A-8.

The Sun Herald, “Pots were a hidden treasure”, September 13, 2001, p. A-8.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr urn earns oohs, aahs”, October 6, 2001, p. A-2.

The Sun Herald, “O’Keefe trying to rally ‘silent support’”, October 16, 2001, p. A-1.

 

2002

The Sun Herald, “Museum million hard to swallow”, February 27, 2002.

The Bay Press, “Ohr yes-Ohr no-Ohr maybe?, March 1, 2002, p. 8A.

The Sun Herald, “Museum fans: It’s good business, too”, March 2, 2002.

The Bay Press, “Ohr moves Reed House, offers blues photos”, April 26, 2002.

The Bay Press, “Featured Artist-Brian Nettles”, April 26, 2002, p. 2 and p. 11.

The Sun Herald, “Federal grant puts museum at halfway mark”, June 12, 2002, p. A-3.

The Sun Herald, “The next great art destination”, June 23, 2002, p. D-1.

The Sun Herald, “Vincent Creel says he support museum”, June 23, 2002, p. D-7.

The Bay Press, “Ohr museum seeks funding to continue construction", July 8, 2005, p. 3.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr to partner with Smithsonian”, October 2002, p. A-2.

The Sun Herald, “Affiliation opens artistic doors”, October 28, 2002, p. A-1.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr-O’Keefe gets $250,000 gift”, November 13, 2002.

The Bay Press, "Ohr-O'Keefe Museum seeks Pleasant Reed items", November 18, 2005, p. 5.

The Sun Herald, ‘Mad Potter’ finally gets respect”, December 22, 2002, p. H-3.

 

2003

The Sun Herald, “Ohr-O’Keefe bond clears committee”, February 21, 2003, p. A-10.

The Sun Herald, “Disciples of Ohr”, March 16, 2003, p. H-1.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr more than halfway to building-fund goal”, April 2, 2003, p. A-9.

The Sun Herald, “Biloxi in the spotlight”, May 11, 2003, p. H-1.

The Sun Herald, “A Pleasant place to visit”, May 14, 2003, p. A-1.

The Sun Herald, “Biloxi to consider museum money”, June 21, 2003, p. A-3.

 

2004

The Sun Herald, “Ohr-O’Keefe unveils National Council”, January 18, 2004, p. A-1.

The Sun Herald, “Museum Gets More County Money”, June 15, 2004, p. A-1.

The Bay Press, “OOMA features Ohr at world’s fair”, June 25, 2004, p. 1.

The Sun Herald, “Beau ups its Ohr donation to $1M”, July 9, 2004, p. A-1.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr-O’Keefe takes shape in Biloxi”, August 1, 2004, p. H-1.

The Sun Herald, “Students ooh and aah over Ohr-O’Keefe’s architecture”, December 30, 2004, p. A-11.

 

2005

The Sun Herald, “Biloxi pier is project of museum”, March 24, 2005, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr Museum opens fund-raising drive”, April 19, 2005, p. A6.

The Sun Herald, “And what’s wrong with his hair”, June 19, 2005, p. H-1.

The Sun Herald“Why Ohr?”June 19, 2005, p. H-1.

The Sun Herald“Pollack documentary to focus on Gehry, Ohr”, June 19, 2005, p. H-3.

The Sun Herald, “Museum to open ‘d’Ohrs’”, August 7, 2005, p. H-1.

The Sun Herald, “Starchitects’ [Frank Gehry] can’t be ignored”, August 7, 2005, p. H-5.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr’s ribs tickle fancy or architect”, August 26, 2005, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, "Plans for Ohr-O'Keefe: Museum will reopen", October 9, 2005, p. F6.  

The Sun Herald, "Museum members ready to rebuild", October 20, 2005, p. A8.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr and Pleasant Reed in Biloxi", October 23, 2005, p. A4.

The Sun Herald"Ohr has to wait", November 1, 2005, p. B1.

The Sun Herald"Task force hunting Pleasant Reed items", November 22, 2005, p. B1.

2006

The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe getting a boost", March 22, 2006, p. C14.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe gets TLC", March 26, 2006, p. F11.

The Sun Herald, "Andy Warhol likes George Ohr", March 31, 2006, p. B1.

The Sun Herald, "It is hard to be needy", April 7, 2006, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr pots to make 'Antiques Roadshow'", July 4, 2006, p. A6.

The Sun Herald, "It's time for more Ohr"-[George Ohr Rising: Gulf States Juried Exhibition], August 20, 2006, p. F1.

The Sun Herald, "KATRINA ONE YEAR LATER: WHERE WE"RE GOING-Curators worry museums soon will be HISTORY", August 27, 2006, p. 31.

The Sun Herald, "OHRdeal: Architect Gehry pledges to help in any way he can", December 12, 2006, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Head Ohr heels", December 16, 2006, p. A11.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr joins Mississippi's Hall of Fames", December 16, 2006, p. A4.

2007

The Sun Herald, "Beachfront needs Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art to help rouse its recovery", February 14, 2007, p. C6.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr going back to beach", February 15, 2007, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Ford Foundation gives $365,000 to Ohr-O'Keefe", August 14, 2007, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, "The Pods are coming! The Pods are coming!", October 30, 2007, p. A4.

The Sun Herald, "Museum cleanup brings out volunteers", November 11, 2007, p. A6.

The Sun Herald"The Dance begins at pods", November 27, 2007, p. B8.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr's grandson [Joe Moran's photographs] in the spotlight", November 27, 2007, p. B8.

The Sun Herald“Dances with Trees", November 30, 2007, p. B8.

The Sun Herald"An artistic marriage", December 1, 2007, p. A3.

The Sun Herald"Hundreds take tour of Ohr pods", December 2, 2007, p. A2.

 

2008

The Sun Herald“Reed House rises again", January 29, 2008, p. B8.

The Sun Herald, “Gowdy leaving Ohr at the end of year", February 28, 2008, p. A10.

The Sun Herald"Ohr building to get $700,000 grant", March 12, 2008, p. A9.

The Sun Herald"Ohr Pods honored by Time [magazine]", April 5, 2008, p. A4.

The Sun Herald"Private sector bets millions on success of Ohr-O'Keefe". May 25, 2008, p. B8.

The Sun Herald"A rare find [three pots owned by John Morywas]", June 15, 2008, p. A1.

The Biloxi-D’Iberville Press, “Ohr Museum & hands on create public art”, June 26, 2008, p. B4.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr's words put to music [by Logan Skelton]", September 8, 2008, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, “North Carolinian [Denny Mecham] selected as head of Ohr-O'Keefe", September 9, 2008, p. A6.

The Sun Herald, “Meet Denny Mecham", October 14, 2008, p. C10.

The Sun Herald, “Designs on 2010: Ohr-O'Keefe moves forward with Gehry", December 17, 2008, p. A1.

 

2009

The Sun Herald, “Mad Potter of Biloxi takes a bow at the Met", January 17, 2009, p. A3.

The Sun Herald, “Mr. Ohr goes to Jackson [Mississippi Hall of Fame]", May 24, 2009, p. F1.

The Sun Herald, “Campaign for more Ohr", July 11, 2009, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, “Ohr-O'Keefe aims for a finish with energy, excitement", July 12, 2009, p.. B6.

The Sun Herald, “Council delays Ohr vote [on request for $500,000]", September 9, 2009, p.. A2.

The Sun Herald, “Treasure trove", September 20, 2009, p.. F1.

2010

The Sun Herald, “[Biloxi City] Council looking for ways to fund Ohr-O'Keefe opening", February 24, 2010, p. A8.

The Sun Herald“Ohr pods offer 'amazing' glimpse", May 21, 2010, p. A2.

The Sun Herald“History rests on History", July 26, 2010.

The Sun Herald, “Architect [Frank Gehry] gets first look at Ohr-O'Keefe museum", August 6, 2010, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, “Inside Gehry's Ohr Museum", September 5, 2010, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "George Ohr: One of a Kind", October 10, 2010, p. F1.

The Sun Herald, "OHR-ography", October 10, 2010, p. F1.
 
The Sun Herald,"Design power: the meaning of Frank Gehry", October 31, 2010, p. F1.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr architect to return for opening Gehry: keep the small scale of East Biloxi", October 31, 2010, p. F.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art debuts", October 31, 2010.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr & Anderson", November 3, 2010, p. C2.

The Sun Herald, "A weekend of legacies", November 5, 2010, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Knight Foundation gives $3 million dollars to Ohr-O'Keefe Museum ", November 3, 2010, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "The O'Keefe connection", November 5, 2010, p. B1.

The Sun Herald, "This could be a springboard to a world class destination", November 5, 2010, p. B1.

The Sun Herald, "Full Circle", November 5, 2010, p. B1.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art timeline", November 5, 2010, p. B3.

The Sun Herald, "At the Museum", November 5, 2010, p. B3.

The Sun Herald, "[Bobby] Mahoney creates Ohr-iginal T-shirts", December , 2010, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, "Door auction, book signing set for Ohr", December 29, 2010, p. A3.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe named best new museum [by Southern Living in its January 2011 issue]", December 31, 2010, p. B1.

The Sun Herald, "Door auction, book signing set for Ohr", December 29, 2010, p. A3.

2011

The Sun Herald, "Doors to Ohrs", January 9, 2011, p. F1.

The Sun Herald, "Supporters get an early glimpse at d'Ohrs of Ohr", January 16, 2011, p. .

The Sun Herald, "Ohr on the Edge-Museum president: We need city's help to survive", July 24, 2011, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Letters to the Editor-Ohr-O'Keefe Museum is a luxury, not a necessity", July 26, 2011, p. A9.

The Sun Herald, "Museum officials hold off on pitch to Biloxi Council", July 27, 2011, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, "Letters to the Editor-Don't write off the Ohr-O'Keefe", July 31, 2011, p. B3.

The Sun Herald, "Mayor [A.J. Holloway] says Biloxi can't fund museums", August 4, 2011, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Letters to the Editor-The Ohr is incredible ugly", August 7, 2011, p. B9.

The Sun Herald, "Did Katrina end Ohr management agreement?", Augsut 10, 2011, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Museum asks city for $365K for expenses", September 7,  2011, p. A7.

The Sun Herald, "Seafood museum's $18K restored; Ohr financing tabled",  September 28, 2011, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, "Deciding the fate of the Ohr-O'Keeefe Museum has been put off long enough",  September 29, 2011, p. C2.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr Museum funding a step closer",  September 30, 2011, p.  A3.

The Sun Herald, "Consolidate all museums at the Ohr-O'Keefe",  October 2, 2011, p. B9.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe is a good fodder for barbs and jokes", October 2, 2011, p. B9.

The Sun Herald, "Ohr-O'Keefe is a money pit", October 5, 2011, p. C3.

The Sun Herald, "Magazine says Ohr-O'Keefe is a top destination", October 6, 2011, p. A9.

The Sun Herald, "Look at the Ohr-O'Keefe from a different perspective",  October 9, 2011, p. B9.

The Sun Herald, "The Ohr-O'Keefe receives a reprieve", October 2011, p. 8B.

The Sun Herald, "Diamonds Ohr Forever [Gala]", October 30,  2011, p. F1.

The Sun Herald, "Let the Ohr-O'Keefe go belly-up", October 30, 2011, p. C3.

The Sun Herald, "Tiffany & Co. donates Gehry sculptures [Torque Collection] to the Ohr-O'Keefe",  July 20, 2012, p. A3.

The Sun Herald, "",  2012, p. 

The Sun Herald, "",  201, p. 
The Sun Herald, "",  201, p. 

 

Magazines

Garth Clark, Antiques“Directions: George E. Ohr”, September 1985, Vol. 128, No. 3.

Harper’s Bazaar“Frank Gehry and Berta Aguilera”, June 2001.

Esquire“Gehry”, July 2001.

Worth“The next great art destination”, June 2002.

Architectural Digest, May 2003.

Smithsonian“The Mad Potter of Biloxi”, February 2004, pp. 88-94.

Vanity Fair, "Architecture in the age of [Frank] Gehry", No. 600, August 2010, p. 156.

Southern Living,           January 2011.

_________________________________________________________________

HISTORY OF THE OOMA TRACT

LIVE OAK”: Three Centuries on the Pass of Biloxi, Mississippi

Section 33, T7S-R9W, Harrison County, Mississippi.

Abstract
“Live Oak” is the 19th Century name appropriately attached to a three-acre tract of live oak, graced landscape fronting Deer Island on the Pass of Biloxi.  Today this ancient arbor is alive with engineers, contractors and laborers who are toiling diligently in the long shadows of its stately oaks, erecting The Ohr-O’Keefe Museum, a 21st Century creation of internationally acclaimed architect, Frank Gehry.  George E. Ohr and Frank O. Gehry are well-matched, as Ohr, a 19th Century, avant-garde, art potter is regarded by art historians as totally unique, while Gehry is the unrivaled master designer of bold, imaginative, futuristic structures.           

Previous archeological investigations indicate that “Live Oak” was once the pre-historic local of Native American culture.  By the late 19th Century, it became the scene of large, gracious summer homes of affluent businessmen and professional people, primarily from New Orleans.  From the land deed records, it appears that only one Biloxi native has ever possessed a portion of “Live Oak”

The recorded chronology of “Live Oak” begin with an 1807 Spanish land grant to a Louisiana native of Acadian heritage, Valentine Docette Richard (1776-1868), better known as Dorsette Richards.  By 1835, Richards had vended or bartered his 443-acre donation claim.  George Holley (1800-1883) was the primary recipient of his acreage.

In 1888, the parcel known as “Live Oak” was created when Joseph Kuhn (1819-1903), a Hungarian immigrant and local lumber merchant, sold a 3-acre tract from his large land holdings in the Dorsette Richards land claim on the Biloxi peninsula, to Edward Langevin of St. Paul, Minnesota.  After Langevin’s demise circa 1891, the lot became possessed by George H. Dunbar (1844-1917), a seafood processing magnate from New Orleans.  In 1892, Mr. Dunbar split “Live Oak” into two lots of equal area.  His brother, Francis B. Dunbar (ca 1848-1908), acquired the western tract. 

The Dunbar’s had the quarters on their East Beach lot demolished in February 1892.  In September 1892, they contracted with Charles Dudley, an architect and builder from Jackson, Mississippi, to erect two edifices for them at a cost of $11,000.

From 1917 until 1946, the E/2 of “Live Oak” was owned by the New Orleans families of E.B. Johnson, Ernest L. Jahnke, and Cyprian A. Sporl.  C.A. Sporl (1880-1936) was the owner of a large marine insurance business at New Orleans.  He also operated the Hotel New Orleans.  Sporl’s avocation was yachting.  In 1946, an affluent California attorney, Lynden Bowring (1889-1980), and Wilda Lopez (1899-1977), his Biloxi wife, acquired the lot from Mr. Sporl’s heirs.  Hurricane Camille in August 1969, destroyed the Bowring home.  They relocated to Ocean Springs.  Bowring legated his East Beach Biloxi land to Patricia Tarr Leavant, his niece-in-law.  It was sold in June? 2000, to the City of Biloxi by real estate developers who had acquired and option on it from Mrs. Leavitt, in 1993.

The W/2 of “Live Oak” was vended in February 1914, by Anna Tourne’ Dunbar (1845-1919), the widow of Francis B. Dunbar, to Ora Nelmes Logan, the wife of George W. Logan of New Orleans.  She conveyed it to Mary Byrne McGee of Laurel, Mississippi in May 1915.  Mrs. McGhee defaulted on her mortgage and the property was repossessed.  In April 1917, Mrs. Nelms conveyed her estate to Lucinda Davis Stamps Farrar (d. 1946).  Lucinda S. Farrar was the spouse of Judge Edgar H. Farrar (1849-1922) of New Orleans.  He was a lawyer, linguist, and ethnologist.  E.H. Farrar was the CEO of Farrar, Goldberger, & Dufour, a prominent legal firm of the Crescent City.

            In June 1924, Mrs. Lucinda S. Farrar subdivided the W/2 of “Live Oak” into three lots, designated Lot A, Lot B, and Lot C.  She sold Lot A to George E. Williams of New Orleans at this time.  In August 1944, Mr. Williams vended Lot A to Sam Mitchell of Biloxi.  In a prior agreement with Louis W. Harvey (1904-1970), Mr. Mitchell traded Lot A for cash and a Harvey parcel elsewhere in Biloxi.

            Lot B was conveyed in March 1968, to Wilda Lopez Bowring by the Heirs of Lucinda Stamps Farrar: Mrs. Ralph (Jane) B. Wood (Harrison Co., Ms.), Mrs. Richard Goldsborough (Wayne Co, NY), Edgar H. Farrar III (Bell Co. Texas), Stamps Farrar II (San Francisco Co., Calf.), Maud Ellen Farrer (Orleans, Parish, La.), B.H. Goldberger (District of Columbia), Joseph H. Goldberger (Canadian Co., Oklahoma), Mrs. Michael Warnock (Bonneville Co. Idaho), and Bruce Sharp, Robert Sharp, and Donald Sharp, all of Orleans Parish, Louisiana.

Lot C was sold in August 1924, by Lucinda Stamps Farrar, the widow of Edgar H. Farrar, a resident of Hancock County, Mississippi to Stamps Farrar, her son.  In May 1947, Stamps Farrar to Lucille G. Minor.  In December 1956, Lucille G. Minor to Lynden Bowring “Live Oak” Lot which he had acquired in July 1946, from the Sporl family of New Orleans.

Colonial Biloxi

            When the French Colonial government abandoned its post at Biloxi in the 1720s, for New Orleans on the Mississippi River, some of the recent immigrants from Western Europe and French Canada remained on the Mississippi coast.  They made their livelihood as sailors, fishermen, and subsistence farmers.  Cattle and tar production provided barter and cash items with the larger settlements of Mobile and New Orleans.

            During the Spanish Colonial occupation of the area, land donations on the Biloxi peninsula were granted by the Spanish representative at Mobile.  From present day Point Cadet on the east, to the present day Biloxi City Cemetery on the west, these grantees were Jacques Mathurin (Ladner), Dorsette Richards, Jean-Baptiste Carquote (Carco), Angelique Fasiar (Fayard), and Louis Fasiar (Fayard).

Valentine Docette Richard

            Valentine Docette Richard (1776-1868) was the original claimant of the land upon which “Live Oak” was erected.  He is referred to in legal documents as Dorsette Richards, and this nomenclature will be used throughout this essay.  Richards was born at St. Gabriel, Louisiana, the son of expelled Acadians, Amant Richard and Marie Braux.  His first wife, Susanne Marque, expired shortly after birthing their son in 1798.  In 1800, Dorsette Richards wedded Marguerite Babin (1770-1829), a native of Belle Isle en Mer, France.  Her parents were also exiled Acadians, who immigrated to Louisiana post-1777.(Cassibry, 1986, p. 77)         

Dorsette Richard Claim-Section 33, T7S-R9W

The Dorsette Richards family settled at Biloxi in 1807.  He received a Spanish land grant on the Biloxi peninsula at this time.(American State Papers, Vol. III, p. 38)  His donation was designated by the Federal government as Claim No. 146 in the District East of the Pearl River.  It was confirmed in 1819, by the Federal government.  In 1824, his land was surveyed and was shown to consist of 443.38 acres and designated as Section 33, T7S-R9W.(HARCO, Ms. Tract Bk. 1, p. 36) 

            A land patent for Section 33, T7S-R9W was issued to Dorsette Richards by the Federal government on October 1, 1840.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 2, pp. 290-292)

George L. Holley

In June 1835, Dorsette Richards traded all of his merchantable land in Section 33 T7S-R9W to George L. Holley for Lot 1 of Section 23, T7S-R10W, which contains 110.68 acres.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1, pp. 143-144).

George L. Holley (1800-1883) came to the Mississippi coast from New York in the late 1820s, with his family.  It appears from Federal census data that there were six children, all born in New York: George Holley (1800-1883), Benjamin Holley (1802-1860+), William Holley (1803-1850+), Charles Holley (1805-1857), Rebecca H. Norberg (1809-1880+), and Nicholas Holley (1810-1860+).  Their mother, Rebecca Holley (1783-1860+), was born at New York.  Their father was a native of Rhode Island, and appears to have died before 1850.

George L. Holley made his livelihood as carpenter and probate judge.  In July 1859, he married Jane Elizabeth Rand, an English lady.  Married Sarah M. Bounds in July 1877??

New Orleans Summer Resort

Affluent people of New Orleans used Biloxi and over villages of the Mississippi Gulf Coast as summer retreats.  Escaped the heat and Yellow Fever.  In 1893, George Dunbar, F.T. Howard, H.T. Howard, E. Bell, L. Valle, J. Vandorf, August Bohne, J.B. Blakemore, and Judge Tisso were among the wealthy Crescent City gentlemen maintaining elegant summer homes at Biloxi.(T.H. Glenn, 1893, p. 59)

Joseph Kuhn

In August 1865, Joseph Kuhn bought about 125 acres in the Dorsette Richard Claim from George Holley for $1000.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 578-581)  Does not appear to be “Live Oak”.

Joseph Kuhn (1819-1903) was a native of Budapest, Hungary.  He arrived in America in 1840, and Biloxi, Mississippi in 1864.  At Harrison County, in October 1868, he married Sarah Drake (1839-1921), a native of Ohio.  Their children were: Christian Kuhn (1871-pre 1900); Elizabeth Kuhn (1873-1929); Sophia Kuhn (1875-1927+) m. Ulysses Desporte (1861-1927); Rosa Kuhn (1878-1942) m. A. J. Bourdon (1873-1912) and May Adele Kuhn (1881-1930).  Kuhn made his livelihood as a lumber merchant.  At the time of his demise, the Kuhn family resided on the corner of Holley Street and Beach Boulevard.

In February 1878, Joseph Kuhn conveyed to his wife, Sarah Kuhn, all of his real property in Harrison County, Mississippi, for $2000.  Kuhn stated that “he owed no debts to anyone and further the transfer of his property to Sarah Kuhn was not for the purpose of defrauding anyone but to secure to her a support in case of his death”. 

Included in this transaction was a piece of property described as follows: a lot having a front, four hundred feet on the front bay of Biloxi, running back due North between two parallel lines to the back Bay of Biloxi bounded West by a street and on the East by estate of Toledano.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 16, pp.47-48)

Edward Langevin

In April 1888, Joseph Kuhn and Sarah Kuhn conveyed to Edward Langevin of St. Paul, Minnesota for $4,000 a parcel of land described as: bounded on the south by the Gulf of Mexico or pass between Deer Island and the main shore; east by Toledano Estate; north by Langevin Street; and west by Kuhn Street.  The lot measured 432 feet on the Gulf and 321 feet north-south.  The terms of the sale were $1000 cash and $3000 to be paid on April18, 1891, with 6% interest per annum.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 23, p. 75)

In April 1888, Edward Langevin also acquired Lots 1 and 2 of the Samuel Friedlander Estate from W.I. Hodgson, an auctioneer at New Orleans, for $2375.(3)  The conveyance included the brick residence, outbuildings, and dependencies.  Lot 1 had 85 feet on the Gulf, 281 feet on Magnolia, 81 feet with Lot 2, and 281 feet (east).(3)

In November 1891, Eleanor Langevin of St. Paul, Minnesota, the widow of Edward Langevin, conveyed Lots 1 and 2 of the Friedlander Estate to Frederick William Elmer for $2700.(4)  Her daughters, Mary Michand and Emma Flanagan, and their husbands, Achille Michand and Thomas J. Flanagan, signed the warranty deed.  Charles and Mary E. Michand of St. Paul gave Elmer a quitclaim deed on the property in April 1892.(5)

On January 19, 1892, Joseph Kuhn and Sarah Kuhn acknowledged that the Langevin mortgage of $3045 on a parcel of land known as “The Oaks” had been paid.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 27, pp. 310-311)

George H. Dunbar

In December 1891, the Heirs of Edward Langevin, Mary Michaud, Achille Michaud, Emma Flanagan, Thomas J. Flanagan, and Eleanor Langevin, conveyed their Beach front lot to George H. Dunbar for $5500. (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 27, pp. 308-309).  Same description as above.  Emma Flanagan signed at Quebec, Canada.  Mary Michaud wife of Charles Michaud, Achille Michaud, T.J. Flanagan, and Eleanora Langevin signed at Ramsay County, Minnesota.

George H. Dunbar (1844-1917) was born at New Orleans, the son of George W. Dunbar (1816-1878) of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and Charlotte Z. Hacker (1822-1910).  Siblings:  He was educated at Georgetown University and almost immediately after graduation, he enlisted in the Confederate States of America Army and served as an aide-de-camp on the staff of General Buisson.  Post-Bellum, Dunbar returned to his native New Orleans and entered business.(The Daily Herald, October 19, 1917, p. 1)

G.H. Dunbar was married three times.  His final spouse was Susan Foucher.  Children: F. Foucher Dunbar; George W. Dunbar (Guinnes, Havana, Cuba); Mrs. Stephen Voorhies (5527 Prytania, NOLA); Mrs. Alcee J. Gelpi (124 S. Cortez, NOLA; and Mrs. Auguste Capdeville (2453 Esplanande, NOLA). 

             Mrs. Foucher Dunbar was the daughter of E.C. Fenner.  Lived on Lee Street.(The Daily Herald, April 19, 1912, p. 8)

Inventor

 

Public Life

Buried St. Louis No. 3.

 

Lopez, Dunbar’s Sons & Co.

            The Lopez, Dunbar’s Sons & Company was commenced in 1884, when Lazaro Lopez (1850-1903) and W.K.M. Dukate (1852-1916) resigned from the Biloxi Canning Company.  The Biloxi Canning Company was located in Section 27, T7S-R9W, in the city of Biloxi, Mississippi on the Back Bay of Biloxi, at the head of Reynoir Street.  It was originally called The Lopez, Elmer and Company.  This company was organized in 1881, with a capital stock of $8,000 by Lazaro Lopez, F. William Elmer (1847-1926), W.K.M. Dukate, William Gorenflo (1844-1932), and James Maycock (1826-1892).(1)

Lopez, Dunbar’s & Sons was situated on East Beach in Biloxi.  In 1895, it was the second largest oyster canning plant in the United States.  The factory utilized the Norton Brothers machinery to pack its shrimp with the patented muslin bag insuring a good product.  Its shrimp were marketed under the “Dunbar Standard”, “Deer head”, “Lion Head”, and “Pelicans” labels.

(see The Biloxi Herald, “Biloxi Chief Industry”, September 12, 1892, p. 4)

Lot Division

In February 1892, the Dunbars had the families residing on their East Beach tract vacate their quarters.  Immediate demolition was ordered for all buildings on their scenic home site.(The Biloxi Herald, February 6, 1892, p. 4)

On March 31, 1892, George H. Dunbar divided  “The Oaks” lot into two equal parts, which he conveyed to his wife, Susie Foucher Dunbar (1858-1920) and brother, Francis B. “Frank” Dunbar (ca 1848-1908).  Mrs. George H. Dunbar received the east half and Francis B. Dunbar, the west half.  The dimensions of each lot were 217 feet by 417 feet.  Francis B. Dunbar paid his brother $2250 while his spouse paid only $1.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 27, pp. 444-445)

 Immediately thereafter on the same day, Francis B. Dunbar conveyed his western lot to his wife, Anna Therese Tourne’ Dunbar (1845-1919), for $1.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 27, pp.445-446)

Two Homes

In late September 1892, the Dunbar brothers contracted with Charles Dudley, an architect and builder, formerly of Jackson, Mississippi, but now established in Biloxi, to erect two homes.  Their completed cost was approximated at $11,000.(The Biloxi Herald, September 28, 1892, p. 4)

Cost of building materials in Biloxi at this time: rough lumber-$7-$10 per thousand board feet at the sawmill; dressed lumber-$8-$17 per thousand board feet; brick-$8-$12 per thousand; cypress shingles-$2-$3   75 per thousand.(The Biloxi Herald, April 29, 1893, p. 8)

Francis B. Dunbar resided at 2326 Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans.  Two sons, F.B. Dunbar and James V. Dunbar (622 Canal Commercial Bank & Bldg.); and a daughter, Mrs. Emile Christ (705 Calhoun, NOLA).  Expired in New Orleans at his home.  Head of Dunbar Cannery interests at the time.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 31, 1908, p. 1)

Mr. and Mrs. Francis Dunbar and Miss Alice Dunbar of New Orleans are now occupying their summer residence here.(The Biloxi Herald, June 10, 1893, p. 8)

 In late June, the family left Biloxi for Chicago where they planned to remain for several weeks.

(The Biloxi Herald, July 1, 1893, p. 8)

Mrs. Dunbar expired in May 1919, at New Orleans.  She resided at No. 3 Everett Place at the time.(The Daily Herald, May 31, 1919, p. 3)

___________________________________________________________________________________

West Half of “Live Oak”

Ora Nelms Logan

In February 1914, Anna T. Tourne’ Dunbar of New Orleans, the widow of Francis B. Dunbar, conveyed her home and lot in Biloxi to Ora Nelmes Logan for $8000.  $6500 was financed for three years at 6% interest by Mrs. Logan.  Included in the sale were all buildings and improvements, a ½ interest in an artesian water well and all furniture and personal property contained in the house, except boats and some family portraits.  Mrs. Logan was required to carry insurance of not less than $6000 on the buildings.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 107, pp. 91-92) 

In mid-February 1914, The Daily Herald announced that Miss Jessie A. Smyly’s agency had arranged the sale from Mrs. Dunbar to G.W. Logan of New Orleans.  Her home was lauded as “one of the most beautiful and attractive homes in Biloxi or anywhere on the Coast”.(The Daily Herald, February 12, 1914, p. 1)

Lien cancelled by Mrs. Anna Tourne’ Dunbar on May 3, 1915.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 111, pp. 405-406)         

Mary Byrne McGee, et al

In May 1915, Ora Nelms Logan, the spouse of George W. Logan of New Orleans, sold to Mary Byrne McGhee, Addison F. McGee Jr. and Marie Jones McGee, wife of Addison F. McGee Jr. of Laurel, Mississippi, for $8000, the W/2 of “The Oaks”.  The sale included all buildings and improvements, a ½ interest in an artesian water well, all furniture and personal property in the house, except all religious pictures, a large quantity of galvanized roofing material, pulleys and ropes, and the gas machine.  Financed and had to carry $6000 of insurance on the buildings.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 111, pp.407-408)

Ora Nelms Logan

In February and March 1916, Mary Byrne McGee of Laurel, Marie Jones McGee, wife of Addison F. McGee, and a resident of Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida, and Addison F. McGee of West Point, Troup County, Georgia, defaulted on their promissory notes and returned their property to Ora Nelms Logan of New Orleans.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 115, pp.71-74)

Lucinda Stamps Farrar

909 East Beach Drive

In April 1917, Ora Nelms Logan of Hancock County, Mississippi conveyed to Lucinda Davis Stamps Farrar (1857-1946) of New Orleans for $7750.  Included all buildings and improvements, ½ interest in artesian water well, all furniture and fixtures in and personal property in buildings, bathhouse, pier, and riparian rights.  At this time, the former Frank Dunbar home was described as having fourteen rooms and a large beautiful lawn.  The Jessie A. Smyly real estate agency handled the transaction.(The Daily Herald, April 9, 1917, p. 4 and HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 118, p.430)

Lucinda S. Farrar was the wife of Judge Edgar Howard Farrar (1849-1922).  He was born in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, the son of Thomas Prince Farrar and Anna Mary Girault.  Young Farrar was educated at the University of Louisiana and in 1871, received his Masters degree from the University of Virginia.  He married Lucinda Davis Stamps at New Orleans in June 1878.  Lucinda was the daughter of Captain Issac Davis Stamps and Mary Humphreys.  Their children were: Edgar Howard Farrar Jr. (1879-1911) m. May Clara Spearing; Mary Humphreys Farrar (1881-1969) m. Dr. Joseph Goldberger (1875-1929); Lucinda Farrar (1881-1910); Anna Girault Farrar (1882-1970) m. Richard F. Goldsborough (b. 1871); Edith Barnes Farrar (1884-1959); Mildred Maury Farrar (1887-1967); Jane Kempe Farrar (1889-1982) m. Ralph Bouligny Wood (1884-1967); Issac Davis Stamps Farrar, called Stamps (1894-1950) m. Maude Tobin White, the daughter of Albert Sidney Johnson White (1866-1934) and Ellen Tobin; and Thomas Prince Farrar (1901-1951) m. Beatrice Howard (1886-1933+).(The Daily Herald, January 7, 1922, p. 1 and 1900 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census T623_574, p. 11A, ED 102)

Although Judge Farrar and family had a residence at New Orleans, they planned to stay at Biloxi for sometime, especially the summer season.(The Daily Herald, April 9, 1917, p. 4)

Lucinda Stamps Farrar expired at 909 East Beach on November  1946.  Her funeral service was held at the Church of the Redeemer with the Reverend E.A. DeMiller attending.  Mrs. Farrar's corporal remains were sent to NOLA for burial in the Metairie Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, November 13, 1946, p. 5)

FARRAR CHILDREN

Edgar Howard Farrar Jr.

Edgar H. Farrar Jr. (1879-1911) like his father was a New Orleans attorney.  He also matriculated to the University of Virginia.  Young Farrar was shot to death by two thieves in early November on the corner of Peniston and Magnolia Streets in the Crescent City.  He was the nephew of Mrs. E.M.D. Anderson of 210 West Water Street in Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, November 2, 1911, p. 8 and November 3, 1911, p 8.)

Stamps Farrar

Stamps Farrar was an attorney with his father’s law firm.

Anna F. Goldsborough

Anna Girault Farrar (1882-1970) married Richard F. Goldsborough (b. 1871), a Maryland native and New York attorney, on January 31, 1904 at NOLA. She was living at Biloxi in 1922.  In May 1930, she and her daughter, Ellen Goldsborough, were at Biloxi were involved in interior decoration as their wall panels were sent to a new country club at Birmingham, Alabama.  Anna had a son, Frances Goldsborough, who graduated from Biloxi High School and went to New York to work a branch of the Hibernia Bank situated in NYC.  He was appointed assistant manger of the bank in May 1930.(The Daily Herald, May 27, 1930, p. 2)

Anna Farrar Goldsborough passed on December 1970.

 

Mary F. Goldberger

Living in Washington in 1922.

Mildred M. Farrar

Mildred Maury Faurer (1887-1967) was a native of New Orleans.  She resided at 909 East Beach in Biloxi since 1927.  She was an Episcopalian and interred in the Metairie Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, February 2, 1967, p. 2)

Jane K. Farrar Wood

Jane Kempe Farrar (1889-1982) married Ralph Bouligny Wood (1884-1967) of New Orleans at the Church of the Redeemer in Biloxi, on September 12, 1916.  The young couple honeymooned at Asheville, North Carolina, before traveling to their home in Cuba, where Mr. Wood was employed with the Cuban-American Sugar Company.(The Daily Herald, September 13, 1916, p. 3)

In retirement, the Wood family lived in the Hermann House at 523 East Beach in Biloxi.  Ralph B. Wood retired as the executive vice president of the Cuban American Sugar Company.  A daughter, Mrs. James Pringle of Long Beach.  Both interred at the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery in Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, October 26, 1967, p. 2)

Jane died on May 12, 1982.  A daughter, Mrs. Leo Seal.

Thomas P. Farrar

Thomas Prince Farrar (1901-1951) was born at New Orleans and practiced architect there.  He lived at Biloxi where he did scenic painting and costume designs.  In June 1933, he married Beatrice Howard (1886-1933+), formerly Mrs. Robert C. Ocher, of New York.  Mr. Farrar relocated to New York City and worked in theatre design until his death there in June 1951.  His corporal remains were interred in the Metairie Cemetery at NOLA.(The Daily Herald, June 1, 1933, p. 2 and The Times Picayune, June 12, 1951, p. 3)

Edith B. Farrar

Edith Barnes Farrar lived at Chicago in 1922.

West Half-Lot A (Harvey House)

In June 1924, Lucinda Stamps Farrar subdivided her W/2 lot into three lots, which were designated as Lot A, Lot B, and Lot C.  The three lots were surveyed by J.D. Ferguson in July 1923.  Mrs. Farrar conveyed Lot A to George E. Williams of New Orleans for $14,000.  Right of ingress-egress granted as an easement across the south end of Lot B, but not to be carried when Williams sells Lot A.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 141, pp. 585-587)

George E. Williams

George Elliot Williams (1886-1944+) married Adele Monroe (1889-1944+) in Orleans Parish, Louisiana on June 7, 1911.(Orleans Parish Marriage Record Bk. Volume 33, p. 320)  In December 1929, George Elliot Williams (1886-1944+) of NOLA to Adele Monroe Williams (1889-1944+) of New Orleans, Lot A, for $14,000.  Included all household fixtures and furniture located in the dwelling house.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 184, pp.246-247)

In August 1944, George E. Williams and Adele Monroe Williams to Sam Mitchell and Mae Pringle Mitchell for $15,000.  Royse R. Aiken had an unrecorded lease dated September 16, 1943.  A notice was sent to Aiken to cancel his lease.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 267, p. 288)

Sam Mitchell

In July 1944, Sam Mitchell (1903-1984), native of Hancock County, Mississippi, entered into an agreement with Louis H. Harvey, Mrs. Louis H. Harvey and Miss Irma E. Harvey.  The Harvey’s owned a lot on the northwest corner of Beach Boulevard and Fayard Street. Mitchell agreed to buy the G.E. Williams lot and then trade it for the Harvey property and also give $5000 to the Harveys.  It was also agreed that in the event that the houses on each lot were destroyed by fire or damaged to make them unfit for habitation, before the contract was consummated, the contract would be voided.   Sam Mitchell owned “The Bungalow” on West Beach Boulevard.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 266, pp. 126-129)  Sold in August 1944.(Bk. 267, pp. 303-304)  

In August 1944, Sam Mitchell conveyed Lot A to Irma E. Harvey and Louis W. Harvey.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 267, pp. 301-302).

Louis W. Harvey

Louis Wachenfeld Harvey (1904-1970) was the son of Louis H. Harvey (1874-1913) and Christina Wachenfeld (1872-1931).  He married Mary L. Barnes (1910-1999) of Handsboro, Mississippi.  Children: Louis W. Harvey (1934-1996), Philip I. Harvey (b. 1941), and Kenneth Karl Harvey (1951-1990).(The Sun Herald, November 14, 1999, p. A-11)

ROW

In September 1954, ROW easement granted to Mississippi State Highway Commission by Louis H. Harvey.(Bk. 387, pp. 390-391).  

West Half-Lot B (909 East Beach)

In January 1943, Lucinda Davis Stamps Farrar drafted her will.  In this instrument she devised and bequeathed to her daughters, Edith Barnes Farrar of Chicago, Illinois, and Mildred Maury Farrar (1887-1967) of Biloxi, Mississippi, her home situated on the corner of Kuhn and Beach Street at Biloxi, Mississippi, for the period of their natural lives.  Mrs. Farrar included all furniture, fixtures, and contents of her house.  She excepted from this donation all appurtenances that had been designated for other family members.  In addition, her spinster daughters were provided an annual income from a trust fund created from cash, stocks, and bonds owned by their mother.  A.S. Gorenflo was the trustee.  After her daughters demise, her remaining assets to be divided by her living heirs.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Will Bk. 9, pp. 241-243)

The other heirs at law of Lucinda Davis Stamps Farrar were: Mary Farrar Goldberger, Anna Farrar Goldberger, Jane Farrar Wood, Thomas Prince Farrar, Issac D.S. Farrar Jr. and Maud Ellen Farrer.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 53,890, Mrs. Jane Farrar Wood v. The Unknown Heirs of Edgar Howard Farrar and Lucinda Davis Stamps-May 1967).

Lucinda Davis Stamps Farrar died on November 22, 1946.  She lived at BiloxI, but was a legal resident of Louisiana.  Mildred M. Farrar resided in her home at 909 East Beach until her death on February 8, 1967.  She was a native of New Orleans and had lived at Biloxi since 1927.  Funeral services at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.  Her remains interred in the Metairie Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, February 8, 1967, p. 2)

After Miss Mildred M. Farrar’s demise, her home became the property of her mother’s living heirs.  These were determined by the probate court to be: Anna Farrar Goldsborough, a daughter; Jane Farrar Wood, a daughter; Edgar Howard Farrar III, only child of a son now dead; Dr. Joseph Goldberger, Mrs. Mary G. Sharp, and Mr. Benjamin Goldberger, children of Mildred Maury Farrar; Miss Maud Ellen Farrar and Mr. Stamps Farrar II.   (HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 53,890-May 1967-Mrs. Jane Farrar Wood v. The Unknown Heirs of Edgar Howard Farrar and Lucinda Davis Stamps-May 1967).

Fifteen shares of stock in the Borgnemouth Realty Company, a Louisiana Corporation.(Bk. 589, pp. 152-154)

In March 1968, Mrs. Ralph (Jane) B. Wood (Harrison Co., Ms.), Mrs. Richard Goldsborough (Wayne Co, NY), Edgar H. Farrar III (Bell Co. Texas), Stamps Farrar II (San Francisco Co., Calf.), Maud Ellen Farrer (Orleans, Parish, La.), B.H. Goldberger (District of Columbia), Joseph H. Goldberger (Canadian Co., Oklahoma), Mrs. Michael Warnock (Bonneville Co. Idaho), and Bruce Sharp, Robert Sharp, and Donald Sharp, all of Orleans Parish, Louisiana conveyed to Wilda Lopez Bowring, the following:  That certain lot or parcel of land situated on the northeast corner of East Beach Boulevard and Kuhn Street having a frontage on the Gulf of Mexico of 84 feet and extending back in a northerly direction for a distance of 230 feet, more or less, being bounded on the South by the Gulf of Mexico, East by the property of Williams now of Harvey, North by the property of Bowring, west by Kuhn Street in the City of Biloxi.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 610, pp. 340-344)

West Half-Lot C-909A East Beach

In August 1924, Lucinda Stamps Farrar, the widow of Edgar H. Farrar, a resident of Hancock County, Mississippi sold Lot C to Stamps Farrar, her son.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 142, pp. 484-485)

Stamps Farrar

In October 1938, Stamps Farrar opened his home for the weekend of the Laurence Moore Barkley and Malcolm Tullis wedding, which was held at the Church of the Redeemer.  Their guests for the Barkley-Tullis nuptials were Mrs. Farrar’s mother, Mrs. Albert Sidney White, and Ellene White, her sister.  Mrs. Lillian Lewis and Hampden Lewis also of New Orleans stayed at the Farrar summer home on East Beach.(The Daily Herald,October 9, 1938, p. 3)

Lucille Gillis Minor

In May 1947, Stamps Farrar to Lucille G. Minor for $6000.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 298, pp. 338-339)  Lucille Gillis Minor (1889-1954) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 6, 1889, the daughter of Alfred Barr Gillis and Lucille Bohn (living in 1956).  She married John Duncan Minor (1876-1937), a native of Southdown Plantation, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.  They were the parents of Lucille M. Minor, the spouse of Hastings Mortimer, and Joan Minor (1915-1956). 

John D. Minor was the son of Henry C. Minor (d. 1898) of Houma and Anna Louise Butler, the daughter of Judge Thomas Butler of West Feliciana Parish.  Both families were Southern aristocratic.  His grandfather, William J. Minor (d. 1869), was the founder of Southdown Plantation near Houma, Louisiana.  His sister was Mrs. David Pipes Jr., of Southdown.  Young J.D. Minor attended Tulane University where he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega social fraternity.  He returned immediately to manage the business operations at Southdown upon the passing of his father in 1898.  Mr. Minor retired from the sugar business in 1912. (The Daily Herald, August 9, 1937, p. 8)           

Southdown Plantation

It would be remiss without providing some chronology of the Southdown Plantation situated at Houma, Louisiana.  Here in the 1820s, on a former Spanish land grant, William J. Minor, the son of Stephen Minor, a resident of the Natchez District and friend of Manuel Luis Gayoso de Lemos, who administered the government of Spanish Louisiana from 1797-1799, began to cultivate indigo.  By 1830, he was growing sugarcane and by 1846, a sugar mill had been erected at Southdown.  In 1859, a one-story Greek Revival, brick edifice was erected for the Minor family.  After W.J. Minor’s demise in 1869, his seven children inherited Southdown.  Soon, Henry C. Minor and sister, Katherine Lintot Minor, acquired the interest of their siblings and ran the plantation for many years.  In 1893, a second floor and round turrets were integrated into the former Greek Revival building metamorphosing the structure to the Queen Anne architectural style.  After Miss Kate L. Minor passed in 1923, the sugarcane plantation survived until the 1930s, when it was sold to commercial entities.  In the 1970s through the efforts of Esther B. McCollam of Ellendale Plantation and the Terrebonne Parish Historical & Cultural Society, Southdown was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  In July 1975, Valhi Inc., the corporate owner, donated Southdown, its servant’s outbuildings and about 5 acres to the local historical society.  The former Minor plantation was open for public touring in 1986 and today remains an integral part of the history of Houma and Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana.(Antiques Gazette, June 1993, p. 7)  

In August 1915, John Duncan Minor acquired for $5500 from Oscar G. Keller, Lot 3, being share No. 3, in the partition of the Estate of John H. Keller at Biloxi, Mississippi.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 112, pp. 346-347)

Here at 543 East Beach, eighty-feet west of Lee Street, the Minor family made their home until August 1930, when Mr. and Mrs. Minor sold their estate to Winifred C. Green for $9900.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 187, p. 166) 

John D. Minor’s aunt, Katherine Lintot Minor (1849-1923), the daughter of Captain William J. Minor and Rebecca Ann Gustine , passed at New Orleans, in late 1923.  She resided at Houma, Louisiana, but was prominent in the ladies auxiliary at the Touro Infirmary in the Crescent City.(The Daily Herald, December 4, 1923, p. 3)

John Duncan Minor expired at his home at 3211 Prytania Street where he had resided since 1932.  He had been active in the social circles of the Crescent City in regards the Mardi Gras and its carnival organizations.  Minor’s corporal remains were interred in the Magnolia Cemetery at Houma, Louisiana.(The Daily Herald, August 9, 1937, p. 8)

Lucille G. Minor passed on June 25, 1954 at her home at 909A East Beach in Biloxi.  Her daughter, Joan Desmond Minor resided here until she became ill in

Mrs. Lucille Minor Mortimer inherited.  In 1925, she was living at Biloxi and attending school in the North.  Visited Mr. and Mrs. Edward Caffery, her relatives, at Havana, Cuba in the summer of 1925.(The Daily Herald, August 27, 1925, p. 3)

In late August 1928. Miss Joan Minor returned to Biloxi after a two-month stay at Camp Allegheny in West Virginia.  Guests at the Minor home compliments of Miss Lucille Minor were: Miss Maud Werner, Hastings Mortimer, Miss Mildred Brown, and John Stafford all of NOLA.(The Daily Herald, September 1, 1928, p. 2)

 In December 1956, Lucille G. Minor Mortimer conveyed to Lynden Bowring (1980) for $6000.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 416, p. 343)  Title cleared in November 1961, when Lucille G. Mortimer        ?          (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 487, pp. 491-492)

Sister, Joan Minor expired in Louisiana on May 29, 1956.

Lynden Bowring also owned the East Half of the “Live Oak”, which he had acquired in July 1946, from the Sporl family of New Orleans.

East Half of “Live Oak” Lot

In July 1917, Mrs. George H. Dunbar of New Orleans to Edwin B. Johnson for $1 cash in hand.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 119, pp. 310-311)

Edwin B. Johnson

Edwin B. Johnson (1862-1930+) was born in Mississippi during the Civil War.  Circa 1889, he married Martha Moss (1864-1930+), a Tennessee native.  Their only child was born before 1900, but did not survive.  In 1900, the Johnsons were domiciled at Clarksdale, Coahoma Co., Mississippi where he was a merchant.(1900 Coahoma Co., Mississippi Federal Census T623_805, p. 11A, ED 25)  

In December 1924,  E.B. Johnson and Mattie Moss Johnson sold their residence at 941 East Beach to Cora Stanton Jahncke(1885-1970), the wife of Ernest Lee Jahncke (1877-1960) of NOLA, for $15,000.  The Johnson family planned to return to their home at Clarksdale, Mississippi.  The Johnsons lived here for some time and always had the welfare and civic improvement at heart.  Mr. Jahnke will use the home as a summer residence.  When the Jahnckes bought the house, they borrowed the money from Cyprian A. Sporl.  By 1930, the Johnsons were domicled on John Street living in their own home valued at $10,000.  Mr. Johnson's occupation was 'rental property collector'.  No further information.(The Daily Herald, December 18, 1924, p. 3, HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 143, p. 412 and 1930 Coahoma Co., Mississippi Federal Census R1142, p. 9A, ED 13)

Commodore Ernest Lee Jahncke

Commodore Ernest L. Jahncke was a native of New Orleans.  He was a speedboat driver-racer and owner of the several fast watercraft.  At the 13th Annual Regatta of the Biloxi Yacht Club held in July 1912, Captain Jahncke introduced the Humpty Dumpty, a most unusual hydroplaning vessel.  In outline, she appeared to be the integration of a boat and rocking chair.  Humpty Dumpty was constructed of mahogany and finished with a high luster varnish.  On the water, she had a top speed approaching thirty miles per hour. 

Much interest had developed at the July regatta, as there were innuendos that the Bella L., the very fast motorboat of Julius M. Lopez (1886-1958) would meet in a match race.(The Daily Herald, July 12, 1912, p. 1)

Unfortunately neither Captains Jahncke nor Lopez could agree on a racing rules format for a match race in Biloxi at the July summer regatta.  No future contest was planned.(The Daily Herald, July 12, 1912, p. 1)

July 1916 Storm

Following his actions during and post July 1916 tempest, Comodore Ernest Lee Jahncke of the Southern Yacht Club, was dubbed “the hero of the recent storm”.  He spent $2000 of his own finances in assisting Biloxians by taking mail to New Orleans on the Clarabelle, as the train and telegraph were inoperative.  Commodore Jahncke sent a tug boat to the Coast to take vessels to deep water and tow the pile driver working at the Biloxi Yacht Club to safety, as well as assist boats during and after the hurricane.(The Daily Herald, July 10, 1916, p. 2)

In early August 1919, Captain Jahncke moored the Aunt Dinah, his expansive houseboat, at Biloxi with his spouse and family aboard.  As usual, the Jahnckes planned to spend some vacation time in Biloxi.  In May 1923, The Daily Herald related that “this boat has been coming to Biloxi for the summer season for a number of years and its presence adds much to the pleasure of the summer colony of visitors who come to spend the season.(The Daily Herald, August 4, 1919, p. 4 and The Daily Herald, May 28, 1923, p. 3)

While a resident of Biloxi, Jahncke built an eye-catching fence on the south elevation.  The fence was replicated from that of an old English estate of renown.  The fence pillars were constructed of brick.(The Daily Herald, November 5, 1964)

Adele Townsend Jahncke

In 1926, the Jahncke’s daughter, Adele Townsend Jahncke (1909-1993), was a student at Sophie Newcomb College in New Orleans.  She was captain of the freshman basketball team and was considered one of the best competitive sailors along the Gulf Coast. After graduating from Newcomb, Adelle made her debut at New Orleans and Washington D.C.  In 1933, Miss Jahncke married Charles W. Dotson (1898-1974), an attorney at Farmer City, Illinois.  He was a graduate of the University of Illinois.  One son?, Charles W. Dotson Jr. (1936-1998).(The Daily Herald, December 10, 1926, p. 4 and October 13, 1933, p. 2)

In May 1928, Lee Jahncke was lauded for the fine improvements made to his East Beach home.(The Daily Herald, May 24, 1928, p. 2)

Captain Ernest Lee Jahncke defaulted on his mortgage payment to Sporl and in December 1932, Hanun Gardner, trustee, sold the Jahncke home to Cyprian A. Sporl for $6500.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 196, pp. 342-343)            

Cyprian A. Sporl

Purchased by Cyprian A. Sporl (1880-1936) on December 10, 1932, from Hanun Gardner, Trustee, for $6500.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 196, pp. 342-343)  C.A. “Many” Sporl was the son of Cyprian A. Sporl and Louise Soule (d. August 1930) of New Orleans and Bay St. Louis.  He had two brothers, Edward F. Sproul (18-1956+) and Walter Sproul, and four sisters, Alice Sproul (1956+)l, Elsie Sproul (1956+), Hilda Sproul, and Laura Sporl  Killeen (d. March 1956), the spouse of Joseph L. Kileen (.(The Daily Herald, August 28, 1930, p. 5  and The Daily Herald, March 6, 1956, p. 2)

At New Orleans, Many Sproul resided at 6550 Oakland Drive with his wife, Adrienne de Lappe, and children, Harold D. Sporl and Cyprian A. Sporl II (1905-1999).  He was a member of the Southern Yacht Club and owned a fifty-five foot motor vessel, Wendy.  In early July 1913, Sporl participated in the nearly three hundred mile, New Orleans to Pensacola motor boat race.  His watercraft was propelled by a 40 hp Murray & Tregurtha engine.(The Daily Herald, July 3, 1913, p. 4)

Cyprian A. Sporl II (1905-1999) donated Cocheco, his $30,000, 76-foot disel yacht, to the USCG in April 1941. He also enlisted in the USCG at this time.  The Cocheco was to be used for patrol duty.(The Daily Herald, April 21, 1941, p. 5)

In September 1936, the Sporl property was adjudicated by the Harrison County Chancery Court to Adrienne de Lappe Sporl, C.A. Sporl II, and H.D. Sporl.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 212, p. 253)           

WWII

During WWII, the Sporl family of NOLA allowed their home to be used by the Women’s U.S.O. for a small rental.(The Daily Herald, November 5, 1964)

Lynden Bowring (1889-1980)

“LYNOAKS”-Lynden Bowring

In July 1946, for $30,000 the Sporl family conveyed their Biloxi home to Lynden Bowring.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 288, pp. 517-518)  Mr. Bowring called his mansion,Lynoaks.  In later years, lived on 1st floor and rented the 2nd and 3rd floors.(Clara L. D’Aquilla, October 23, 2000)

Lynden Bowring (1889-1980) was born in Los Angeles, California.  Made his livelihood as an attorney and rumored to have made money in the movies business in Hollywood.  Described as a loner and eccentric.(Bache Whitlock, October 19, 2000)

During his life, Bowring was married three times.  He had two children with his first wife, but they as well as his spouse, preceded him in death.  His second nuptial ended in divorce.  Lynden married Wilda Lopez (1899-1977), the daughter of Lazro Lopez II (1877-1918) and Eurilda Seal (1879-1966). 

Miss Wilda Lopez was the valedictorian of the 1915 Class of Biloxi High School and delivered an appropriate speech to her nine classmates and audience.  She went on to study at Randolph Macon College at Lynchburg, Virginia.  Wilda’s other siblings were: Clara Lopez Tarr Froede (1902-1936), Beverly Lopez Berggren (1904-1991), Florian Seal Lopez (1911-1957), John Beverly Lopez (1915-1970).(The Daily Herald, May 29, 1915, p. 1)

Prior to her marriage to Lynden Bowring, Wilda Lopez had married Dr. James Edward Wallace (1877-1942) in the Roman Catholic Church at Biloxi, Mississippi on January 9, 1920.(HARCO, Ms. MRB 31, p. 493)  Dr. Wallace was a native of Natchitoches, Louisiana.  He came to Biloxi in 1914, and was affiliated with Dr. Hyman M. Folkes (1871-1926), the husband of Teresa Lopez (1873-1951).  Mrs. Folkes was Wilda’s aunt.

Bowring affiliated with C.T. Bowring and Co. Ltd. of London, England, a shipping firm.  Owned a one-half interest in the Carlton Apartments on Union Drive in Los Angeles.

Owned the Rum Runner, a large motor yacht (65 feet in length) and a relict of the Prohibition era.  Moored in front of the East Beach home.  Built boat house and slip for it in Ocean Springs.  Boat never utilized, but full-time employee maintained the craft.(Bache Whitlock, October 19, 2000)

Ocean Springs

In August 1969, Hurricane Camille destroyed the Bowrings’ Biloxi home.  In 1970?, The Bowrings relocated to Ocean Springs.  Bruce Duckett remember Mr. Bowring as an elderly gentleman approcahing him to buy his home on Helmers Lane.  Lynden wanted a site on the Inner harbor at Ocean Springs for the Wilda B (aka Rum Runner).  He convinced ? a golfer to relocate to Gulf Hills and bought his home and land at 207 General Pershing Avenue.(Bruce Duckett, October 10, 2000) 

In July 1970, Wilda Lopez Bowring acquired from Lester B. Larson and Jennie C. Larson the following property in Ocean Springs.  Their residence address was 207 General Pershing Avenue.

Commencing at the southwest corner of Hellmers Lane and General Pershing Avenue: Go south 92.5 feet to the POB.  Thence south 331.5 feet along the west margin of General Pershing Avenue to the waters edge of the OS small craft harbor, thence N 70 degrees 20’ W 200 feet along the waters edge of the small craft harbor to the fence line dividing the Larson and Howell property; thence N 19 degrees 20’E 257 feet along an old fence line; thence S84 degrees 20’E 128 feet along an old fence line to the point of beginning.  Said land lying in Section 37, T7S-R8W.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 381, pp. 587-588)         

In May 1971, Mrs. Bowring acquired from Earl W. Paul and Ilsedore Paul, the following:  Commencing at the southwest corner of Hellmers Lane and General Pershing Avenue: Go south 92.5 feet; thence N84 degrees 20’W 128 feet along a wire fence; thence north 66.3 feet along a wire fence to the south margin of Hellmers Lane; thence N84 degreesE127 feet along the south margin of Hellmers Lane to the POB.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 401, pp.338-339)

Their residence address was 207 General Pershing Avenue.  There was a rental house on one of the lots.  House fire caused by lightening destroyed most of their home September 13, 1977.  Mr. Bowring was led out of the burning house by Alice Duckett.  Mrs. Wilda L. Bowring suffered burns and smoke inhalation and died in late October as a result of injuries from the conflagration.  She was a member of the Colonial Dames, Daughters of the American Revolution, Les Masques carnival club, and the Biloxi Yacht Club.  Member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church.  Buried at the Biloxi Cemetery.(The Ocean Springs Record, September 15, 1977, pp. 1-2 and The Daily Herald, October 27, 1977, p. A-2)

Mrs. Wilda Bowring left an estate valued at approximately $300,000.  Her principal beneficiaries were: Patricia T. Leavitt of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, Barbara T. Kroningen of Downers Grove, Illinois, (JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 33566)

In June 1978, Lynden Bowring, executor of the Estate of Wilda Lopez Bowring, sold to Charles E. Carr and Joy R. Carr, the two parcels above.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 621, p. 501).  In 1996, Dr. William Pontius built a large home, “Lattiude”, at Hellmers Lane on the former site of Bowring’s boathouse.

When Lynden Bowring expired on April 8, 1980, he was living at his apartment house at 414 East Howard Avenue in Biloxi.  He willed his real estate at 900 East Beach Biloxi to Beverly Lopez Berggren, his sister-in-law, and Patricia Tarr Leavitt, his niece-in-law.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD Chancery Court Cause No. 9853)           

Cause No. 9853-Estate of Lynden Bowring-1980

Patricia Tarr Leavitt, executrix of Lynden Bowing's estate. Bowring was married three times. His first wife died and he divorced his second spouse. Two children born of first marriage, but children died.  Wife preceded him in death.  No children.  Left property at 900 East Beach Biloxi to Beverly Lopez Berggren, his sister-in-law, and Patricia Tarr Leavitt, his niece-in-law.  Mr. Bowring was affiliated with C.T. Bowring and Co. Ltd. of London, England.  He owned a one-half interest in the Carlton Apartments on Union Drive in Los Angeles.  Lynden Bowring died on April 8, 1980.

Berggren-Leavitt

Beverly Lopez Berggren (1904-1991), called Bee and Lillie, was the daughter of Lazaro Lopez II and Eurilda Seal.  She was educated at the Sacred Heart Academy and Mississippi Southern College.  Miss Lopez married Captain Oscar E. Berggren (1893-1964).  No children.  They resided on Suter Street at Biloxi.  She was a charter member of Les Masques carnival club.  Passed on at Biloxi on October 26, 1991.(The Sun Herald, October 29, 1991)

Captain Oscar E. Berggren was a native of Fjallbacka, Sweden.  He made his livelihood on the sea.  During his forty-six year naval career, Captain Berggren had worked for the Waterman and Morgan steamship lines.  During WWII, he sailed on merchant vessels from Canada to Europe facing the relentless pursuit of German U-Boats.  He was fortunate as on several occasions, his ship had close encounters with German torpedoes.  Captain Berggren was a member of the Masters, Mates, and Pilots Association.(The Daily Herald, January 6, 1964, p. 2)

Mrs. Beverly Lopez Berggren legated her interest in Live Oak to Patricia T. Leavitt.  Clara Lopez Campbell D’Aquilla (b. 1936) was her executrix.  Mrs. D’Aquilla was legated Mrs. Berggren’s home at 1092 West Beach Blvd. in Biloxi.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD Chancery Court Cause No. P-2077B)

Patricia Tarr Leavitt (b. 1919) was the daughter of Leslie R. Tarr (1897-1972) and Clara Lopez (1902-1936).  Leslie R. Tarr met Miss Lopez during WWI, when he was a sailor posted at the Gulfport Naval Station.  They eloped and were married at Ocean Springs, Mississippi on December 8, 1918, by Judge O.D. Davidson (1872-1938).  Mr. Tarr resided at Glendale, California where he was employed as a newspaperman in Los Angeles.  Miss Lopez was a student at Newcomb College in New Orleans, at the time of her nuptials.  (The Daily Herald September 6, 1919, p. 4 and JXCO, Ms. MRB 11, p. 573) 

The Tarrs had another daughter, Barbara Tarr Kroninger (1921-1983), who was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on February 15, 1921.  Her mother had come here from California for a visit with her family and Barbara was born here.  Barbara Tarr was a stewardess for Delta Airlines and during WWII had been a Navy nurse.  She married Lt. (j.g.) Nolan Kroninger, USN, a native of Cowden, Illinois, on September 26, 1946.  He was aboard the USS Lexington when it was sunk by Japanese aircraf in 1942.  The Kronigers eventually settled at Downers Grove, Illinois.(The Daily Herald, February 18, 1921, p. 3, October 7, 1946, p. 6 and Clara L. D’Aquilla, October 23, 2000)

Clara L. Tarr divorced Leslie R. Tarr in California.  He was a resident of Santa Barbara, California in 1941, and passed on at Newport Beach, California in July 1972.  Clara then married Paul O. Froede (1896-1968) in New York on May 28, 1929.  Mr. Froede was a native of Brooklyn and had been a regular visitor to Biloxi.  The newly weds planned a six-weeks honeymoon trip through New England and Canada before returning to Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, June 5, 1929, p. 2)

Patricia Jeanne Tarr married Clyde M. Leavitt (b. 1910), a naval architect, from Syracuse, New York.  He was the son of Clyde Leavitt and Patricia McGowen.  Miss Tarr was a student at the University of Mississippi when they met.  Mr. Leavitt was employed at Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation in Pascagoula at the time.  They married in Jackson County, Mississippi on June 7, 1941.  Two daughters were born from this union.(Clara L. D’ Aquilla and JXCO, Ms. MRB 33, p. 550)

In April 1974, the Leavitts bought Lots 1 and 2 of Block 50 Gulf Hills on 13901 Puerto Drive from W.H. Mecom Jr.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 495, p. 549)  Sold Gulf Hills home in November 1994 to Phillip L. Severson Jr.  The Leavitts moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico, where they reside presently.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1053, p. 156)  Mrs. Leavitt suffered a stroke recently and is recovering.(Claire L. D’Aquilla, October 18, 2000)

Phillip D. Ward

In March 1984, Mary L. Harvey sold her lot to Phillip D. Ward.(Bk. 142, p. 585)

In March 1984, Bergrren-Leavitt sold their lot to Phillip D. Ward.(Bk. 142, p. 587)

Robert E. Hebert

In April 1987, Robert E. Hebert took a Deed of Trust from Phillip D. Ward on the property.  He defaulted on his payments to Hebert.  In April 1988, James B. Person, Substitute Trustee, sold the lot to Hebert.(Bk. 200, pp. 68-69)

When Hebert defaulted on his performance, conditions, and provisions of his deed of trust with Harvey and Leavitt-Bergreen, Larry C. Corban Jr., Trustee, sold on July 3, 1989, to Mary L. Harvey for $83,656.14.(Bk. 211, pp. 208-210)  Corban sold the other lot to Berggren-Leavitt for $153,537.75.(Bk. 211, pp. 212-214)           

Mrs. Berggren Dies

When Mrs. Beverly Lopez Berggren passed, she legated her interest in Live Oak to Patricia T. Leavitt.  Mrs. Berggren was known as Bee and Lillie.  Clara Lopez Campbell D’Aquilla (b. 1936) was her executrix.  Mrs. D’Aquilla was legated Mrs. Berggren’s home at 1092 West Beach Blvd. in Biloxi. .(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD Chancery Court Cause No. P-2077B-March 1993)

Frederick J. Burmont

In March 1993, for $5000, Patricia T. Leavitt and Mary L. Harvey (1910-1999) sold an option to purchase the site to Frederick J. Burmont in March 1993.  If option selected, the selling price would be $800,000.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD, Land Deed Bk. 53, p. 417)

In October 1993, Patricia T. Leavitt and Mary L. Harvey sold “Live Oak” to the Oak Place Development Company, a Mississippi corporation.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD, Land Deed Bk. 262, pp. 84-85)    

Oak Place Development Company led by Frederick J. Burmont and headquartered at Daytona Beach, Florida.  In May 1994, the stockholders voted to sell their Biloxi land to Ronald W. Blacklidge for $1,700,000.  Sold in June 1994, to Blacklidge with Oaks at Tullis, Inc. of Gulfport.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD Land Deed Bk. 271, pp.421-434)           

Oaks at Tullis

Oaks at Tullis, Inc. to City of Biloxi, Mississippi.(HARCO, Ms. 2nd JD Land Deed Bk. 358, pp. 78-86)

 

REFERENCES:

Chancery Court Causes

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 14868, “Ex Parte: Mrs. Adrienne De Lappe Sporl, et al”, September 1936.

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 24,334, “The Estate of Lucinda Davis Stamps”, December 1946.(Will Book 9, pp. 241-243)

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 37,904, “The Estate of Joan Minor”, October 1961.

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 53,890, “Mrs. Jane Farrar Wood v. The Unknown Heirs of Edgar Howard Farrar and Lucinda Davis Stamps”, May 1967.

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court 2nd Judicial District, Cause No. 9853, “The Estate of Lynden Bowring, 1980.

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court 2nd Judicial District Cause No. P-2077B, The Estate of Beverly Lopez Berggren”, March 1993.

Mississippi State Highway Commission v. Mildred Farrar, Mrs. Ralph B. Wood, Edith Barnes Farrar, Mrs. Joseph Goldsberger, Mrs. Richard F. Goldsborough, Maude Ellen Farrar, Stamps Farrar, and Edward H. Farrar.  Cause No. 12,936, (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 399, pp. 44-45)

Cause No. 27,220 Clara M. Campbell

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 33,566, “The Estate of Wilda Lopez Bowring”, January 1979.

Books

American State Papers, Volume III, Public Lands (1815-1824), (The Southern Historical Press, Inc.: Greenville, South Carolina-1994)

Nap L. Cassibry II, Early Settlers and Land Grants At Biloxi, Volume 1 and Volume II, Special Issue No. 5, (Mississippi Coast Historical & Genealogical Society: Biloxi, Mississippi-1986).

Charles H. Dyer, Along The Gulf, (Women of the Trinity Episcopal Church: Pass Christian, Mississippi-1971)

T.H. Glenn, The Mexican Gulf Coast Illustrated, (Graham & Delchamps: Mobile, Alabama-1893)

 

Magazines

Antiques Gazette, “Southdown Plantation Now Historic House and Museum”, June 1993.

 
Journals

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, February 6, 1892.

The Biloxi Herald, “Biloxi Chief Industry”, September 12, 1892.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, September 28, 1892.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, April 29, 1893.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, June 10, 1893.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, July 1, 1893.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Kuhn-Desporte”, May 1, 1903, p 5.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Joseph Kuhn”, November 25, 1903.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Necrology-Frank Dunbar”, January 31, 1908.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Kuhn-Bourdon”, December 20, 1909, p. 8.

The Daily Herald, “New Orleans Man Killed by Robbers”, November 2, 1911.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News”, November 3, 1911.

The Daily Herald, Humpty Dumpty, Speed Marvel, Is Sensation of Biloxi Motor Races”, July 13, 1912, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, “Will Be No Race Between Speeders”, July 12, 1912.

The Daily Herald, “Speed Boats Off on Long Cruise”, July 3, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Dunbar Property on East Beach Has Been Sold to New Orleanian”, February 12, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Thieves Ransack The Dunbar Home”, June 22, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Ten graduates are given diplomas at closing exercises”, May 29, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Jahncke is hero of recent “Blow”, July, 10, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Wood-Farrar”, September 12, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Wood-Farrar”, September 13, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Judge Farrar To Come To Biloxi”, April 9, 1917.

The Daily Herald, “Geo. H. Dunbar Dies In New Orleans”, October 19, 1917.

The Daily Herald, “Prominent Man Dies In New Orleans”, October 24, 1918.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Frank Dunbar Dead”, May 31, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Ernest Lee Jancke Here”, August 4, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Girl of Southern Noted Family Joins Husband in Los Angeles”, September 6, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Dunbar Dead”, February 9, 1920, August 27, 1925.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, February 18, 1921.

The Daily Herald, “Prominent Biloxian (Sarah Kuhn) Dead”, April 26, 1921.

The Daily Herald, “Death Claims Prominent Biloxi Resident in Judge E.H. Farrar”, January 7, 1922.

The Daily Herald, “Farrar Remains Buried”, January 9, 1922.

The Daily Herald, “Edgar H. Farrar”, January 9, 1922.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Kate Minor Dead”, December 4, 1923.

The Daily Herald, “Aunt Dinah in Local Port”, May 28, 1923.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News (Lucille Minor), August 27, 1925

The Daily Herald, “Miss Jahncke Captain”, December 10, 1926.

The Daily Herald, “Improving Williams Home”, May 24, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News”, September 1, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Elizabeth Kuhn Dies”, June 17, 1929, p. 2.

The Daily Herald, “Froede-Tarr Nuptials”, June 5, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Goldsborough Bank Head”, May 27, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. C.A. Sporl Dies”, August 28, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “May Adele Kuhn Dies”, December 3, 1930, p. 2.

The Daily Herald, “Farrar-Howard”, June 1, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Jahncke To Marry”, October 13, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “C.A. Sporl Dies”, January 27, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “Attend Sporl Funeral”, January 29, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “C.A. Sporl Dies”, January 31, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Paul Froede Dies”, September 24, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “John Duncan Minor Dies”, August 9, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “Barkley-Tullis Wedding”, October 9, 1938.

The Daily Herald"Sporl gives yacht to Coast Guard", April 21, 1941.

The Daily Herald, “Dr. James Wallace World War Captain Dies at Biloxi”, October 28, 1942.

The Daily Herald, “Kroninger-Tarr”, October 7, 1946.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Farrar dies: Burial in New Orleans”, November 13, 1946.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Laura Sporl Kileen”, March 6, 1956.

The Daily Herald, “Know Your Coast”, “The Biloxi House With The English Fence”, 1956.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Joan Minor”, May 29, 1956.

The Daily Herald, “Minor Rites”, May 31, 1956.

The Daily Herald, “Capt. Berggren Taken By Death”, January 6. 1964.

The Daily Herald, “Know Your Coast”“The Biloxi House With The English Fence”November 5, 1964.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Mildred Farrar”, February 8, 1967.

The Daily Herald, “R.B. Wood”, October 26, 1967.

The Daily Herald,“Widow [Mary H. Farrar] of Dr. Goldberger dies in Biloxi home"September 12, 1969.

The Daily Herald, “Louis W. Harvey”, January 20, 1970.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Wilda Lopez Bowring”, October 27, 1977.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Saved From Fire”, September 15, 1977.
The Sun Herald, “Mrs. Beverly Berggren”, October 29, 1991.
The Sun Herald, “Mary L. Harvey”, November 14, 1999.

The Times-Picayune, "Married [Anna G. Farrar and Richard F. Goldsborough]", January 1, 1905.

The Times-Picayune, "Miss Lucy Farrar's brilliant career ends sadly in Paris", October 28, 1910.

The Times-Picayune, "Dr. Goldberger pellagra's foe dies for science", January 18, 1929.

The Times-Picayune, "Jahncke named to special duty with Navy here", May 19, 1941.

The Times-Picayune, "Mrs. Farrar, 89 expires at Biloxi", November 213, 1946.

The Times-Picayune, "Stamps Farrar last rites held", May 4, 1950.

The Times-Picayune, "Stamps Farrar", May 5, 1950.

The Times-Picayune, "Thomas P. Farrar dies in New York", June 12, 1951.

The Times-Picayune, "Deaths [Edith Barnes Farrar]", February 21, 1959.

The Times-Picayune, "[Ernest Lee] Jahncke rites planned today", November 17, 1960.

The Times-Picayune, "Mrs. Jahncke rites planned", March 20, 1970.

The Times-Picayune, "Deaths [Anna Farrar Goldsborough]", December 12, 1970.

The Times-Picayune, "[Anna Farrar Goldsborough] Ex-cartoonist's rites are held", February 2, 1971.

 

Personal Communication:

A. Bruce Duckett-telephone conversation on October 10, 2000, at Ocean Springs, Mississippi

Bache Whitlock-telephone conversation on October 19, 2000, at Ocean Springs, Mississippi. 

Clara L. D’Aquilla-telephone conversation on October 18, 2000 at Biloxi, Mississippi.

Clara L. D’Aquilla-interview at 1092 Beach Blvd. on October 23, 2000, at Biloxi, Ms.

Cause No. 9853-Estate of Lynden Bowring-1980

Patricia Tarr Leavitt, executrix of his estate. Married three times. First wife died, divorced second. Two children born of first marriage, but children died.  Wife preceded him in death.  No children.  Left property at 900 East Beach Biloxi to Beverly Lopez Berggren, his sister-in-law, and Patricia Tarr Leavitt, his niece-in-law.  Bowring affiliated with C.T. Bowring and Co. Ltd. of London, England.  Owned a one-half interest in the Carlton Apartments on Union Drive in Los Angeles.  Bowring died April 8, 1980.

Three Hundred Years of Biloxi Art and Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870 - 1952)

THREE HUNDRED YEARS of BILOXI ART

 

Native American-crude coiled pots with some scriffito.

 

Colonial Biloxi-

 

Early French cartography-Maps of Biloxi Bay and environs.

 

Jean-Baptiste Michel Le Bouteux, “View of the Camp of the Concession of Monseigneur Law at Nouveau Biloxy, coast of Louisiana”, 1720.(The Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois)

 

Gauld’s Map of 1768.  In June 1768, George A. Gauld (1732-1782), a Scottish cartographer and surveyor, in the employ of the British Admiralty, made a map of coastal Mississippi.  He was operating from HMS Sir Edward Hawke.  During his reconnaissance and charting of the region, Gauld made many observations about Horn Island.  He discovered that it was some sixteen miles in length, but in width no more than one mile.  Orientation was nearly east-west.  As regards to vegetation, Gauld noted that there were uneven groves of trees on the west end of the island.  The middle was characterized by dense growth, and the eastern end of the sand bar was fairly devoid of tree growth.(Ware, 1982, p.107) 

 

U.S. Map Survey of 1851

 

Richard Clague Jr. (1821-1873)-The Back Bay of Biloxi, 1862-a drawing and finished oil painting.

 

Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association-founded in November 1926.

 

MGCAA

William Woodward (1859-1939), formerly of New Orleans, was the founder of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association during his retirement years at Biloxi.  Professor Woodward had relocated to Benachi Avenue at Biloxi in 1923.  He had relocated from New England to the Crescent City with Ellsworth Woodward, his brother, to teach art at the World Business and Cotton Centennial held in 1884 and 1885.

In mid-November 1926, he and interested parties met at the Biloxi Public Library and commenced this cultural body, which aspired to influence the future aesthetics of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Among the charter members of the organization were: Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952) and Louise Mallard (1900-1975) of Biloxi; Miss Sarah K. Smith (1878-1930+) of Gulf Park College; Dean Parkhurst Woleben (1891-1968) of Gulfport; and Ella Layden Roche, Edward C. de Celle, and Roderick Dempster MacKenzie (1865-1941) of Mobile.(The Daily Herald, November 19, 1926, p. 2)

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association held its first annual exhibit at the Biloxi Public Library from February 4th until February 20th, 1927, Miss Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952), then secretary of the organization, exhibited photography and oil paintings.  Her “The Burden Bearer” was voted “the best-liked picture”.  William Woodward won the gold medal for “Our Street”.(The Daily Herald, February 3, 1927, p. 2 and February 21, 1927, p. 2)

 

1927 Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit

The Gulf Coast Art Association, which was led by Professor William Woodward (1859-1939) and Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952), held its first exhibit at the Biloxi Public Library from February 4th until February 20th, 1927.  The show, which was composed of oil paintings, water colors, pastels, lithographic drawings, block prints, sculpture, photography, pottery, metal work, and embroidery, was juried by Will H. Stevens of Newcomb College at New Orleans, Sarah K. Smith of Gulf Park College at Gulfport, Mississippi, and Edmund C. DeCelle of Mobile.(The Daily Herald, February 3, 1927, p. 2)

Those exhibiting at the Biloxi show were: Peter Anderson (1901-1984)-Ocean Springs; Gertrude Burton (Ocean Springs); Grace Cheeseman (Gulfport); Alethia B. Clemens (Biloxi); Edmund C. DeCelle (Mobile); Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952)-Biloxi; Camille J. Ehrenfels (NOLA); Robert H. Holmes (1869-1949)-Ocean Springs; Dorothy Hopkins (Biloxi); Charles W. Hutson (Biloxi); Charles E. Hultberg (1874-1948)- (Biloxi); Manuel Jalanivich (1898-1944)-Biloxi/California; Louise Mallard (1900-1975)-Biloxi); William H. Muir (Gulfport); Anne Wells Munger (Pass Christian); Christine Northrop (Pass Christian); Mrs. Granville Osoinach (Gulfport); Sarah K. Smith (Gulfport); Miss C.R. Tibb (Biloxi); Clara Tucker (Biloxi); Alice Walsh (Gulfport); Louise Giesen Woodward (1862-1937)-Biloxi; and William Woodward (1859-1939)-Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, February 5, 1927, p. 5)

On opening night of the juried exhibition, the winning artists selected by the three jurors were as follows: Gold Medal sponsored by The Peoples Bank for the best oil painting, “A Western Scene”, by Charles E. Hultberg (1874-1948); Gold Medal given by the Biloxi City Commissioners for the best Mississippi coast scene, “Our Street”;byWilliam Woodward;and Ribbon for honorable mention was won by Edmund C. DeCille for “Mardi Gras”. (The Daily Herald, February 5, 1927, p. 5)

On February 8, 1927, three pieces of Jalan Pottery for the Biloxi exhibit arrived from California.  They consisted of a large jardinière worth $150.00, and two pieces, a light blue bowl and a small jar, valued at $20.00 apiece.  Manuel Jalanivich’s  work was lauded for its form, color, and glazing.  The ceramic work of Peter Anderson of the Shearwater Pottery at Ocean Springs was also praised.(The Daily Herald, February 9, 1927, p. 2)

The final award for the first Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibit was given by The First National Bank on the basis of votes placed by visitors to the show.  The Gold Medal for the “most popular picture” was won by Miss Mary Ethel Dismukes for The Burden Bearer”.  Professor Woodward’s large oil painting of potters, Joseph Meyer and George Ohr, placed second.  Miss Dismukes photograph titled “Sunshine and Shadow” was third in popularity.(The Daily Herald, February 21, 1927, p. 2)

 

1927-Gulf Coast Art Association

This show was juried by Will H. Stevens (1881-1949) of Newcomb College; Miss Sarah K. Smith of Gulf Park College; and Edmund C. de Celle of Mobile.  Professor Woodward had a least two paintings in this initial exhibit of the MGCAA, ‘The New Orleans Art Pottery Company” and ‘Our Street’, which was awarded the gold medal for best Coast scene.(The Daily Herald, February 3, 1927, p. 2 and February 21, 1927, p. 2)

In April 1927, the Woodwards ventured to Charleston, South Carolina to attend the Southern States Art League annual convention.  While in the Low Country, Professor Woodward painted the renowned Azalea blossoms of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and visited the Terrace Azalea Gardens.  At Easter, they visited with Eleanor W. Blosser and grandchildren in Atlanta.  At Mobile, the Woodwards visited the Gulf Coast Art Association show and returned it to Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, April 21, 1927, p. 2)

1928 Exhibits

At an exhibition of her works sponsored by the Woman’s Club and held at the Biloxi Public Library from February 23 to February 27, 1928, Miss Dismukes displayed an eclectic ensemble of approximately eighty art objects-over forty photographs, eighteen oil paintings, four watercolors, two pastels and craft work in china, copper, and wood.  In addition, she delivered two lectures, History and Legends of the Gulf Coast and the Vieux Carre.  By popular vote, visitors to her exhibition selected “Rosy Dawn” and “Reflections” as the best in her show.  Miss Dismukes sold several pieces and received solicitations for portraits.(The Daily Herald, February 22, 1928, p. 2, February 23, 1928, p. 2, February 25, 1928, p. 2, and February 27, 1928, p. 2)          

1928-Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association-

Mid-February 1928 was indeed a historic moment in the art history of Biloxi.  There were two exhibits on simultaneously.  Professor William Woodward had his own gallery showing while the MGCAA show was hanging in the Biloxi Public Library.  The Woodward display consisted of about forty paintings, primarily of Biloxi.  Some of his subjects were: Benachi Avenue at its Back Bay terminus; the Biloxi lighthouse; live oaks in front of the W.P. Kennedy domicile; shell roads in the vicinity of Solari’s fish house; and the elliptical shoreline of the Back Bay of Biloxi.  An art critic from New York City so admired the color and composition of William Woodward’s ‘Spring time near Biloxi’, that he compared the Professor to Claude Monet (1840-1926).  Mr. Woodward related that after he had moved beyond the Barbizon style that indeed Monet had been an inspiration.(The Daily Herald, February 16, 1928, p. 2)

Professor William Woodward opened the 1929 art association annual exhibition with a talk on art appreciation.  He emphasized that art, excepting religion, is the most tangible element in our daily lives.  Woodward lauded the Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association for its inaugural efforts and selfless serving to promote cultural activities in this historic region.  He emphasized that there were limitless, natural subjects to be captured on the canvas by local artists for as Professor Woodward stated, “art begins at home.”  William Woodward was honored at this art show by capturing the Peoples Bank award for the best oil painting for his “Azaleas in Sunlight”.(The Daily Herald, February 18, 1928, p. 2)

 

[More]

 

Pass Christian

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association 2nd annual art show opened at Pass Christian on March 1, 1928.  The Rafferty building was selected as the viewing venue at the Pass.  This show will move to Mobile at a later date.(The Daily Herald,  March 1, 1928, p. 2)

 

1929 Exhibits

In mid-January 1929,the Biloxi Public Library was the venue of an art exhibit of the professional women artists of Mississippi.  Among those showing their water colors, pastels, and oil paintings were: Mrs. W.Q. Sharp of Jackson, vice president of the Mississippi Art Association and worker in pastels and water color; Miss Mary Clair Sherwood, teacher at All Saints College at Vicksburg; Miss Charlotte E. Tibbs of Biloxi; Miss Betty McArthur, a teacher at M.S.C.W; Marie A. Hull (1890-1980) of Jackson who recently had three works accepted by the Philadelphia Watercolor Association and others at the Chicago Art Institute; Miss Mary Ethel Dismukes is exhibiting "Lover's Lane, Ocean Springs", "The Waifs", and "Spring", which was sketched at City Park in NOLA; Adolyn Gale Dismukes, Mrs. George Dismukes, was showing "Mt. Mckinley, Alaska", "Auroral Lights", and "Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes"; Mrs. Anne Wells Mounger of Pass Christian and Miss Sarah K. Smith of Gulf Park College also sent paintings.  A $20 prize for the most popular painting in the exhibit was sponsored by the First National Bank.(The Daily Herald, January 14, 1929, p. 2)

When the Coast Zone of Woman’s Clubs meeting was held in the Biloxi Public Library on October 31, 1929, an exhibit of Miss Dismukes photographs were on display in the clubroom.  The images were of local scenery appropriate for the occasion.(The Jackson County Times, November 9, 1929, p. 3)

 

1930

 

1931

 

1932

Miss Dismukes’ October exhibit

In late October 1932, Miss Dismukes replaced her former “sidewalk” display of oil paintings and photographs in a store window on West Howard Avenue in Biloxi, with a new showing of her work.  This photographic display dealt primarily with the Jefferson Davis family of Beauvoir.  Some of these images were: the Beauvoir pavilion where Jefferson Davis (1808-2008) wrote The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, Winnie;s piano; the Davis trunk; and the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer.(The Daily Herald, October 31, 1932, p. 2)

 

Gulf CoastArt Association

The initial 1932 convening of the Gulf Coast Art Association occurred on January 18th at Gulf Park College.  Dean Babcock (1888-1969), a resident of Estes Park, Colorado wintering at Biloxi, was the guest speaker and Henry C. Barrow (1895-1945), staff artist for The Times Picayune, displayed his pencil drawings of New Orleans’ scenery.  Dean Babcock spoke of the history of wood cut prints, which had its origins in Japan.  Mr. Babcock’s own work in block prints was an amalgamation of the later European method and that of the Japanese.  His works on display were used to illustrate the principles in creating wood block prints.  Barrow had made prints of pine and oak trees since arriving at Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, January 20, 1932, p. 5)

 

Newcomb exhibit

In September 1932, William Woodward, president of the Gulf Coast Art Association, had an exhibit of his Vieux Carre oil paintings in the recently refurbished Newcomb College gallery.  These turn of the Century works featured such French Quarter landmarks as: the Cabildo, St. Louis Cathedral; the old French Opera House; and the signature Jackson Square.  Most of these works had been viewed by Gulf Coast art aficionados either at local exhibits or in Professor Woodward’s Oak Park studio.(The Daily Herald, September 20, 1932, p. 2)

 

‘New’ etchings process

The first fall meeting of 1932 was held in late November at the home of Deaconess Mary Truesdell at 138 Fayard Street in Biloxi.  Professor William Woodward delivered an address titled, ‘New Etching Processes”.  In recent months, he had been working diligently on an exhibit in this medium.(The Daily Herald, November 24, 1932, p. 2

The sixth annual Gulf Coast Art Association fall exhibit was non-juried.  William Woodward presented an oil portrait and several etchings.  The ‘Solari Memorial Plate’, an etching of the Philip L. Solari (1868-1932) oyster house, wharf, and tree was very popular.  For each Solari print sold, Professor Woodward donated one to a Biloxi school.  Philip L. Solari, an Italian immigrant and Biloxi merchant, and his oak tree both expired in 1932.  Ellsworth Woodward, his brother, made the Solari prints at New Orleans.  ‘Deacon Reed’s House’, also an etching by William Woodward, was made from a sketch of this Massachusetts home, work shop, well and sweep.(The Daily Herald, September 26, 1932, p. 2 and December 12, 1932, p. 2)

 

The Art Center

In early December 1932, artists of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association decided to commence an “Art Center” in Biloxi.  It was located on the north side of West Howard Avenue between Reynoir and Fayard Streets, adjacent to D’Aquin’s Drugstore.  The “Art Center” may have been the first artist public meeting place and artist co-op on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  In addition to rotating art exhibits and association meetings, the Gulf Coast Art Association planned to have a workroom in their building, with north light, which is considered excellent for drawing and painting.  Classes and workshops were also planned for the workroom.  The “Art Center” opened in late December 1932.  Professor Woodward, William ‘Billy’ Logan, his grandson, and Charlotte E. Tibbs of Biloxi worked diligently to bring this project to fruition.(The Daily Herald, December 6, 1932, p. 2, December 29, 1932, p. 2, and January 10, 1933, p. 6)

William Woodward resigned from his very active role as president of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association in January 1933.  He had led the organization since its inception.  Anne Wells Munger (1862-1945), a native of Springfield, Massachusetts and resident of Pass Christian, Mississippi, became acting president.  Mrs. Munger wintered at Pass Christian and enjoyed painting during the cooler summers on Cape Cod in Massachusetts(The Daily Herald, February 14, 1927, p. 2 and January 10, 1933, p. 6)

 

1933

February found the MGCAA holding a showing of etchings at the Art Center.  Designated a ‘loan exhibit” because some individuals from the MGCAA loaned pieces from their private collections for the viewing pleasure of the membership as well as the public.  Anne Wells Munger of Pass Christian and Cape Cod, Massachusetts  (The Daily Herald, February 15, 1933, p. 2)

Anne Wells Munger of Pass Christian, Mississippi was elected president of the MGCAA at its annual meeting held in the Art Center on March 13, 1933.  Professor Woodward whose motivation and leadership had guided the MGCAA since its inception in November 1926, was named president emeritus.  Other elected officers were: Emma Langdon Roche, vice president; Mary Ethel Dismukes, secretary; and Deaconess Truesdell, treasurer.(The Daily Herald, March 14, 1933, p. 2)

The 1933 GCAA juried art show was held March 20-March 25 at the art studio on the Gulf Park College campus in Long Beach, Mississippi.-‘Autumn” and “Naval Reserve Park”-oils; “Captain Wooster’s Carpenter Place”, “Boats at Provincetown”, “Buck Sawyer”, and a “Coat of Arms”-etchings.(The Daily Herald, March 21, 1933, p. 1)

The Art Center at 512 West Howard Avenue officially closed its winter season in early May with a public tea.  William Woodward, president emeritus, was present at this function.  The Art Center closed for the summer months.(The Daily Herald, May 2, 1933, p. 2)

 

1934

Dorothy Hopkins left for Chicago on June 25th to spend the remainder of the summer studying at the American Academy of Art.  She is becoming Biloxi's best known artist.  Miss Hopkins has studied at NOLA and has had many exhibitions. She recently completed a portrait of Judge White and other works under the PWA.(The Daily Herald, June 25, 1934, p. 5)

 

1935

 

1935-Art Colony

From June 22 to August 17, 1935, an “art colony’ was held at the White House Hotel on Biloxi’s West Beach.  Hans Wang (1907-1942+), a native of New Orleans whose parents were Norwegian immigrants, ran the art school.  Mr. Wang resided at 4714 St. Peter Street in the Crescent City.(The Daily Herald, January 28, 1935, p. 3 and March 25, 1935, p. 5)

 

Chairman Biloxi’s presidential ball

In January 1936, Mayor John A.W. O’Keefe (1891-1985), appointed Miss Mallard chairman of Biloxi President’s Ball Committee.  The President’s Ball was held on January 30th in honor of the natal anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Funds raised from these dances were for the benefit of those disabled with infantile paralysis.  The proceeds were utilized for research, acquisition of hospital equipment, and to pay for treatment of those crippled with this malady.  In 1935, the President’s Ball raised more than $1 million dollars of which 30 per cent went to the Warm Springs, Georgia Foundation.(The Daily Herald,  January 13, 1936, p. 2)

 

1938

 

MGCAA

The Gulf Coast Art Association meeting for January 1938 had a change in venue.  The Markham Hotel at Gulfport, Mississippi was selected for the January 17, 1938 art show.  George Wilkinson, manager of the hotel, allowed the association the use of the mezzanine for their exhibits and the Gold Room for their lecture program.(The Daily Herald, January 11, 1938, p. 5)

Anthony V. ‘Tony Ragusin (1902-1997) of the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce entered twenty-six images in the Mississippi Art Association exhibition in early April.  Tony’s photographs depicted the fishing industry, fishing, birds, and bridges of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.(The Daily Herald,  March 31, 1938, p. 6)

 

1941

The Biloxi Camera Club was organized in September 1941 with Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952) as its first president.(The Daily Herald, September 19, 1941, p. 7) 

 

1943

The art work of Sergeant Harry Dix (1907-1968) of New York City and stationed at Keesler Field, and Tech. Sergeant Manuel Bromberg (b. 1917) formerly at Keesler Field, was to be displayed in the London National Gallery.  Dix's works chosen for the exhibit were: 'Barracks Scenes' and 'PX at Night',while Bromberg;s 'Card Players and 'Tent Interiors' was going to London.  Captain Peter de Anna of Washington may also have his art work in the final selection.(The Daily Herald, October 20, 1943, p. 2) 

Private Birney Quick (1912-1981) of Duluth, Minnesota was selcted to paint murals at Keesler Field.(The Daily Herald, November 5, 1943, p. 2)

 

1948

Charles E. Hultberg (1874-1948), native of Sweden and retired from American Can Company and resident of Biloxi since 1922, died at his Porter Avenue residence.  Mr. Hultberg won the People’s Bank gold medal award for the best oil painting at the 1st GCAA in 1927.(The Daily Herald, February 5, 1927, p. 5 and November 20, 1948, p. 6)

 

1951

William Steene of Gulf Hills and Horace C. Russ of Lakeshore were jurors for the GCAA show held at the Markham Hotel’s Marine room in November.(The Gulf Coast Times, November 8, 1951, p. 1)

 

REFERENCES:

The Daily Herald, “Organize Art Association”, November 19, 1926.

The Daily Herald, “Artist are Biloxi visitors”, November 19, 1926.

The Daily Herald, “Gulf Coast Association”, November 30, 1926.

The Daily Herald, “Opening of Art Exhibit at Library”, February 3, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Award Made by Jury of Gifted and Competent Artists for Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibition at Biloxi February 4”, February 5, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibits Closes Saturday”, February 14, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibits Closes”, February 21, 1927.

1928

The Daily Herald, "Joseph Meyer Lived In Biloxi", January 4, 1928, p. 10.

The Daily Herald, “Woodward Home”, February 15, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Two art exhibitions”, February 16, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Second annual art exhibition”, February 18, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit opens at Pass [Christian], March 1, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, July 23, 1928.

1929-1936

The Daily Herald,“Etching exhibit at Art Center, October 31, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs [Dorothy Hopkins], June 25, 1934.

The Daily Herald, Etching exhibit at Art Center”, February 15, 1935.

The Daily Herald, “Summer Art Colony in Biloxi assured”, January 28, 1935.

The Daily Herald, “Annual art show opens”, April 9, 1935.

The Daily Herald, “Summer Art Colony”, March 25, 1935.

1937

The Daily Herald, “Test need for Museum in Biloxi”, January 18, 1937, p. 2.

The Daily Herald, “Museum supporters to meet”, February 24, 1937, p. 2.

The Daily Herald, “Community Art  Center to be discussed”, February 27, 1937, p. 5.

The Daily Herald, “Museum supporters to meet”, March 13, 1937, p. 10.

1938

The Daily Herald, “Ragusin enters pictures”, March 31, 1938.

1941

The Daily Herald, "Biloxi Camera Club organized", September 19, 1941. 

1943

The Daily Herald, "Keesler painting will be displayed in London Gallery", October 20, 1943 

The Daily Herald, "Artist to paint murals at Keesler Field", November 5, 1943.

1948

The Daily Herald, “Charles E. Hultberg dies”, November 20, 1948, p. 6.

1951

The Gulf Coast Times, “William Steene honored by Art Association”, November 8, 1951, p. 1.

1959

The Daily Herald, "[MacMahon] Gibbs outlines place of art in everyday life", July 23, 1959, p. 18.

BILOXI ARTISTS

SARAH K. SMITH

Sarah K. Smith was born at Oakland, Alameda County, California in June 1878 to Reverend George H. Smith (1847-1920+) and Rachel Moorer Smith (1856-1920+).

 

REFERENCES:

The Daily Herald,“Gulf Park again displays wisdom”, May 27, 1921, p. 8.

The Daily Herald,“Gulf Park College deserves to rank with strongest of Girls’ Schools”, August 1, 1921, p. 2.

The Daily Herald,“Woman’s Club at Gulf Park College”, November 23, 1922, p. 5.

The Daily Herald,“Detail of rotary art exhibit”, November 23, 1922, p. 5.

 

CHARLOTTE  E. TIBBS

Charlotte E. Tibbs (1878-1971?) was born at New York.  Lived on Iberville Drive in Biloxi.

 

ALETHIA B. CLEMENS

Alethia Beatrice Clemens (1874-1960) was born September 6, 1874 to Bruno Richard Clemens (1830-1915) and Emma P. Savers (1843-1930).  Her father was born at Hanover, Germany and was a ship pilot, Condederate war veteran, and former yacht racer for wealthy New Orleanians.  Mrs. Clemens was born in Alabama.  Bruno and Emma married in Harrison County, Mississippi in February 1860 and had five children: Emma Josephine Clemons (1861-1892) m. Albert Gerdes (1853-1917); Mary Alice Clemons(1863-1931); Edward Clemons (1866-1942); Noalee Clemons (1872-1936) m. Charles H. Delmas (1855-1938); and Alethia B. Clemens (1874-1960).

Education

Attended Sophie Newcomb College at New Orleans where she studied the normal art course from 1906 until her graduation in 1910.  Alethia B. Clemens expired at Biloxi, Mississippi on January 13, 1960.

REFERENCES:

The Daily Herald, “Miss Clemens returns to Alexandria”, September 14, 1915.

 

LOUISE J. MALLARD

Louise Josephine Mallard (1900-1975) was born March 22, 1900, at New Orleans, Louisiana, the daughter of George F. Mallard (1854-1926) and Julia Rousseau (1875-1947).  Her parents married at New Orleans on June 14, 1893.  Children: George F. Mallard II (1894-1916); Prudent Mallard (1895-1918); Julia Maria Mallard (1897-1899); Louise Mallard (1900-1975); and Albert Mallard (1901-1982) m. Evelyn McShane (1902-1960).

 

1928 Mardi Gras

Louise designed Mardi Gras floats using a Japanese influence.

 

Pilot Club

            

 

Louise Mallard anecdotal stories

Louise hired a plumber to fix a leak in her house.  Waited and didn’t show.  Came late and knocked on the screen door and invited him.  She had called down from upstairs where she sat on the commode with a umbrella in her hand above the leaking pipe!  This was her method for emphasis the leak to the plumber.(Maria Mallard, June 27, 2008)

Louise got tired of the canopy on her Mallard bed and cut the four posts to remove it.(Maria Mallard, June 27, 2008)

In the 1940s, Alton Bellande (1912-1970), a young Biloxi Fuller Brush salesman, went to the Mallard home on Benachi Avenue to make a potential sales call.  Louise welcomed him into her home, as their families knew one another.  Alton observed dust coating much of the Mallard furniture and floors and anticipated making at least a brush sale.  Miss Mallard was taken aback at his suggestion that her house was in need of a thorough cleaning.  Bellande departed frustrated and scolded Louise with this comment: “Louise, you need more than brushes to clean this place.  You need a large broom!”(Betty Bellande-Toland, June 28, 2008)

Expired January 28, 1975.

REFERENCES:

The Daily Herald, “photo”, February 21, 1928, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, Miss Mallard awarded cup”, May 1, 1935, p. 2.

The Daily Herald, , “Chairman Biloxi Presidential Ball”, January 13, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “photo”, June 7, 1936, p. 5.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Louise J. Mallard”, January 29, 1975, p. A2.

The Daily Herald,

The Daily Herald, “Albert Mallard”, April    , 1982, p.   .

 

Patsy Mallard Ellmer  875-2592

Maria Mallard    209-0087

 

 

DUSTI S. BONGE'

 

REFERENCES:

 

 

CHARLES KUPER

 

 

AUBREY H. GARDNER

Aubrey H. Gardner (1911-2004) was born February 10, 1911 in Tulsa, Oklahoma to George Gardner (1867-1930+) and          .  Parents divorced before 1920.  Died July 1, 2004 in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

REFERENCES:

The Daily Herald,“Gardner buys out Collins sign shop”, November 9, 1954, p. 14.

The Ocean Springs News, “Art gallery resumes class”, January 13, 1966, p. 1.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

MARY  ETHEL DISMUKES (1870-1952)

BEAUVOIR circa 1933

[image by Ray L. Bellande, June 2002.  Property of the Biloxi School System]

 

Mary Ethel Dismukes was chosen by Professor Ellsworth Woodward (1861-1939), director of the Issac Delgadgo Museum of Art at New Orleans, to participate in the Government sponsored Public Works of Art project.  Her commission, which commenced in mid-December 1933, was to paint in oils, of Beauvoir, the Church of the Redeemer, the monument commemorating the site where Iberville landed in 1699, and a phase of the fishing industry.  Miss Dismukes commissioned ended on February 15, 1934.(The Daily Herald, February 2, 1934, p. 6)

Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952) was born at Pulaski, Giles County, Tennessee, on April 13, 1870, the daughter of George R. Dismukes (1840-1909), a merchant, and Adella McDonald Dismukes (1846-1924).  Her father expired at Pulaski, Tennessee in March 1909.   She was present for his demise.(1880 Giles Co., Tennessee Federal Census T_9 1257, ED 111 and The Daily Herald, March 22, 1909, p. 1)

Miss Dismukes came to Biloxi in 1897, with her family.  She resided at 113 Lameuse Street with her mother.  Her brother was George E. Dismuke (1874-1937).  Miss Dismukes was a member of the Woman’s Club (Biloxi), Magnolia Art Club, Biloxi Tree Association.(The Daily Herald, February 18, 1952, p. 4)

Mary Ethel Dismukes, called Ethel, had studied at the Art Student’s League of New York under John H. Twachtmann (1853-1902), Clifford Carleton (1867-1946), and Kenyon C. Cox (1856-1919) from 1900 until she was hired by the Biloxi public schools in May 1902.  Miss Dismukes was the first principal of an art department in the Biloxi educational system.  Her hiring resulted in an art studio being incorporated into the new addition to the Biloxi Central School on Main Street.  At Biloxi, those students choosing her course were instructed in charcoal drawing; pen and ink drawing; painting in oil, water color, and pastel; and china painting.  Burnt wood etching or pyrography was also offered.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, May 30, 1902, p. 8)

 

George E. Dismukes and Adolyn Gale

George Edward Dismukes (1874-1937) was a mining engineer.  He was born at Pulaski, Tennessee on July 17, 1874, and educated in a private college there.  George E. Dismukes married Adolyn Gale (1864-1953), a native of Memphis, Tennessee.  His livelihood took him to Georgia, Alaska, California, Oregon and other mining districts of North America.  Dismukes was an authority on gold mining and a mine appraiser.  He expired at Ethel’s home at 113 Lameuse Street on August 18, 1937.  George and Adolyn had lived with Miss Dismukes for approximately ten years.  His corporal remains were sent to Memphis, Tennessee for burial in the Elmwood Cemetery.(The Daily Herald, August 18, 1937, p. 2)

Adolyn Gale Dismukes was also an artist.  In 1929, her oil paintings were exhibited in the Tennessee Painter’s Exhibit, an annual show, which was held at the Watkins Institute in Nashville.  Since the 1890s, Mrs. Dismukes had traveled to Alaska with her husband.  Works from this region dominated her exhibition as she had oil paintings titled: Bering Sea, Aurora Light, and Valley of The Thousand Smoke.(The Daily Herald, June 13, 1929, p. 2)

Adolyn G. Dismukes expired at Biloxi, Mississippi on July 22, 1953.  She was the daughter of Thomas Gale (1816-1912), an Englishman, who founded the Lemon-Gale Dry Goods Company in Memphis.  Colonel Gale had come to America in 1823, and spent his entire life in the South, primarily in Tennessee.  Adolyn G. Dismukes’ corporal remains were interred in the Elmwood Cemetery at Memphis, Tennessee.(The Daily Herald, July 23, 1953, p. 12)

 

1903 Art Exhibit

In late May 1903, Miss Dismukes held an art exhibit of her student's annual works at the Main School.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, May 20, 1903, p. 6)

 

1904 Art exhibit

Mary Ethel Dismukes, Biloxi High School art teacher, opened her studio in the high school building on November 15th for public viewing of the charcoal, pen and ink, oil, water color, and china painting that was done by her students and herself.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 15, 1904, p. 5) 

 

Biloxi School of Art

Miss Dismukes spent the summer of 1909 at Pulaski, Tennessee.  By June 1910, Miss Dismukes had opened a private art academy at 131 Lameuse Street, her family home.  Classes in drawing and painting were held in the weekday mornings during the summer months.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, September 4, 1909, p. 8 and The Daily Herald, May 30, 1910, p. 8)

 

Dresden exhibit

In 1911, Ethel Dismukes traveled to the International Art Exhibit at Dresden, Germany.  Dresden, a large industrial and arts center, is situated in east central Germany on the Elbe River.  Dresden china is made at Meissen, fourteen miles to the northwest. (Webster’s, 1988, p. 343 and 748)

1913 Western Tour

In early July 1913, Miss Dismukes ventured to the West Coast to reacquaint herself with relatives and friends residing there.  Before her fall return to Biloxi, she planned side trips to the Mariposa and Calararus Valleys, as well as Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks.  While in California, Miss Dismukes went to San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.(The Daily Herald, July 7, 1913, p. 7)           

 

Invite to Leipsic (Leipzig)

In December 1913, the Biloxi city schools received an invitation to participate in the May 1914, International Art Exhibit at Leipsic, Germany.  Leipsic, now spelled Leipzig, is a large industrial-cultural center in east central Germany, about 60 miles south east of Dresden.  It is the site of Karl Marx University and the burial place of J.S. Bach.  The quality of the art produced by Miss Dismuke’s Biloxi pupils made an excellent impression at Dresden, which secured an offer to exhibit at Leipsic.(The Daily Herald, December 29, 1913, p. 3 and Webster’s, 1988, p. 660)

 

Retirement

In May 1914, Ethel Dismukes retired from her art teacher’s status in the Biloxi public school system.  The culmination of her career in education was marked by an exhibition of student works from all the city schools held at the Central school’s art department.  Student artisans demonstrated their abilities in traditional art as well as stained glass window design, sofa pillow design, paper cutting, home design and interior furnishings.  Miss Dismukes was lauded as having, “done magnificent work as instructor in this department”.  She planned to hold private art classes after her teaching career ended.(The Daily Herald, May 22, 1914, p. 2)

In June 1910, Miss Dismukes had opened a private art academy at 131 Lameuse Street, her family home.  Classes in drawing and painting were held in the weekday mornings during the summer months.  Miss Dismukes continued private art lessons well into her retirement years.  She was a major force with William Woodward (1859-1939) in starting the Gulf Coast Art Association in the mid-1920s.

 

Lameuse Street

In June 1919, Miss Dismukes acquired a house and lot on the west side of Lameuse Street between Water Street and Beach Boulevard, from F.L. and Edith Stone.  The Dismukes lot was forty-five feet wide and one hundred-one feet deep.(HARCO, Ms. Deed Trust Deed Bk. 124, pp. 69-70). 

In September 1935, Ethel Dismukes sold her house to Mrs. Geneva Adams Hale of Elkins, West Virginia.  The consideration was $1500 cash.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 206, pp. 549-550)

In September 1940, Ethel Dismukes and Geneva A. Hale recorded a lease purchase agreement in the Chancery Court of Harrison County, Mississippi.  The rent payable to Grant and Tonsmeire, local attorneys, was $20 per month in advance on the 14th day of each month.  Miss Dismukes was responsible for the water rent.  She had an option to purchase the house from Mrs. Hale, for $1500 plus interest of 8% annually from February 11, 1933 to the date of purchase.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 234, pp. 566-567)

In September 1941, Mrs. Hale vended her Lameuse Street property to Miss Dismukes for $2350.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 243, pp. 406-407)  

Ethel Dismukes sold her house to Mrs. Victoria S. Kornman for $12,600. (HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 243, pp. 406-407)

 

1926 Exhibit at Delgado Art Museum

In the fall of 1926, the New Orleans Art Association held an exhibit at the Delgado Art Museum.  Miss Dismukes, Biloxi resident and a NOLA Art Association member, had two entries in the show of twenty-seven artists.  Her canvasses were titled 'Golden Glow' and 'Rosy Dawn' respectively.  'Golden Glow', a sylvan-landscape scene in the Biloxi areawas lauded by visitors for its strong color, while 'Rosy Dawn', was painted from the porch of the beach home of Mr. Jahncke of New Orleans, formerly the domicile of Mrs. E.R. Johnson.(The Daily Herald, December 3, 1926, p. 9)

 

The Gulf Coast Art Association and Art Center

William Woodward (1859-1939) was the founder of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association during his retirement years at Biloxi.  In mid-November 1926, he and interested parties met at the Biloxi Public Library and commenced this cultural body, which aspired to influence the future aesthetics of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Among the charter members of the organization were: Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952) and Louise Mallard (1900-1975) of Biloxi; Miss Sarah K. Smith (1878-1930+) of Gulf Park College; Dean Parkhurst Woleben (1891-1968) of Gulfport; and Ella Layden Roche, Edward C. de Celle, and Roderick Dempster MacKenzie (1865-1941) of Mobile.(The Daily Herald, November 19, 1926, p. 2)

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association held its first annual exhibit at the Biloxi Public Library from February 4th until February 20th, 1927, Miss Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952), then secretary of the organization, exhibited photography and oil paintings.  Her “The Burden Bearer” was voted “the best-liked picture”.  William Woodward won the gold medal for “Our Street”.(The Daily Herald, February 3, 1927, p. 2 and February 21, 1927, p. 2)

 

1928 Exhibit

At an exhibition of her works sponsored by the Woman’s Club and held at the Biloxi Public Library from February 23 to February 27, 1928, Miss Dismukes displayed an eclectic ensemble of approximately eighty art objects-over forty photographs, eighteen oil paintings, four watercolors, two pastels and craft work in china, copper, and wood.  In addition, she delivered two lectures, History and Legends of the Gulf Coast and the Vieux Carre.  By popular vote, visitors to her exhibition selected “Rosy Dawn” and “Reflections” as the best in her show.  Miss Dismukes sold several pieces and received solicitations for portraits.(The Daily Herald, February 22, 1928, p. 2, February 23, 1928, p. 2, February 25, 1928, p. 2, and February 27, 1928, p. 2)

1929 Exhibits

In mid-January 1929, the Biloxi Public Library was the venue of an art exhibit of the professional women artists of Mississippi.  Among those showing their water colors, pastels, and oil paintings were: Mrs. W.Q. Sharp of Jackson, vice president of the Mississippi Art Association and worker in pastels and water color; Miss Mary Clair Sherwood, teacher at All Saints College at Vicksburg; Miss Charlotte E. Tibbs of Biloxi; Miss Betty McArthur, a teacher at M.S..C.W; Marie A. Hull (1890-1980) of Jackson who recently had three works accepted by the Philadelphia Watercolor Association and others at the Chicago Art Institute; Miss Mary Ethel Dismukes is exhibiting "Lover's Lane, Ocean Springs", "The Waifs", and "Spring", which was sketched at City Park in NOLA; Adolyn Gale Dismukes, Mrs. George Dismukes, was showing "Mt. Mckinley, Alaska", "Auroral Lights", and "Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes"; Mrs. Anne Wells Mounger of Pass Christian and Miss Sarah K. Smith of Gulf Park College also sent paintings.  A $20 prize for the most popular painting in the exhibit was sponsored by the First National Bank.(The Daily Herald, January 14, 1929, p. 2)

When the Coast Zone of Woman’s Clubs meeting was held in the Biloxi Public Library on October 31, 1929, an exhibit of Miss Dismukes photographs were on display in the clubroom.  The images were of local scenery appropriate for the occasion.(The Jackson County Times, November 9, 1929, p. 3)

 

Woman’s Club

Miss Dismukes served as chairman of the art department for the Biloxi Woman’s Club for several years.  In March 1930, she presented a talk to this group titled, “the art of moving picture”.(The Daily Herald, March 20, 1930, p. 2)

 

1932 Exhibit

In late October 1932, Miss Dismukes replaced her former “sidewalk” display of oil paintings and photographs in a store window on West Howard Avenue in Biloxi, with a new showing of her work.  This photographic work dealt primarily with the Jefferson Davis family of Beauvoir.(The Daily Herald, October 31, 1932, p. 2)

 

1932 Exhibit GCAA

The 1932 non-juried art show of the Gulf Coast Art Association was held in mid-December 1932, at the Biloxi Public Library.  Fourteen member artists exhibited their oils, watercolors, pastels, etchings, and wood block prints.  There were no craft works in the show.  Dean Babcock of Denver, Colorado planned to donate three wood block prints and six prints to Biloxi High school, if they were desired.(The Daily Herald, December 10, 1932, p. 2)

 

Art Center

In early December 1932, local artists decided to commence an “Art Center” in Biloxi.  Located on the north side of West Howard Avenue between Reynoir and Fayard Streets, adjacent to D’Aquin’s Drugstore, the “Art Center” may have been the first artist public meeting place and artisit co-op on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  In addition to rotating art exhibits and association meetings, the Gulf Coast Art Association planned to have a workroom in their building, with north light, which is considered excellent for drawing and painting.  Classes and workshops were planned for the workroom.  The “Art Center” opened in late December 1932.(The Daily Herald, December 6, 1932, p. 2 and December 29, 1932, p. 2)       

Photographic recognition

“Bellman Street Oak”, a photographic image made by Miss Dismukes won the Mississippi Award given by the American Forestry Association in their competition “Most Beautiful Photographs of Trees in America”.  A 1934, traveling exhibition of award winning photographs and other excellent images was planned by the American Forestry Association.  They selected four additional photographs by Ethel Dismukes for this venue, which was limited to one hundred photographs.  They were: “Ruskin Oak”, “Crawford Oak”, “Close Up of Crawford Oak”, and “Parkingham Oak”.(The Daily Herald, January 9, 1934, p. 2)

 

PWA 1934   

Mary Ethel Dismukes was chosen by Professor Ellsworth Woodward (1861-1939), director of the Issac Delgadgo Museum of Art at New Orleans, to participate in the Government sponsored Public Works of Art project.  Her commission, which commenced in mid-December 1933, was to paint in oils, of Beauvoir, the Church of the Redeemer, the monument commemorating the site where Iberville landed in 1699, and a phase of the fishing industry.  Miss Dismukes commissioned ended on February 15, 1934.(The Daily Herald, February 2, 1934, p. 6)

 

1936 Exhibit

The 1936 juried art show of the Gulf Coast Art Association was held in the sun parlor of the White House Hotel.  The forty-nine-piece show opened on March 1, 1936 and was available for public viewing for about one week.    Miss Dismukes exhibited three photographs: “Inn by the Sea” (oil tinted); “Lover’s Lane”; and “Wind Swept”.  

Professor William Woodward of Biloxi showed the following: “Portrait of Patricia” (oil); “Biloxi Light”, “Ship at Sunset”, and Ship in Moonlight” (Rafaelle oil crayons); and “Benachi Avenue Bioxi”, “Oyster Wharf”, “Yellow Fever Quarantine”, and “Pass Christian” (etchings).   Dean Babcock of Denver, Colorado presented several wood engravings.(The Daily Herald, March 2, 1936, p. 2)

 

WPA images

In early December 1936, Miss Mary Ethel Dismukes spoke to the Gulf Coast Art Association at Biloxi.  Her topic was about a photographic project that she and two other photographers in Mississippi were involved.  Miss Dismukes was traveling in the southern counties of Mississippi making images to be used in the histories being written by the writer's group, probably for the WPA Federal Art Project, which was instituted in May 1936.  Miss Dismukes photographs were taken of antiques, fire arms, elderly people, unusual people, i.e. 'the Whittaker negroes' and the 'hot boys', Caucasian with marked physical traits.  She also spoke of the history of Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, December 8, 1936, p. 5)

 

1941

Miss Dismukes was a founder in September 1941 of the Biloxi Camera Club.  She was its first president. Sidney Levine of Philadelphia was vice-president and John Lockett, treasurer.  Their first meeting was in the Biloxi Community Center on September 18, 1941.(The Daily Herald, September 19, 1941, p. 7)

 

1941 Exhibition

In what may have been her most versatile art showing, Miss Dismukes held an exhibition at the Biloxi Communicty House shortly before Thanksgiving 1941.  The show featured watercolors, etchings, oil paintings, photographs hand-tined in both oil and watercolors, plain photographs [black and white], and craft work.  Of special interest were her excellent study of Negro people and of the local, magnificent Live Oak trees.  Miss Dismukes also took pleasure in creating wild flower images with her camera.(The Daily Herald, November 22, 1941, p. 3)

 

 1943 Art Week State Chairman

In October 1943, the American Artists Professional League appointed Mary Ethel Dismukes as the Mississippi State chairman for national art week which was held November 1st through November 7th.  Miss Alethea Clemens was the Biloxi chairman for the local event.  The annex on the rear lawn of the Biloxi Community Center was the venue for national art week.  Local and Mississippi coast artists participating were: Mrs. Albert Tee Austin; Mrs. Edgar Balthrope; Alethea Clemens; Mrs. George Dismukes; Mrs. Robert Drover; Sergeant William T. Dunn; Mrs. J.C. McNair; Sarah K. Smith; Charlotte Tibbs; and Estelle Parker.(The Daily Herald, October 21, 1943, p. 4 and NOvember 5, 1943, p. 3)

 

Dismukes Art School of Art

The Dismukes Art School of Art was founded in the late 1940s.  It was the vehicle through which she gave private art instructions at Biloxi.  On November 27, 1948, Miss Dismukes opened her 'Little Art Gallery' at 113 Lameuse Street in conjunction with the art of her students and invited exhibitors.(The Daily Herald, May 31, 1949, p. 5)

 

Demise

Miss Ethel Dismukes died at Biloxi, Mississippi on February 18, 1952.  She was survived by Adolyn Gale Dismukes (1864-1953), her sister in law.  Miss Dismukes had been in St. Petersburg, Florida since September 1951 and had returned to Biloxi in early February.  In addition to her many years serving as secretary of the MGAA, Ethel Dismukes was past president of the Woman's Club, assisted in the organization of the Magnolia Art Club, and the Biloxi Tree Association.  Her corporal remains were sent to Pulaski, Tennessee for internment in the family cemetery.(The Daily Herald, February 18, 1952, p. 4)

"Landing of D'Iberville"

"Iberville landing painting evokes memories"

[written by Ray L. Bellande and published in The Ocean Springs Record on May 22, 2008]

 

The recent showing of Iberville’s Landing, a landscape, oil painting, by Mary Ethel Dismukes in the Hancock Bank building on Washington Avenue, awakened in me journeys of another time.  As a lad growing up in 1950s in the Back Bay section of Biloxi, we often crossed the Back Bay of Biloxi by motorcar.  Invariably, my father would point to the cross and boulder in the St. Theresa Catholic School yard nestled on the margin of Back Bay and comment, “That is where Iberville landed.”  Naturally, my siblings and I didn’t know nor were sure of who or what was an Iberville or a D’Iberville was?

Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952), called Ethel, the artist, was a native of Pulaski, Tennessee.  She had studied at the Art Student’s League of New York under John H. Twachtmann (1853-1902), Clifford Carleton (1867-1946), and Kenyon C. Cox (1856-1919) from 1900 until she was hired by the Biloxi public schools in May 1902.  Miss Dismukes was the first principal of an art department in the Biloxi educational system.  Her hiring resulted in an art studio being incorporated into the new addition to the Biloxi Central School on Main Street.  At Biloxi, those students choosing her course were instructed in charcoal drawing; pen and ink drawing; painting in oil, water color, and pastel; and china painting.  Burnt wood etching or pyrography was also offered.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, May 30, 1902, p. 8)

 

Manuel Jalanivich and Alice Tee Austin

Manuel Jalanivich (1897-1944), a Biloxi native, became both a public and private art pupil of Miss Dismukes.  He would become an acclaimed California potter and clay sculptor.  Circa 1922, with his life partner, Ingvardt Olsen (1888-1959), a Danish ceramicist who had studied at the Royal Danish Copenhagen Chinese Kilns in Copenhagen, Denmark, Manuel started Jalan Pottery in San Francisco to produce commercial ceramic ware.  It was identified by its large scale, simple form, color, style, and crackled glaze.  Jalanivich created wheel-thrown forms and also did extensive clay modeling, while Olsen specialized in glazing.  Olsen’s Persian or faience blue and “egg-plant” glazes were well accepted.  W.F. Dietrich in 1928, described the Jalan Pottery as:  Jalanivich and Olsen are making an attractive line of glazed pottery using a buff-burning body and lead glazes.  Their output is hand-molded on a potter’s wheel.  It is fired in a round kiln, approximately 3 feet inside diameter designed by them and built by the gas company, city gas being used for fuel.  The clay, from California sources, is fired to 2000 F and the glaze to 1500-1700 F.         

Jalanivich and Olsen marketed their ceramics well.  In addition to their Bay area patronage, Gumps Department Store in San Francisco vended Jalan Pottery.  Jalan’s adaptation to a Chinese-style form met with great success in San Francisco, as many affluent citizens were decorating their domiciles with teak furniture, Coromandel screens, lacquered chests, and Middle Eastern of Oriental rugs.(Bray, 1980, p. 43)

Alice Tee Austin (1908-2001), nee Weir, who would reside on Front Beach near the Ocean Springs Inner Harbor, in the Parlin-Austin House for nearly sixty-years, was also a student of Miss Dismukes.  She studied art contemporaneously with Manuel Jalanivich.  Her ability as an artist was lauded at the May 1916 art exhibit held by Ethel Dismukes for her private students.  Miss Weir’s paintings of a candle stick and wildflowers were noted by The Daily Herald columnist covering the event.  Alice had also creatively decorated Miss Dismukes doorbell with raffia.(The Daily Herald, May 22, 1916, p. 3)

Miss Alice T. Weir was also a pianist of note.  She was under the tutelage of the Sisters of Mercy at the Sacred Heart Academy in December 1921, when her interpretation of Puerto Rican composer Juan Morel Campos’ (1857-1896) “Indilio’ was praised by critics as:. “played with perfect ease and carrying out a number of difficult passages.”  While at Newcomb College in 1930, Miss Weir won first prize for a poster contest sponsored by the Louisiana Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  While at Newcomb, she continued to paint in oils and water color and won awards at several art exhibits for her excellent works.(The Daily Herald, December 15, 1921, p. 6 and May 27, 1930, p. 2)

Retirement

In May 1914, Ethel Dismukes retired from her art teacher’s status in the Biloxi public school system.  The culmination of her career in education was marked by an exhibition of student works from all the city schools held at the Central school’s art department.  In June 1910, Miss Dismukes had opened a private art academy at 131 Lameuse Street, her family home.  Classes in drawing and painting were held in the weekday mornings during the summer months.  Miss Dismukes continued private art lessons well into her retirement years.  She was a major force with William Woodward (1859-1939) in starting the Gulf Coast Art Association in the mid-1920s.(The Daily Herald, May 22, 1914, pp. 1-2)

William Woodward

In 1884, William Woodward had relocated to New Orleans from his native New England.  Here he taught art as an associate professor at the new Tulane College and High School.  Professor Woodward retired as “professor emeritus of the Newcomb College of Art” in 1921.  He and his spouse retired to Biloxi, Mississippi in 1924, after a laudable career in the Crescent City.

Among his many accomplishments, William Woodward helped organize the Newcomb College; founded the New Orleans Art Pottery where he hired Joseph Fortune Meyer (1848-1931) and George E. Ohr (1857-1918); assisted in the design of the early building on the Tulane University campus; protested the destruction of the Cabildo; founded the Tulane School of Architecture; and was associated with the Vieux Carre Commission’s efforts to preserve the areas historical architecture.

Iberville’s marker and the DAR

In Chapter XI of ‘Broken Pot’, the unpublished historical narrative, of Schuyler Poitevent (1875-1936), who resided at 318 Lovers Lane in Ocean Springs, he relates the origin of the wooden cross and marker that in April 1920 were placed by the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution on the Back Bay of Biloxi in present day D’Iberville, then called North Biloxi or “across de la baie”, to commemorate the April 1699 landing of Pierre Le Moyne Sieur d’Iberville (1661-1706).  The site chosen by the DAR was just east of the 1928 Biloxi Bay Bridge.  Prior to selecting North Biloxi, this organization approached Schuyler Poitevent and suggested that his Biloxi Bay home on Lovers Lane be the site of the memorial to Iberville and Fort Maurepas.  Mr. Poitevent vehemently opposed the idea.  In response to this rejection, the local DAR chose to build their memorial in what would become the schoolyard of St. Theresa’s Catholic School.  Fortunately this travesty has been removed and now rests ironically in a glass case in the Sacred Heart Catholic School on Le Moyne Boulevard at D’Iberville.

 

1699 Historical Committee

Iberville’s Landing by Miss Dismukes was acquired by the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in 2005?  It was loaned to the 1699 Historical Committee for their April 25th soiree held in the Hancock Bank lobby.  This event preceded the 2008 Landing of Iberville commemoration, which was held on April 27, 2008 on Front Beach with Dr. Strawford Hale Dees, representing Iberville and Dr. William W. Walker, as Bienville.  This was the first 'Landing' celebration since Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.(The Ocean Springs Record, April 24, 2008, p. A1)

     The 1699 Historical Committee commenced the Iberville Landing event in early April 1974 when the 275thanniversary of French Canadian hero, Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’ Iberville (1671-1706) arrival and erection of Fort Maurepas at present day Ocean Springs was celebrated on Front Beach.  The first cast of this reenactment included: Orey A. Young (1892-1986) who portrayed Iberville; Frank T. Pickel (1912-1982) as Bienville; and Marby R. Penton (1922-1995), as Commandant Sauvolle.  The 1699 Historical Committee received its State charter in March 1971.  Betty Bradford Milsted was president.(The Ocean Springs News, March 11, 1971, p. 1 and April 11, 1974, p. 3)

 

REFERENCES:

Patti Carr Black, Art in Mississippi (1720-1980), (University of Mississippi Press: Jackson, Mississippi-1998).

Cantey V. Sutton, History of Art in Mississippi, (Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1929).

Webster’s New Geographical Dictionary, (Merriam-Webster Inc.: Springfield, Massachusetts-1988)

Journals

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Art Department”, May 30, 1902.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, May 20, 1903.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, November 15, 1904.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, March 22, 1909.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, September 4, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, May 30, 1910.

The Daily Herald, “Leading Memphian Died Early Today At Home In Biloxi”, April 19, 1912.

The Daily Herald, “Local News Paragraphs of Interest”, July 7, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi High School doings”, April 18, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit At Central School”, May 22, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi youth [Manuel Jalanivich] makes pottery”, March 15, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Class exhibits work of art”, May 7, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit is enjoyed by many”, May 22, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Gulf Coast Association”, November 30, 1926.

The Daily Herald, “Gulf Coast Association”, November 30, 1926.

The Daily Herald, “Artist from coast attracts attention at Orleans exhibit", December 3, 1926.

The Daily Herald, “Opening of Art Exhibit at Library”, February 3, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Award Made by Jury of Gifted and Competent Artists for Gulf Coast Art Association Exhibition at Biloxi February 4”, February 5, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Jalan Pottery Arrives”, February 9, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Opening of Art Exhibit at Library”, February 3, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibits Closes Saturday”, February 14, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibits Closes”, February 21, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Exhibition of Pictures”, February 22, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit At Library”, February 23, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “ Art Exhibit Great Success”, February 25, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit To Remain Open”, February 27, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Fine Arts Department Exhibit”, January 11, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Exhibit of Women Artists”, January 14, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Another Biloxian Exhibits”, June 13, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Woman’s Club Meeting”, March 20, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Dismukes’ Exhibit”, October 31, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Art Center to Open”, December 6, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Exhibit Opens Sunday”, December 10, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Art Center Interesting”, December 29, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Wins Recognition”, January 9, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “Coast Artists Are Painting Scenes For PWA Art Project”, February 2, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “Fifty pictures at art exhibit”, December 10, 1934.

The Daily Herald, “Annual Art Show Opens”, April 9, 1935.

The Daily Herald, “Talks on Historic points of interest”, December 8, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit Excellent”, March 2, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “George Dismukes Dies”, August 18, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “Exhibition of Pictures”, August 18, 1941.

The Daily Herald, "Biloxi Camera Club organized", September 19, 1941. 

The Daily Herald, “Miss Dismukes wins Chamber of Commerce Cup”, October 1, 1943.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Dismukes is art week chairman”, October 21, 1943.

The Daily Herald, “Art exhibition attracting many visitors”, November 5, 1943.
The Daily Herald, “Opening art gallery”, November 13, 1948.
The Daily Herald, “Art Gallery opens”, November 23, 1948.
The Daily Herald, “Visit Art Exhibit”, May 31, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Ceramics Display”, October 1, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Fall Art Exhibit”, October 22, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Coast Art Exhibits Are Being Planned”, October 29, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Art Exhibit”, November 7, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Dismukes Dies”, February 18, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Dismukes Dies”, July 23, 1953, p. 12.

The Jackson County Times, “Woman’s Club Notes”, November 9, 1919.

The Ocean Springs Record, "Painting to be part of d'Iberville commemoration", April 24, 2008, p. B4.

Wayne Rosetti

Wayne L. Rosetti Sr.

The passion to create pulses in the heart of those born to be artists.  From the moment the spark ignited in his soul, Wayne Rosetti, Sr., set his life goal on fulfilling that need, delving into ever changing ventures of artistic moods and styles.  For sixty years this drive has filled his home with rarely viewed masterpieces and set the stage for his first-ever commercial venture, the "World of Loop People".

 

Wayne Lynn Jacob Rosetti was born in Biloxi, Mississippi on January 23, 1937 and raised on Point Cadet. His parents, George Rosetti (1909-1981) and Edna Mary Melvin Rosetti (1914-1979), part-owners of a restaurant named "Rosetti Poor Boys" at the Ocean Springs Bridge.  Like many children of that era, he helped out at the restaurant during his teenage years, until graduation from Biloxi High School in 1954.

 

He matriculated to the University of  Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg that fall, but his college career was cut short by a chance encounter.  In his fourth month a friend reported he was getting ready to join the army.  Wayne decided to drop out of school to serve his country too, and, by the way, take advantage of the GI Bill tuition benefits on his return.  After obtaining his parents’ permission, he launched a three-year army stint.

 

Army life provided sufficient "down" time for Wayne to engage in his favorite activity, reading.  His diverse interests ran to both fiction and non-fiction, especially history.  Near the end of his stent he went into town on leave and saw the movie, Lust for Life, with Kirk Douglas.  This show, about the life of Vincent Van Gough, included a scene with Van Gough’s brother Theo, an art dealer.  Vincent couldn’t sell many of his paintings, so they accumulated at his brother’s apartment, presenting a habitation loaded with paintings.  The scene touched something inside Wayne and at that moment he decided he wanted to be a painter.  Prior to that inspiration he’d never had that feeling, nor had there been a painter in the family.

 

While in town he bought a sketchbook, pencils, and a paperback book with an introduction to art whose first rule stated, "Sketch everything!"  He took that to heart.  His first sketches were of his combat boots and towel on his bunk.  The results pleased him enough that he soon graduated to cardboard canvas and an inexpensive oil painting set.  At the time he was stationed in Texas, and, upon attending a bullfight, went back to the base and painted his first large piece, the fight, and found himself gratified with his results.

 

Discharged from service in 1957, he returned home, searching for a job that would give him time to paint.  His uncle owned a wholesale plumbing and electric supply on Howard Ave.  and suggested he go into the family trade.  With credit given by his uncle he rented a small building on 25th Ave.  and hung a homemade sign.  In two years he was doing so well he moved his business, "Rosetti Supply Co.", into a larger space on 28th St.  Once the business was established he found he had spare time to devote to his art.

 

In December 1964 he married his one and only, Helen Bates.  From the very beginning she had a strong influence on his art, Wayne consulting her on such things as color choices.  Their marriage has survived happily to this day, with two grown successful offspring.

 

In the late 1960s he discovered an art shop in Edgewater Mall that sold him clay for sculpting.  Similar to his painting, he decided he would pursue his sculpture without any formal training.  "My first one, a frog, came out so well I wanted to do more," Wayne recalled.  "Next I created a seal, just from memory."

 

Lion in Gold

He found he could rely on the pictures in his mind for both his sculpture and his painting, even for complex scenes such as running water.  One of his earliest animals painted from memory is his Lion in Gold. 

 

In the late sixties Wayne developed new ideas about how to approach his art, beginning with research into the masters and their techniques.  This was a compromise he made, based on his decision not to go to formal training, his concern being possible contamination of his ideas from the standard education.  He said, "I wanted all my art to come from within."

Another decision he made around this time was to continue to change his media and his subjects. He reports having read that most artists become known for one particular type of art, and, especially if that form becomes popular, nine out of ten of those artists won’t deviate from the style that’s responsible for their income.

 

Horse and Boy

Consequently Wayne focused on constant experimentation.  "I would not limit myself to any type of material," he said.  "I’d even use iodine, shoe polish, anything, to make it expansive.  If I developed new techniques, I would emulate it with another one.  I progressed from Lion in Gold to Horse and Boy; same background, palette, and technique.  I’d do a series of that work implementing extensions in color and subject matter."  He said he wouldn’t implement a new technique until he felt he’d exhausted all aspects of the current one.

Wayne’s subjects varied depending on his mood, commonly a historical theme, or something from nature such as an animal.  He was striving for an art with a universal perspective, topics resistant to dating.  As he matured, he concentrated on what Leonardo da Vinci described as "gesture" – like the position of the hand or the smile of the face, the details that set the theme for the rest of the painting.

 

Holy Man

In his Holy Man, he wanted to incorporate two of the essential parts of religion, compassion and humility.  He chose a dark palate and emphasized the themes with the man’s expression and posture.  Wayne’s palate tends to be consistently dark, often based on burnt umber, so much so that a relative described it as typical of a "Medievalist."

 

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Wayne remembers his first large painting, commissioned by his brother who was inspired by Edward Hicks’ 1834 painting "Peaceable Kingdom."  This was in the early 1960s, when large canvas was difficult to come by, requiring having the canvas specially made.  After completing the work he was so taken with the theme he created a similar one for his own home.  

 

During his early career selling opportunities were rare, with few local galleries and only the occasional small art show.  Though his portfolio was beginning to grow, even those opportunities he rarely explored, for he felt reluctant to try to sell.  "When you show your art work," he said, "you show how you feel, and expose your inner self.  Later on I learned that some people will like it and some won’t.  In my youth I thought every piece had to be a masterpiece.  They don’t.  Even so, each one must be redeemable art in its own right."

 

Like most inspired talents, his production has been prolific, though not necessarily continuous.  His usual workdays were eight hours, sometimes longer.  He reports short bursts of creativity, worn down by concentration and determination of placing the art, the colors, and the contrast.  At times he’d take a leave of absence from painting, feeling burnt out.  "After a break I’d be inspired by a comment or something I’d seen."

 

Sometimes a visual, musical, or literary allusion would inspire him.  Andrew Lloyd Weber’s "Phantom of the Opera" inspired one piece.  Another inspiration came from the biblical reference to the "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse."  "Those were all those destructive forces striving to overwhelm mankind.  My approach was to project how Man comes face-to-face with those forces, but with the help of nature can win the battle in the midst of all that destruction."

 

He assesses his style as a mix; often merging impressionistic, realistic, and primitive styles in a form where they could all gel.  He loved experimenting with new forms, working with them until they’d been assimilated into his work.  Around his home he pointed to different pieces and described their technique.  "Naïve."  "Minimalist."  "Outsider Art."  This latter is the concept of painting like somebody who has had no formal training and thus creating a unique approach to art.  Pieces of this type have, for example, exaggerated heads, done with a personal interpretation.  "Assemblage" developed from this form.

 

"I was quite taken with Picasso for quite awhile.  Klee also an influence."  

 

The Ram

In describing his sculptures, Wayne likes to base the forms on realism, such as The Ram. However, though based on realism, he liked to exaggerate the forms, giving them a whimsical look providing each its own personality.

 

"Thus they’re created not from a real life, but more my interpretation of the life.  In my paintings I put the animals in appealing poses, though they may not look like real life, it might even be better than what real life can portray.  (Figure 8)  I brought that approach to my sculpture.  I was interested in animals and nature and how to be creative in my interpretations.  I studied primitive sculpture, like in African Art and New Guinea art, where exaggerated forms have real meaning to them.  It becomes very striking when you see them."  For the sculptures’ skeletons, known as the armature, he utilized everyday things, such as empty cola bottles.  Statue in Green and Gold (Figure 9) is three parts, a brick, a sculptured bird, and an upside down whiskey bottle.

 

Wayne described his concept in regards to one of his early paintings, The Warrior.  "A warrior always carried death on his shoulder – that’s the only way to be brave enough to go into battle.  I had him facing death, and he was facing him with his shield up.  Going to face Death."

 

Once he had the work created he took it to a hotel that was allowing local artists to hang their work for sale.  When he showed it to the curator she didn’t believe he had painted it, saying it was too good, refusing to hang it.

 

Wayne’s work is most remarkable for almost never having been shown.  He just kept hanging each new piece on a blank spot on the wall, until his house seemed completely filled up.

 

The one exception to that history came about serendipitously when, in 1994, a repairman came by to fix Wayne’s old grandfather clock.  When the man was inside the house he was fascinated by all the paintings.  He had heard the owners of a new furniture store were looking for an artist to show in conjunction with their opening.  This resulted in his fifteen minutes of fame when Dave Elliot from WLOX came to the home to film and interview.  At one point Dave Elliot asked, "What do your children think of your art?"  "My children grew up around art," Wayne replied, "So it wasn’t a big thing, it was just something that Dad did.  Basically, they simply enjoyed it."

 

Wayne took forty of his paintings to the furniture opening resulting in thousands of views brought in by the television spot and other advertisements.  The show lasted a month and during that period Wayne sold three of his works.  That ended up being his only show and consequently his only sales.  Fifty years of painting and only three sales!

 

Wayne’s plans to forever keep his talent private were challenged in 2010 when his son-in-law, Roger Applewhite, saw Wayne’s art.  Roger was so taken he told Wayne he really needed to have people see it.  He also suggested Wayne come up with something completely new, something marketable.

 

Analyzing his work, Wayne came up with the concept of "the loop.  "He realized he’d always used a loop in his art.  He decided to create the total facial structure with a loop, executed from a low starting point, looping up to do the nose, the eyes, and then down to do the mouth without stopping.  It had to be fluid and had to be accurate.  Once completed, he admired the result, what he describes as "Great; an abstract / modern theme."  As a preparation for the loop people, Wayne experimented with Band-Aids, using them to form a body on paper, and adding human characteristics.

 

"The object of art is to alter your perspective on how you look at things, sometimes everyday things," he explained.  "After that work, I’ll never look at Band-Aids the same way again.  I framed the Band-Aid work and that set me on a quest to show how innovative I could develop art with this loop concept."  His experimentation with loops began to take off with an initial 10 ft.  x 20 ft.  creation, made on four separate canvasses and now hanging in his son’s home.  He progressed from the basic loop format to adding smaller loops to it.  His forms developed from simple nude humans to animals, such as a baby pig and a rhino.  For this work he used very bright colors, different than his past dark palates.  The concept of the loop people became to make everything in it out of loops.  This inspired a whole alternate universe, different landscapes and unique forms.  Soon he added scenes, volleyball, playing Frisbee with a dog, crab and pier fishing.  For the commercial aspect he wanted drawings with a broad appeal; whimsical, lighthearted, and fun.  (Figures 10 & 11)

 

It’s been a remarkable career for this lifelong artist.  From Wayne Rosetti’s first sketches of army boots and painting of a bullfighter, through scores of years learning new styles and techniques, he has finally come full circle to a lighthearted modernism.  Or, should we say, full-loop, as his new delightful creations so well show.

 

Lagniappe

Seventy-six-year-old Wayne Rosetti has been painting since the age of twenty, producing more than a thousand remarkable pieces.  This exclusive sampling of his life’s work is a must-see, demonstrating his experimentation with multiple styles and media.  Inspirations from Van Gogh, Picasso, and Da Vinci, draw attention with their fetching golden colors and demanding images.  Religious influences with iconoclastic representations such as "Animal Kingdom" from the Bible and "Holy Man" mix with African-style sculptures.

 

Rosetti is experiencing a new wave of creative energy.  Encouraged by his son-in-law, Roger Applewhite, Wayne used found objects from Applewhite’s collection for new sculpture designs.  Inspired by these new materials, Wayne taught himself to weld on YouTube, crafting yard art.  He repurposed old circuit boards bringing them to life as colorful characters, combined scrap metal parts from ship- parts into clever table top sculptures.  And, he gave life to the "Loop People," a modern/abstract interpretation based on the concept of a single structured loop.  "The object of art is to alter your perspective on how you look at things, sometimes everyday things," Wayne explains.  Initially representing people by adding features to single loops, the work progressed to multiple loops of various sizes, from simple nude humans to wild and domesticated animals, including puppies, pigs, and even a rhino.  The eye-catching appeal of this work is heightened by the spectrum of imaginative themes displayed in bright contrasting colors.

 

Wayne Rosetti’s captivating new art theme, the "Loop People" will be unveiled November 2 and 3 at the 2013 Peter Anderson Festival in "Rosetti Park".  Created by Roger and Vicki Applewhite, the large tented area will feature Wayne Rosetti’s captivating new art theme, the "Loop People." In a venue the Applewhites call a "Muse Market," select artists will showcase their work in a venue of live music and a "portable gallery" featuring over forty years of never before seen original Wayne Rosetti artwork.  This temporary showcase is a prelude to the Rosetti Gallery that is expected to open in Ocean Springs on Cox Avenue in mid 2014. Stay tuned for updates on biloxiartists.com!

 

REFERENCES:

The Daily Herald,'Biloxi News Paragraphs [Rosetti baptism]' February 8,1937.

William S. Robinson (1861-1945)


Springtime in the South-Biloxi, Mississippi

William S. Robinson

William Smith Robinson (1861-1945) was born on September 15, 1861 at East Gloucester, Essex County, Massachusetts to Robert Robinson (1839-1907), an 1855 English immigrant fisherman, and Emeline Smith (1841-1919), a native of Massachusetts.  They married November 28, 1860 in Gloucester, Massachusetts and were the parents of two other children, George R. Robinson (1864-1940) m. Susan Sibley (1860-1925) and Nellie D. Robinson Torrey (1868-1896).(1870 Essex Co., Massachusetts Federal Census RM593_608, 473B, image 179 and FAG-Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Gloucester, Essex Co., Massachusetts)

William was the son of a fisherman whose early years were highlighted by meeting the famous artist Winslow Homer and famous writer Rudyard Kipling. His early art work focused on the sea, with paintings and drawings of boats. Around 1890, he traveled to Paris to study at the Académie Julian. Upon his return to the United States, he began to exhibit his art and teach in both Philadelphia and New York.

“William Robinson to us all was first and last a painter. He had few hobbies and did not seem to need any. He painted the beauty of the New England countryside, its harbors and vessels with devotion and knowledge accumulated through long years of study and acquaintance.”~ Robinson’s Biographer for the Salmagundi Club Frederick Lester Sexton, 1945

Old Lyme

During the first two decades of the 20th century, the village of Old Lyme, Connecticut, was the setting for one of the largest and most significant art colonies in America. Centered in the boardinghouse of Miss Florence Griswold (1850-1937), the colony attracted many leading artists -- Henry Ward Ranger, Childe Hassam, and Willard Metcalf among them -- who were in the vanguard of the Tonalist and Impressionist movements. Drawn to Old Lyme by its natural beauty, they discovered an “old” New England setting that was, as one observer noted, “expressive of the quiet dignity of other days.” Here was a country retreat where, as Metcalf put it, “every day is so in line with work.” Interacting with each other and with the community, the artists of the colony produced an impressive body of work, which achieved renown in its day and still calls attention to the enduring – and fragile -- qualities of the rural New England landscape.

Old Lyme re-created many of the features found abroad and was, for a time, identified in the popular press as the “American Barbizon” or the “American Giverny.” A stay at the Griswold House provided an artist with affordable lodgings, good food and company, the availability of studio space, and varied subject matter for plein-air painting. But Old Lyme offered something more – a retreat from the hurried pace of the city to a town that time had largely forgotten.(from Jeffery Anders

In 1905, William S. Robinson traveled from New York to the village of Old Lyme, Connecticut to stay at the boardinghouse of Florence Griswold (1850-1937). He worked in a studio near the brook that flows in the corner of the property. In 1921, Robinson moved into the boardinghouse and established a full-time studio on the grounds. During this same year, the new building for the Lyme Art Association, designed by Charles Platt, opened, and Robinson became a charter member—years later he was elected their president. Once sequestered in Old Lyme, his paintings revel in the surrounding landscape. According to his Salmagundi Club biographer, “His best pictures are not always of sailing vessels but more often of Connecticut hillsides and pasture lands, especially about Old Lyme where he lived for thirty-one years in the old Griswold House, working in a studio across the brook from the Lyme Art Association Gallery.”

Robinson was one of the few people with Miss Florence when she died in the house in 1937. Shortly thereafter, the boardinghouse was shut down and all of her belongings sold in a public auction on the front lawn of the house. Robinson then moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, where he continued to create impressionistic landscapes. Instead of stoic New England homesteads and blossoming mountain laurel, however, he painted charming images of shrimp factories and southern shanties.

Biloxi

LAUREL INN

The Laurel Inn was a large, two-story, framed structure situated at 1722 West Beach Boulevard, now 1316 West Beach, in Biloxi, Mississippi between present day St. Jude, formerly 3rd Street, and St. Paul Street, once known as 2nd Street.  It was situated in a part of Block 2-Lot 10 of the Keller’s Avondale Subdivision.  This subdivision was bounded by West Beach Boulevard [south]; 3rd Street [east]; Father Ryan Avenue [north]; and 2nd Street [west].  Lot 2-Block (Harrison Co., Mississippi Chancery Court 2nd JD District, Plat Bk. 1, p. 2)

The Laurel Inn was operated by two women, Anna Rebecca ‘Bessie’ Shorey Allen Edmonds (1871-1961) and Lottie Belle Brooks Williams (1874-1959).   

Bessie D. Edmonds, the manager, was a native of Baltimore, Maryland.  Before 1900, she had married a Mr. Allen and at this time, she was living at Baltimore with her parents, Miles C. Shorey and Mary J. Shorey, natives of Maine and Virginia respectively.  Bessie had a daughter, Mary E. Allen (1893-1961+).  Circa 1904, Bessie married Lt. Commander Samuel Preston Edmonds (1867-1943), a native of Miami, Missouri.  The Edmonds family arrived at Biloxi in 1925 as Lt. Commander Edmonds was assigned to head the US Coast Guard base at Biloxi.  He had graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1887 and entered into military service with the US Coast Guard.  Lt. Commander Edmonds retired at Biloxi in 1931.  His service had taken him to Alaska, the Great Lakes, Atlantic and Gulf Coast, as well duties in foreign waters as an instructor on cadet cruises.(1931 Biloxi City Directory, 1931, p. 124, 1900 Baltimore  Co. Maryland Federal Census R 615, p. 3B, ED 211, and The  Daily Herald, June 21, 1943, p. 1)

At this time, neither Mrs. Edmonds nor Mrs. Williams owned the Laurel Inn.  They were domiciled here in 1930 and were renting the home for $200 per month.  In their household were: Preston S. Edmonds (1904-1977); Ryland C. Edmonds (1908-1970) m. Virginia Welsh; Ella E. Edmonds (1910-1972) m. Irwin Massey Cowie (1910-1972); and Olive W. Shorey (1874-1930+), the sister of Mrs. Edmonds.  Mrs. Edmonds expired at Tallahassee, Florida on September 21, 1961, at the home of her daughter, Ella E.  Cowie.(1930 Harrison Co., Mississippi Federal Census R 1146, p. 6A, ED 4)

Mrs. Lottie B. Williams was born at Lumpkin County, Georgia on October 1, 1874.  She married William Smith Robinson in Harrison County, Mississippi on November 9, 1936. (Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB 47, p. 336) 

Mrs. Robinson acquired the Laurel Inn on July 17, 1937, from Fred L. Burton.( Harrison Co., Mississippi Chancery Court Land Deed Bk. 216, p. 87)

 

REFERENCES:

1927 Biloxi City Directory, (R.L. Polk and Company: NOLA-1931).

1931 Biloxi City Directory, (R.L. Polk and Company: NOLA-1931).

The Daily Herald, 50th Anniversary Souvenir, Golden Jubilee Number, Biographical and Historical 1884-1934, "Samuel Preston Edmonds", (The Daily Herald: Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi-1934). 

CHANCERY COURT

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 33844, ‘City of Biloxi v. Mrs. Myrtle Walker and Deedy Baxter’-May 1955.

JOURNALS

The Daily Herald“Captain Edmonds dies after short illness at Biloxi”, June 21, 1943.

The Daily Herald, ‘William S. Robinson dies in Biloxi’, January 12, 1945.

The Daily Herald, ‘Lottie B. Robinson’, August 20, 1959.

The Daily Herald“Wife of former C.G. Commander [Captain S.P. Edmonds] dies in Florida”, September 21, 1961.

 

William Steene (1887-1965)

Biloxi Trawler

[Possession of OOMA in Biloxi, Mississippi]

WILLIAM R. STEENE

William Robert Steene (1887-1965) was born at Syracuse, New York on August 18, 1887.  He was a nationally known portrait painter and muralist. Steene studied under Colarossi and Julian in Paris, after his initial art education at the Art Students’ League and National Academy of Design in New York City. Among his portraitures possibly familiar to local residents are: President Franklin D. Roosevelt; Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi; Governor Henry Whitfield of Mississippi; Dr. Karl Meyer, head of Cook County Hospital at Chicago; E.V Richards, president of the Navy League of America and Paramount Richards Theatres; and golfing legend, Robert Trent “Bobby” Jones.(Who’s Who in America, Vol. 31, 1960-1961 and Bradford-O’Keefe Burial Book 48, p. 245)

Probably William R. Steene's first visit to the Mississippi Gulf Coast was in April 1931, when he was a guest of the Buena Vista Hotel at Biloxi. He had painted in Mississippi earlier in his distinguished art career.  Steene had come to Biloxi after completing two portraits.  They were of Frank G. Logan (1851-1937), philanthropist and honorary president of the Chicago Art Institute, and Dr. Harry Woodburn Chase (1883-1955), president of the University of Illinois.  Mr. Logan's portrait was hung in the Grand Central art gallery at NYC.(The Daily Herald, April 18, 1931, p 2)

In 1956, from his Gulf Hills studio, W.R. Steene completed a large mural depicting the 1953 Louisiana Sesquicentennial Celebration, a remembrance of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, at New Orleans.  President Eisenhower is at the center of this 50-foot long, ten-foot tall, triptych mural, which took a year to complete.  The painting hangs in the Presbytery of the Louisiana State Museum at New Orleans.(The Daily Herald, “Know Your Coast”, November 15, 1957)

Blossman Collection

Landing of Iberville-1699

Locally, Blossman Gas on Washington Avenue has a fine collection of Mr. Steene’s paintings.  E.W. “Woody“ Blossman (1913-1990) commissioned "Landing of Iberville" from Steene to hang in his refurbished Gottsche Building, which was acquired in 1962.  The architectural firm of Slaughter & Smith of Pascagoula directed the buildings restoration and W.R. Steene served as art consultant for the project.(Down South, March 4, 1964) 

The City of Biloxi has a Steene painting in its City Hall on Lameuse Street appropriately titled, “Blessing of the Fleet”.(The Ocean Springs News, June 3, 1965, p. 7)           

Gulf Hills

In November 1950, the William R. Steene home and studio in Gulf Hills was under construction.  The Steens were domiciled in the Ed Brou residence on Washington (sic) Avenue.(The Gulf Coast Times, November 3, 1950, p. 8)

William Steene and his wife Eula Mae Jackson Steene (1888-1969) resided in Gulf Hills north of Ocean Springs from 1950, until his death at Biloxi on March 24, 1965.  They married in 1914, and had two daughters, Betty S. Painter and Marianne S. Ware (1919-2001).  Mrs. Steene’s sister, Miss O. Jackson, a native of Lexington, Kentucky, was once the manager of the Town And Country Restaurant on Park Avenue in NYC.(The Daily Herald, March 24, 1965, p. 1 and The Gulf Coast Times, January 22, 1953, p. 1)

 

Eula Jackson Steene(1888-1969) expired in July 1969 at Jackson, Mississippi.(SSDI)

Betty Steen Painter(1915?-1998?) married? Lawrence Painter (1915-1980)

Marianne Steene Ware(1919-2001) died at Bronxville, New York on March 3, 2001.(SSDI)

 

REFERENCES:

Books

Bradford-O’Keefe Burial Book 48, “William Robert Steene”, (Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home-Biloxi, Mississippi-1965).

Who’s Who in America, “William Steene”, Vol. 31, 1960-1961.

Magazines

Down South, “William Steene-Artist Laureate of the Gulf Coast”, Vol. 5, No. 1, January-February 1955, pp. 13-14.

Down South, “Preserving the Past”, Vol. 14, No. 2, March-April 1964.

Journals

The Daily Herald, “Portrait painter here", April 18, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Know Your Coast”, ‘Portrait Painter Of Distinguished Americans”, 1956.

The Daily Herald, “Know Your Coast”,‘Self portrait’ (photo), November 15, 1957.

The Daily Herald, “Know Your Coast”,‘Another Mississippian Adds to the Luster of the Little Church Around the Corner’, December 8, 1959.

The Daily Herald, “Gulf Hills Artist Dies in Hospital”, March 24, 1965, p. 1.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Personal Items”, November 3, 1950, p. 8.

The Gulf Coast Times, “Miss O. Jackson dies here after long illness”, January 22, 1953, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News, “Steene Exhibit Opens Sunday At Gulf Hills”, March 8, 1962, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News, “Painter of Great, Lives Quietly at Gulf Hills”, September 27, 1962, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs News, “Steen (sic) to Judge”, February 11, 1965, p. 6.

The Ocean Springs News, “Gulf Hills Artist Dies”, March 25, 1965, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News, “Plan Award in Name of Coast Artist”, April 22, 1965, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News, “Blessing of the Fleet”(photo), June 3, 1967, p. 7.

William Woodward (1859 - 1939)

WILLIAM WOODWARD (1859-1939)

William Woodward [self portrait]

 

 

“Painted the town (Ocean Springs) in 1891”

 (published June 16, 1994 in The Ocean Springs Record; revised July 19, 2004)

 

William Woodward (1859-1939) was a native of Seekonk, Massachusetts having been born there on May 1, 1859.  He was a multitalented man and was known in the art and academic world as an art teacher, painter, etcher, preservationist, potter, and architect.  Woodward has been called the “Father of Art in New Orleans”.(The Daily Herald, November 17, 1939, p. 1)

 

After attending the 1876 Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia, William Woodward became interested in art.  He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (1877-1883), the Massachusetts Normal Art School (1883-1886), and by correspondence with the Academie Julian of Paris (1885-1886).           

 

New Orleans

In 1884, William Woodward moved to New Orleans.  Here he taught art as an associate professor at the new Tulane College and High School.  Professor Woodward retired as “professor emeritus of the Newcomb College of Art”  in 1921.  He relocated to Biloxi, Mississippi in 1924, after a laudable career in the Crescent City.  In June 1886, William Woodward had married Louise Amelia Giesen (1862-1937), a native of Kenner, Louisiana.  They were the parents of: Alma Louise Woodward (1887-1939+) married William Bainbridge Logan; Eleanor Woodward (1889-1939+) married Clarence Blosser and George C. Moseley; William Giesen Woodward (1892-1939+); and Carl Ellsworth Woodward (1894-1972) married Mollie Holland (1894-1967).  The Woodwards celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at their Biloxi home in Oak Park.(The Daily Herald, July 10, 1936, p. 7)

 

Among his many accomplishments, William Woodward helped organize the Newcomb College; founded the New Orleans Art Pottery where he hired Joseph Fortune Meyer (1848-1931) and George E. Ohr Jr. (1857-1918); assisted in the design of the early building on the Tulane University campus; protested the destruction of the Cabildo; founded the Tulane School of Architecture; and was associated with the Vieux carre Commission’s efforts to preserve the areas historical architecture.

 

Ocean Springs

William Woodward and his spouse, Louise Amelia Giesen (1862-1937), a native of Kenner, Louisiana, spent the summer of 1891 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Here they drew and painted the local scenery.  After completing their artistic endeavors under the oaks of this quaint village on the Bay of Biloxi, a large exhibit titled, “Views of Ocean Springs, was presented by the artists at the Knights of Pythias Hall on Washington Avenue.  The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of October 10, 1891, related, “these works of art cover the four walls of the building.”(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 10, 1891, p. 3)

 

The Knights of Pythias Hall was situated on the west side of Washington Avenue approximately where the law office of Hayden S. Dent, Esquire now rests at 623     Washington Avenue.  The two-story, wood-framed structure had an area of 3600 square-feet (30 feet by 60 feet).  The Ocean Springs Signal and The Ocean Springs Leader, two local journals published in 1892-1893 by C.W. Crozier and F.L. Drinkwater, occupied the first floor while the Pythians met upstairs.(Sanborn Map-1893 and Ellison, 1991, p. 26)

Washington Avenue-Ocean Springs, Mississippi

[view south from Desoto Avenue in 1891]

 

The art

Of the original 1891 Woodward Exhibit at Ocean Springs, only two pieces are known to exist here today.  One is a small watercolor, which I facetiously call “Three Little Pigs on Washington Avenue” hangs permanently at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art (WAMA) in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  It was a gift from Dr. Ronald J. French, of New Orleans.  The other Woodward work is probably a charcoal sketch on watercolor paper titled, “Southern Moonlight-Ocean Springs”.  It is in a local private collection with a pastel, figure study done at his Biloxi studio.

 

Benachi Avenue

In 1921, William Woodward fell from a scaffold while painting a mural in the United Fruit Company building at New Orleans.  He damaged his spine confining him to a wheelchair for the remainder of his natural life.  After an automobile tour of New England in 1923, the Woodwards retired to Biloxi.  They settled initially at 123 Benachi Avenue building a studio home.

The lot in Biloxi on Benachi Avenue was acquired in May 1922, by Mrs. Louise G. Woodward from M.E. Dalton.  The consideration was $850.  Situated on the east side of Benachi Avenue, the Woodward lot had fifty-feet on the street and was one hundred thirty-six feet deep.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 134, p. 289) 

 

Oak Park

In April 1927, William Woodward bought Lot 50 in the Oak Park Subdivision.  He acquired Lot 51 in October 1931.  The cost of this real estate was $2500.  Here in December 1927, the Woodwards contracted with Manuel & Wetzel for $6000 to construct a one and one-half story, English, style cottage, studio, and gallery.  This edifice was located on Kensington Drive near the Back Bay of Biloxi and present day Keesler AFB.  The Woodward cottage was built of California redwood, which had been milled at Wiggins, Mississippi.  It was roofed with Creo-dipped shingles.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 175, p. 54, Bk. 192, p. 464 and The Daily Herald, December 1, 1927, p. 2 and February 15, 1928, p. 2.

 

Accomplishments

Despite his physical handicap, William Woodward was active in the arts during his retirement years on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  When it became difficult for him to paint, he reverted to dry point etching and invented “fiberloid”, a simplified etching process.  In 1927, William Woodward organized and presided over the Gulf Coast Art Association. 

 

In September 1930, Professor Woodward was named to 'Who's Who in America'.  He was the first Mississipp artist to be honored and the second Biloxi resident.  Dr. Sharp, former president of Tulane University, had been named earlier.(The Daily Herald, September 24, 1930, p. 2)

 

In December 1934, William Woodward had an exhibit in the Newcomb Art School gallery at New Orleans.  Among his fifty dry point etchings were nine images representing Mississippi Gulf Coast venues: Solari's Fish Wharf; Our Studio-Biloxi; Balloon Jib Finish-Biloxi; Schooner Racing at Beacon; Spearing Flounder Party; The Ice Man-Biloxi; Joe Meyer and George Ohr Potters; Solari's Oyster Wharf; and Sicilian Lugger Camp-Biloxi 1890.(The Daily Herald, January 2, 1935, p. 5)

 

In 1937, William Woodward presented a large painting of the now renown Newcomb potters of Biloxi origins, Joseph Fortune Meyer (1848-1931) and George E. Ohr Jr. (1857-1918), to the Biloxi Public Library.  Today, this magnificent treasure is on loan to the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum located at 136 George E. Ohr Boulevard in Biloxi. 

 

In 1938, Mr. Woodward published French Quarter Etchings to promote preservation efforts in the Vieux Carre section of the Crescent City.  These prints based on his earlier Rafaeli oil crayon French Quarter paintings were accomplished at his Biloxi studio.

 

Demise

Following a brief illness, at Biloxi where he was confined to the Biloxi Hospital for four days and cared for by his son and grandson, Carl E. Woodward and Woodward B. Logan, William Woodward was brought on November 9, 1937 to the Southern Baptist Hospital at New Orleans.  He died here on November 17, 1939.  Mr. Woodward was survived by his four children: William Giesen Woodward of Syracuse, New York; Carl Elsworth Woodward of New Orleans; Alma Woodward Logan of New Orleans; and Eleanor Woodward Moseley of Atlanta.  Mrs. Woodward preceded her husband in death having passed on October 29, 1937.  Their corporal remains were interred at the Southern Memorial Park cemetery in Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, November 6, 1939, p. 8, November 17, 1939, p. 1, October 31, 1937, and  November 1, 1937, p. 8,

 

The artworks of William Woodward are prized by today’s collectors.  Amazingly at the time of his demise, his pictures, pottery, prints, etchings, portraits, and additional personal property was valued at only $2000.  The total value of his estate was $7746 of which his Biloxi real estate comprised about 40%.( Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 16,850, December 1939)

 

 

 

Portrait of George E. Ohr Jr.

[original in the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art at Biloxi, Mississippi

REFERENCES:

Books

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, 2nd Edition, (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1991).

Early Views of the Vieux Carre-Guide Book to the French Quarter, (Isaac Delgado Museum: New Orleans, Louisiana-1965).

History of Art in Mississippi, (Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1929).

Mississippi Gulf Coast Yesterday and Today (1699-1939), Federal Writers Project in Mississippi Works Progress Administration, (Gulfport, Mississippi-1939).

The Buildings of Biloxi: An Architectural Survey, (City of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1976).

Collections

Historic New Orleans Collection-“William Woodward”.

Chancery Court

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 16,850, “The Estate of William Woodward”December 1939.

 

Journals

The Daily Herald, “Picture of Biloxian [George E. Ohr and Joseph Fortune Meyer] in collection at Delgado Museum in New Orleans”, March 26, 1912.

The Daily Herald, “Professor Woodward Again Home”, April 21, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Artist Commences Oak Park Structure”, December 1, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Woodward Home”, February 15, 1928.

The Daily Herald, “Woodward in Who's Who”, September 24, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Prof. Woodward Resigns”, January 10, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “                                     ”, September 26, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Woodward completes 50 years at Newcomb”, January 2, 1935.

The Daily Herald, Professor Woodward Presents Portraits of Deans of Tulane”, June 10, 1935.

The Daily Herald, “Celebrate 50th wedding anniversary”, July 10, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. William Woodward Dies at Oak Park”, October 31, 1937.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Woodward Buried”, November 1, 1937.                                                   

The Daily Herald, Oath taken by Mrs. Woodward", December 30, 1938.

The Daily Herald, “Prof. Woodward Ill”, November 6, 1939.

The Daily Herald, “Prof. Woodward Dies in Orleans”, November 17, 1939.

The Daily Herald, “Dr. Woodward Buried in Memorial Park”, November 18, 1939.

The Daily Herald, “Know Your Coast”- ‘The Almost Forgotten Woodward Studio’, September 26, 1956.

The Mississippi Press, “Portraits hold memories of loving friendship”, August 28, 1994, p. 7-B.

The Ocean Springs Record, “Half Century Ago”, July 24, 1969.

The Ocean Springs Record, “William Woodward painted the town in 1891”, June 16, 1994.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs Locals”, October 10, 1891.

The Times Picayune, “Old Vieux Carre Presented in Whitney Bank Art Exhibit”, September 29, 1979.

Maps

Sanborn Map Company (NY), “Ocean Springs, Mississippi”, Sheet 1-1893.

 

Personal Communication:

Dr. Ronald J. French, New Orleans, Louisiana, May 1993.

Dr. James W. Nelson, Gonzales, Louisiana, May 1993.

Murella Powell, Biloxi, Mississippi, February 1994.

 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

“COASTING”-The Retirement Years of William and Louise G. Woodward at

Biloxi, Mississippi: 1923-1939

 by Ray L. Bellande

William Woodward painting of a Biloxi house

19th Century sojourns

The Mississippi Gulf Coast had seduced William Woodward (1859-1939) and Louise Amelia Giesen (1862-1937), his spouse, as an artistic and holiday destination as early as 1891.  They spent the summer of 1891 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Here the Woodwards drew and painted the local scenery. A native son of Seekonk, Massachusetts, William was enraptured by the warmth and tropical beauty of the landscape with its live oaks and brilliant blooms of azalea, by the Gulf with its colorful assortment of sailing, fishing, and shrimp boats, and the local sights, such as the Episcopal Church in Pass Christian to Popp’s Ferry, in Back Bay. Louise, on the other hand, focused on drawing precise botanical illustrations of the exotic sea life, both in watercolor and oil.

 

After completing their artistic endeavors under the oaks of this quaint village on the Bay of Biloxi, a large exhibit titled, “Views of Ocean Springs, was presented by the artists at the Knights of Pythias Hall on Washington Avenue.  The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of October 10, 1891, related, “these works of art cover the four walls of the building.”(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, October 10, 1891, p. 3)

 

An attestation that the Woodwards were enamored with the Mississippi seashore as a respite from his academic duties occurred in early August 1892, when William Geisen Woodward (1892-1939+), their first son, was born at Waveland, Hancock County, Mississippi.(WWI Draft Registration Orleans Parish, Louisiana R 1684928, DB 13) Three more children were to follow, another son and two daughters; and it was said, that William henceforth preferred his wife to devote her talents to being a wife and mother, rather than an artist.

 

The Woodward family returned to Ocean Springs in the summer of 1895.  They were guests of Benjamin F. Parkinson Jr. (1859-1930), a businessman from New Orleans, who maintained a summer home on Biloxi Bay in the Lovers Lane neighborhood.  Mr. Parkinson raised award winning poultry at his Ocean Springs estate.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, August 23, 1895, p. 3)

 

Biloxi

It was at Biloxi, Harrison County, Mississippi that the William Woodward family would spend much of their vacation time, especially summers.  Nouveau Biloxi or Biloxi was the French Colonial outpost from which New Orleans was founded in 1718 by Jean-Baptise Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville (1680-1768), a Canadian soldier in the employ of France.  Slowly in the 1840s, Biloxi began to develop as one of the ‘Six Sisters’, a designation for the small resort towns situated on the Mississippi Sound, referred to as the ‘Lake”, between Bay St. Louis and Pascagoula.  As a summer spa serviced by steam packets operating from Milneburg on Lake Pontchartrain, Biloxi catered to the affluent, primarily from the Crescent City.  Here waterfront hotels, inns, and ancillary services grew to accommodate the fortunate who could flee the intense heat and scourge of Yellow Fever, which was pervasive at New Orleans from summer into fall.  The appellation ‘Queen City’ was given Biloxi in the late 19th Century. (Sullivan, 1985, p. 17 and p. 41) 

 

By 1900, Biloxi had become one of the leading seafood packing towns in America.  Here water front canneries using indigenous and seasonal ‘Bohemian’ labor from Baltimore processed oysters, shrimp, fruits, and vegetables.  The New Orleans, Mobile, & Chattanooga Railroad, the precursor to the L&N Railroad, had begun to serve the region in the fall of 1870.  As the population grew, Biloxi attracted professionals and retirees from other areas and eventually a small art community developed here before 1920. 

 

William and Louise G. Woodward retired to Biloxi in 1923 and were residents until their deaths in the late 1930s.  During this time, they saw the rapid growth and development of the tourist industry on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Large masonry hotels replaced the smaller, pre-1920, wood-framed structures.  At Biloxi, the Buena Vista Hotel, Tivoli Hotel, Edgewater Hotel, and Biloxi Hotel rose along the sylvan shores of the Mississippi Sound.  There were also several golf links between Gulfport and Ocean Springs to accommodate those enamored with this rapidly developing sport.

 

Meyer and Ohr

In addition to his proficiency in drawing and painting, William Woodward had been trained in the American Arts and Crafts tradition first at the Rhode Island School of Design and then at the Boston Normal School, with ceramics as a personal favorite. Prior to his tenure at Newcomb College, Tulane University, William started a pottery enterprise connected with the Tulane Decorative Art League in New Orleans in 1885 following upon the success 1884 Cotton Centennial. Coincidentally, William Woodward found help for his fledgling pottery on Baronne Street, The New Orleans Art Pottery, from two local Biloxi boys: Joseph F. Meyer (1848-1931) and George E. Ohr (1857-1918) Joseph F. Meyer would later become the potter for the Newcomb Pottery and be associated with William Woodward at New Orleans for many years until he retired in 1927 to Biloxi with a heart condition and failing eye sight.  A very large oil canvas of Ohr and Meyer throwing pots in New Orleans was completed by Professor Woodward in 1890.  It was exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 at Chicago and in 1912 at the Delgado Museum in New Orleans.  The New Orleans Art Pottery Company painting was brought by the Woodwards to Biloxi and shown in public here at the inaugural show of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association in February 1927.  For many decades, this historic painting hung in the Biloxi Public Library before being loaned to the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum at Biloxi, Mississippi in the late 1990s.(The Daily Herald, March 12, 1912, p. 1, February 21, 1927, p. 2, January 4, 1928, p. 10.

 

In August 1921, Professor Woodward lauded Ohr and Meyer in a letter written to The Daily Herald, the local journal at Biloxi and Gulfport, Mississippi, as follows:

 

Biloxi, Mississippi

August 21, 1921

Editor Daily Herald,

 My attention has been called to the letter published August 19, by Mr. Rose, concerning the late Geo. E. Ohr of Biloxi, whose ability as an art potter, he recommends very highly.  It is a pleasure to add my testimony to his, and say that Mr. Ohr was employed by the N.O. Art Pottery Co., in which I had a leading interest, for quiet a period, associated with Mr. Joseph Meyer, also of Biloxi, who now live son Deer Island and who is now employed in the winter season in turning the beautiful shapes designed and created by the students of the Newcomb College for women, Tulane University of New Orleans.

Mr. Ohr produced when with us, the highest class of work in clay on the potter’s wheel and at times did his work before the public, in expositions.  I wish to earnestly support the idea of having collections of his work in all schools and exchanges in Biloxi, properly labeled.  Very likely other art work done in Biloxi could be added if carefully selected which would be instructive and creditable.

Yours very truly,

Wm. Woodward

Sr. professor of art, Tulane University

(The Daily Herald, August 25, 1921, p. 2)

 

Pre-retirement years

The Daily Herald relates that Professor Woodward and his family had several holidays at Biloxi before his retirement years began, delighting equally in the artistic and recreational opportunities, with a particular fondness for sailing. In January of 1921, William Woodward was operated on for a tumor in the sacral region of his spine at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans. The ensuing disability forced his resignation from Tulane University beginning the academic session 1921-22.  Confined permanently to a wheelchair, his mobility was limited; but his artistic inspiration and production soared. He entered upon one of the most creative periods of his life. With great pessimism, his physician Dr. Parham despaired of William Woodward’s recovery, even after eighteen months of bed and wheelchair.  Yet during this time of convalescence, in the summers of 1921 and 1922, William Woodward painted prolifically on the Coast.  His thirty studies completed in 1921 were exhibited at the Newcomb Art School’s public gallery.  He was more active in 1922, completing fifty canvasses in oil including subjects at night and also the popular Biloxi Regatta.  The summer of 1922 was a family reunion for Mrs. Louise G. Woodward.  During their seven weeks stay at Biloxi, Eleanor W. Blosser (1889-1939+), their daughter and spouse of Clarence Blosser (1874-1920+), an Atlanta, Georgia based patent medicine manufacturer, brought their five small children to Biloxi . Mrs. Blosser was a Newcomb Art School alumnus and the chairman of the exhibit committee for the Atlanta Art Association.  She later married George C. Moseley (1881-1930+) in Atlanta (The Daily Herald, July 22, 1922, p. 3 and July 23, 1928, p.2) The late summer of 1922 was very special to Professor Woodward, as he donated a painting that was made from the lawn of the Biloxi City Hospital to the local infirmary.  This image captured the shade-giving, live oak trees, the water front, and the Biloxi Yacht Club.  With this gift, William Woodward was expressing his gratitude to the clinic and staff as well as his deep love for Biloxi and its people, which was mutual. (The Daily Herald, September 2, 1922, p. 3)

 

When interviewed about the Woodwards in 1991, Dolores Davidson Smith (1916-1997) of Ocean Springs related: “I can say that these people have enriched my life and memories.  They were sweet and loving and when the children couldn’t come…the grandchildren couldn’t come   I would go over and stay with them; and love them to pieces.  They were so sweet and gentle.” (Transcript-Biloxi Public Library of an interview by Murella H. Powell on March 7, 1991)

 

Benachi Avenue

To facilitate his trips back and forth to New OrleansWilliam Woodward had ordered a specially-outfitted Dodge touring car with manual controls.  It was such a success that it prompted an ambitious tour of New England, including a visit to his hometown of Seekonk, Massachusetts, in 1923.  Afterwards, the Woodwards formally retired to Biloxi, Mississippi. They settled initially at 123 Benachi Avenue. The ‘Brady’ lot in Biloxi on Benachi Avenue previously was acquired in May 1922, by Mrs. Louise G. Woodward from M.E. Dalton (1857-1929), a prominent Chicago contractor who like the Woodwards had chosen to retire in the Queen City.  The consideration was $850.  This tract was situated on the east side of Benachi Avenue and had fifty-feet on the street and was one hundred thirty-six feet deep.(The Daily Herald, April 22, 1922, p. 3, February 15, 1929, p. 8  and Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 134, p. 289)  

They built a studio home that has been described architecturally as Swiss chalet, Mrs. Woodward assisted in the construction of their home working with red tile and cypress shingles. (Bragg and Saward, 2004. p. 183, Building of Biloxi, 1976, p. 127, and The Daily Herald, September 26, 1956)   On account of the paralysis of his legs, the Benachi home had to be constructed at ground level in order that Mr. Woodward could navigate his wheelchair in and out of the premises unaided.  When outside his home, William Woodward carried a lecture hall folding chair in his car with wheels attached to the legs.  He utilized this light-weight chair as his means of locomotion on the streets of Biloxi.

 

Woodward Benachi home and studio at Biloxi, Mississippi

Benachi Avenue was Biloxi’s ‘Avenue of Oaks’.  It was much photographed and the subject of William Woodward’s palette. It probably reminded William of the famous allee of live oaks in New Orleans’ Audubon Park, which he had seen everyday from his studio in Gibson Hall at Tulane. The Woodwards would live at the Benachi Avenue address until 1927.

Despite his growing involvement in the Biloxi artistic community, William Woodward finally was able to heed his wanderlust, which had been denied him most years at Tulane, teaching as he did the summer sessions.  In 1926, they packed the touring car and set off on another working trip, this time to the Far West.  For months he remained in the Yellowstone Valley painting; and finally arrived in San Francisco, the city which had beckoned members of his mother’s family, the Carpenters of Seekonk in the mid-nineteenth century.  It had always been a source of romantic speculation to the young William, growing up in those closed New England winters.  The paintings of this period are bolder and broader in handling, more impressionistic.  Gone is the careful architectural rendering of William Woodward’s early painting.  Much is experimental, too, realized in greater abstraction of form and broad areas of strong color. It seems to be a new exciting artistic language more suited to the boisterous spirit of the West, than to the careful vocabulary of the Eastern arts and crafts tradition.  Perhaps, some of the most daring compositions result from the Woodward’s sea-voyage to Hawaii, where he painted for weeks before returning to Southern California and eventually back to Benachi Avenue.

Upon the demise of Louise G. Woodward in 1937, the Benachi cottage was legated to Woodward Bainbridge Logan (1910-1995) and William Ellsworth Logan (1915-1930+), her grandsons.  They sold it for $1100 in June 1939 to Vivien Stansbury.  Louise G. Woodward left all of her “vases, pottery, and pictures to be distributed among my grandchildren in whatever manner by Eleanor Woodward Mosley (sic).(Harrison County, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 15,602-1937 and Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 227, p. 239) 

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association

William Woodward was the founder of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association during his retirement years at Biloxi.  In mid-November 1926, he and interested parties met at the Biloxi Public Library and commenced this cultural body, which aspired to influence the future aesthetics of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Among the charter members of the organization were: Mary Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952) and Louise Mallard (1900-1975) of Biloxi; Miss Sarah K. Smith (1878-1930+) of Gulf Park College; Dean Parkhurst Woleben (1891-1968) of Gulfport; and Emma Langdon Roche, Edward C. de Celle, and Roderick Dempster MacKenzie (1865-1941) of Mobile.(The Daily Herald, November 19, 1926, p. 2)

As there were several ‘snow birds’ in the Gulf Coast Art Association, its annual schedule was characterized by several monthly meetings in the spring, fall and winter, usually at the Biloxi Public Library on Lameuse Street.  Occasionally, the group would convene at a member’s residence or at the art studio on the campus of Gulf Park College in Long Beach, Mississippi.

A guest lecturer, either invited or drawn from within the membership, would speak on a particular art related topic.  William Woodward with his years of instruction at Newcomb College and Tulane University was often the speaker.  There were generally two public art exhibitions each year at Biloxi: a juried show that was held near Mardi Gras and a non-juried show in December.  The summer months were idle.  After a juried show ended, it would be relocated to another Gulf Coast City for another public viewing.  Often the home town of the artist whose work was chosen ‘best Coast scene’ would become the selected venue.  In addition to Biloxi, the Gulf Coast Art Association is known to have art exhibits at: Gulf Park College, Long Beach, Mississippi; Gulfport, Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association held its first annual exhibit at the Biloxi Public Library from February 4th until February 20th, 1927, Miss Ethel Dismukes (1870-1952), then secretary of the organization, exhibited photography and oil paintings.  Her “The Burden Bearer” was voted “the best-liked picture”.  William Woodward won the gold medal for “Our Street”.(The Daily Herald, February 3, 1927, p. 2 and February 21, 1927, p. 2)

The Art Center

In early December 1932, artists of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association decided to commence an “Art Center” in Biloxi.  It was located on the north side of West Howard Avenue between Reynoir and Fayard Streets, adjacent to D’Aquin’s Drugstore.  The “Art Center” may have been the first artist public meeting place and artist co-op on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  In addition to rotating art exhibits and association meetings, the Gulf Coast Art Association planned to have a workroom in their building, with north light, which is considered excellent for drawing and painting.  Classes and workshops were also planned for the workroom.  The “Art Center” opened in late December 1932.  Professor Woodward, William ‘Billy’ Logan, his grandson, and Charlotte E. Tibbs of Biloxi worked diligently to bring this project to fruition.(The Daily Herald, December 6, 1932, p. 2, December 29, 1932, p. 2, and January 10, 1933, p. 6)

William Woodward resigned from his very active role as president of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association in January 1933.  He had led the organization since its inception.  Anne Wells Munger (1862-1945), a native of Springfield, Massachusetts and resident of Pass Christian, Mississippi, became acting president.  Mrs. Munger wintered at Pass Christian and enjoyed painting during the cooler summers on Cape Cod in Massachusetts.(The Daily Herald, February 14, 1927, p. 2 and January 10, 1933, p. 6)

Oak Park

In April 1927, William Woodward bought Lot 50 in the Oak Park Subdivision at Biloxi, Mississippi.  He acquired Lot 51 in October 1931.  The cost of this real estate was $2500.  Here in December 1927, the Woodwards contracted with Manuel & Wetzel for $6000 to construct a one and one-half story, English, style cottage, studio, and gallery.  This Woodward edifice was referred to as ‘The Studio’ and was located on Kensington Drive near the Back Bay of Biloxi and the Naval Reserve Park, which was later integrated into present day Keesler Air Force Base.  The Woodward cottage was built of California redwood, which had been milled at Wiggins, Mississippi.  It was roofed with Creo-dipped shingles.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 175, p. 54, and Bk. 192, p. 464 and The Daily Herald, December 1, 1927, p. 2 and February 15, 1928, p. 2.

In February 1943, several years after William and Louise G. Woodward had passed died, their Oak Park cottage was taken from their heirs by imminent domain.  The U.S. Army Air Corps had commenced the construction of Keesler Field in this area of Biloxi in 1941, and the Woodward property was near the north end of the airstrip.  The Woodward home served for some time as the residence of the Base commanding officer.  Although it was metamorphosed with additions, its basic architectural style remained intact.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 253, p. 327 and Down South, Nov.-Dec. 1953, p. 38)

Biloxi and other Exhibits

While a resident of Biloxi, Professor Woodward participated annually in the Gulf Coast Art Association exhibition, usually held at the Biloxi Public Library.  In December 1935, he was invited by the Newcomb Art School to show his work and to celebrate his thirty-five years of service to Tulane University.(The Daily Herald, January 2, 1935, p. 5)

Following is a listing of some of the paintings shown by William Woodward during his residence on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

 

1927-Gulf Coast Art Association

Professor Woodward and Miss Ethel Dismukes, president and secretary of the Gulf Coast Art Association, with yeoman efforts assembled and exhibition and sale for the active artists of the association at the Biloxi Public Library in early February 1937.  The show was juried by Will H. Stevens of Newcomb College, Miss Sarah Smith of Gulf Park College, and Edmund C. DeCelle of Mobile.  The Peoples Bank donated a gold medal award for the 'best oil painting'; the City Commissioners not to be trumped also provided a gold medal for the 'best Gulf Coast scene'; the 'honorable mention award' was a blue ribbon.  Professor Woodward had a least two paintings in this initial exhibit of the MGCAA, ‘The New Orleans Art Pottery Company” and ‘Our Street’, which was awarded the gold medal for best Coast scene.  Louise Giesen Woodward also participated in this art show.(The Daily Herald, February 3, 1927, p. 2, , February 3, 1927, p. 5,  and February 21, 1927, p. 2)

In April 1927, the Woodwards ventured to Charleston, South Carolina to attend the Southern States Art League annual convention.  While in the Low Country, Professor Woodward painted the renowned Azalea blossoms of Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and visited the Terrace Azalea Gardens.  At Easter, they visited with Eleanor W. Blosser and grandchildren in Atlanta.  At Mobile, the Woodwards visited the Gulf Coast Art Association show and returned it to Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, April 21, 1927, p. 2)

 

1928-Gulf Coast Art Association-

Mid-February 1928 was indeed a historic moment in the art history of Biloxi.  There were two exhibits on simultaneously.  Professor William Woodward had his own gallery showing while the MGCAA show was hanging in the Biloxi Public Library.  The Woodward display consisted of about forty paintings, primarily of Biloxi.  Some of his subjects were: Benachi Avenue at its Back Bay terminus; the Biloxi lighthouse; live oaks in front of the W.P. Kennedy domicile; shell roads in the vicinity of Solari’s fish house; and the elliptical shoreline of the Back Bay of Biloxi.  An art critic from New York City so admired the color and composition of William Woodward’s ‘Spring time near Biloxi’, that he compared the Professor to Claude Monet (1840-1926).  Mr. Woodward related that after he had moved beyond the Barbizon style that indeed Monet had been an inspiration.(The Daily Herald, February 16, 1928, p. 2)

Professor William Woodward opened the 1929 art association annual exhibition with a talk on art appreciation.  He emphasized that art, excepting religion, is the most tangible element in our daily lives.  Woodward lauded the Mississippi Gulf Coast Art Association for its inaugural efforts and selfless serving to promote cultural activities in this historic region.  He emphasized that there were limitless, natural subjects to be captured on the canvas by local artists for as Professor Woodward stated, “art begins at home.”  William Woodward was honored at this art show by capturing the Peoples Bank award for the best oil painting for his “Azaleas in Sunlight”.(The Daily Herald, February 18, 1928, p. 2)

 

1929-Gulf Coast Art Association-

In mid-February 1929, the Gulf Coast Art Association met in the Biloxi Library with Roderick Dempster MacKenzie (1865-1941) of Mobile acting as chairman of the juried show.  Mr. MacKenzie was actively engaged in painting murals in the State Capitol building at Montgomery, Alabama.  William Woodward received the gold medal, which had been donated by the Biloxi City Commissioners as a prize for the Gulf Coast Art Association’s juried selection of ‘best Gulf Coast scene’.  ‘Luggers’ was the title of Woodward’s award winning oil painting.  He had painted it in 1891, when he and the family had spent the summer at Ocean Springs.  This was Professor Woodward’s second gold medal for ‘Best Gulf Coast scene’ in the GCAA annual exhibition series.(The Daily Herald, February 18, 1929, p. 2)

 

1930-Gulf Coast Art Association-

Gertrude Roberts Smith (1869-1962) of the Newcomb Art School and Charles W. Bein (1891-1966), president of the art school of the Arts and Crafts Club of New Orleans, were jurors for the 1930 MGCAA art show held on February 22nd in the Biloxi Public Library.  Professor William Woodward was given the First National Bank of Biloxi award, which was a $10 dollars gold piece, for the best portrait or figure study.  He did a pastel portrait of Eleanor Blosser, his granddaughter.  Other winners were: The Biloxi City Commissioners prize, also a $10 dollar gold piece, for the best Gulf Coast scene to Minor Sutter of Pass Christian for “A Glimpse of Bayou Portage”, a water color.  The Peoples Bank of Biloxi awarded a $10 gold coin to three artists for their fine water colors: Sarah Katherine Smith, Charles E. Hultberg (1874-1948), and Professor Charles Woodward Hutson.  Peter Anderson of the Shearwater Pottery won the arts and crafts division top honors for a grouping of glazed pots and Charles Hultberg garnered a gold medal for his large, oil landscape.  The MGCAA provided the awards to Anderson and Hultberg.(The Daily Herald, February 5, 1930, p. 2 and February 27, 1930)

 

1931- Gulf Coast Art Association

The fifth annual Gulf Coast Art Association show was one of the largest and most exciting presented to the public by the young organization.  The artists showing work at this juried affair held on February 12, 1931 at the Biloxi Public Library were: Professor William Woodward, Miss Ethel Dismukes, Miss Charlotte E. Tibbs, Deaconess Mary Truesdale, Charles E. Hultberg, Wilomene T. White, and Virginia Theobald of Biloxi; Sarah K. Smith of Gulf Park College; Miss Nannie Mayes Crump of Gulfport; Marie A. Hull of Jackson, Mississippi; Horace A. Russ of Lakeshore, Mississippi; Ethel S. Creighton, Amy Watkins, and Miss Emma Langdon Roche of Mobile, Alabama; Charles W. Hutson of New Orleans; Herman A. McNeil of New York; William C. Richards of Ocean Springs, Mississippi; and Anne Wells Munger and Minor Sutter of Pass Christian, Mississippi.  Professor Ellsworth Woodward of Newcomb College and president of the Southern States Art League and Miss Ella Miriam Wood also a resident of the Crescent City were selected to serve as jurors and judges.(The Daily Herald, February 6, 1931, p. 2 and February 14, 1931, p. 2)

E. Ambrose Webster (1869-1935), art maven, of the Provincetown Art Colony of Cape Cod was the guest speaker at the exhibit opening.  He was impressed with the local exhibit and particularly was enamored with the work of Charles W. Hutson (1840-1936) and William C. Richards (1914-2004).  William Woodward presented a $10 dollar gold piece to the following winners: First Bank of Biloxi-Peoples Bank award to Miss Emma Langdon Roche for the best oil painting; Biloxi City Commissioners award to Horace A. Russ for the best Gulf Coast scene; Bay St. Louis Chamber of Commerce award to Marie A. Hull (1890-1980) for the best water color; Pass Christian Chamber of Commerce award to Miss Amy Watkins for the best figure or head; Gulf Coast Art Association prize to Ethel Dismukes for the best art craft; and the Mrs. Thornhill Broome award to Minor Sutter for the best pastel drawing.(The Daily Herald, February 12, 1931, p. 10)    

 

Shearwater visit

In May, the Gulf Coast Art Association met at the Shearwater Pottery in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Annette McConnell Anderson (1867-1964) and Peter Anderson (1901-1984), her son and founder of the pottery, hosted the membership.  The Andersons gave a tour of their facility commencing in the show room were the finished pieces are sold.  The group broke for tea and sandwiches before completing the visit by viewing the recently enlarged work shops.  Professor William Woodward was not present, but members from Bay St. Louis, Pass Christian, Mississippi City, and Biloxi were in attendance.(The Daily Herald, May 11, 1931, p. 2)

 

Junior Art Show

In early May, the Biloxi Public Library hosted an exhibition of works by the junior membership of the Gulf Coast Art Association.  Media for the event included oils, water colors, sculpture, cut paper, and crayons, which were utilized to create portrait, still life, collage, and landscape images.  Exhibiting were: Josephine Alphonso, Bernadette Arndt, Betty Buck, Peggy Cassibry, Mary C. Helms, Carin Holmes, Patti Lynn, K. Renshaw, and Katherine Webb.(The Daily Herald, May 7, 1931, p. 2 and May 15, 1931, p. 2)

 

1932- Gulf Coast Art Association

The Gulf Coast Art Association 1932 art show occurred in mid-February with Dean Babcock (1888-1969), a resident of Estes Park, Colorado who was wintering at Biloxi, and Henry M. Rosenberg (1858-1947) of New York and a winter guest at Citronelle, Alabama, serving as jurors.  At the business meeting, William Woodward was re-elected president of the GCAA (The Daily Herald, February 15, 1932, p. 2)     

 

Newcomb exhibit

In September 1932, William Woodward, president of the Gulf Coast Art Association, had an exhibit of his Vieux Carre oil paintings in the recently refurbished Newcomb College gallery.  These turn of the Century works featured such French Quarter landmarks as: the Cabildo, St. Louis Cathedral; the old French Opera House; and the signature Jackson Square.  Most of these works had been viewed by Gulf Coast art aficionados either at local exhibits or in Professor Woodward’s Oak Park studio.(The Daily Herald, September 20, 1932, p. 2)

 

‘New’ etchings process

The first fall meeting of 1932 was held in late November at the home of Deaconess Mary Truesdell at 138 Fayard Street in Biloxi.  Professor William Woodward delivered an address titled, ‘New Etching Processes”.  In recent months, he had been working diligently on an exhibit in this medium.(The Daily Herald, November 24, 1932, p. 2

[need to write about Woodward’s ‘dry point etching technique

 

The 1932 fall exhibition of the Gulf Coast Art Association was non-juried and was open to the public from December 11th to December 18th at the Biloxi Library.  William Woodward presented an oil portrait and several etchings.  The ‘Solari Memorial Plate’, an etching of the Philip L. Solari (1868-1932) oyster house, wharf and tree was very popular.  For each Solari print sold, Professor Woodward donated one to a Biloxi school.  Philip L. Solari, an Italian immigrant and Biloxi merchant, and his oak tree both expired in 1932.  Ellsworth Woodward, his brother, made the Solari prints at New Orleans.  ‘Deacon Reed’s House’, also an etching by William Woodward, was made from a sketch of this Massachusetts home, work shop, well and sweep.(The Daily Herald, September 26, 1932, p. 2 and December 12, 1932, p. 2)

1933- Gulf Coast Art Association

Anne Wells Munger of Pass Christian, Mississippi was elected president of the MGCAA at its annual meeting held in the Art Center on March 13, 1933.  Professor Woodward whose motivation and leadership had guided the MGCAA since its inception in November 1926, was named president emeritus.  William Woodward had resigned his leadership of the organization in early January 1933.  Other elected officers were: Emma Langdon Roche, vice president; Mary Ethel Dismukes, secretary; and Deaconess Truesdell, treasurer.(The Daily Herald, January 10, 1933, p. 6  and March 14, 1933, p. 2)

The 1933 GCAA juried art show was held March 20-March 25 at the art studio on the Gulf Park College campus in Long Beach, Mississippi.  William Woodward displayed the following works: ‘Autumn” and “Naval Reserve Park”-oils; “Captain Wooster’s Carpenter Place”, “Boats at Provincetown”, “Buck Sawyer”, and a “Coat of Arms”-etchings. (The Daily Herald, March 21, 1933, p. 1)

The 1933 GCAA art show was scheduled to be displayed in April at the Art Center on 512 West Howard Avenue in Biloxi.  The Art Center officially closed its winter season in early May with a public tea.  William Woodward, president emeritus, was present at this function.  The Art Center remained closed for the summer months.(The Daily Herald, March 14, 1932, p. 2 and May 2, 1933, p. 2)

 

1934- Gulf Coast Art Association

The Gulf Coast Art Association opened its 1934 show on February 13th in the Hord Building on West Howard Avenue.  Members work was shown in the following mediums: oils, water colors, wood block prints, hand painted China; and other arts and crafts techniques.  The show closed on February 20th.  It was marked by the strong pencil sketches of Anne Wells Mungers, the PWA commissions of Miss Charlotte E. Tibbs, and the flower studies of Miss Sarah K. Smith of Gulf Park College. (The Daily Herald, February 13, 1934, p. 3 and February 20, 1934, p. 6)

 

Gulf Park College

In March, the Gulf Coast Art Association decided to have a graphics arts show in the studio of Miss Sarah K. Smith to open April 16th at Gulf Park College in Long Beach, Mississippi.  William Woodward presented some of his etchings and was awarded an honorable mention for “Oyster Luggers’.(The Daily Herald, March 6, 1934, p. 2 and April 17, 1934, p. 8)

In December 1934, upon his fiftieth year of service to Tulane University, Professor Woodward was honored by the Newcomb Art School with an exhibit of his work in their gallery.  The Woodward showing consisted of fifty dry point etchings.  Nine of these images were of the Mississippi Gulf Coast:  ‘Solari’s Fish Wharf’; ‘Our Studio-Biloxi’; Balloon Jib Finish-Biloxi’; Schooner Racing at Beacon’; ‘Spearing Flounders Party’; The Ice Man-Biloxi’; ‘Joe Meyer and George Ohr Potters’; ‘Solari’s Oyster Wharf’; and ‘Sicilain Lugger Camp atBiloxi-1890’.  A couple who resided on Park Avenue in New York City bought a print of ‘Solari’s Fish Wharf’.(The Daily Herald, January 2, 1935, p. 5)

W.S. Robinson, a popular landscape painter from Old Lyme, Connecticut, and former classmate of William Woodward visited Biloxi during the winter of 1934-1935.  Mr. Robinson and Professor Woodward met about fifty years past, when both were studying at the Massachusetts Normal Art School in Boston.  Like Woodward, W.S. Robinson had an extensive career as an art instructor.  After academic posts in New London, Philadelphia, Baltimore, the Teachers College of Columbia University, he ended his career in 1934 at the National Academy of Design in New York City.  (The Daily Herald, January 4, 1935, p. 2)

 

1935-A year of sales and exhibitions

Professor Woodward sold five Vieux Carre etchings* in March to the Lauren Eastman Rogers Memorial Foundation Art Museum at Laurel, Mississippi.  The Lauren Eastman Rogers Art Museum was founded in 1923 and the Woodward etchings were for its permanent collection.  At this time, William Woodward also vended an original Vieux Carre study done in Raffelli oil crayons to a party from Cleveland, Ohio and an oil painting of an oyster wharf on the Back Bay at Biloxi to a patron in Boulder, Colorado.  Both studies were 22 inches by 28 inches.(The Daily Herald, March 11, 1935, p. 8)

William Woodward’s fifty dry point etchings, which had been exhibited at the Newcomb Art School gallery in December 1934, were shown in March 1935, at the Massachusetts School of Art in Boston.  The school’s alumni association sponsored this one man show.  Professor Woodward was an 1886 graduate of this institution.(The Daily Herald,  March 11, 1935, p. 8)

In early April, the GCAA held its annual juried show at the studio of Sarah K. Smith at Gulf Park College, Long Beach, Mississippi.  There were ninety-five art objects from sixteen of the twenty-two art association members in the exhibition.  Professor William Woodward displayed three large oils and several etchings.  His subjects were two French Quarter scenes and Benachi Avenue.(The Daily Herald,  April 9, 1935, p. 1)

In June 1935, William Woodward attended the Centennial Anniversary of Tulane University.  He presented to the school portraits of eleven former deans and professors whom he had worked with in his long career at the school.  Professor Woodward was the only living member of this august group.(The Daily Herald, June 10, 1935, p. 2)

*Jill Chancey, curator at the Lauren E. Rogers Art Museum at Laurel, Mississippi, relates that their accession records demonstrate that three Woodward etchings were purchased in 1935, not five as reported by the Biloxi newspaper.(telephone conversation July 9, 2008)

 

1936 Gulf Coast Art Association

The 1936 juried art show of the Gulf Coast Art Association was held in the sun parlor of the White House Hotel.  The forty-nine-piece show opened on March 1, 1936 and was available for public viewing for about one week.  Miss Ethel Dismukes exhibited three photographs: “Inn by the Sea” (oil tinted); “Lover’s Lane”; and “Wind Swept”.   Professor William Woodward of Biloxi showed the following: “Portrait of Patricia” (oil); “Biloxi Light”, “Ship at Sunset”, and Ship in Moonlight” (Raffaelli oil crayons); and “Benachi Avenue Bioxi”, “Oyster Wharf”, “Yellow Fever Quarantine”, and “Pass Christian” (etchings).  Dean Babcock of Denver, Colorado presented several wood engravings, while GCAA regulars: Anne Wells Munger, Sarah K. Smith, Charlotte E. Tibbs, and Nannie Mayes Crump had works in various media for public viewing.(The Daily Herald, March 2, 1936, p. 2)                                          

The April meeting was held on April 14th at Gulf Park College and was a joint session with the Gulfport Women's Club.(The Daily Herald, April 4, 1936, p. 2)

 

1937 Gulf Coast Art Association

On March 8th, the tenth anniversary convening of the Gulf Coast Art Association annual juried exhibition opened in the art studio of Miss Sarah K. Smith on the campus of Gulf Park College at Long Beach, Mississippi.  There were twelve artists in this show.  Professor Woodward had four etchings of Gulf Coast scenes in this 1937 art show.  His Biloxi lighthouse created considerable interest as well as his other images which captured the Coast in the recent past.  The GCAA art show moved from Gulf Park College to the Biloxi Library in mid-March.(The Daily Herald, March 8, 1937, p. 8 and March 10, 1937, p. 5 and March 16, 1937, p. 2)

 

1937 Mississippi Art Association

The Mississippi Art Association opened it 1937 annual exhibition at Jackson on December 15th.  Professor William Woodward won first prize for a scene painted on Lover’s Lane at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  It was a large canvas.  Other Gulf Coast Art Association members exhibiting in Jackson were: Anne Wells Munger of Pass Christian; Mrs. J.C. McNair of Handsboro; and Miss Nannie Mayes Crump of Gulfport.  William Woodward and Mrs. Munger had been members of the State art association for several years, while Miss Crump and Mrs. McNair were elected to join this select group in 1937.(The Daily Herald, December 25, 1937, p. 2)

 

1938 Gulf Coast Art Association

Once again, the Biloxi Library was the scene of the 1938 Gulf Coast Art Association art show.  It commenced on March 22nd.  William Woodward showed his award winning Lover’s Lane painting and a group of etchings.  There was also a memorial exhibit of the paintings of recently deceased Charles Woodward Hutson (1840-1936) of New Orleans.(The Daily Herald, March 22, 1938, p. 2)

 

1939 Gulf Coast Art Association

Professor Woodward’s last Gulf Coast Art association show occurred at the Biloxi Library in early March 1939.  His oil painting, “Biloxi Harbor after the Races”, depicted the effects of a setting sun on the sails of the racing fleet.  Charlotte E. Tibbs spoke to the group on ‘The Picture and The Frame’.  The geographic range of the subject matter exhibited was from the Gulf Coast to as far north as Alaska with the works of Adolyn Gale Dismukes (1864-1953), the widowed, sister-in-law of Ethel Dismukes, to the coastal architecture of Cape Cod captured by Anne Wells Munger, and the water color landscapes of Michigan by Charlotte E. Tibbs.  Shearwater Pottery had several excellent pieces in their characteristic blue and green glazes as well as the popular little figurines.(The Daily Herald, March 10, 1939, p. 2)

 

1940 Gulf Coast Art Association

The Spring show was held in early March at Gulf Park College with eight artists represented.There was also a Memorial Exhibit of the work of Professor Woodward.  Among the artists exhibiting were: William Robison of Old Lyme, Connecticut;Jacque Tarmosky; Archibald Boggs of Long Beach; Miss Charlotte Tibbs; and Josephine Alfonso.(The Daily Herald, March 7, 1940, p. 7)

 

Demise

Following a brief illness, at Biloxi where he was confined to the Biloxi Hospital for four days and cared for by his son and grandson, Carl E. Woodward and Woodward B. Logan, William Woodward was brought on November 9, 1937 to the Southern Baptist Hospital at New Orleans.  He died here on November 17, 1939.  Mr. Woodward was survived by his four children: William Giesen Woodward of Syracuse, New York; Carl Elsworth Woodward of New Orleans; Alma Woodward Logan of New Orleans; and Eleanor Woodward Blosser Moseley of Atlanta, Georgia  Mrs. Woodward preceded her husband in death having passed on October 29, 1937.  Their corporal remains were interred at the Southern Memorial Park cemetery in Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, November 6, 1939, p. 8, November 17, 1939, p. 1, October 31, 1937, and  November 1, 1937, p. 8,

The artworks of William Woodward are prized by today’s collectors.  Amazingly at the time of his death, his pictures, pottery, prints, etchings, portraits, and additional personal property was valued at only $2000.  The total value of his estate was $7746 of which his Biloxi real estate comprised about 40%.(Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 16,850, December 1939)

 

REFERENCES:

Books

Jean Bragg and Dr. Susan Saward, Painting the Town: The Woodard Brothers come to New Orleans, (Jean Bragg Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana-2004).

The Buildings of Biloxi: An Architectural Survey, (City of Biloxi: Biloxi, Mississippi-1976).

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, 2nd Edition, (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1991).

Early Views of the Vieux Carre-Guide Book to the French Quarter, (Isaac Delgado Museum: New Orleans, Louisiana-1965).

History of Art in Mississippi, (Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1929).

Mississippi Gulf Coast Yesterday and Today (1699-1939), Federal Writers Project in Mississippi Works Progress Administration, (Gulfport, Mississippi-1939).

Charles L. Sullivan, The Mississippi Gulf Coast: Portrait of a People, (Windsor Publications, Inc.-Northridge, California-1985).

Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Across the Lake: Three New Orleans’ Artists on the Gulf Coast”, June 11-August 31, 1994. Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

 

Magazines