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.


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)



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.


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 (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)


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)           


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.


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)



            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 (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 (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.



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

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


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



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



The Wonderful 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).



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



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


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

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


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



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.



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)



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

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

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



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

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.



            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)





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

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

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

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



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



            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)



            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.



            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)




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)



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)



            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)



            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)



            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.



            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.   




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.


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



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


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.