Hotels and Tourist Homes






Rene' Lameuse [1788-1883] was operating a hotel or inn, probably the Shady Grove.

[The Courier [NOLA], July 23, 1838, p.3]


The above advertisement in French appeared in the captioned New Orleans journal in July 1838 and can be translated as follows: 


Public House at Biloxi

The undersigned has opened a home for the reception of those people who want to spend some time in Biloxi.  It is never neglected to render his relaxation in a nicer place on the Lake. Entertaining games and other amusements are available for people who want to visit the hotel; all is available for their convenience.  For this reason, the undersigned recommends the beautiful new house of Lameuse.  The price will be very reasonable.

6 July                                                                   F. Fizane




[The Pascagoula Democrat, June 4, 1880, p. 4]




[[The Biloxi Herald, July 29, 1893, p. 8]





Henry Pierre Sabrio [1857-1928], native of Pau, France.




[The Biloxi Daily Herald, December 14, 1900, p. 4]


The Breslow Hotel, a new and spacious, modern structure on Front Street, was being completed by John Eistetter.  Occupancy was expected by 1 June.  Mrs. M.A. Andrews, formerly of the Bay View, will manage the premises.  She was at the Neilson House in 1891.[The Biloxi Daily Herald, May 25, 1899, p. 8 and The Biloxi Herald, June 13, 1891, p. 4]]




In late May, The Sun-N-Sand Motel and restaurant were sold by Alexander E. Bailey, builder and native of Pennsylvania, to R.E. Dumas Milner of Jackson, Mississippi.  Milner owned the King Edwards Hotel in Jackson and Beaumont, Texas.[The Daily Herald, May 30, 1959, p. 1]



[The Daily Herald, November 23, 1963, p. 28-note all above are members of the Biloxi Chambe of Commerce]







Ernest Desporte (1888-1977)


As Biloxi was a popular summer resort before the coming of the railroad in 1871 [sic] there was always plenty of rental cottages available by the season in addition to private boarding houses and hotels.  A regular 'ferry' service was provided between the Mississippi Coast 'watering places' and New Orleans by paddle-wheel steamers.


The Nixon Hotel was on the corner of Nixon Street and beach Road but it was torn down for the construction of the Harry T. Howard mansion.


The Beach Hotel was just west of Main Street and was operated by the Drysdales: Misses Jennie, Annie, and Jo.  They had three brothers: Harry, John, and Bob.


On the northeast corner of Lameuse Street and Beach Road was the Shady Grove, a hotel owned and operated by Mr. Lameuse.  It later became the popular Montross Hotel, the social gathering place for Biloxians.  It later became the Riviera Hotel.


In 1891 the Cress Villa was built on Beach Road west of Lameuse.  It was owned and operated by Captain and Mrs. Ernest Desporte, Sr.  Next was the Bayview Hotel, owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan.  It occupied the northeast corner of beach Road and Delauney Street.  On the northwest corner of was the Arcade Hotel, owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Pat Kennedy.  It was described as being a 'mesque' building.  Next to it was the Terre Cota [sic], formerly an Exposition Building at the New Orleans Worlds Fair.  Mr. Kennedy purchased the building, had it dismantledand brought to Biloxi in sections, and had it reassembled on Biloxi beach.  It is said to be the first pre-fabricated building in the United States.


The Magnolia Hotel was built in 1847 by the Hahn Family and reputed to be the oldest hotel on the Coast.  The property remained in the Hahn-Holley family over the years until Camille [1969] and the dateful coming of Urban renewal.  Through the efforts of Glen Swetman and other public-spirited citizens the old Magnolia Hotel, which was wrecked by the Hurricane of 1969, was moved to the new site on Water Street.  It was reconstructed as a public building of much historical value.


It did me good to note the recognition of the old Magnolia Hotel as an historical item for tourist attraction.  Built in 1847 it recalled to memory the many times I danced and banquets I attended in its spacious dining room.  I remember very well-Messrs. Henry [Hahn], Herman [Hahn], and Louis Hahn and their sister Mrs. Holley who operated the hotel until her passing.  Messrs. Henry Hahn and Herman Hahn were ardent fishermen and thought nothing of rowing their skiff from the Magnolia wharf to the L&N [railroad] Bridge to fish for sheepshead.


Louis Hahn was captain of the steamboat Loxley for Ralph Seeberg & Company as long as they were in business in Biloxi.  Captain Louis Hahn was also an ardent sports fisherman his favorite was fishing for redfish in Big Lake.  After Ralph Seeberg moved to Gulfport, Captain Louis Hahn opened a shoe store at the northwest corner of West Howard and Magnolia Street.  Mrs. Holley, the hotel manager, was a widow, and the mother of Anson Holley, Louis Holley, John Holley, Geneva Holley, Sarah Holley, and Florence Holley.


I am also reminded of ‘Our Gang’-the ‘Magnolia Street Gang’, which consisted of Anson Holley, Louis Hahn, John 'Dock' Holley, Barrow Cousins, Reuben Cousins, Theodore Desporte, Ernest Desporte, John Meunier, Vickey Meunier, and Eugene P. Wilkes. In the afternoons and evenings, especially in summer, we would assemble on the benches on the south side of the road in front of the Magnolia Hotel.  If any kid wanted a fight, a foot race or to race play [model] boats, he was accommodated.  There was always boxing matches and usually fights, especially when the Volunteer Fireman’s parade passed along the beach.  Our favorite sports bicycle racing and chasing so called 'Gown men', also sandbagging anyone who passed under the poer while floundering-we even sandbagged each other!




The Gulf View Hotel was on the northeast corner of Seal Avenue and beach Road and the name was changed to Memphis Hotel and much later the Palmer House.  It was on the locale of the famous water cure of Dr. Bahrenheidt [sic].


Before Seal Avenue was cut through to Howard Avenue [formerly Pass Christian Street] this property was a considerable piece of intact land.  The only park in Biloxi existed here, starting about 200 feet, from the Beach to Howard Avenue.  In this Seal park there was a horse racing, baseball and football games on a regula schedule.  George Ahern, a young Biloxi boy, rode his first horse at ther park and later went on to become a famous jockey in racing circles.


Along West Beach there were no other hotels at the time but in 1892 the property about a quarter mile west of the Biloxi Lighthouse was purchased for the construction of a privately owned college.  In 1893, the Sea Coast Academy began operations under the ownership and tutelage of Dr. Rodebuch [sic] and son.  This academy ceased as a college and was bought by Dr. H.M. Folkes and Dr. Talbert [sic].  Dr. Folkes came to the coast with the Public health Service to work at the Quarantine Station offshore.  They converted the school into the Biloxi Sanatorium, a private hospital. The old wood frame buildings were later torn down and the modern brick, Colonial style, New Biloxi Hotel was erected on tis site.  It operated for many years as one of Biloxi's leading hotels.  This building too felt the hand of progress and was razed to its steel framework and converted into the Chateau Le Grand condominiums.    


A young attorney, Walter A. White, arrived in Biloxi in a covered wagon which he first parked on back bay.  After he became acquainted with Biloxians he liked Biloxi so well that he returned to his home town and got his entire family and brought them back to live here.  He opened a law office and began a very successful legal practice   Lawyer White purchased some property a short distance from the Biloxi Cemetery and Mrs. White soon was operating the White House Hotel.


A short distance further west was a large tract of land running from the Beach to Back Bay.  It was owned by the Methodist Conference of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.  That section of the property from the Beach to the L&N Railroad was fenced in and became known as the Sea Shore Campground.  A large number of cottages were built by members of the Methodist faith and occupied by their families during the summer months.  A large Tabernacle was built and regular camp meetings continued all summer.


North of this property and fronting on Back Bay was another large tract of land owned by the U.S. Government and held in reserve for the vast number of oak trees, then desirable for lumber for ship construction.  This tract was deeded over to the City of Biloxi for park and cemetery purposes and became known as the Naval Reserve Park.  At one time in the twenties, the U.S. Coast Guard occupied a section of the park on Back Bay from which their cutter chased down rum runners.  The property also had the Biloxi Airport and a Major League baseball park.  The ball park was the training site for the Toledo Mudhens, Washington Senators, and Philadelphia Phillies.  All of this property along with the Biloxi Country Club golf course was given to the Federal Government on which to locate Keesler Field.  This 'gift' of Biloxi to the Federal Government also included parcels of land containing home sites which the city had to purchase before it could 'give' this land for Keesler Field.  Just east of the Keesler property and fronting on back Bay was the Subdivision of Oak Park.  Before it became Oak Park, it was a virgin wilderness on the Bay owned by Mr. and Mrs. Parkhurst.  They operated a pecan and fig orchard thereon.  This fine old couple befriended a man and gave him employment.  This drifter, named Gibson, was later accused of murdering the Parkhurts and setting afire tier home.  He was arrested, tried, convicted and hung.  This entire case was bizarre and some felt that perhaps justice was not served.


*from the Walter Fountain Collection in the Biloxi Public Library.                                    



by Ray L. Bellande






Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan died at Biloxi in 1846.


Edward Milford



In May 1843, Peter Flanagan (d. 1846) of the Village of Biloxi made a two year lease with Edward Milford of Mobile, Alabama for the following property at Biloxi, Mississippi:

Commencing on the south shore of the south Bay or shore of Biloxi measuring forty-eight feet on the Gulf of Mexico, running north along a road or street between the said Flanagan and the property of John Nixon.  Three hundred feet to a line between the property of the Estate of Morse, thence forty-eight feet to a line between Benjamin Holley and said Flanagan, thence south to the Bay or Gulf of Mexico conveying there with all the water rights to said front.  As rent for the above described premises for the said two years, Edward Milford agrees to take the frame of a house already erected on the said lot of land and the lumber attached thereto not already used, and complete it in a plain? workman like manner as an hotel or house of public resort on condition that the outlay he shall be called upon to make shall not exceed three hundred dollars and that he will pay the said Flanagan one hundred and fifty dollars as follows: pay fifty dollars in October 1843, and one hundred dollars on or before first of July Eighteen Hundred and forty-four. 

 The State tax on real estate for the premises is to be paid by Edward Milford for the above two years.  The said Edward Milford is to pay one-half of the insurance from fire on the said house, so soon as it is insured as the business which said Milford will establish in these premises is likely to prove advantageous to the property hereby leased, and which the said Flanagan reserves for the support of his children [yet minors].  He also agrees at the expiration of the present demurred lease to give the said Edward Milford, his heirs or assigns, the refusal of a new lease for six years or more at the annual rent of three hundred dollars per annum provided that whatever improvements the said Milford, his heirs or assigns may place upon the said ground are left there at the expiration of the said renewal term of lease for the benefit of the said Flanagan, his heirs or assigns.    

It is also further stipulated that the said Flanagan or his heirs and assigns should duly protect, defend and sustain the said Milford, his heirs or assigns in the peaceful possession of the said ? land and premises, and shall not dispose of the property either by public or private sale without first offering it to the said Milford, his heirs or assigns at the lowest price he intends taking for it.  Given under our names and seals at Biloxi this 15 day of May One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty Three.  ((Peter Flanagan, Edward Milford-Witness: Benjamin Holley, Holmes Wentzell, and Alexander Black.  (Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 1, pp. 296-297) 



In June 1843, Edward Milford of Mobile, Alabama announced that he would open on or before July 1st, his American Hotel.  It was situated near Mr. Elmore’s [probably Jacob Elmer (1813-1894)] Wharf with the dining room was situated on the second floor and the kitchen was manned by a superior cook and offered good wines.(The Daily Picayune, June 9, 1843, p. 1)



Edward Milford assigned his lease back to Peter Flanagan in 1844.  At this time, Mr. Milford was a resident of New Orleans.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 1, pp. 296-297) 








By May 1856, the American Hotel was for rent by A. Bronsema, a resident of 74 Camp Street, atNew Orleans.  It was described as a two-story residence with all the convenience of a boarding house with a new wharf, attached bar, and situated one square from Brown’s Wharf.(The Daily Picayune, May 27, 1856, p. 1)




The Daily Picayune, “American Hotel”, June 9, 1843.

The Daily Picayune, Batchelor’s Hall, Biloxi, Mississippi”, July 2, 1845.

The Daily Picayune, “Batchelor’s Hall, Biloxi”, May 28, 1853.

The Daily Picayune, “To rent at Biloxi, Mississippi”, May 27, 1856.

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause 28, 'The Estate of Peter Flanagan"-November 1846.



Magnolia Hotel

The Magnolia Hotel was unarguably one of Biloxi’s earlier inns.  It was situated on Front Street or what is today US Highway No. 90, also known as Beach Boulevard, between Magnolia Street and Croesus Street.

In October 1846, John Hahn (1806-1847), a German immigrant, acquired a lot from John Crusius (1806-1866), a resident of New Orleans for $2400.  The tract was described as ½ arpent on the Gulf of Mexico and running north between parallel line for 640 feet.  The tract was bounded on the north by Francois Fizane (1800-1860+), a French immigrant, cabinetmaker, who acquired his tract also from John Crusius on the same day in 1846 that Herr Hahn bought the Magnolia Hotel tract.  The Fizane parcel was also ½ arpent in width but ran north to the Back Bay of Biloxi.  On the east side of Hahn was F. Fourchy with A. Anglane to the west.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 3, p. 267 and Bk. 3, p. 299)


Croesus Street

John Crusius (1806-1866) was born at Hanover, Germany and made his livelihood in the Crescent City as the owner of a gambling house.  He died at New Orleans on September 6, 1866.  In October, John Crusius (1806-1866) conveyed a lot with 1/2 arpent on the Gulf and running north for 640 feet to John Hahn (1806-1847) with provisions to cut timber on his lands to the north and to establish roads north and east of this tract.  The consideration was $2400.  The Magnolia Hotel would open here before 1850 under the proprietorship of Elizabeth Hahn (1812-1904).  Mr. Crusius from NOLA had acquired 20 arpents here in July 1845 from Mistress Cecelia Saralde? for $325.  Charles Dantonet (1806-1874), also from NOLA, had sold her this parcel in May 1836.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 3, p. 267 and Bk.   )

Magnolia Street-Water Street

“into the center of a projected road running east and west parallel with the east corner of a house or messuage now owned or occupied by John Hahn, the purchaser hereby, donating a road 8 feet in width on the east line and 15 feet in width on the north line of said lot for public use forever.”(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 3, p. 267)


John Hahn died March 23, 1912 intestate.  His heirs were Mrs. L. Holley, Anson Holley, Louis Holley and John Holley.



Louis Holley

Louis Holley (1841-1892) was the son of Justice of the Peace Benjamin Holley (18-pre 1870) and Burissa Bradford (1808-1881).  In January 1879, Louis Holley (1841-1892) married Louisa Hahn (1847-1927), the daughter of John Hahn (1806-1847) and Elizabeth Hahn (1812-1904), German immigrants who owned the Magnolia Hotel on Front Street at Biloxi.  Louis and Louisa H. Holley were the parents of Geneva Holley (1879-1960); Anson Holley (1882-1967) m. Mary Liliana Caillavet (1883-1967); Louis C. Holley (1884-1973) m. Mary Agregaard (1893-1981); John Benjamin Holley (1886-1925); Sarah Louisa Holley (1889-1931); and Florence May Holley (1892-1953).


Washington Artillery visits in 1880

The 4th of July 1880 at Biloxi was one long remembered by those of the Washington Artillery that came here from New Orleans to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day.  The festive activities included: fancy dining, dancing, a regatta, target shooting and a dress parade.  The large Crescent City entourage came in two, long train cars filled to capacity with the Arlington Glee Club in one with a band to provide music.  Biloxi anticipating the event decorated for their arrival and Arthur A. Maginnis Jr. (1846-1901), a wealthy New Orleanian, offered the use of his yacht to the regatta committee.(The Daily Picayune, July 5, 1880, p. 1)


The Washington Artillery found bed and board at the Montross Hotel, while the Arlington’s had made their headquarters at the Magnolia Hotel.   After both visiting groups had dined, the gentlemen with ladies on their arm marched behind the band to the hall of Spanish Union Benevolent Association for an evening of dance and refreshments.  A regatta was held the next day over a 7 and ½ miles course that required two laps to complete a race.  Target shooting with a parrot gun aimed at an object about 1000 yards from the shoreline resulted in Sergeant Ziegler’s detachment from Company C victorious in the competition.  Each man in the ten man unit was awarded a medal for their accuracy.  A dress parade by the Washington Artillery concluded the affair.(The Daily Picayune, July 5, 1880, p. 1)



Ernest Desporte remembers

Messrs. Henry Hahn and Herman Hahn were ardent fishermen and thought nothing of rowing their skiff from the Magnolia wharf to the L&N [railroad] Bridge to fish for sheepshead.


Louis Hahn was captain of the steamboat Loxley for Ralph Seeberg & Company as long as they were in business in Biloxi.  Captain Louis Hahn was also an ardent sports fisherman his favorite was fishing for redfish in Big Lake.  After Ralph Seeberg moved to Gulfport, Captain Louis Hahn opened a shoe store at the northwest corner of West Howard and Magnolia Street.


Mrs. Holley, the hotel manager, was a widow, and the mother of Anson Holley, Louis Holley, John Holley, Geneva Holley, Sarah Holley, and Florence Holley.

I am also reminded of ‘Our Gang’-the ‘Magnolia Street Gang’.  In the afternoons and evenings, especially in summer, we would assemble on the benches on the south side of the road in front of the Magnolia Hotel.  If any kid wanted a fight, a foot race or to race play [model] boats, he was accommodated.  There was always boxing matches and usually fights, especially when the Volunteer Fireman’s parade passed along the beach.



In November 1978?, Lionel J. Holley Sr.. Lillian L. Holley Maumus, Miriam H. Grogan, Anson Camp Holley, Daniel Raymond Holley, and Lillian H. Maumus, Guardian of Edith Patricia Holley Sales? Conveyed lot 96 feet by 250 feet to Leonard Darrell Chitty and Nona Gayle Tate Chitty.(Harrison Co., Mississippi 2nd JD Land Deed Bk. 90, p. 10)





Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Case No. 351, “Mary Jaeger v. Louis Holley, Lyman B. Holley, and Louis Hahn, minor son of John Hahn and Edna Holley, minor daughter of Mrs. Adelia Holley”, .

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Case No. 3813, “The Estate of John Hahn”, 1912.[file missing from Chancery Court]

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Case No. 55862, “The Estate of Anson Holley Sr.”, April 1971.

Orleans Parish, Louisiana 2nd District Court No. 27,258, “The Succession of John Crusius”-September 1866.



The Biloxi Herald, “The Magnolia Hotel”, June 14, 1890.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, May 16, 1891.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Open for Summer”, June 26, 1900.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Hotel had a narrow escape”, October  26, 1906.

The Daily Herald, “Magnolia Motel Cottages”, April 7, 1948.

The Daily Herald, "Oldest regional hotel still survives on Coast", [no date].The Daily Picayune, “Magnolia Hotel, Biloxi”, August 1, 1850.

The Daily Herald, "Know your Coast-Magnolia Hotel", July 7, 1956.The Daily Picayune, “City Gossip”, July 6, 1877.

The Daily Picayune, “At Biloxi”, July 5, 1880.










Location: East Beach, Biloxi, Mississippi between Main Street and of Bellman Street.


 John W. Nixon

John W. Nixon (1787-1849) was an early immigrant to New Orleans coming from Fermanah, Ulster Province, Northern Ireland.  He made his livelihood as an attorney in the Crescent City.  Circa 1814 at New Orleans, John W. Nixon married Adeline Cecelia Copp (1798-1878), a native of Dover, New Hampshire and the daughter of New Orleans lawyer, David Copp, Jr., who was murdered 1803 in a New Orleans gambling house.  Mrs. Nixon was born April 23, 1798 and came to the Crescent City in 1808. 


John and Adeline Copp Nixon were the parents of at least ten children: Robert Porter Nixon (1816-) m. Martha Porter (1831-1893); Martha Bell Nixon (1818-1904) m. Perry S. Warfield; Jane Anna Nixon (1820-1898) m. Robert Williams James (1811-1882); John Washington Nixon (1822); James Roscoa Nixon (1826-1886) m. Margaret Blaney; Richard Augustus Nixon (1828-1865) m. Adeline Hamilton; Henry Kirke Nixon (1830-1908) m. Mary O’Rourke or O’Bourke (1839-1909);William Robinson Nixon (1832); Catherine Grant Nixon (1835-1850+); and Rowena Louisa Medora ‘Miss Pinkey’ Nixon (1839-1917).(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, July 5, 1878, p. 3 and boards.history.com/topics/War-of-1812/quototherquot…/118282)    


John W. Nixon expired at Biloxi on June 7, 1849.  His corporal remains were interred in the Old Biloxi Cemetery.  Adeline Copp Nixon died at Biloxi on June 28, 1878.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, July 5, 1878, p. 3)


War of 1812

During the War of 1812, Adj. Lt. John W. Nixon, served with DeJean's 1st Regiment Louisiana Militia.  When his artillery position on the West Bank of the Mississippi River was overrun by British soldiers in January 1815, Lt. Nixon lost two, spiked cannon to enemy.  The 1st Louisiana Militia regimental flag was last seen in the War Trophy Room, Whitehall, England, in the 1850s.Nixon, Copp, and James streets are in Biloxi.(boards.history.com/topics/War-of-1812/quototherquot…/118282)             


In late January 1915, the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans, Rowena L.W. Nixon (1839-1917) donated her father’s sword that he had worn during the brief fight to the LouisianaHistorical Society.  She also presented the organization with a copy of an account of the battle, which had been published in 1817 in The True Delta, a New Orleans’ journal.(The Daily Herald, January 25, 1915, p. 1)


New Orleans

Not much is know by the author about John W. Nixon’s career at New Orleans.  It is known that in 1827, he represented absentee creditors in the Orleans Parish Court.  There was also a John Nixon who was a passenger in July 1820 on the Sumatra, a brig, which was returning or embarking forLiverpool from New Orleans.(The Louisiana Advertiser, October 22, 1827, p. 5 and July 6, 1820, p. 2)



Biloxi House-Nixon Hotel

John W. Nixon opened his Biloxi House for the summer season on June 8, 1848.  Nixon had large additions and improvements made to the resort in the spring.  Visitors could anticipate the following amenities at the Biloxi House: bathhouses, bar, billiard room, horse stable, and a sailboat.  From Mrs. Nixon’s table one was served fine food and the bar was stocked with excellent wines and liquors.  Mr. Nixon recommended that interested parties make bookings by mail addressed to him atBiloxi and sent via the Mobile, Montezuma, or Pelican, steamboats, sailing from Lake Pontchartrain to the watering places of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.(The Daily Picayune, September 7, 1848, p. 1)


After John W. Nixon expired in June 1849, Mrs. Nixon continued operated the family hotel into 1850.  At this time, seven of her children were domiciled with her at Biloxi and her real estate at Biloxiwas valued at $30,000.  Mrs. Nixon was also ably assisted in her summer resort enterprise by many Irish immigrant laborers.  Seven of the Nixon children were with her.  Jane Nixon James (1820-1898) and spouse, Robert W. James (1813-1880) and Harry Copp James (1848-1923), their son, lived next to the Nixon Hotel.(1850 Harrison Co., Mississippi Federal Census, M423_372, p. 91A)


1854 Biloxi Land Roll

Adeline C. Nixon was assessed $70 on her 75 acres of land in Biloxi.


Biloxi Hotel

In June 1857, T.A. Horne of Louisville, Kentucky and N.B. Cook of NOLA took proprietorship of the Biloxi Hotel, formerly Nixon’s Hotel.  They did a complete renovation and refurnished this great house and planned to open the Biloxi Hotel in the first week of June.  By mid-June, the Biloxi Hotel was in full operation under the management of Horne, Smith & Company.  The proprietors lauded and promoted their establishment for its local seafood culinary delicacies, shaded grounds, and the promise of a grand and fancy dress ball for the 4th of July.(The Sunday Delta, June 7, 1857, p. 5 and June 21, 1857, p. 4)


The 1857 summer season for the Biloxi Hotel appears to have been unsuccessful for Horne & Smith as the premises were advertised for rent by Henry K. Nixon (1830-1908) in February 1858.  Mr. Nixon address was on Basin Street at New Orleans.  He described the Biloxi Hotel as: containing about 171 rooms with a barroom; two, ten pin alleys; and a yard of about two acres planted in fruit bearing fig and plum trees.  Henry K. Nixon sought a good tenant.  The furniture, billiard table, bar fixtures, and other paraphernalia were for sale on reasonable terms.  Nixon touted his resort as the only large hotel inBiloxi and a rare opportunity for potential hotel keepers.(The Daily True Delta, February 28, 1858, p. 8)



In September 1886, the Nixon Heirs conveyed the Nixon Hotel property on Biloxi's east Beach to Harry Turner Howard for $4000.  Harry T. Howard (1856-1930).(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 21, p. 492)


Harry T. Howard

In June 1919, Harry T. Howard sold the Nixon Hotel lot and more to the Biloxi Hospital Association for $15,000.  Lot had 222 feet on the Gulf and ran north to Water Street.  Excepted was a lot 79 feet by 128 feet in the northeast corner of the tract.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 124, p. 14)







The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Suit filed”, October 14, 1902.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Necrology [Henry R. Nixon], July 12, 1904.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Necrology [Mrs. Martha B. Warfield]”, November 27, 1908.

The Daily Herald, Biloxi lady [Rowena L.M. Nixon] presents sword of her father to historical body”, January 25, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “John Slidell Nixon is dead”, September 11, 1915.

 The Daily Herald, “James Kirk Nixon”, December 18, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Nixon [Rowena L.M. Nixon] is taken by death”, August 9, 1917.

The Daily Herald, “Nixon place is sold at auction”, August 7, 1918.

The Daily Picayune, Biloxi House”, September 7, 1848.

The Daily True Delta, “Biloxi Hotel to rent”, February 28, 1858.

The Daily True Delta, “Live Oak Hotel”, June 22, 1859.

 The Louisiana Advertiser, “Commercial report”, July 6, 1820.

The Louisiana Advertiser, Parish Court”, October 22, 1827

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Died [Adaline Copp Nixon]”, July 5, 1878.

The Sunday Delta, “A New Biloxi Hotel”, June 7, 1857.

The Sunday Delta, “Biloxi Hotel”, June 21, 1857.

The Sunday Delta, Biloxi Hotel Rent”, March 25, 1860.


1860 - 1900


Front Street and Lameuse Street





[from T.H. Glenn, 1893, p. 18]

Located on the northeast corner of Lameuse Street and Beach Boulevard [also called Front Street] in the Jean-Baptite Carco Land Grant, and the S/2 of Section 28, T7S-R9W.  Although he never owned the hostelry, it was named for Peter J. Montross (1841-1897), the proprietor for several decades in the late 19th Century.


Anecdotal history of the early 20th Century relates that the Hotel de Montross or Montross Hotel was the oldest hotel extant at Biloxi.  It was operational before the first railroad was established between Mobile and New Orleans in 1870.  Here on the central Beach of Biloxi and Lameuse Street, the town’s first Beach to Back Bay thoroughfare, the Montross Hotel was the focus of social life and fashion.  Its pier was the disembarkation place for the society people arriving at Biloxi to enjoy its fine food, hospitality, and the gaiety of life, joie de vivre, that was offered to all visitors.  The Montross Hotel flourished as a fine hostelry and boarding establishment until the late 1920s, when it became overshadowed by Biloxi’s modern beach front hotels, like the Biloxi Hotel, Buena Vista, Edgewater Gulf, Tivoli, White House, and Gulf Hills, which were erected between 1924 and 1928.(The Daily Herald, April 29, 1909, p. 4)


Jean-Baptise Carco

Jean-Baptiste Carco (17  -1823), the son of Nicolas Carco and Ladner,  was one of the pioneer settlers on the Biloxi Peninsula.  His occupation of land here began about 1784, during the Spanish Colonial era.  Jean-Baptise Carco married     .  They were the parents of four children:


Rene Lameuse


Urbain Laroussini


William C. Seaman


Peter Lienhardt, et al v. Sherrod Seaman, et al

In May 1874, Chancellor W.G. Henderson of the Chancery Court of Harrison County, Mississippi opined and adjudicated in the partition suit of Chancery Court cause No. 143, Peter Liendhardt et al v. Sherrod Seaman et al.  This litigation involved the partition of the ‘Lameuse Property’ also called the ‘Shady Grove Hotel’ at Biloxi.  This tract was described in this law suit ascontaining by estimation forty arpents of land [more or less] bounded and described as follows.  Beginning at the Beach at the Pass of Biloxi, thence north to the Back Bay of Biloxi; thence southeast along the shore of said Bay so as to include one arpent; thence south to the said pass of Biloxi; thence to the place of beginning.  Bounded south by the Pass of Biloxi or Gulf of Mexico; north by the Back Bay of Biloxi; west by Lameuse Street; east by Wetzell heirs having a few small lots sold off.

Roderick Seal


Shady Grove Hotel


1855 Hurricane

On September 16th and 17th of 1858, the entire waterfront of the Mississippi Gulf Coast was swept and churned by the wind and waves of this tropical cyclone.  At Biloxi, almost all bath houses and wharves were totally destroyed and sixty-one sailing vessels grounded with many in shambles.  At this time, in Biloxi there appears to have been several hotels and boarding houses situated between Lameuse Street and Point Cadet.  Among them were: Bossel’s Shady Grove Hotel; Jacob Wetzell’s Ocean House; John Brown’s Hotel; A. Bronaema’s  American Hotel  run by J. Jennings; Sol Mill’s Bachelor Hall; Mrs. Nixon’s Biloxi Hotel operated by Colonel Nichols; and Pradat’s.(The New Orleans Daily Picayune, September 20, 1855, p. 1)



In the summer of 1875, the Shady Grove Hotel was managed by Mr.  Rambaut.  It was also in the process of renovation and refurbishment.  Professor Knapp, a local guide with a horse and buggy, was available for fishing in Back Bay or leading local history tours.(The Star of Pascagoula, June 26, 1875, p. 1.)


There is a high certitude that the manager of the Shady Grove Hotel was Urbain Rambaut (1832-1889), a Frenchman, who later resided at 201 Decatur Street at New Orleans where he made his livelihood as the proprietor of a coffee house and later a barroom.  Urbain Rambaut married Marie Schwab (1838-1899) and they were the parents of: Jean Urbain Rambaut (1859-1909); Michel Rambaut (1861-1883); Emile Rambaut (1863-1925); Jules Rambaut (1867-1883); and Adeline Rambaut (1876-1926) m. Charles E. Hinshewood.  Adeline Rambaut was born in Mississippi in 1875 or 1876, very likely at Biloxi.(1870 and 1880 Orleans Parish, Louisiana Federal Census M593_522, p. 382, 6th Ward and T9_461, p. 3, ED 33)



Bossell House-Located at Biloxi under the direction of Peter J. Montross (1841-1897).  It was recently newly papered and painted and handsomely furnished.  The food was also improved.  In May, the Company Babylon ? and Thespian Relief Association performed ‘Persecuted Dutchman’ and ‘Misfortune’.(The Star of Pascagoula, May 29, 1875, p. 3 and June 26, 1875, p. 1)





[from The NOLA Daily Democrat, August 4, 1878, p. 11]



[The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February, 1879, p. 3 ]



The New Orleans House Kitchen-Bossell House

On September 7, 1882, William Massey of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania conveyed to Peter J. Montross (1841-1897) for $2500, a parcel of land and tenements on the NW/C of Main Street and Front Street.  The tract had seventy-six feet on Front Street and ran north for four hundred eight feet on Main Street.  Mr. Montross conveyed this tract to Joseph Oteri (1845-1897) of New Orleans in August 1892 for $2500(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 20, p. 79 and Bk. 28, p. 246)



Gulf View Hotel-was leased by P.J. Montross of the Montross Hotel.(The Biloxi Herald, April 7, 1888, p. 8)


Roderick Seal

Roderick Seal conveyed in September 1888 to Sherrod Seaman for $2000, his property on Front Street and Lameuse and known as the Montross Hotel.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 23, p. 373)



Sherrod Seaman




Biloxi, Miss.,


This delightful Seaside Resort for tourists offers First-Class accommodations.  Hotel is situated directly on the Beach of the Gulf of Mexico, and affords fine

Boating, Fishing, Hunting, & Driving

The accessibility, pure air and freedom from malaria, render Biloxi one of the most desirable spots on the Gulf shore.



Applications for rooms by mail or telegraph will receive prompt attention.

P.J. MONTROSS, Proprietor

(The Biloxi Herald, January 7, 1888, p. 5)




We are glad to note that the popular Montross Hotel is now and has been for several weeks filled with northern guest.  The Montross is one of the best hotels on the coast and once a person is registered at this popular resort he is sure to come again.(Biloxi Herald, March 3, 1888, p. 9)


Gulf View

P.J. Montross has leased the Barenheit (sic) or Gulf View property.(The Biloxi Herald, April 7, 1888, p. 8)


Phil Desporte

In April 1888, P.J. Montross sold the house at the land end of the Montross Hotel pier to Phil Desporte for $200.  The house was used by Mr. Desporte as an oyster house.  P.J. Montross also leased to Phil Desporte for $1 per year during the term of the lease of the Montross Hotel a certain portion of the beach property in front of the Montross Hotel.( Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 23, p. 100)


Liquor license

The Biloxi Town Council approved a retail license to P.J. Montross to retail vinous and spirituous liquors.(The Biloxi Herald, August 18, 1888, p. 1)



Peter J. Montross

Peter J. Montross (1841-1897) was born in Campeche, Mexico.  At New Orleans, in October 1879, Mr. Montross married Alphonsine Lliambias (1850-1945), the daughter of Juan Lliambias (1815-1892), a native of Mannesa, Spain, and Louise Pamela Ranzeau (1820-1909).



P.J. Montross came to Biloxi, Mississippi before 1880 and became engaged in the hotel business on Front Street [Beach Boulevard] and Lameuse Street.  He operated the Montross House and Shady Grove, both hostelries, catering to tourists seeking fresh seafood, a temperate and salubrious climate, and the rest and relaxation offered by a quite seaside resort on the Mexican Gulf.



Almost a decade before his demise, Peter J. Montross began to exhibit signs of ill health.  While on business in New Orleans in early November 1888, he was afflicted with a bout of rheumatism.  A few weeks late, during the Thanksgiving holiday at Biloxi, an attack of rheumatism returned and sent him to his bed for a week.(The Biloxi Herald, November 10, 1888, p. 8 and November 24, 1888, p. 8)


Mexican visitation

In October 1895, P.J. Montross journeyed to Merida, Mexico to visit his mother.  He had not seen her in forty years.[The Daily Picayune, October 20, 1895, p. 15]


Demise of Peter J. Montross

Peter J. Montross expired at his Biloxi hotel on March 27, 1897.  He was survived by his wife, and three sons, Paul Wallace Montross (1875-1927+), Albert Montross (1891-1917), and Peter J. Montross. Jr. (1883-1930)  m. Amelia Bayhi. 


In the spring of 1896, Don Jose M. Carpizo, the brother-in-law of P.J. Montross and an inhabitant of Campeche, Yucatan, Mexico, possibly anticipating his demise visited him at Biloxi.  Senor Carpizo left the Mississippi Coast in June 1896 for his Mexican home.(The Biloxi Herald, June 13, 1896, p. 8)


New Orleans burial

Shortly after the demise of Peter J. Montross, his corporal remains were sent to New Orleans for internment in the vault owned by The Army of the Tennessee at the Metairie Cemetery.  The body of Colonel Montross was placed very near that of General P.T.G. Beauregard (1818-1893), which was one of Mr. Montross’ last wishes.  Father Blane, Captain John Walker, Colonel Roderick Seal, A.M. Dulion, Edward Glennan, and Captain Harry Copp James of Biloxi were present at the funeral in the Crescent City.(The Biloxi Herald, April 3, 1897, p. 8)

Seaman, Confederate Navy, Civil War

Peter J. Montross served in the Confederate Navy on western waters and in the Red River Sharpshooters, Louisiana Cavalry. Born c. 1840 in Campeche, Mexico.[ Information provided by Sons of Confederate Veterans]


Visits northwest

In October 1888, P.J. Montross planned to visit towns in the northwest, particularly Chicago and Madison, Wisconsin to promote winter tourism at Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast.(The Biloxi Herald, October 6, 1888, p. 8)


Wooden Sidewalk

Colonel Montross is building a wooden sidewalk on the Lameuse side of the hotel property which is a marked improvement.(The Biloxi Herald, May 17, 1890, p. 4)


4th July, 1891

The Fourth of July 1891 at Biloxi was one to remember.  The Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans had their sailboat race from their Lake Pontchartain location finish at Biloxi near the Montross Hotel.  Mr. Montross had his hotel decorated patriotically with large and small flags.  Set amid its ancient Live Oaks, the colorfully, draped Montross Hotel made a grand vista on Biloxi’s waterfront.  P.J. Montross donated a silver, tilting pitcher and cup to the Susie B, the second place boat, which finished an hour behind Zoe, the winner.(The Biloxi Herald, July 4, 1891, p. 4)


Montross-Schuyler 1892 lease

In January 1892, Roderick Seal granted Peter J. Montross and Rutsen V.R. Schuyler a twenty-five year lease for the use of the Montross Hotel.  The rent was $1000 per year and the proprietors had the right to acquire the property for $20,000 at anytime during the term o f the lease.  Montross and Schuyler could also improve or rebuild the buildings to their desires.  The lessees were responsible for property taxes and insurance.(Harrison County, Ms. Land deed Bk. 28, p. 9)


Rutsen V.R. Schuyler

Peter J. Montross’ partner in his Biloxi hostelry was Rutsen Van Renssalaer Schuyler (1855-pre 1920) who was born in Hudson County, New Jersey in February 1855, the son of Jacob Rutsen Schuyler (1816-1887) and Susanna Edwards (1826-1870).  His grandmother was Catherine Van Rennsalaer (d. 1867), the spouse of John Arent Schuyler (1779-1817).  In February 1873, Rutsen V.R. Schuyler married Harriet Augusta Mellick (1854-1880+).   They resided at Bayonne, New Jersey were he was a gem merchant.  He and Augusta were the parents of: Rutsen V.R. Schuyler II (1878-1880+) and Sarah E. Schuyler (1879-1880+).(1880 Hudson County, New Jersey Federal Census T9_786, p. 31, ED 41)

Circa 1890, Rutsen V.R. Schuyler married Mary Hall (1857-1920+), a native of Mississippi.  From her first marriage, she had a son, Roy C. Dwnyckinck? (1886-1910+), who was born in Illinois of a father native to New York.  Rutsen and Mary had two daughters: Marguerite S. Staderman (1891-1972) and Junett Schuyler (1894-1900+).(1900 Union Co., New Jersey T623 997, p. 14A, ED 141 and 1920 New York Co., New York Federal Census T625_1223, p. 5A, ED 1392)



The Biloxi Herald announced in July 1892 that "the new addition to the Montross Hotel, which is a handsome and imposing structure, is nearly completed".[The Biloxi Herald, 'July 9, 1892, pp. 4]


Biloxi has an excellent hotel, the “Montross”, which has recently been enlarged.  Mr. Montross is widely and favorably know to travelers and visitors on the Coast.  Mr. Schuyler’s efforts to anticipate and provide for the comfort of guests of the Montross are proverbial.  He is an enthusiastic sportsman whose conquests with the road and gun are well known.(Glenn, 1893, p. 58)


Electric lights

Illumination in the form of electric lights came to the Montross Hotel in December 1893.  This and other amenities kept the hostelry as one of the premier venues for travelers and vacationers.  P.J. Montross and R.V. Schuyler cater successfully to all who come.(The Biloxi Herald, December 9, 1893, p. 8)




Montross & Schuyler, proprietors

Biloxi, Mississippi

Situated directly on the Gulf of Mexico

Open all year round

Rates: per day $2, $2.50, and $3; per week $10, $12, and $15; per month $40, $45, and $50.(The Biloxi Herald, December 9, 1893, p. 8)     



Almost a decade before his demise, Peter J. Montross began to exhibit signs of ill health.  While on business in New Orleans in early November 1888, he was afflicted with a bout of rheumatism.  A few weeks late, during the Thanksgiving holiday at Biloxi, an attack of rheumatism returned and sent him to his bed for a week.(The Biloxi Herald, November 10, 1888, p. 8 and November 24, 1888, p. 8)


Demise of Peter J. Montross

Peter J. Montross expired at his Biloxi hotel on March 27, 1897.  He was survived by his wife, and three sons, Paul Wallace Montross (1875-1927+), Albert Montross (1891-1917), and Peter J. Montross. Jr. (1883-1930)  m. Amelia Bayhi. In the spring of 1896, Don Jose M. Carpizo, the brother-in-law of P.J. Montross and an inhabitant of Campeche, Yucatan, Mexico, possibly anticipating his demise visited him at Biloxi.  Senor Carpizo left the Mississippi Coast in June 1896 for his Mexican home.on Alphonsine L. Montross .(The Biloxi Herald, June 13, 1896, p. 8)


New Orleans burial

Shortly after the demise of Peter J. Montross, his corporal remains were sent to New Orleans for internment in the vault owned by The Army of the Tennessee at the Metairie Cemetery.  The body of Colonel Montross was placed very near that of General P.T.G. Beauregard (1818-1893), which was one of Mr. Montross’ last wishes.  Father Blane, Captain John Walker, Colonel Roderick Seal, A.M. Dulion, Edward Glennan, and Captain Harry Copp James of Biloxi were present at the funeral in the Crescent City.(The Biloxi Herald, April 3, 1897, p. 8)


Bourdon’s Saloon

In early April 1897, A.O. Bourdon Jr. opened a saloon in the bar of the Montross Hotel.  The event was high lighted by an excellent lunch, which attracted the attention of many patrons of the hostelry.  Mr. Bourdon handles excellent brands of wine and liquors.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 10, 1897, p. 8)


New Management-William C. Morgan

Very shortly after the death P.J. Montross, long time proprietor, the Montross Hotel was offered for lease.  This solicitation lauded one of Biloxi’s landmark hostelries as “truly a first class opportunity for a hotel man to secure a paying business.”  The published notice also admonished any potential lessee that although the winter tourist season patronized by Northerners was almost over, that there was only a short hiatus before the summer season began in earnest and Southern folks would be coming to the coast.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 10, 1897, p. 8)

By early May 1897, William C. Morgan and his son leased the Montross Hotel.  They were considered experienced hotel managers and immediately made this public notice:



Biloxi, Mississippi

Wm. C. Morgan & Son Proprietors

We have leased the Hotel property for a number of years, and intend renovating it throughout giving to Biloxi the best Hotel on the Gulf Coast.  We respectfully solicit the trade of the traveling public, and promise every attention and the best table in the State.  We offer special rates to table boarders and to families wishing to avoid the cares of summer housekeeping.  For special rates and other information.  Address:  Wm C. Morgan & Son-Biloxi, Mississippi. (The Biloxi Daily Herald, May 8, 1897, p. 8)


Mrs. William C. Morgan appears to have been a musician or musically inclined as a new Mathusek piano was soon installed in the hotel’s parlor.  A concert was held in mid-July.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 3, 1897, p. 8 and July 17, 1897, p. 8)


Florian Seal

Florian Seal (1852-1927) was born on east Pass Christian Street [Howard Avenue] at Biloxi on February 17, 1853.  His parents were Roderick Seal (1817-1899) and Charlotte Orr Seal (1827-1850+).  In 1877, Mr. Seal married Rebecca V. Walker (1853-1936) of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.   They were the parents of two children:  Eurilda J. Seal (1879-1930+) m. Lazaro Lopez Jr. (1877-1918) and Roderick Dudley Seal (1881-1942) m. Marie Ramon (1885-1930+).(The Biloxi Daily Herald, Business and Professional Men, 1902, p. 56)


Florian Seal, popular Sheriff of Harrison County, rode his bicycle with considerable skill and grace so as to quickly fulfill his business engagements in Biloxi.(The Biloxi Herald, January 20, 1894, p. 8)


At Biloxi, when Mr. Seal was not in public office, as he was Sheriff of Harrison County five times, Tax Assessor of Harrison County four times, and Deputy Clerk of the Chancery and Circuit Courts of Jackson County, Mississippi in 1872-1873, functioned in local commerce operating as the Cash Variety Store.  Apparently, Florian Seal had lost his store building in the Great Biloxi Fire of November 1900, because in January 1901, he had workmen erecting a new commercial structure on Howard Avenue next to the Biloxi Daily Herald Building.  The Seal store building was twenty-six feet on the front and about seventy-five feet deep.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 5, 1901, p. 8 and January 8, 1901, p. 8)


Expired December 11, 1927

In September 1898, Roderick Seal and spouse sold the Montross Hotel to John H. Miller and John Carraway for $12,000.(Harrison County, Ms. Land deed Bk. 39, p. 79)

Mrs. Rebecca Walker Seal passed on at New Orleans at the residence of her daughter, Eurilda Lopez.  Her corporal remains were interred in the St. Roch Cemetery in the Crescent City.(The Daily Herald, September 12, 1936, p. 5)



J.H. Miller and John Carraway


John H. Miller

John Henry Miller (1847-1928) born December 14, 1847 at Paulding, Jasper County, Mississippi.  During the Civil War, he enlisted in ‘The Jasper Grays’, Company F of the 16th Mississippi Regiment serving three year as a Lieutenant Robert E.  Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.  Returning from the conflict, he married Alice Sophie Miller (1852-1916) circa 1871, and they were childless. During and post-Reconstruction, J.H. Miller was a newspaper man.     (The Biloxi Daily Herald, p. 52)


In 1900, at Biloxi, the Millers lived on Front Street near the Carraway family.  John H. Miller was manager of the Biloxi Real Estate and Loan Agency and was also on the board of trustees of the Industrial Institute and College at Columbus, Mississippi.  Alice S. Miller expired at Biloxi on October 10, 1916.  He died April 21, 1928.(1900 Harrison County, Mississippi Federal Census )


In 1896, Major J.H. Miller shot and killed Jules Soule, editor of The Biloxi Review.


In February 1901, Laz Lopez to John H. Miller to and John Carraway  all my rights, title and interest in the Montross Hotel.(Harrison County, Ms. Land deed Bk. 47, p. 26)



Montross Hotel Wharf

As early as the spring of May 1892, the Montross Hotel Wharf was the scene of tourist activity.  At this time, Captain J.B. Roberts master of Toiler, a steam tug boat, was making daily excursions to Ship Island.  His vessel left the landing at 8:00 a.m. and returned the same day in the evening.  The roundtrip fare was $1.(The Biloxi Herald, May 28, 1900, p. 4)


In June 1900, Captain Alfred St. Amant (1868-1910) operated the Lillie B, a fast, large pleasure boat from the wharf fronting the Montross Hotel.  Captain James Ryan piloted the vessel to the barrier islands transporting excursion partities.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, June 26, 1900, p. 1)



John Carraway

John Carraway (1873-1931) came to Biloxi in 1893.  He was born at Jackson, Mississippi the son of John C. Carraway (1843-1901) and Arcola Carraway (1848-1933), natives of the Magnolia State.  In 1900, he and Mae Litel Carroway (1878-1930+), his spouse, a native of Albany, Wisconsin were domiciled on Front Street at Biloxi, where he made his livelihood as cashier for the Bank of Biloxi.  Mr. Carraway matriculated to the University of Mississippi.  At Biloxi, he was active in the Elk, Odd fellow, Woodman of the World, and Masonic Lodge.  First president of the BYC.  His parents and Tennie Carraway Moreland (1880-1905+), his Texan born cousin, were also domiciled on Front Street at this time.(The Daily Herald, p. 51 and 1900 Harrison County, Mississippi Federal Census T623 808, p. 1A, ED 31, and The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 29, 1907, p. 2)


John Carroway was a candidate for Beat One Board of Supervisors of Harrison County in 1907.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, July 29, 1907, p. 2)


King Bienville with Blanche Picard (1887-1930+), as queen, of Biloxi’s initial Mardi Gras in March 1908.


Medical offices-Dr. G. Ligon

In the fall of 1900, on Tuesday and Thursday, Dr. G. Ligon, an osteopath, from New Orleans, saw patients at his offices in the Montross Hotel.  Consultation and examination was without charge.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 30, 1900, p. 8)


1900  Great Biloxi Fire

In early November 1900, a spectacular conflagration which began near the L&N Depot on Reynoir Street destroyed about ninety structures in a southerly direction between the L&N railroad tracks and the beach.  The Montross Hotel was not in the path of this fire, which caused about $600,000 dollars in property losses.  The Great Biloxi fire did directly affect the future business fortunes of the Montross Hotel.  Erroneous news reports issued from Biloxi about the recent fire, related to potential Northern winter tourists that all the hotels at Biloxi were destroyed.  The management of Biloxi’s hostelries were in angst that their potential visitors would select other destinations without making inquiries or reservations at Biloxi(The Biloxi Daily Herald, November 9, 1900, p. 1 and November 18, 1900, p. 8)


Sawford and Affeld-1899 Montross management

In January 1899, Charles Ernest Affeld Jr., a native of Chicago, and Headley Frederick Sawford, an Englishman, arrived at Biloxi from Chicago to begin their tenure as managing partners of the Montross Hotel.  Their first task was to prepare the large hostel for hundreds of winter guests from the North.(1900 Harrison Co., Mississippi Federal Census T623 808, p. 1B, ED 30 and The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 17, 1899, p. 8)


In January 1901, Monsieurs Sawford and Affeld reported that they had received six applications for reservations on January 10th from prospective winter guests from more northern climes.  Those that had already settled here for the winter months were ‘cottagers’ and had no interest in lodging at hotels.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 11, 1901, p. 8)


Sawford honored

Honorary member of the Travelers’ Protective Agency.  Put on the building committee of the St. Louis World’s Fair.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, January 29, 1902, p. 1)


Photo exhibit

An exhibit of color photographic images by C.S. Jackson taken at Biloxi in May 1901, was shown at the Montross Hotel in late September.  Among these was one taken of the interior of the Ohr art pottery depicting multi-colored pots of earthenware with the art potter mounted on a pedestal in the background.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, February 25, 1902, p. 8)



H.F. Sawford (1858-1920+), a native of Surrey, England, was involved with the early development of the Biloxi Yacht Club serving his mates as secretary for several terms.  He worked diligently to develop and promote the 1st Biloxi Yacht Club Regatta held in August 1900.  At the third Biloxi Yacht Club Regatta in 1902, he provided the Montross Cup, a three-handled, silver trophy that was a foot-tall to the schooner that won in the forty-foot and over class.   Dr. Daniel A. Nash (1858-1904), Biloxi dentist and Commodore of the BYC, gave the Nash Cup to the victor of the under twenty-foot catboat division.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 22, 1900, p. 1, August 13, 1902, p. 1 and August 19, 1902, p. 1)


Keller’s Green promoter


In late October 1904, H.F. Sawford went to St. Louis, Chicago, and other venues in the Midwest to promote business for the Montross Hotel.  He had a fourteen page brochure about Biloxi and his hotel with him.   Extensive improvement  to the inn were being made before opening.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 29, 1904, p. 5 and December 1, 1904)

In late April 1909, H.F. Sawford, the congenial proprietor of the Montross Hotel, announced that he would not follow his usual custom of closing the old hostelry for the spring months, but that the grand Old Lady of Mississippi coast inns would remain operational through the regular summer tourist season.  Mr. Sawford planned to remain at the Montross for another season and possibly longer.(The Daily Herald, April 29, 1909, p. 4)         


H.F. Sawford

(from The Daily Picayune, August 21, 1900, p. 8)


Headley Frederick Sawford (1858-1920+), a native of Surrey, England, came to America in 1887 with his spouse, Marion Gertrude Sawford (1864-1920+).  After Charles E. Affeld Jr. returned to Chicago circa 1901, Mr. Sawford remained at the Montross Hotel to at least early August 1910.  At this time, he was the victim of an assault in the front yard of his establishment.  E. Doty, a vagrant from Jackson, while in an inebriated state had an accident on the hotel’s swing with a companion.  When H.F. Sawford went to investigate, he was struck in the mouth loosing teeth and receiving contusions about the nose and eye.  Biloxi Police officers, Peter Bellande (1871-1933) and Patrolman Bills, arrested Mr. Doty as his cohort fled the crime scene.(The Daily Herald, August 2, 1910, p. 1)


Sawford still proprietor of Montross in June 1913 as he was an official at the finish of the New Orleans to Biloxi yacht race.(The Daily Herald, June 30, 1913, p. 1)


By January 1920, the Sawford are domiciled at Los Angeles, California where they are managers of an apartment house on East Beach Street.  No further information.(1920 Los Angeles Co., California Federal Census T625_116, p. 19A, ED 466)


Charles E. Affeld Jr.

Charles E. Affeld Jr. was born at Chicago, Illinois on February 28, 1876, the son of Charles Ernest Affeld (1843-1930+), an 1847 Prussian immigrant, and Helen W. Affeld (1847-pre-1920), a native of Michigan.  At Chicago, the Senior Affeld was a fire insurance agent.  Helen Affeld (1875-1920+), his and Helen’s only other child, became a medical doctor and practiced at Evanston, Illinois where the family had moved after 1910.(1920 Cook Co., Illinois Federal Census T625_357, p. 11B, ED 71)


On April 4, 1900, Charles E. Affeld Jr. married May Sanders (1877-1930+), born at Ohio of Scottish immigrant parents.  By 1902, they had departed Biloxi for Chicago where their two children, Christina Affeld (1902-1910+) and Charles E. Affeld III (1908-1930+), were born.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, April 10, 1900, p. 8 and 1910 Cook Co., Illinois Federal Census T624_268, p. 11A, ED 1088)


At Chicago, Charles E. Affeld Jr. became an insurance agent, as his father.  In 1917, he and May S. Affeld were domiciled at 2612 Hampden Court in the Windy City.  By 1930, Charles E. Effeld Jr. and family had joined his retired father at Evanston, Illinois.  He continued in the insurance business.  It is interesting to note that their servant, Marie Baltimore (1909-1930+), was a Mississippi native.(1917-1918 WW I Draft Registration Cook Co., Illinois R1613569-Draft Board 50 and 1930 Cook Co., Illinois Federal Census R499, p. 13A, ED 2111)



John and Mae L. Carroway divorced and in April 1920, she married at the Village of Oregon, Wisconsin to Earle K. Prichard (1873-1930+), a hardware merchant who was a successful business of that small community just south of Madison, Wisconsin.(The Daily Herald, April 12, 1920, p. 4 and 1930 Dane Co., Wisconsin Federal Census, R 2568, p. 7B, ED 62)


Thomas H. Warren (1835-1915) born December 8, 1835.  Died at Biloxi on October 9, 1915.  Acquired T.H. Kimbrough house on East Beach in June 1912.(The Daily Herald, June 7, 1912, p. 1)


In February 1901, Laz Lopez to John H. Miller to and John Carraway  all my rights, title and interest in the Montross Hotel.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 47, p. 26)


In March 1902, John and Mae L. Carraway and J.H. and Alice Miller sell the Montross Hotel to Marie V. Craft of Mobile, Alabama for $6000.  Fire insurance of $8000.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 51, p. 141)


In May 1904, John Carraway while in New York City sold his one-half interest in the Montross Hotel to John Henry Miller.  The consideration was $4500.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 61, p. 246)



Marie V. Craft


[1904 Biloxi, Mississippi Sanborn Map-Sheet 5]



J.H. Miller and Alice Miller

In November 1904, J.H. Miller sold Alice Miller a one-half undivided interest in the Montross Hotel and other real property in Harrison County, Mississippi for $12,000.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 63, pp. 508)


In December 1914, Alice Miller sold her interest in the Montross Hotel back to her spouse.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 117, p. 211)


1920 Sale

In September 1920, J.H. Miller conveyed the Montross Hotel to J.W. Apperson for $26,000.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 129, p. 289)




J.W. Apperson and the Riviera Hotel

John Wright Apperson (1862-1939) was born at Memphis, Tennessee during the Civil War.  He was educated at the Christian Brothers College and received his law degree from Vanderbilt.  After a career in law and politics, Colonel Apperson began his residency at Biloxi in June 1912, when he leased the G.W. Wilkes property at the northeast corner of Seal Avenue and Beach Boulevard.  Here J.W. Apperson commenced his first resort venture on the Mississippi Gulf Coast which he appropriately called, The Memphis House.  In later years, it became known as the Palmer House, when owned by (The Daily Herald, April 1, 1939, p. 1 and Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 102 or 120?, pp. 130-131)


Apperson Hotel Company

In July 1914, J.W. Apperson, E.T. Apperson, and George W. Grayson chartered the Apperson Hotel Company.  It was organized with a capital stock of $10,000 and in business to own lease, maintain, construct, operate and conduct hotels, restaurants, bathing piers, pleasure boats, amusement parks, and to own real estate.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Charter Bk. 15, p. 7)



During the Great War, Colonel Apperson’s nephew and namesake, Lieutenant John W.  Apperson, was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French Army for his bravery while commanding an artillery battery.  Lt. Apperson was wounded in the hand by German shrapnel while on an mission in no man’s land.  He was believed to have been the first Memphian to be decorated by the French government in this conflict.(The Daily Herald, May 14, 1918, p. 3)           



Buena Vista Hotel         

In early April 1927, Mr. and Mrs. Apperson and Mrs. Milton J. Apperson board a United Fruit Company steamship at NOLA.  Their destination was Havana, Cuba.(The daily Herald, April 8, 1927, p. 8)


J.W. Apperson acquired the bankrupt Riviera Hotel of Biloxi in November 1929, for $80,000.  He had sold it to Charles B. Foster, T.K. Devitt, and Charles Delacruz circa 1925.  Apperson to have it totally refurbished.  Colonel Apperson was an owner-manager of the Buena Vista Hotel.(The Jackson County Times, November 9, 1929, p. 1)


On March 27, 1930, Francis Arbeau Caillavet III (1881-1946), called Arbeau, sold his one-half interest in the Isle of Caprice Amusement Company, his co-partnership with W.H. ‘Skeet’ Hunt (1887-1960), to J.W. Apperson.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 186, pp. 249-250)       



Lucille Evans Apperson

After the demise of Colonel Apperson in 1939, Lucille E. Apperson remained at her 127 Lameuse Street domicile, which was just north of the Riviera Hotel.  She was born at Lincoln, Illinois on February 19, 1884, the daughter of Lincoln Evans and Nora Flynn.

In April 1942, Lucille E. Apperson vended 127 Lameuse Street to Michel N. Mikoul (1905-1993) and Shirley Thornton Mikoul (1911-1990 for $7000.( Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 242, p. 173)

Colonel Apperson managed the Riviera Hotel until his demise on April 1, 1939.  H.N. Avery was appointed manager on April 15, 1939 and held that position until 1939.(The Daily Herald, August 1, 1939, p. 1)



1922 Fire

The Biloxi Fire Department was called to the Riviera Hotel in the early morning hours of May 15, 1922.  Their response and subsequent performance were sterling as the Riviera Hotel was saved from total destruction.  It sustained about $20,000 of water and fire damage.  Colonel J.W. Apperson related that the structure was insured and that it would be repaired before the summer season commenced.(The Jackson County Times, May 20, 1922, p. 1)


New East Wing

The East Wing of the Riviera Hotel was torn down in September 1922 under the supervision of Eric Johansen, contractor.  By mid-September, the roof and a part of the second story had been removed with various frames to be saved.  The building has stood for years and the old lumber is well preserved and as good as new lumber.  A three-story, modern hotel building will be completed in time for the winter season.(The Daily Herald, September 23, 1922, p. 4)


1924 Lease

With the Buena Vista Hotel nearing completion and scheduled to open July 3, 1924, Colonel Apperson leased the Riviera Hotel to Joseph A. Isele (1867-1924+) and Martin Isele (1868-1930+), brothers and experienced hoteliers from Memphis, Tennessee. They had been involved in the construction of the Claridge Hotel at Memphis.  The Colonel planned to reside at the Riviera until the Buena Vista opened.(The Daily Herald, June 12, 1924, p. 1)


The Isele brothers were born in Wrisen, Baden, Germany and had immigrated to America in 1885 settling at Memphis. By 1900 they owned a hotel on Adams Street.(1900 Shelby Co., Tennessee Federal Census T623_1597, p. 8B, ED 67)



1925 Sale

In January 1925, the newspapers were writing that Thomas K. Devitt (1882-1946) and Charles B. Foster (1877-1931) were considering the purchase of the Riviera Hotel for $125,000.  Colonel Apperson and spouse went to the act of sale in late May 1925.  The Riviera Hotel was vended to T.K. Devitt and C.B. Foster, both seafood cannery owners and entrepreneurs of Biloxi.  The selling price was $150,000.(The Jackson County Times, April 25, 1925 and Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 148, pp. 156)





Devitt and Foster

The Riviera Hotel under the ownership of T.K. Devitt and C.B. Foster was improved, especially the kitchen area.  All new equipment was installed including such items as: racks, working tables, dish warmers, and electric dishwasher.  In addition, a new mechanical refrigeration plant was installed as well as the lobby and dining room were repainted.  Devitt and Foster with Chester Delacruz formed the Riviera Hotel Company, a Delaware Corporation, in late September 1926.  Devitt and Foster sold the hotel to the Riviera Hotel Company with all furniture, beds, mattresses, springs, chairs, tables, bed lines, etc.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 164, p. 75)



Riviera Café

By April 1927,Walter Ohlmer of New Orleans, former manager of the French Tavern in the Crescent City, had taken over the management of the Riviera Café.  At this time, he reported that his food was prepared ‘the old time way’ that and that the café was doing a lively business.  Mr. Ohlmer had the pleasure of hosting the meetings of the Kiwanis Club of Biloxi, when the Tivoli Hotel closed for the season after Labor Day.(The Daily Herald, April 24, 1927, p. 2  and August 26, 1927, p. 2)





In May 1927, [Paul] Wallace Montross , son  of Peter J. Montross, returned to Biloxi to be employed at the Riviera Hotel, having most recently been with the Markham Hotel at Gulfport.  He was named as assistant manager to Thomas K. Devitt.  Mr. Montross had began his career as a hotelier under the tutelage of his father at the then Montross Hotel.  After departing Biloxi circa 1894, Wallace had worked at the Hotel Lanz at Mexico City.  His career had taken him to the New Astor Hotel in New York; Plasa at Havana; Tampa Bay at Tampa; Windsor at Jacksonville; Palace in San Francisco; Washington in Seattle; Green Hotel in Pasadena; the U.S. Grant at San Diego; and eleven leading hotels in New York City, eight of them located on Broadway.  The Daily Herald in an interview with Wallace related the following: "his father operated the Riviera for 20 years or more and built the East and West Wing.  The old original brick part of the hotel is about 100 years old.  Mr. Montross Jr. [sic] was born in New Orleans and reared in Biloxi.  It is noted that he returns to Biloxi after traveling for so many years.  Mr. Montross has never voted because he has never lived in any place long enough, but is now in Biloxi to stay, he said."(The Daily Herald, May 23, 1927, p. 2)



Foreclosure Sale

J.W.  Apperson bought the Riviera from the Riviera Hotel Company in early November 1929 for $80,000 in a foreclosure sale at Gulfport.  Under the proprietorship of Colonel Apperson,  the Riviera Hotel underwent intensive interior and exterior improvements.  At this time, he was also one of the owners  and the manager of the Buena Vista Hotel.  Completion of this work was winding down in late December 1929.  The hotel planned its formal opening for January 10, 1930.  C.L. Martin, former assistant manager of the Buena Vista Hotel at Biloxi was the manager of the Riviera Hotel at this time.(The Daily Herald, November 4, 1929, p. 1 and December 31, 1929, p. 2)


As the Riviera Hotel was to be closed until early 1930, guests were located to other inns.  Mrs. Louise Green went to the Elmer Apartments on East Beach adjacent to the Riviera Hotel; Major T.S. McCaleb and Mrs. Grover Jackson were moved to the Avon.(The Daily Herald, November 5, 1929, p. 2)



Riviera Hotel Company


May 1930-Harrison Co., Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 11071

The Riviera Hotel Company, C.B. Foster, and Chester A. Delacruz were suing Mrs. T.K. Devitt for       .  Chancellor Daniel M. Russell adjudicated in favor of Mrs. T.K. Devitt to recover $10,000 from the Riviera Hotel Company.(Harrison Co., Ms Land Deed Bk. 30, p. 365)




In November 1930, J.W. Apperson leased the Riviera Hotel to the Coast Hotel Company and William L. Jones, vice president.{much info in this deed}(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 195, pp. 1-3)


1932-Forfeiture and Trustee Sale

In the early years of the Great Depression bankruptcies and foreclosures were common.  At this time, Colonel J.W. Apperson found himself in financial difficulties and defaulted on his deed of trust on the Riviera Hotel.  The note that he had originally taken in June 1930 from         had been transferred to the American National Insurance Company of Galveston, Texas.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Deed of Trust Bk. 77, p. 73)


On July 4, 1932, John D. Stennis Jr., sub-Trustee, sold the Riviera Hotel for $25,000 to the highest bidder, which was the American National Insurance Company of Galveston, Texas.( Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 195, pp. 1-3)



June 1934-Harrison Co., Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 13635

E.C. Ellison and Matilda C. Ellison sued J.W. Apperson for foreclosure and sale of the Riviera Hotel.  Chancellor Daniel M. Russell adjudicated in favor of the Ellison to recover $5,000 from J.W. Apperson.(Bk. 36, p. 295)



Interstate Hotel Company



In late November 1936, H.E. Bearden, vice president of the Interstate Hotel Company, leased the Riviera Hotel to Eugene P. Leonetti and Mamie S. Leonettie for five years to commence December 1, 1936.  Rents $40 per month for first year, $45 per month second year, and $55 per month for years three thru five.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 212, p. 589)


Eugene P. Leonetti

Eugene P. Leonetti (1887-1961) was born April 25, 1887, in Italy.  Married Mamie Sue Allen.  One son, Eugene P. Leonetti.  Mr. Leonetti lived in California and New York before arriving at Biloxi.  In addition to operating the Rendezvous Restaurant, he ran the city bus terminal before his retirement.  Active in stock and bond market.  Eugene P. Leonetti expired at Bioxi on January 13, 1961 at his home on 411 Hopkins Boulevard.  He was active in the Italian-American Society.  His corporal remains were sent to Meridian, Mississippi for internment.(The Daily Herald, January 13, 1961, p. 2)



In 1937, the Interstate Hotel Company and Eugene P. Leonetti and spouse signed a new lease agreement which went into effect on July 1st and ended on June 30, 1942.  The terms were the same as their first lease with the exception that the Leonettis agreed to erect a one-story, 1600 square-foot addition to the Riviera Hotel to cost not less than $2000.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 215, p. 468)

In 1936, Eugene P. Leonetti and Mamie Leonetti are proprietors of the Rendezvous Restaurant at 123 Lameuse Street.(1936 Biloxi City Directory , p. 176)

In 1940, the Leonettis are domiciled at 119 Lameuse Street.(1940-1941 Biloxi City Directory , p. 119)



The Interstate Hotel Company, A.A. Horne, president sold to John C. Hunt on July 31, 1939 for $45,000.( Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 228 p. 226) 

Quitclaim from W.L. Moody Jr., presidentof the American National Insurance Company to Interstate Hotel Company in August 1939.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 228, p. 249-228)




John C. Hunt

When John C. Hunt acquired the Riviera Hotel in July 1939, he had many business interests particularly a large furniture store at Dyersburg, Tennessee. 


N.H. Avery

Nathaniel H. Avery (1889-1940+), a native of New London, Connecticut, was appointed the manager of the Riviera Hotel in the summer of 1939 replacing the late Colonel J.W. Apperson.  Mr. Avery was formerly assistant cashier of the National Whaling Bank and president of the G.M. Long Lobster Company.  He had previous experience in the hotel industry at Cape May, New Jersey and came to Biloxi in October 1938 for a visit.  Lt. E.E. Fahey, Avery's son-in-law, had been stationed at the Biloxi Coast Guard Base.  Nathan H. Avery was married and had two children: Grace Avery and Nathaniel H. Avery II (1924-2006).(The Daily Herald, February 8, 1940, p. 12)


Joel H. Hunt

Joel H. Hunt was manager of the Riviera Hotel in February 1941 when he was sued by William H. Barton.  Barton alleged that Mr. Hunt made malicious and unveritable remarks about him in Ocotber 1940 when he was an employee of the hostelry.(The Daily Herald, February 20, 1941, p. 3)

For about $25,000, John C. Hunt sold the Riviera Hotel property to Mrs. H.V Sherrill on August 7, 1941.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 241, pp. 173)




Wilhelmina R. Sherrill

Wilhelmina ‘Billie’ Sewell Roberts Sherrill (1886-1982) was born at Jackson, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana on September 26, 1886 to Dr. William J. Roberts (1869-pre 1930) and Sarah E. Roberts (1876-1930+).  Dr. W.J. Roberts was a peripatetic physician.  By 1896, the family had moved to Mississippi.  In 1910, Dr. W.J. Roberts had relocated his family to Colfax, Grant Parish, Louisiana.  Their other children were: Lena O. Roberts (1895-1910+); and Bennett F. Roberts (1899-1910+).(


Hugh V. Sherrill

On September 29, 1917, Billie Roberts married Hugh Virgil Sherrill (1876-1927), born April 18, 1876, at Madison County, Tennessee.  He was the son of Dr. Hugh Newton Sherrill (1837-1903) who was born on August 7, 1837 and Mary E. Hardy (1846-1910+), both Tennessee natives.  Dr. H.N. Sherrill married Miss Hardy in September 1865.  Their other children were: Algernon S. Sherrill (1868-1920+); Clarence H. Sherrill (1873-1900+); and Joseph L. Sherrill (1879-1900+).  This Sherrill family is rooted in North Carolina thorough Archibald Sherrill and Agnes Moss. 


Hugh N. Sherrill and Algernon [Algie] S. Sherrill (1868-1920+), his older brother, were business associates in the lumber industry for many years.  In 1880, the Dr. H.N. Sherrill family was residing in Henderson, then in Madison County, Tennessee.  By 1900, the family had moved to Union City, Obion County, Tennessee.  Here Algie was a dry good merchant and Hugh N. Sherrill engaged in the lumber business.(1880 Obion County, Tennessee Federal Census T623 1591, p. 17A, ED 108) 


After the death of Dr. H.N. Sherrill in Tennessee on July 8, 1903, Hugh V. Sherrill, Algie S. Sherrill and their mother settled at Paducah, McCracken County, Kentucky.  At this Ohio River port city, they engaged in the lumber business together.(1910 McCracken County, Kentucky Federal Census T624_493, p. 2B, ED 124)



In late January 1920, Hugh V. Sherrill and Billie R. Sherrill, his recent bride, were domiciled at Merryville, Beauregard Parish, Louisiana.  Here Hugh V. Sherrill was the manager of a lumber mill.  Algernon S. Sherrill (1869-1920+), his brother, was the president of the mill and residing with them.(1920 Beauregard Parish, Louisiana T625_605, p. 3B, ED 109)  


For some reason unknown to the author, Hugh V. and Billie R. Sherrill were in Los Angeles County, California in September 1920, as their only child, Hugh Virgil Sherrill II (1920-2007+), was born here on September 18, 1920.  Family lore relates that H. Virgil Sherrill had contracted tuberculosis and may have traveled to the western United States to improve his health.(S. Ann R. Morse, July 30, 2007)


New Mexico and travel

Hugh V. Sherrill expired at Albuquerque, Bernalillo County, New Mexico on October 22, 1927.  By 1930, Billie R. Sherrill, his widow, was living at 908 West Tijeras Avenue in Albuquerque with her widowed mother and young son.  After the death of her spouse, she began several ocean voyages.  Billie left the Canal Zone in April 1929 aboard the SS Heredia, a United Fruit Company vessel, and landed in New Orleans one week later.  She left Havana, Cuba in August 1930 and arrived at New Orleans in September 1930 traveling aboard the SS Cuba.  (1930 Bernalillo County, New Mexico Federal Census R 1392, p. 7B, ED 10)


Mississippi Gulf Coast

By 1935, Billie R. Sherrill had relocated to East Beach at Gulfport, Mississippi.  In the late summer and early fall of 1935, she went to Europe.  She returned on the SS Ile de France leaving Le Havre, France for New York City in early October.


Upon the death of Lynn Hamilton Dinkins (1867-1938), New Orleans’ banker and son of Captain James Dinkins (1845-1939), Mrs. Sherrill was legated $10,000 from his estate.(The Daily Herald, January 11, 1938, p. 5)


H. Virgil Sherrill

H. Virgil Sherrill attended the Gulf Coast Military Academy on East Beach at Gulfport.  He matriculated to Yale University at New Haven, Connecticut and graduated with the Class of 1942.  Mrs. Sherrill attended his graduation at New Haven in June 1942.  Her sojourn took her to New York City where she was the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Ashton Hayward.  Virgil Sherrill also received his commission into the U.S. Navy via the Yale NROTC program at his commencement exercises.  They returned to Biloxi by automobile.  Virgil was called to active military duty in June 1942.(The Daily Herald, June 3, 1942, p. 2)


Air War

In November 1946, Lt. (jg) Hugh Virgil Sherrill was awarded a permanent citation for the Navy Cross by James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, for his extraordinary heroism as a fighter pilot of Fighting Squadron 81 attached to the USS Wasp.  Lt. Sherrill destroyed four Japanese fighter planes on February 17, 1945 in an air battle over Tokyo Bay.  Sherrill’s squadron encountered an enemy force with superior numbers, but preceded to press the fight.  He was also credited with two probable ‘kills’ in this battle.(The Daily Herald, November 29, 1946, p. 6)


In 1948, H. Virgil Sherrill resided at New Orleans.  Here he may have met Elizabeth ‘Betty’ Stevens (b. 1924), a native of the Crescent City. 


Stanford Morse

Wilhelmina R. Sherrill married Stanford E. Morse (1900-1934+), a native of Wesson, Mississippi on November 14, 1948 in Harrison County, Mississippi.  He was the widower of Ernestine Neuhardt (1905-1932), a native of Memphis, Tennessee.  George E. Neuhart (1866-1920+), her Ohio born father, was a Memphis attorney and a judge.(Harrison Co., Ms. MRB 78, p. 336 and 1920 Shelby Co., Tennessee Federal Census T625_1764, p. 13A, ED 155)

The Morse-Sherrill nuptial ceremony was held at her home in Pass Christian, Mississippi.  H. Virgil Sherrill was best man for his mother, while Stanford Morse II and George E Morse stood with their father.(The Daily Herald, November 15, 1948, p. 8)

Stanford Morse and Ernestine Neuhardt were the parents of: Stanford E. Morse Jr. (1926-2002) m. Sally Ann Reilly (b. 1927) and George E. Morse (1926-2004?) m. Nancy Temple Wood.  Stanford Morse relocated to Gulfport, Mississippi in 1922 from Jackson, Mississippi.  He was educated at Millsaps College and the University of Mississippi.  At Gulfport, Stanford became a partner in the legal firm of Ford, White, and Morse, which operated from the Abstract Building at Gulfport.  They resided on East Beach at Gulfport.(The Daily Herald, 50th Golden Jubilee, 1934, p. 72)

Ernestine Neuhardt Morse expired at her Gulf Shore Manor home on November 10, 1932.  She had come to the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Memphis to attend Gulf Park College at Long Beach.  After her graduation in        


Mrs. W. Sherrill Morse management

As in any change in ownership, it was only natural for Mrs. Billie R. Sherrill to hire and fire employees.  Mrs. L.M. Lofgren was employed to manage the hostelry.  Mrs. Jennie May White who had previously been employed at the Palmer House and had worked for Colonel J.W. Apperson at the Riviera Hotel before she left for Birmingham, Alabama, returned to Biloxi and was placed in charge of food and beverage services.  Mrs. Leone Meyer was to assist her in the dining room.  The ladies had arranged to have a Sunday night buffet to attract locals and provide a venue for social contact among the guests of the Riviera.(The Daily Herald, August 11, 1941, p. 7)


Keesler Army Airfield- Biloxi housing shortage

August 1941, was a brilliant time for Mrs. Willie R. Sherrill to have acquired the Riviera Hotel.  In June 1941, the U.S. Army Air Corps had activated Station No. 8, Aviation Mechanics School, at Biloxi, Mississippi.  By late August 1941, this military installation had been dedicated as Keesler Army Airfield, in honor of 2nd Lieutenant Samuel Reeves Keesler (1896-1918), a native of Greenwood, Mississippi.  Lieutenant Keesler had died in France from wounds received while in aerial combat against Germany during the Great War.  Keesler Army Airfield not only became technical training center, but trained basic recruits.  The first contingent of recruits arrived at Biloxi on August 21, 1941.(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keesler_Air_Force_Base)

Clerks: Edward I. Carnes (1914-1972) and Louis Raymond.(The Daily Herald, August 11, 1941, p. 7)

Shortly after Mrs. Billie R. Sherril acquired the Riviera Hotel, she placed an advertisement in the local Biloxi journal, which read as follows:


Riviera Hotel

Biloxi’s Coolest


Delicious home cooked meals prepared by Mrs. Jennie May White at popular prices.  Also Sunday night buffet supper.  Cool, comfortable rooms with ceiling fans, new innerspring mattresses in each room.  Homelike atmosphere.



(The Daily Herald, August 14, 1941, p. 7)


In November 1941, Billie R. Sherrill advertised her Biloxi hotel in the Yellow Pages of the Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Telephone Gulfport Telephone Directory, as follows:


Riviera Hotel

100 ROOMS------100 BATHS

Rates $1.50 UP

“Meet the Best People on Earth Here”

Mrs. H.V. Sherrill, Owner

101 E. Beach                                                                                   1100

                                                                                                                                    ( p. 43)



Billie S. Morse died December 6, 1982. Buried at Live Oak Cemetery in Pass Christian, Mississippi.(The Daily Herald, December 8, 1982, p. 2)

Before her death, Billie S. Morse vended the Riviera Hotel at Biloxi to the Avelez Hotel Company in December 1955.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 403, p. 171)



Avelez Hotel Company

The Avelez Hotel Company was chartered in June 1946 by Uriah S. Joachim (1888-1977), Richard R. Guice, Adrian Weill (1903-1971), and Albert Sydney Johnston Jr. (1900-1992).(Harrison County, Ms. Charter Bk. 93, p. 162)

Wilhelmina ‘Billie’ Sewell Roberts Sherrill Morse (1886-1982) vended the Riviera Hotel at Biloxi to the Avelez Hotel Company in December 1955.(Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 403, p. 171)



Uriah S. Joachim

Uriah Silvester “Jack” Joachim (1888-1977) was born on March 13, 1888 at Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  He attended Soule Business School at New Orleans graduating in 1906.  Joachim found employment as a bookkeeper for the Dantzler Commissary, a subsidiary of the L.N. Dantzler Lumber Company, at Vancleave.  Later he worked with the J. & S. Company there.  In 1908, U.S. Joachim relocated to Biloxi where he became an employee of the L. Lopez Company as a bookkeeper.(Lepre, 1991, p. 160 and The Daily Herald, January 31, 1977, p. A-2)

On November 14, 1912, at Nativity B.V.M. in Biloxi, U.S. Joachim married Stella Angelina Gillen (1892-1963), a native of Biloxi and the daughter of Mark J. Gillen (1840-1925), from County Mayo, Ireland, and Ellen Sheehan (1854-1931), a native of New Orleans.  U.S. Joachim and Stella G. Joachim were the parents of Mark Gillen Joachim (b. 1913), Clare Joachim Maddox (b. 1915), John Schappert “Jack” Joachim (b. 1916), Harry Joseph Joachim (b. 1920), and Ruth Marylyn Joachim Janca.(1925-1989).(Mark Joachim, August 27, 1999)

By March 1918, Mr. Joachim had been promoted manager of the L. Lopez & Company operation in Biloxi.  At this time, he resigned and joined the Combel Hardware Company as manager.  Mr. Joachim was one of the incorporators of this stock company, which evolved in 1948, into his wholly owned Combel’s Merchandise Mart.  In addition to his hardware interests, U.S. Joachim was president of First Federal Savings and Loan and the Avelez Hotel.  He was also a member of the Biloxi Chamber of Commerce, Elks Club, and Church of the Nativity of the B.V.M.  Mr. Joachim expired in late January 1977.  Stella Gillen Joachim, his wife of over fifty years, preceded him in death expiring on September 12, 1963.  They rest eternally in the Southern Memorial Park cemetery in Biloxi.(The Jackson County Times, March 20, 1918, p. 7 and The Daily Herald, January 31, 1977, p.  A-2)



Adrian Weill

Adrian Weill (1903-1971) was born August 18, 1903 in Osthaffen, Lorraine, France, the son of Leon Weill (1870-1903+) and Hermine Weill.  Leon Weill had come to the United States in 1886.  By 1900, he was the proprietor of a general merchandising store in Ascension Parish, Louisiana.  It appears that he returned circa 1902 to Alsace-Lorraine, married and had two sons, Adrian Weill and Roger Weill (1902-1988).  The Weill brothers immigrated to America in 1920 settling near Lutcher, St. James Parish, Louisiana with Jonas Weill (1877-1963), their uncle and a retail merchant.  Jonas Weill had immigrated to Louisiana in 1896.(1900 Ascension Parish, La. Federal Census T623 557, p. 4A, ED 8 and 1920 St. James Parish, La. Federal Census R815, p. 19A, ED 10)

In 1930 Adrian Weill relocated to Biloxi, Mississippi and opened a retail shoe store on Lameuse Street.  Shortly, he acquired the building that his leased space was situated, which led to his life long vocation of acquiring and selling rental property.  Adrian initiated the first drive-in restaurant, Ferdinand’s, at Biloxi, which was located on West Beach.  He also constructed Biloxi’s first shopping center, Weill’s Shopping Center, also on West Beach.(The Daily Herald, February 22, 1971, p. 1)

Adrian Weill met and married Jeannette L. Dees (1916-2002), who was born northeast of Mobile at Repton, Conecuh County, Alabama.  Donna Mae Long Dees McMillan (1898-1930+), her mother, once served as Postmaster of Repton, Alabama.  Adrian and Jeannette D. Weill were the parents of Adrian Michael ‘Mike’ Weill (1943-1976); Jolene W. Manuel Aultman; Donna Lynn W. Minton Green; and Jacqueline W. Glascow Bernstein (d. pre 2002).(The Sun Herald, April 21, 2002, p. A8 and 1930 Conecuh Co., Alabama Federal Census R9, p. 5A, ED 17)

In December 1986, Jacqueline W. Bernstein, Jolene W. Aultman, and Donna W. Green, Conservators and daughters of Jeanette Dees Weill, sold the former Allman tract to Loris C. Bridges.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 649, p. 454 and Bk. 875, p. 475 and p. 478)


1947 Hurricane

The September Storm of 1947 was very devastating to low-lying commercial and residential structures from Point Cadet to the Biloxi Lighthouse.  The storm surge at Biloxi was measured at thirteen feet.  In the vicinity of the Riviera Hotel



Mrs. Martha Ellis, manager, announced that the painting and redecorating of the third floor of the Riviera Hotel was commenced yesterday.  This action will complete the hotel's renovation which began last year.(The Daily Herald, September 29, 1954, p. 22)



Miss Pauline McFarlane of Pascagoula was named manager replacing Chris Maples.[The Daily Herald, November 11, 1965, p. 2]



August 19, 1969


The Board of Directors of the Avelez Hotel held a special meeting on  March 18, 1970 and unanimously vote to sell their old Montross-Riviera Hotel lot on Lameuse and Beach Boulevard.  Two days later the Avelez Hotel Corporation for $260,000 conveyed the lot to the Housing Authority of Biloxi. (2nd JD Harrison County, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 8, p. 473)


City of Biloxi




Nap L. Cassibry II, Early Settlers and Land Grants at Biloxi, Volume I, (Mississippi Coast Historical and Genealogical Society: Biloxi, Mississippi-Special Issue 5, November 1986), p. 82.

Nap L. Cassibry II, Early Settlers and Land Grants at Biloxi, Volume II, (Mississippi Coast Historical and Genealogical Society: Biloxi, Mississippi-Special Issue 5, November 1986).

Nap L. Cassibry II, The Ladner Odyssey, Volume II, (Mississippi Coast Historical and Genealogical Society: Biloxi, Mississippi-Special Issue 5, November 1986).

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

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

The Biloxi Daily Herald, Business and Professional Men, (The Biloxi Daily Herald: Biloxi, Mississippi-1902).

The Daily Herald 50th Golden Jubilee Number Biographical and Historical 1884-1934, (The Daily Herald: Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi-1934).

T.H. Glenn, The Mexican Gulf Coast on Mobile Bay & Mississippi Sound Illustrated, (Delchamps: Mobile, Alabama-1893).

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, ‘William C. Seaman’ , (Jackson County, Mississippi Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi- 1989).

Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Co., “Telephone Directory-Gulfport, Miss.”, November 1941.


Chancery Court

No. 315, 1879.

No. 349, 1882.

No. 408, 1886.

No. 799, 1896.

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 143, “Peter Lienhardt, et al v. Sherrod Seaman, et al-May 1874.

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 889, ‘The Estate of  P.J. Montross’, 1897.

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 11071, ‘Riviera Hotel Company, C.B. Foster, and C.A. Delacruz v. Mrs. T.K. Devitt, et al”-May 1930. 

HarrisonCounty, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 13635, ‘ E.C. Ellison, et al v. J.W. Apperson’, May 1934.



The Biloxi Herald, ‘Montross Hotel advertisement’, January 14, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “First Excursion of the Season”, February 18, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, ‘Montross Hotel advertisement’, February 18, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “City News”, March 3, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “Northern Visitors”, March 10, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “City News”, April 7, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “Proceedings Town Council”, August 18, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “Visit to the Northwest”, October 6, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “City News”, November 10, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “City News”, November 24, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “The Glorious Fourth”, July 4, 1891.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, May 28, 1892.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, July 9, 1892.

The Biloxi Herald, “Montross Hotel”, December 9, 1893.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, January 20, 1894.

The Biloxi Herald, “Latest City News”, June 13, 1896.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Necrology-Major Peter J. Montross”, April 3, 1897, p. 8.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Latest City News”, April 3, 1897.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Latest City News”, April 10, 1897.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Hotel Montross”, May 8, 1897.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Latest City News”, July 3, 1897.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Concert at the Montross”, July 17, 1897.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Local and Personal”, January 17, 1899.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Affeld-Sanders”, April 10, 1900.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Pleasure boat for hire”, June 26, 1900.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Pretty Things”, August 22, 1900.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, October 30, 1900.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Swept by Flames”, November 9, 1900.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, November 18, 1900.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, January 5, 1901.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, January 8, 1901.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, January 10, 1901.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, January 11, 1901.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Mr. Sawford honored”, January 29, 1902.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, February 25, 1902.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Races for the soldiers”, August 13, 1902.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Races Saturday”, August 19, 1902.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Northern Visitors”, October 29, 1904.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Among the Candidates”, July 29, 1907.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Paid homage to honored dead [T.P. Dulion], February 23, 1907.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”,

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”,

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”,

The Daily Herald

The Daily Herald, “Carnvail (sic) next year to be bigger and better”, April    1908.

The Daily Herald, “Mr. Sawford will retain Montross”, April 29, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “Punches Biloxi Hotel Operator”, August 2, 1910.

The Daily Herald, “Kimbrough home on beach is sold”, June 7, 1912.

The Daily Herald, “Cadillac wins Grunewald Cup in race from Orleans to Biloxi, June 30, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Col. Apperson is Uncle of first Memphis hero”, May 14, 1918.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News”, April 12, 1920.

The Daily Herald, “Riviera work progressing”, September 23, 1922.

The Daily Herald, “Riviera Hotel changes hands”, June 12, 1924.

The Daily Herald, “Riviera improvements completed", August 6, 1926.

The Daily Herald, “Florian Seal offers himself for reelection”, April 2, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Apperson leaves for Cuba”, April 8, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Popularizing Riviera cafe”, April 25, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Kiwanis meet at Riviera Hotel”, August 26, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Florian Seal dies suddenly”, December 12, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Florian Seal buried today”, December 13, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Riviera improvements completed”, August 6, 1926. 

The Daily Herald, “Bilbo to be guest of Col. Apperson”, December 3, 1926.

The Daily Herald, "Path leads Montross to return to Biloxi", May 3, 1927.

The Daily Herald, "Col. Apperson buy Riviera for $80,000", November 4, 1929.

The Daily Herald, "Riviera guests in new homes", November 5, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “Riviera Hotel to open January 10”, December 31, 1929.

The Daily Herald, “John Carraway dies”, August 6, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Carraway Funeral”, August 19, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Carraway Funeral”, August 21, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “John Carraway buried”, August 24, 1931.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Stanford Morse succumbs to illness”, November 10, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Remodeling pavilion”, November 21, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Florian Seal dies”, September 12, 1936.

The Daily Herald, “$10,000 left to Mrs. H.V. Sherill”, January 11, 1938.

The Daily Herald, “Col. J.W. Apperson Taken By Death”, April 1, 1939.

The Daily Herald, “New Management Riviera Hotel”, August 1, 1939.

The Daily Herald, “N.H. Avery new Riviera manager”, , 1939.

The Daily Herald, “I.S. Avery dies”, February 8, 1940.

The Daily Herald, “Hotel manager is sued for $25,000”, February 20, 1941.

The Daily Herald, “Riviera Hotel is sold to Mrs. Sherrill”, August 9, 1941.

The Daily Herald, “Announce personnel of Riviera Hotel”, August 11, 1941.

The Daily Herald, “Hotels have biggest season”, August 11, 1941.

The Daily Herald, “Riviera Hotel [advertisement], August 14, 1941.

The Daily Herald, “Attends Yale graduation”, June 3, 1942.

The Daily Herald, “Once busy Biloxi Beach deep in sand”, September 24, 1947.

The Daily Herald, “Lt. Sherrill cited”, November 29, 1946.

The Daily Herald, “Morse-Sherrill”, November 15, 1948.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. J.W. Apperson Dies”, October 26, 1951.

The Daily Herald, “Hotel redecorated”, September 29, 1954.

The Daily Herald, “Riviera Hotel on Biloxi Beach is purchased for $100,000”, December 23, 1955.

The Daily Herald, “Eugene Leonetti”, January 13, 1961.

The Daily Herald, “Adrian Weill taken by death”, February 22, 1971.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Stanford E. (Wilhelmina) Morse”, December 8, 1982.

The Daily Herald,

The Daily Picayune, "Yachting-Biloxi to have a fine building", August 21, 1900.


The Jackson County Times

The Jackson County Times, “Riviera Hotel is damaged by fire”, May 20, 1922.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, April 25, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Col. Apperson Buys Riviera For $80,000”, November 9, 1929.

The New Orleans Daily Picayune, “The Late Destructive Gale”, September 16, 1855.

The Star of Pascagoula, May 29, 1875, p. 3

The Star of Pascagoula, “Our Watering Places”, June 26, 1875.

The Sun Herald, “Jeanette Dees Weill”, April 21, 2002, p. A8.

The Sun Herald, “FLASHBACK-A first-class hotel in Biloxi”, May 6, 2012, p. F10.




Personal Communication:

Ann Reilly Morse- telephone on July 30, 2007



West Water Street


Location:  Block 126 ½.  Lot west by Croesus, south by Water Street.  62 feet on Water Street , north 65 feet.


Hotel d'Europe

In May 1867, Francis Fizaine [Fizen] leased the Hotel d'Europe with all buildings and outhouses there on to Charles DeJean (1812-1894) for a term of five years.  The DeJean lease commenced on May 15, 1866 and terminated on May 15, 1871 with an annual rent of $300.  Fizaine promised to repair the roof and floors and agreed to erect at his own expense a substantial bath house for the use of DeJean and guests.  In addition, he was to leave fifteen bedsteads, dining tables, and wash stands in the premises.(Harrison Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 10, p. 164)


The Boulo Hotel

Prior to the acquisition in March 1913, by August Tremmel (1873-1942), the parcel of land in Biloxi, Mississippi that would become the site of his tin shop and home was the location of a large hotel.  The hotel was called the Boulo Hotel and it was probably erected by Charles DeJean (1812-1894), who was called “Boulo”. Charles DeJean was born at France and was the father of: Peter DeJean (1857-1909)who married Kate Williams in October 1880; Alice D. Lanius (1854-1904) m. Michael Smith Lanius (1848-1905); and Ida D. Fountain (18-1892).  Peter was born in Louisiana his mother was from Louisiana.  A hotel clerk in 1880.

Charles DeJean acquired his hotel property in March 1868, for $2500 from George Binder, attorney in fact of Carl Schwarz and the heirs at law of John Crusius, deceased of New Orleans.  The warranty deed to DeJean described the tract as:   A certain lot of ground with the improvements thereon situated in the Town of Biloxi, County of Harrison, in the State of Mississippi, namely said lot is bounded on the South by a street known as Water Street on the North by a street or property of vendors on the West by property of one Menasker or a street left by vendors and on the East by a road leading North and South, having a front on Water Street of one hundred and fifty seven feet more or less running thence North one hundred and eighty-four feet, thence East one hundred and fifty-seven feet more or less, thence South one hundred and eighty-four feet and West one hundred fifty-seven feet more or less to the place of beginning.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 10, p. 426)

On October 16, 1894, after the demise of Charles DeJean, the Boulo Hotel and land were vended to Jenny Bozonnier Tissot by his heirs, Peter DeJean and Alice D. Lanius.(HARCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 32, pp. 7-9)


Tissot Family

Jenny Bozonnier Tissot (1849-1912), a native of New Orleans and a member of the Bozonnier-Andry family from France, was the widow of Judge Aristeed L. Tissot of New Orleans.  Judge Tissot adjudicated in the Civil District Court, formerly called the “old probate court”.  The Tissot family maintained a summer home at Biloxi.  It was situated on West Beach and Croesus Street.


In 1900, Mrs. Tissot was residing on Croesus Street with her two children, Louise Melanie Lovely Tissot (1875-1922) and Louis A. Tissot (1876-1907).  Two servants were also in the household.  Louis A. Tissot expired on June 6, 1907, at Denver, Colorado.(1900 Federal Census Harco, Ms. and The Biloxi Daily Herald, June 8, 1907, p. 1)

From a study of the Sanborn Maps of Biloxi, Mississippi, it can be determined with a high degree of certitude that The Boulo Hotel was demolished between 1904 and 1914.  No further information.


Charles DeJean facts

Adele Aldezer (1826-1916), first wife?

Josephine DeJean (1844-1880), mother French. 

Alice DeJean Lanius, a native of France, married Michael Smith Lanius (1848-1905), a native ofAlabama before 1870.  Seven children, five daughters and two sons:

Charles M. Lanius (1881-1950) married Laura Tremmel (1884-1935), a sister of August Tremmel, who would acquire the DeJean hotel property later.

Peter DeJean facts

Engaged in business at Decatur, Alabama in 1888.(The Biloxi Herald, January 21, 1888, p. 8)

In June 1891, Peter DeJean opened the ‘Little Gem’, a billiard saloon. (The Biloxi Herald, June 6, 1891, p. 8)

Mrs. Ida Fountain, half-sister, of P.J. DeJean died at NOLA last Saturday.(The Biloxi Herald, February 6, 1892, p.4)

In May 1899, Operating Sazerac Lunch House on the corner of Howard and Main Street.

In December 1914, The Daily Herald, stated that in an article titled, ‘Twenty Years Ago’ that: “Peter DeJean opened up a restaurant on the depot square”.(The Daily Herald, December 19, 1914, p. 8)



The Biloxi-D'Iberville Press, "The Way it Was"-'Biloxi's Chalet Boulo', November 18, 1995. 

The Biloxi Herald, “City News”, January 21, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “Local Happenings”, June 6, 1891.

The Biloxi Herald, “City News”, January 21, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “Sazarac Lunch House”, May 16, 1899.

The Daily Herald, “Twenty years ago today”, December 19, 1914.




In May 1880, Theodore M. Scheffer (1849-1884), a Prussian immigrant, opened his establishment, the Scheffer House, for guests.  It had been placed in first class condition for the season.(1880 Harrison Co., Mississippi Federal Census T9_648, p. 9, ED 139 and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 28, 1880, p. 3)



The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, May 28, 1880.





[The Pascagoula Democrat, June 4, 1880, p. 4]

[The Biloxi Herald, September 8, 1888, p. 5]



William Drysdale [1818-1870+] was born in Scotland.  In January 1857, he married Margaret Ellen Musson (1840-1896), an Irish immigrant from Belfast.   Children: Jane Drysdale (1858-1939); William Drysdale (1861-     ); Elizabeth Drysdale (1864-    ) married Charles L. Johnson in 1894; Anna Drysdale (1866-1934); Josephine Drysdale (1867-1955); John Thomas Drysdale (1868-1934); Robert E. Lee Drysdale (1871-1900+); Alexander W. Drysdale (1872-pre 1880) and Alexina I. Drysdale (1872-pre-1880).(Lepre, 1991, p. 97)


Maggie Drysdale left Biloxi in February 1888 to stay with William Drysdale, her brother, at Selma, Alabama.  In 1900, William was operating a restaurant on Washington Street at Selma, Alabama.  Circa 1884, he married Fannie Hedge or Haig, a native of Alabama.  Two children born at Biloxi in 1885 and                  .( Lepre, 1991, p. 97 and 1900 Dallas Co., Alabama Federal Census T623 14, p. 8B, ED 44)




The Biloxi Herald, “City News”, February 25, 1888.



ARLINGTON HOTEL [circa 1889]


Arlington House

[Courtesy of H.R. 'Randy' Randazzo]


The Arlington House and its furnishings were owned by Charles F. Theobald (1839-1903) and situated on Front Street [Beach Boulevard], probably near Main Street.  It appears to have opened in 1889 under the proprieurtorship of H. Edwards.  By May 1890, Colonel L. Bitterwolf of New Orleans was the lessor.  He stayed for about two months and was replaced by Edward L. Brown also coming from the Crescent City by way of Western resorts.  Colonel Bitterwolf returned to NOLA to work in the liquor business.(The Biloxi Herald, November 30, 1889, p. 2 and July 26, 1890, p. 1)



In June 1891, this advertisement was run in The Biloxi Herald:



(on the Front Beach)

Biloxi, Mississippi

Under the proprieurtorship of Edward L. Brown



In early September 1891, a fire commenced in the kitchen of the Arlington Hotel which quickly spread to the main building. The hotel and a small, warehouse structure owned by Jacob Elmer were consumed by the conflagration.  Mr. Theobald had his property insured for $3500, but his losses were estimated at $6000.  Mr. Brown, the lessor, had covered his personal effects for $1200.(The Biloxi Herald, September 12, 1891, p. 4) 



The Biloxi Herald, "Advertisement", November 30, 1889.

The Biloxi Herald, "Advertisement", December 21, 1889.

The Biloxi Herald, "Advertisement", June 6, 1890.

The Biloxi Herald, "The Arlington Hotel changes hands", July 26, 1890.

The Biloxi Herald, "Fire Record", September 12, 1891.


Bayview Hotel


1926 improvements




The Daily Herald, 'Bayview Hotel improvements', January 6, 1927, p. 2.



Beach Hotel


[Built 1893]



Drysdale Family

In 1857, Margaret Ellen Musson [1840-1896], native of Belfast, Nothern Ireland, married William Drysdale [1818-1870+], native of Scotland, in Harrison County, Mississippi.[see MRB 3, p. 110]



Jane Drysdale (1858-1939); William Drysdale (1861-     ); Elizabeth Drysdale (1864-    ) married Charles L. Johnson in 1894; Anna Drysdale (1866-1934); Josephine Drysdale (1867-1955); John Thomas Drysdale (1868-1934); Robert E. Lee Drysdale (1871-1900+); Alexander W. Drysdale (1872-pre 1880) and Alexina I. Drysdale (1872-pre-1880).(Lepre, 1991, p. 97)


[The Biloxi Herald, October 24, 1896]



[The Biloxi Herald, October 31, 1896]


1870 Harrison County, Mississippi Federal Census



[The Handsboro Democrat




In 1914, run  by four Drysdale sisters.  Jennie [Jane] Drysdale was the buyer and general manager; Lizzie Drysdale had married Charles L. Johnson, but after being widowed had returned to the family business;  Jo Drysdale;





Nesbit Cottages-1944




Property known as Vacation Village in 1959.




The Daily Herald, '

The Daily Herald, '

The Daily Herald, '

The Daily Herald, '

The Daily Herald, 'Drysdake property bought by Orleanian', March 3, 1937.

The Daily Herald, '

The Daily Herald, 'Building Permits', 

The Daily Herald, 'Miss Jane Drysdale dies at Biloxi today', April 20, 1939.


The Daily Herald, 'Know Your Coast'-Today Two Readers Take Over The Column', January 30, 1959, p. 2.


The Breslow Hotel

[1904 Biloxi, Mississippi Sanborn Map-Sheet 5]


The Breslow Hotel, a new and spacious, modern structure on Front Street, was being completed by John Eistetter.  Occupancy was expected by 1 June.  Mrs. M.A. Andrews, formerly of the Bay View, will manage the premises.  She was at the Neilson House in 1891.[The Biloxi Daily Herald, May 25, 1899, p. 8 and The Biloxi Herald, June 13, 1891, p. 4]






Avon Hotel and Annex




[The Daily Herald January 16, 1926, p. 2]



Vincent Di Gregorio [1862-1929], proprietor of the Avon Hotel, was killed by a trolley car on November 15, 1929 at Biloxi.  He was a native of New Orleans and former owner of the Pelican Fish Company.  Mr. Di Gregorio had been in Biloxi since about 1911 and owned additional Biloxi beach front acreage. [The Daily Herald, November 16, 1929, p. ]







The Daily Herald, 'Hotel [Avon] for lease', October 17, 1925.

The Daily Herald, 'To open Avon', Febuary 8, 1928.

The Daily Herald, 'Avon changes hands', January 6, 1929.

The Daily Herald, 'Di Gregorio dies after being hit by trolley car', November 16, 1929.






[Image made before the August 1930 fire]


W.K.M. Dukate home

In late 1922, Edward L. Brady (1874-1939), Erena Lopez Brady (1885-1940) and Teresa Lopez Folkes (1873-1951) acquired the W.K.M. Dukate (1852-1916) residence property situated on the south side of West Howard Avenue bounded by Croesus Street on the west and Magnolia Street on the east. The magnificent Dukate home, which cost $4500 to erect, had been built here in the fall of 1894 with J.F. Barnes, architect and contractor from New Orleans, in charge. The Dukate lot on West Howard Avenue was leveled and prepared for construction in mid-October 1894. By mid-December 1894, the Dukate home was nearing completion. In March 1895, local decorators White & Suter were lauded for the quality of their paper hanging, painting and interior decorating of the Dukate edifice. Henry Lienhard, a relative of Mrs. Linda Dukate, painted the fence surrounding the perimeter of the Dukate place.(The Biloxi Herald,  


Hotel lot

The Avelez Hotel lot facing north of West Howard Avenue was situated between Croesus Street and Magnolia Street and described as follows: From the point of beginning which is the intersection of the south side of West Howard Avenue and Magnolia Street; thence south 202 ½ feet to a point which is the southeast corner of the hotel lot; then go west for 80 feet; thence south 13 2/12 feet to a point and then go west 70 feet to the southwest corner of the hotel lot; go north along the east side of Croesus for 239 feet to the northwest corner of West Howard Avenue and Croesus Street; thence 163 feet along West Howard Avenue to the point of beginning.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 235, p. 267) 



Madames Brady and Folkes planned to erect a handsome hotel on the former Dukate lot. In late February 1923, they with Carl Matthes, a well-respected Biloxi architect, left town to tour and inspect some of the finer resorts and hotels in Florida with the purpose of generating ideas for their new Biloxi enterprise.(The Daily Herald, February 27, 1923, p. 3) 

The name Avelez was chosen for the Brady hotel.  Lazarus Lopez (1850-1903), the father of Erena Lopez Brady, had been born at Aviles, Asturias Province, north western Spain in October 1850.   He left Spain for Cuba in 1863 and arrived in Texas before becoming a denizen of Biloxi, Mississippi circa 1870. 

Lazaro Lopez expired in Rome, Italy on September 25, 1903 as the result of an acute inflammation of his kidneys and dysentery.  Earlier he and Julia Dulion Lopez (1857-1918), his loving spouse, with four of their youngest children, Julius M. Lopez (1886-1958), Erena Lopez, Rowena Lopez (1895-1986), and Noreta Lopez (1896-1960), had departed  Biloxi, Mississippi via the L&N Railroad for NYC where they boarded an ocean liner for Europe. 

Mr. Lopez had been ill at Biloxi before they left for Europe.  A telegram from Rome reached Biloxi on September 19, 1903 notifying his family here that he was seriously sick.(The Biloxi Herald, September 19, 1903, p. 8) 


E.L. Brady Hotel Company

The Erena L. Brady Hotel Company was chartered in the State of Mississippi in September 1923 by Edward L. Brady, Erena Lopez Brady, and William Lee Guice.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Chattel Deed Bk. 28, p. 545 and Land Deed Bk. 403, p. 171) 



The Avelez Hotel was situated on the south side of West Howard Avenue and Croesus Street. It was erected in 1923 by the E.L. Brady Hotel Company owned by Edward Brady and Erena Lopez Brady, his spouse. The Brady Hotel Company contracted with Tallavest & Rigar, builders from Jacksonville, Florida, to erect their five-story, one-hundred room edifice at the cost of $60,000.  The hotel was to be the equipped with modern furniture and each hotel room to have a bathroom.(The Daily Herald, December 28, 1923,p. 1)


 Opening-New Year’s Eve-1923

When the Avelez Hotel opened on December 31, 1923, Philip Columbus Caldwell (1892-1951) was its manager.  Manager Caldwell had married Rowena Lopez (1895-1986), the sister of Erena Lopez Brady, on January 12, 1917 in a small wedding ceremony at Nativity B.V.M. in Biloxi. Father Alphonse Ketels officiated for their nuptial vows. Mr. Caldwell was manager of was the manager of the Great Southern Hotel at Gulfport, Mississippi.(The Daily Herald, January 13, 1917, p. 3)


The newlywed Caldwells made their home in Gulfport. By the fall of 1917, Philip C. Caldwell had left his managerial position with the Great Southern Hotel and joined J. Rucks Yerger Jr. (1892-1931), his brother-in-law, in the insurance business as Yerger-Caldwell. Their office was above Grant’s Drug Store on West Howard Avenue. With WWI raging in Europe, Mr. Caldwell joined the U.S. Army in 1917 and was stationed at Camp Shelby in the Quartermasters Corps.(The Daily Herald, October 4, 1917, p. 3 and October 8, 1917, p. 3)


By 1920, the Caldwell family was domiciled in the Lazarus Lopez edifice on West Howard Avenue living with the Yergers, Noreta Julia Lopez Yerger (1896-1960) and Rucks Yerger, and the Bradys, Erena L. Brady and Edward L. Brady.  In January 1920, the Yergers made the decision to demolish, the magnificent Lopez domicile and erect the Yerger Building on it site. By this time three Caldwell children, Margaret Caldwell (1918) m. ; Philip J. ‘Jack’ Caldwell II (1919-2008) m. Joan H. Caldwell (1923-2001); and Rowena ‘Jill’ Caldwell (1919-2008) m. Mr. Otremba.(The Daily Herald, January 22, 1920, p. 3 and June 10, 1920, p. 6)


Phillip C. Caldwell expired at Chicago in the Mercy Hospital on June 8, 1951.  The Caldwell family had left Biloxi in 1924. At the time of his demise, Mr. Caldwell was manager of the Chapman-Park Hotel in Los Angeles.  He was survived by Rowena Lopez Caldwell, his spouse, and children: Mrs. Edward Wilson of Chicago; Mrs. Arthur Atriembo; and Phillip Caldwell.  Phillip Caldwell's corporal remains were interred at a Chicago cemetery.  Rowen Lopez Caldwell passed on April 17, 1986 at Goleta, Santa Barbara County, California.  (The Daily Herald, June 9, 1951, p. 3)


Rowen Lopez Caldwell passed on April 17, 1986 at Goleta, Santa Barbara County, California,


Phil Caldwell was instrumental in securing the Greeters of America to make a visit to Biloxi. Before they arrived, he had taken a position at the Hotel Galves at Galveston, Texas in May 1921.(The Daily Herald, May 12, 1921, p. 8)


In the summer of 1930, the Caldwell family was domiciled at Chicago. Phil and Rowena L. Caldwell took a two month European tour at this time. Their three children were enrolled in summer camps in Michigan. Jill and Margaret Caldwell went to Camp Meecasinio near Baldwin, Michigan while Jack attended Camp Algonquin near Alanson, Michigan. 



1930 Conflagration

The Avelez Hotel structure was struck by a devastating conflagration in the early morning of August 24, 1930.  The fire originated in the Hill Store in the arcade fronting the hotel section of the building.  Guests of the Avelez Hotel were notified and evacuated from their rooms without harm.  Initial damage estimates from insurance adjusters placed the total cost of the fire at about $65,000, which when itemized came to $40,000 to $50,000 for stocks and fixtures and about $25,000 for the structure.  The hotel proper was harmed only by smoke and water.  Mrs. Erena Brady Lopez announced that the fire damaged arcade would be rebuilt.  The day after the fire, Collins Brothers and Manual and Wetzel, two local building contractors, were making estimates for Mrs. Brady and her insurance companies respectively.  Businesses affected by the conflagration in addition to the Hill Store were: Eddie’s Drug Store-Eddie Ouille owner; La Nationale Beauty Parlor-Mrs. Charles H. Patterson of NOLA owner; The Biloxi Insurance Agency; the barber shop-N.H. McAllister, proprietor; and the Avelez Café operated by Dan Markotich.(The Daily Herald, August 25, 1930, p. 1). 


Avelez management

W.D. Jarman of Baton Rouge, Louisiana former manager of the Avelez Hotel and the Pine Hills Hotel is now assistant manger with the Hotel Buena Vista.(The Daily Herald, June 6, 1927, p. 2)


1932-E.L. Brady Hotel Company default

The Great Depression commencing in October 1929 may have been the salient reason for the E.L. Brady Hotel Company to default on their mortgage of $166,000 made in March 1928 with the Canal Bank & Trust Company of NOLA.  In October 1931, their chief bond holders, Allen Dezauche, Morris A. Hirsch, H.A. Cleaver, Richard McCarthy, and J.S. Waterman, who owned $133,500 in Avelez Hotel bonds, demanded payment.  When the default came, the Avelez Hotel was sold to these gentlemen in a Trustee’s Sale on March 7, 1932.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Trust Deed Bk.  64, p. 169-163, Trust Deed Bk. 81, p. 230; and Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 194, p. 58-70) 


Avelez Hotel Company

Allen Dezauche and the bond holders of the Canal Bank & Trust Company sold the Avelez Hotel on April 1932 to the Avelez Hotel Company for $20,000.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 194, p. 71) 



In January 1937, Properties Incorporated through the Stephen L. Guice and Company, a Biloxi realty firm, vended the Avelez Hotel to John T. Powers of Alexandria, Louisiana and associate with Guaranty Bank & Trust Company of Alexandria, Louisiana, and A.W. Keen, a resident of Houston, Texas and hotel operator with properties in Atlanta and Houston.  These gentlemen will personally operate the hotel.(The Times-Picayune, January 12, 1937, p. 4 and January 17, 1937, p. 63)


John T. powers sold a 1/4 interest of his interest in the Avelez Hotel to Katherine Waggoner Powers (1887-1957), his spouse in January 1937.  It appears that the Powers divorced before 1945.  Katherine W. Powers died at Biloxi, Mississippi in September 1957 leaving her son, John W. Powers, and M.C. Waggoner, a brother, at Tylertown, Mississippi.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Southern Memorial Park cemetery in West Billxi.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 213, p. 379 and The Daily Herald, September 17, 1957, p. 2)


John T. Powers

John Thomas Powers (1887-1971) was a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Before Mr. Powers came to the Mississippi Coast, he was associated with the Bentley Hotel at Alexandria, Louisiana.  In March 1937 when Mr. Powers was the managing the Avelez Hotel at Biloxi, John W. Powers (1911-1970), his son and a resident of Lake Charles, Louisiana, came to visit his parents at the hotel.  While here, John W. Powers decided to relocate to Biloxi and became the cottage manager at the Buena Vista Hotel.  By 1949, the Powers family was operating the Biloxi Laundry & Dry Cleaning Company at 244 Porter Avenue.(The Daily Herald, March 30, 1937, p. 3 )    


In February 1945, Eva Mae Powers (1899-1965), a native of Alexandria, Louisiana and the wife of John T. Powers, acquired from Julia Agnes O’Neill Mooney Glengariff, an older residence situated at 253 Beach Drive in Ocean Springs.  Glengariff was the former summer retirement home and estate of Captain Francis O'Neill (1849-1936) of Chicago and Mrs. Mooney was his daughter.  The house was located near the center of a 5.14 acre tract which ran northeasterly from the beach front almost 800 feet to the southwest corner of Cleveland and Martin Avenues.  There was 286 feet of beach front.  Francis O'Neill was a resident of 5448 Drexel Avenue at Chicago, Illinois.  He and his family wintered at Ocean Springs, Mississippi from 1914 to his death on January 26, 1936.  O'Neil was interred at the Mount Olivet Cemetery in Chicago and is known today for his .(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 88, pp. 471-473)  


John Werner Powers died at Glengarriff on January 27, 1970.  He was survived by his wife, Mabel Powers, and children John Thomas Powers of Seattle and Carol Leatherman of Pineville, Louisiana. In September 1971, John T. Powers followed his son in death.  His first spouse, Eva Mae Powers, had expired in mid-February 1965.  She was a native of Alexandria, Louisiana. John T. Powers left a wife, Helen Edwards.  He was a Mason and Shriner and also a member of the US Coast Guard Auxiliary.(The Ocean Springs News, February 18, 1965, p. 1, The Daily Herald, January 28, 1970, p. 2 and September 19, 1971, p. A-2)  

Glengarriff was sold to El Madrid, Inc. in March 1969, by Mrs. Beverly S. Haslitt, the daughter of Eva Mae Powers, and John T. Powers.  The magnificent old house was torn down to build the El Madrid Apartments, which became the Ocean Pointe Apartments, which commenced operations in the spring of 1971.  Katrina destroyed all structures on this property in August 2005.(Jackson Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 359, p. 259)



The year 1940 saw many changes in the ownership of the Avelez Hotel.  John T. Powers and his partners were in debt to the Reconstruct Finance Corporation for $38,730.  The Powers party was  sued in the Chancery Court of Harrison County, Mississippi in March 1940.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 232, p. 379 and Harrison Co/, Mississippi Cause No. 16897-March 1940)

In May 1940, the trustee for the mortgagers of the Avelez Hotel, which at this time had eight-eight rooms and had been operated for about three years by John T. Powers, sold the hostelry for $33,000 to the Canal Bank & Trust Company of NOLA.  The only other bidder was J.C. Hunt, the proprietor of the Tivoli Hotel and Riviera Hotel, both Biloxi inns.(The Daily Herald, May 14, 1940, p. 1)


1940-Pringle group

In October 1940, H.G. Thompson, special agent for the Canal Bank & Trust Company [in liquidation] conveyed the Avelez Hotel to Victor B. Pringle, Carl E. Matthes, and Dewey R. Reagan.  The sales price was $42,500.  The new owners  planned to open in November with a new management team and was considering to enact renovations and improvements to the hotel and front.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 235, p. 267) 


The sale of the Avelez Hotel to the Pringle group was approved by the Federal Court at Biloxi and the Orleans Parish Civil District Court at New Orleans.  The court required that the liquidators of the Canal Bank & Trust Compnay sell the Biloxi hotel for $42,500.  The payment terms were $10,000 cash and the balance of the price to be paid in six annual installments, five payments int he amount of $2500 each year and the final payment of $20,000 with 5% interest and secure by a vendor's lien and deed of trust on the property.  In addition, if the mortgage was paid in full within six months, there would be a discount of $2500 or if cancelled within one year, there would be a $2000 discount to the purchasers.(The Daily Herald, October 29, 1940, p. 3)



1946 Sale

In July 1946, Victor B. Pringle, Margaret W. Prongle, Beulah Dukate Matthes. Carl E. Matthes, Vallie D. Landry and Juan G. Landry sold the Avelez Hotel to the Avelez Hotel Corporation.  The consideration was $190,000 with $55,000 paid in cash and $135,000 in promissory notes.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 289, p. 493) 



Avelez Hotel Corporation

The Avelez Hotel Corporation was chartered June 1946 by Uriah S. Joachim (1888-1977), Richard R. Guice, Adrian Weill (1903-), and Albert Sydney Johnson Jr., In December 1955, the Avelez Hotel Corporation acquired the Riviera Hotel, formerly the Montross Hotel, located on the northeast corner of Lameuse Street Beach Boulevard from Willemenhia ‘Billie’ S. Morse.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Chattel Deed Bk. 93, p. 162 and Land Deed Bk. 403, p. 171) 



Earle Hotel

In December 1946, theEarle Hotel Company, a national chain which operated hostelries from Boston to Seattle, took a10-year lease from the Avelez Hotel Corporation.   The total consideration was $400,000 for the building’s furnishings and ancillary equipment.  The one-hundred room, Avelez Hotel was renamed the Earle Hotel and T.R. Brady, manager, was replaced by H.R. Davern on January 1, 1947.  H.R. Pratt of the Earle Hotel organization negotiated the lease through Victor Clesi, a broker domiciled in the Crescent City.(The Daily Herald, December 17, 1946, p. 1 and December 18, 1946, p. 15)


Avelez Hotel [September 1970]   Avelez Hotel [December 1972]


Urban Renewal

 In December 1972, the Harris Wrecking Company was employed to demolish the Avelez Hotel on West Howard Avenue.  The job was expected to take 30 days and their remuneration was $25,000.(The Daily Herald, December 1, 1972)



 Chancery Court Cases 

Harrison County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 16897, “R Finance Corporation v.  John T. Powers, et al”, March 1940. 



The Biloxi-D’Iberville Press, “Picture of the Past-Avelez Hotel—In the Late Twenties”, July 24, 1985.

The Biloxi-D’Iberville Press, “The History of the Biloxi area-Avelez Hotel”, March 23, 1994.

The Daily Herald,“Caldwell-Lopez”, January 13, 1917.

The Daily Herald,“Mr. Caldwell goes to Camp Shelby”, October 4, 1917.

The Daily Herald,“Notice to the public”, October 8, 1917. 

The Daily Herald,“Lopez home to be demolished”, January 22, 1920. 

The Daily Herald,“Biloxi home is being torn down”, June 10, 1920.

The Daily Herald, “Making home in Texas”, May 12, 1921.

The Daily Herald, “Handsome hotel to open New Year’s Eve”, December 28, 1923. 

The Daily Herald, “Hotel Avelez opens today”, December 31, 1923. 

The Daily Herald, “Hundreds attend opening reception of Hotel Avelez”, January 1, 1924.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Items”, April 23, 1930.

The Daily Herald, “Caldwells abroad”, July 31, 1930.

The Daily Herald, To rebuild Avalez building after $60,000 conflagration, August 25, 1930. 

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, March30, 1937. 

The Daily Herald, New Orleans bank buys Avelez Hotel, May 14, 1940. 

The Daily Herald, Local syndicate buys Avelez Hotel”, October 14, 1940.

The Daily Herald, “Court authorizes sale Avelez Hotel”, October 29, 1940.

The Daily Herald, “Lease by Earle Hotel chain”, December 17, 1946. 

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi, Avelez leased by chain”, December 18, 1946.

The Daily Herald, “Phillip Caldwell dies in Chicago”, June 9, 1951.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Katherine Powers”, September 17, 1957.

The Daily Herald, John W. Powers", January 28, 1970, p. 2. 

The Daily Herald, “Urban renewal threatens Biloxi's Avelez Hotel", September 14, 1970.

The Daily Herald, John T. Powers", September 19, 1971, p. A-2. 

The Ocean Springs News, “Mrs. Eva Mae Powers”, February 18, 1965. 

The Times-Picayune, “Sale of Avelez Hotel at Biloxi announced here”, January 12, 1937. 

The Times-Picayune, “Biloxi, Avelez leased by chain”, December 18, 1946. 

The Times-Picayune, “”

The Times-Picayune, “”,





In January 1905, Octavie Tricou Weysham (1835-1910) conveyed to Teresa Lopez Folkes a large tract of land on West Beach.  The consideration was $4000 and the Weysham parcel had a front of 100 feet on the Gulf and ran north to Pass Christian Road.  Catherine Perry was to the west and Dr. Folkes’ Sanatorium was to the east.  Shortly thereafter in June 1905, Erena Lopez acquired the Perry large tract which was east of the Biloxi Cemetery for $17,000.  It a front on the Gulf of Mexico of three hundred sixty-eight feet and ran north almost 1200 feet to Cemetery Road, now Irish Hill Drive.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 64, p. 388 and Bk. 69, p. 89)    


The Weysham property was sold to Mrs. Folkes by Richard B. Harrison (1831-1905), local agent, and the father of Charles T. Harrison (1863-1948), who would develop a 20th Century real estate empire in Biloxi.  The Weysham place had been on the market for several years and had two houses situated on it.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, October 21, 1902, p. 3 and December 10, 1904, p. 4)


Mrs. Octavie T. Weysham was born at New Orleans.  In July 1877, she had married Alphonse Charles Weysham (1831-1900), the widower of her sister, Emma Tricou Weysham (1831-1876).  Emma had given birth to Blanche Weysham Harris (1862-1900+), who was reared by Octavie and Alphonse C. Weysham.  He made his livelihood as cashier for a large commercial house in the Crescent City.(1880 Orleans Parish Federal Census R461, p. 371C, ED 43)       


Gulf Coast Sanitarium and Health Resort

Dr. James E. Wallace (1876-1942) joined Dr. Folkes in the summer of 1911.  He had been at the Biloxi Sanatorium several years past, but returned to Touro Infirmary at NOLA before relocating to Biloxi to partner with Dr. Folker.  Dr. Wallace planned to  live at the Sanatorium and have his office over Grant’s Drugstore on West Howard Avenue.(The Daily Herald, July 21, 1911, p. 8)

Founded by Dr. H.M. Folkes.  Consisted of operating room and clinic.  In 1912, installed a modern X-Ray machine in clinic. .(The Daily Herald, January 8, 1913, p. 1)

In January 1913, Dr. Folkes hosted the Harrison County Medical Association at his sanitarium.  Coast  physicians attending were: Dr. R.L. White, Dr. G.F. Carroll, and Dr. H.M. Folkes of Biloxi; Dr. A.L. Morris, Dr. A.C. Caraway, Dr. C.A. Sheely, Dr. D.J. Williams, Dr. E.C. Parker, and Dr. H.H. West of Gulfport; Dr. W.A. Dearman and Dr. D.G. Mohler of Long Beach; Dr. B.Z. Welch of Woolmarket; Dr. G.A. McHenry of McHenry; and Dr. J.P. Berry of Jackson.(The Daily Herald, January 8, 1913, p. 1)


1st National Bank of Biloxi

Dr. H.M. Folkes resigned as president of the 1st National Bank of Biloxi in December 1916.  He had sold all of his interest in the bank.  Edward C. Tonsmeire was elected president by the bank’s board and would also continue as cashier.(The Daily Herald, December 14, 1916, p. 1)


Hotel Biloxi

 to H.M. Folkes for $15,000 in September 1919.  Dr. Folkes then almost immediately he sold to J.S. Love, State Bank Examiner for the State of Mississippi for $250 and assumption of trust deed.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 124, p. 414 and Bk. 415)


Hotel Biloxi sale

H.M. Folkes, president and Teresa L. Folkes, secretary respectively conveyed the Hotel Biloxi to W.B. Patterson of Mobile, Alabama in February 1923.  The sale included all furniture, fixtures, appliances, buildings, capital stock of the Hotel Biloxi, and the artesian well rights deeded to Dr. Folkes.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 137, p. 256)



New ownership

In April 1925, W.B. Patterson agreed to a lease purchase on the Hotel Biloxi with J.P. Edwards of Ocean Springs and Lee M. Russell (1876-1930+) of Gulfport and later Biloxi.  The grantees agreed to pay Mr. Patterson $79,300 for the hotel and assume a $20,700 mortgage with the International Life Insurance Company.  In addition they would be responsible for taxes and fire and tornado insurance on the property in the amount of $100,000.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 162, p. 375)



Harry W. Fitzpatrick and Phillip W. Levine

In September 1925, Monsieur’s Edwards and Russell assigned their hotel lease and obligations to Harry W. Fitzpatrick (1876-1926) of New Orleans and Phillip W. Levine (1890-1940) of Biloxi.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 162, p. 379)

Harry W. Fitzpatrick was born at NOLA of an Irish immigrant father and Alabama mother.  He improved his lot in life from driving a truck for a packing house to a dynamic force in real estate from New Orleans to Mobile.  Mr. Fitzpatrick opened an office in Biloxi in the winter of 1924.  He maintained his main real estate office on Royal Street in NOLA.  Another talent of Mr. Fitzpatrick was the public auctioning of land and homes.(The Daily Herald, December 5, 1924, p. 6)

 Catherine Newman ‘Kate’ Shelly (1859-1930), Mrs. Fitzgerald’s mother, resided at Ocean Springs at No. 30 West Porter with Mary Newman Murphy (1870-1942), her sister.  Mrs. Murphy was the spouse of James J. Murphy (1867-1944).(The Jackson County Times, June 22, 1929, p. 3)

Phillip W. Levine (1889-1940) came to the United States from East Prussia, now a part of Russia, arriving at NYC in June 1900 from Hamburg, Germany.  He married Jeanette Alexander (1892-1940+) at NOLA in August 1912.  They came to Biloxi before 1917 and reared their five children here.  Before his involvement in the Hotel Biloxi, Mr. Levine owned retail shoe stores at Biloxi and Gulfport..(The Daily Herald, February 16, 1940, p. 1)

In July 1926, Fitzpatrick and Levine dealt their assignment of the Hotel Biloxi to Harold R. Bechtel and George M. Bechtel of Davenport, Iowa.  The consideration was $126,500 and all of the obligations that were attached to the original agreement between Patterson and the Edwards-Russell grant of April 1925.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 162, p. 375)


Bechtel and Bechtel and New Biloxi Hotel

George Martin Bechtel (1868-1952) and Harold Reimers Bechtel (1894-1987) were domiciled at Davenport, Scott County, Iowa.  They were father and son and respectively president and vice-president of the George M. Bechtel Company whose salient business was brokering bonds from their Davenport, Iowa office.  In September 1926, the Chancery Court of Harrison County, Mississippi was confirmed to W.B. Patterson by adverse possession.  In December 1927, the Bechtels paid W.B. Patterson $18,350 and together the three gentlemen sold the resort to the Hotel Biloxi Company Inc.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 173, p. 84)


George D. Stannus

Under the Bechtel leadership, new capital was invested in the old Folkes resort property and The New Biloxi Hotel, a fireproof Southern Colonial style edifice, was built in 1927.  The Federal Engineering Company of Davenport, Iowa was given charge of the building project and George D. Stannus (1880-1930+), manager of the old Hotel Biloxi who had taken this position in 1923, continued as local hotel manager.  Mr. Stannus was a native of Uniontown, Kentucky.  He had married Bernice Dickie (1881-1930+) of Citronelle, Alabama in 1908 and they had one son, George R. Stannus (1909-1998), who would later become his father’s assistant in managing the New Hotel Biloxi.(The Daily Herald, April 12, 1927, p. 2 and The Daily Herald Golden Jubilee Issue, 1934, p. 16)


Construction-May 1927

In early May 1927, before construction of the $600,000 New Biloxi Hotel commenced, the Collins Brothers Contracting Company of Biloxi demolished the wood frame building and pavilion in front of the structure.  The east wing of the Hotel Biloxi was moved to the rear and served as living quarters for the Stannus family and other hotel personnel until the New Biloxi Hotel was completed about December 1st.  This wooden building would later serve as the servants quarters for the new hotel. (The Daily Herald, May 2, 1927, p. 2, May 5, 1927, p. 2, and December 1, 1927, p. 1)  


Collins Brothers and other contractors

On May 11, 1927, the Collins Brothers were awarded the $285,000 contract for building the four-story, 118-room, New Biloxi Hotel.  It was designed by Ira H. Coyne (1892-1976) of the Federal Engineering Company of Davenport, Iowa.  William J. Collins (1886-1962) and George J. Collins (1891-1968) had built their first Biloxi building in 1912.  Since that time, they had erected commercial structures for: Catholic Church at Gulfport; Back Bay School [Gorenflo]; Edwards-Butler Motor Company; Daily Herald Building; Caldwell Building; Yerger Building; C.W. Wachenfeld Apartments; August Wachenfeld Apartments; Bay View Hotel; and remodeled the Peoples’ Bank.  The Collins Brothers had learned the building trades from John Collins (1854-1929), their father.  Joseph O. Collins (b. 1922), son of William J. Collins, continued in the contracting business at Biloxi until the present day.(The Daily Herald, May 11, 1927, p. 1)

The Biloxi Plumbing and Heating Company headed by Henry L. Schwan (1889-1956) and Grover W. Graham (1893-1964) received the $46,300 contract for plumbing and heating the building while the electrical work to cost about $10,000 was given to the J.M. Johnson & Company of Dallas, Texas.(The Daily Herald, May 11, 1927, p. 1)

By December 1927, the New Biloxi Hotel was in the finishing phase of its construction.  The furniture, fixtures, carpets and ancillary equipment had arrived.




Julius M. ‘Jay’ Lopez II (1908-1990)


This is interesting the story on the Biloxi Hotel.  The ‘old’ Biloxi Hotel, you wouldn’t know about, but this is a picture of it here.  This was built in either 1903 or 1904 somewhere in there.  It was after Laz Lopez’s death [September 25, 1903].  It was built as a sanatorium.


Interviewer-Was that the same Biloxi Hotel whose skeleton is still standing?  No it’s the same site.  This was built a year or so after [Laz] Lopez’s death.  It was built by Hyman Folkes (18-19).  Hyman Folkes was Lopez’s son-in-law.  He married Teresa Lopez (18-19).  He was an M.D.  He built this as the Biloxi Sanatorium as a memorial to Laz Lopez.  The for some reason in about 1908 or 1909, it became a


Depression and bankruptcy

In May 1936, The Hotel Biloxi was insolvent and filed proceedings to reorganize the company under Section 77-B of the Bankruptcy Act.  This device had been enacted into law in 1934, as an amendment to Roosevelt’s Bankruptcy Act of 1933 and allowed the Biloxi Hotel to be discharged from its debts and liabilities particularly the First Trust & Savings Bank of Davenport, Iowa.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 209, p. 164)


1949 Hotel Biloxi sale and reincorporation

In September 1949, Harold R. Bechtel (1894-1987), president, and Frank Johnson, secretary, domiciled at Scott County, Iowa sold the Hotel Biloxi Company, Inc. to Jane Long of Chicago.  The sales price was $290,000.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 314, p. 268)

The Hotel Biloxi was reincorporated in July 1949 by Thomas F. Seay (1903-1994), vice-president, and Jane Long, secretary, of Chicago, Illinois.  When its charter was amended in 1951, Seba F. Mahony (1882-1966), had replaced Jane Long as secretary of the organization.  These individuals were all domiciled at Chicago and were experienced in banking and real estate brokering and sales in the Windy City.(The Daily Herald, November 9, 1949, p. 9 and Harrison Co., Mississippi Chattel Deed Bk. 116, p. 495 and Bk. 132, p. 495)


1953 Reorganization

In 1953, the Hotel Biloxi became insolvent and the company was dissolved and its charter surrendered.  Officers at this time were Thomas F. Seay, president; Thomas Burns, executive vice president; and Seba F. Mahony, secretary-treasurer.  Alfonse G. Mahony (1879-1953+), the brother of Seba F. Mahony and a single man of Chicago, became owner and assumed all debt and liens.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 368, p. 210)


In May 1953, Alfonse G. Mahony conveyed the Hotel Biloxi to G.E. Weaver, trustee and assistant secretary of Banker’s Life and Casualty.  Banker’s Life and Casualty sold the hotel to MacArthur Hotels, Inc. in September 1956.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 415, p. 363)


The Biloxi MacArthur Hotel

In the spring of 1958, the Biloxi Hotel now owned by the MacArthur Hotels group headed by Charles H. Little and W.J. Canfield, performed a $50,000 refurbishment of the old Southern Colonial, style hostel.  The lobby, corridors and one hundred-eighteen rooms were redecorated and finished in a relaxing combination of light blue and gray colors.  The rear of the hotel had a garden with fountain, tennis and badminton courts, playground for children, and two large BBQ pits.  The front lawn was graced with a swimming pool and across US Highway 90, a 750-foot pier gave guest access to fishing and swimming.(Down South, Vol. 8, No. 3, p. 8)


New Biloxi Hotel

Great Plains Hotels, Incorporated, a subsidiary of Bankers Life and Casualty Company of Chicago has taken over the operation of the New Biloxi Hotel.  The hotel operated as a retirement home under the Lavin Plan for the past two years.  Although it was not operated under that plan in the future, the hostelry still welcomed retirees.  Eunice Cown, who was hired as manager in September 1962 continued to run the hotel.  Improvement were planned for the hotel.(The Daily Herald, January 30, 1963, p. 10)



The Daily Herald, “To open resort Hotel”, May 24, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “To convert Hotel into Sanitarium”, September 7, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News of Personal Interest”, January 14, 1910.

The Daily Herald, “Will be known as Hotel Biloxi”, February 20, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Hotel Biloxi changes hands”, September 19, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi News Paragraphs”, October 31, 1922.

The Daily Herald, “Bids soon for new hotel”, April 12, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Razing old Biloxi Hotel”, May 2, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi Hotel being moved”, May 5, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Another handsome new hotel for Biloxi”, May 7, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Contract is let for new $650,000 Biloxi Hotel”, May 11, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “To complete Hotel Biloxi about Dec. 1”, October 11, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “New Biloxi Hotel to open for business December 15”, December 1, 1927.

The Daily Herald, “Hotel Biloxi [advertisement]”, April 3, 1948.

The Daily Herald, “The Charter of Incorporation of Hotel Biloxi, Inc.”, November 9, 1949.

The Daily Herald, “New Operation at Hotel Biloxi”, January 30, 1963.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. George Stannus”, April 21, 1966.

The Sun Herald, “Biloxi Sanatorium put Coast on the map”, June 9?, 1995.






Mrs. Joe W. Brown, nee Dorothy Dorsett (1896-1989), had her new $100,000, 56-foot long, luxury yacht brought down the Mississippi River to her new $3.5 million Broadwater Marina in late August.  The vessel was built by Roamer Yachts of the Chris-Craft Corporation at Holland, Michigan.(The Daily Herald, August 25, 1964, p. 21)
The first legal liquor shipment in Mississippi from State warehouses controlled by the Alcohol Beverage Control Division occurred on July 21st.  The Broadwater Beach Hotel at Biloxi was the first venue to be approved to sell spiritous beverages in Mississippi in 58 years.(The Daily Herald, July 22, 1966, p. 1)
The Browns-Joe W. Brown (1897-1959) and Dorothy Dorsett Brown (1896-1989) and mausoleum room in NOLA at Lake Lawn Park Mausoleum-[image made January 2014 by Ray L. Bellande]


Mrs. Joe W. (Dorothy Dorsett) Brown, whose horses won the Louisiana Derby and New Orleans Handicap six times each, died Saturday, October 14, 1989, of a heart attack at her home in New Orleans. She was 93 years of age and the widow of Joe W. Brown (1897-1959), wealthy oil and sportsman.  Mrs. Brown was born March 31, 1896 at Texas City, Galveston County, Texas.

Mrs. Brown was a prominent horse owner for more than 40 years. She took over the reins of the family stable when her husband died in 1959.  The Browns won the Louisiana Derby with Rookwood in 1949, Matagorda in 1953 and Gigantic in 1954. She won it with Dapper Delegate in 1965, Kentucky Sherry in 1968 and El Baba in 1982. Green Hornet, Kentucky Sherry, List and El Baba carried the Brown family colors - white with black stars and a black "B" - in the Kentucky Derby. New Orleans Handicap winners from the Brown stable were Red Camilia in 1950, Tenacious in 1958-59, Green Hornet in 1964, Cabildo in 1967 and Listcapade in 1983.

"Between her and her husband, they were some of the biggest sports people to hit New Orleans," said Fair Grounds General Manager Mervin Muniz. "Tenacious was probably the most popular horse to race at the Fair Grounds that I can remember. When you think of the Browns, they were the epitome of New Orleans racing and Louisiana racing." Tenacious is buried in the Fair Grounds infield.

Mrs. Brown also was a philanthropist. The Joe W. Brown Recreation Center in eastern New Orleans, which was dedicated in 1976, benefited from a $250,000 donation from the Joe W. Brown and Dorothy B. Brown Foundation. The foundation also donated 163 acres of property worth an estimated $1 million for Joe W. Brown Memorial Park, named for her husband.

Mrs. Brown owned the Broadwater Beach Hotel and Broadwater Beach Marina on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She was former owner of the Horseshoe Club in Las Vegas, Neveda, the real estate that is now Lake Forest shopping center and the Valentine oil field in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana.

Funeral services will be held at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. Burial will be at Lake Lawn Park Mausoleum.


Joe Worlick Brown (1897-1959) was born October 5, 1897 at Young County, Texas, which is about 70 miles NW of Fort Worth. Many thought that he was a native of Houston as he became a very successful oilman with his penchant for discovering new oil deposits.

In 1940, Mr. Brown, then a resident of New Orleans, entered the oil business as an operator in the shallow Caddo Field, Caddo Parish, Louisiana near Shreveport, Louisiana. By 1942, he was assembling an 8000-acre lease block in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana with J.T. Reese of Shreveport. They sold an interest in this lease block to Pure Oil Company which began geophysical surveys to determine the oil and gas potential of the area before staking and drilling a wildcat well.(The Times-Picayune, May 15, 1942, p. 7)

Joe W. Brown's crown jewel of his petroleum business was the Valentine Oil Field in LaFourche Parish, Louisiana where he began exploring for hydrocarbon bearing sands in 1945 on his Harang and Dousson leases. At the time of his demise, Brown's oil and gas reserves were valued at $75 million.

Joe W. Brown may have grown up in Marshall, Texas with Carrie S. Brown, his widowed mother, and Eugene Brown, a brother. By 1920, he was married to Dorothy Dorsett (1896-1989) and a resident of Dallas, Texas. Here Mr. Brown was a salesman for a light plant.(1910 Harrison Co., Texas Federal Census T624_1562, p. 5B, ED 49 and 1920 Dallas Co., Texas Federal Census T625_1792, p. 3B, ED 34)

In 1930, Joe W. Brown and Dorothy Dorsett Brown were resident renters of 126 University Place at New Orleans. At this time, it appears that Mr. Brown was involved in the amusement industry.(1930 Orleans Parish, Lousiana Federal Census R802, p. 9A, ED 46)

At Las Vegas, Nevada, Joe W. Brown owned the Horseshoe Club, which he sold in July 1959. Here he displayed one million dollars in $10,000 bills. Insurance on the ostentatious display, a noted tourist attraction, cost $50,000 each year.

Las Vegas benefited from Brown's charitable nature. Soon after he had become an investor there in 1955, he acquired the defunct and failed, Las Vegas Race Track for $1 million dollars. Brown gave it to the City of Las Vegas which developed it into a venue for community fairs, livestock shows and other civic functions.(The Daily Herald, October 16, 1959, p. 2)

In the Crescent City, which he and Dorothy called home, Joe W. Brown also was heavily invested in real estate. In 1954,he acquired a 5200-acre tract for more than $3 million dollars. This was believe to be the largest real estate acquisition in the City of New Orleans' corporate limits. Brown also owned the Jai Alai Club, a casino located in St. Bernard Parish. The Federal governmnt closed this gambling den in 1952.(The Daily Herald, October 16, 1959, p. 2)

Joe W. Brown and Dorothy also maintained homes in other parts of the country as they also had extensive real estate holdings in Nevada, Montana and Texas. They also owned the Broadwater Beach Hotel near Biloxi, Mississippi.(The Daily Herald, October 16, 1959, p. 2)

In addition to real estate, the Browns were breeders and racers of thoroughbred horses. The Texas sportsman had a horse breeding ranch at Lexington, Kentucky and in New Orleans, he bred Santa Gertrudis cattle, which were developed at the King Ranch in Kleberg County, Texas. One of Brown's horses, Tenacious, set a record winning the $12,275 LeComte Handicap at the New Orleans Fair Grounds just before his death. His other racing ponies included: Bobby Brocato, Matagorda, Gigantic and Brownie.(The Daily Herald, October 16, 1959, p. 2)

Dorothy Dorsett Brown lived until February 15, 1989. She also died at New Orleans. Both their corporal remains were interred in the Lakelawn Park Cemetery at New Orleans.

In January 1959, before his death, Joe W. Brown and Dorothy Dorsett Brown created the BROWN FOUNDATION at New Orleans. It was originally located at 1801 Pere Marquette Building in New Orleans.(The Times-Picayune, January 4, 1959, Sec. V, p. 16)



The Daily Herald [Biloxi], 'Sportsman Joe W. Brown is taken by death', February 16, 1959, p. 2.

The Morning Advocate [Baton Rouge], '"Million Dollar" Joe brown dead', February 16,1959, p. 1.

The Morning Advocate, (Baton Rouge, LA), 'Dorothy Brown: Prominent La. horse owner Brown dies', October 16, 1989, p. 7-C.

The States Times Advocate [Baton Rouge], 'Rites set today for Joe Brown, wealthy oilman", February 16, 1959, p. 1.

The Times-Picayune, '[Oil] Test slated near Covington', May 5, 1942, p. 37.

The Times-Picayune, 'Charters', January 4, 1959, Sec. V, p. 16.

The Times-Picayune, 'Rites arranged for sportsman', February 16, 1959, p. 1.

The Times-Picayune, (New Orleans, LA), 'Mrs. Joe W. (Dorothy) Brown', October 16, 1989.







The Daily Herald, "Peter F. Martin dies at home on West Beach today", July 25, 1951, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, "Work started on swimming pool at Broadwater", June 21, 1952, p. 3.

The Daily Herald, "Bank enters into gaming ban picture", February 19, 1954.

The Daily Herald, "Luxury yacht at Broadwater', August 25, 1964, p. 21.

The Morning Advocate [Baton Rouge], '"Million Dollar" Joe Brown dead', February 16,1959, p. 1.

The Morning Advocate, (Baton Rouge, LA), 'Dorothy Brown: Prominent La. horse owner Brown dies', October 16, 1989, p. 7-C. 

The States Times Advocate [Baton Rouge], 'Rites set today for Joe Brown, wealthy oilman", February 16, 1959, p. 1. 

The Daily Herald, "Liquor permit is approved for [Broadwater Beach] Hotel", July 22, 1966, p. 1.

The Sun Herald, "Filmaker considers Broadwater purchase", May 1, 1987.

The Sun Herald, "Colorful memories of the Broadwater", September 30, 2012, p. C5. 

The Times-Picayune, 'Charters', January 4, 1959, Sec. V, p. 16.

The Times-Picayune, 'Rites arranged for sportsman', February 16, 1959, p. 1.

The Times-Picayune, (New Orleans, LA), 'Mrs. Joe W. (Dorothy) Brown', October 16, 1989. 





In September, contract for erection of the Buena Vista Hotel was awarded to the Underwood Construction Company of NOLA.  The modern, 105-room, Spanish Colonial Revival building was designed by Carl Matthes for the Buena Vista Hotel Company of John W. Apperson, pres.; Milton J. Anderson of Memphis, v. pres.; and Robert Hays Holmes (1896-1949), sec.-treas.(The Daily Herald, September 7, 1923, p. 1)





In May, six guest houses with accomodations for 32 people were  opened at the Buena Vista Hotel.(The Daily Herald, May 13, 1940, p. 3)



Buena Vista Hotel [west wing] burns in 1966.






On June 25th, the Buena Vista Hotel was severely damaged by fire and Steve Moore, Biloxi Fire Chief, estimated that the fire resulted resulted in damages of "hundreds of thousands of dollars and a total loss."(The Sun Herald, June 26, 1991, p. A-1)



The Biloxi Belle Casino planned to build 800 parking spaces on the 5.5 acre site of the former Buena Vista Hotel.(The Sun Herald, October 27, 1993, p. D-5)



Down South, 'Buena Vista opens new $1 million motel' , May-June 1958.

The Daily Herald, 'New Orleans firm gets Biloxi Hotel contract', September 7, 1923.

The Daily Herald, 'Guest houses open at Buena Vista Hotel', May 13, 1940.

The Daily Herald, '[J.S. Love Jr.] new manager Buena Vista Hotel', September 3, 1941.

The Daily Herald, 'Improvements for Buena Vista Deck', September 4, 1945.

The Daily Herald, 'Buffet supper and dance honor Oklahoma players', January 1, 1951

The Daily Herald, '$370,300 permit for Buena Vista Motel is issued', November 9, 1956.

The Daily Herald, 'Hotel property sale scheduled', February 2, 1974.
The Sun Herald, 'Last days of the Buena Vista', October 27, 1993.







Mrs. Joe W. Brown, nee Dorothy Dorsett (1896-1989), had her new $100,000, 56-foot long, luxury yacht brought down the Mississippi River to her new $3.5 million Broadwater Marina in late August.  The vessel was built by Roamer Yachts of the Chris-Craft Corporation at Holland, Michigan.(The Daily Herald, August 25, 1964, p. 21)


The Browns

Joe W. Brown (1897-1959) and Dorothy Dorsett Brown (1896-1989)



The Daily Herald, "Peter F. Martin dies at home on West Beach today", July 25, 1951, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, "Work started on swimming pool at Broadwater", June 21, 1952, p. 3.

The Daily Herald, "Bank enters into gaming ban picture", February 19, 1954.

The Daily Herald, "Luxury yacht at Broadwater', August 25, 1964, p. 21.

The Morning Advocate [Baton Rouge], '"Million Dollar" Joe brown dead', February 16,1959, p. 1.

The Morning Advocate, (Baton Rouge, LA), 'Dorothy Brown: Prominent La. horse owner Brown dies', October 16, 1989, p. 7-C. 

The States Times Advocate [Baton Rouge], 'Rites set today for Joe Brown, wealthy oilman", February 16, 1959, p. 1. 

The Sun Herald, "Filmaker considers Broadwater purchase", May 1, 1987.

The Sun Herald, "Colorful memories of the Broadwater", September 30, 2012, p. C5. 

The Times-Picayune, 'Charters', January 4, 1959, Sec. V, p. 16.

The Times-Picayune, 'Rites arranged for sportsman', February 16, 1959, p. 1.

The Times-Picayune, (New Orleans, LA), 'Mrs. Joe W. (Dorothy) Brown', October 16, 1989. 








The Daily Herald, "Edgewater to open for winter Dec. 12; Renovating hotel", October 31, 1936, p. 6.

The Daily Herald, "Edgewater, Markham Hotels $ 1 million Mississippi Coast industry",January 27, 1949. 

The Biloxi-D'Iberville Press, 'Time Traveler'-"The Edgewater Gulf Hotel", May 31, 2013, p.4 and June 6, 2013, p. 4.



White House Hotel [south elevations-April 2014]



John T. White

John T. White (b. 1901) was the son of Circuit Judge Walter A. White and Cora White  John began as the clerk when at the White House Hotel in 1918 and became its manager in 1931.  In November 1939, Mr. White was offered a position with the Hotel Dixie Sherman at Panama City, Florida which was built in 1929.  This hotel was one of eight in the chain and had 101 rooms on St. Amdrews Bay. Walter White, his brother, district manager for the Mutual Life Insurance Compnay of New York, became managing director in charge of the White House Hotel operations after John T. White went to Florida. (The Daily Herald, November 23, 1939, p. 8)




The Biloxi D'Iberville Press, 'Time Traveler'-"The White House", June 13 , 2013, p.4 and June 20, 2013, p. 4.

The Daily Herald, '[John T.] White to manage Florida Hotel', November 23, 1939.The Daily Herald, 'Hotel property sale scheduled', February 2, 1974.

The Sun Herald, 'White House Hotel gets a buyer', April 24, 2013, p. A1.



Jack Tar Trade Winds Hotel and Motel

[formerly Tivoli Hotel]

863 East Beach Boulevard








The Saratoga Court, considered a 'Mom and Pop' motel, was situated on U.S. Highway 90, also called Beach Boulevard, just east of DeBuys Road.  Circa 1946, Harold Maynard Olney (1893-1975), a native of Clinton, Iowa and Florence B. MacMahon Olney (1892-1976), his spouse and son, relocated from Clinton, Iowa to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  They operated the Saratoga Court, which was named for the USS Saratoga, the second aircraft in the U.S. Navy commissioned in November 1927.  Charles R. Olney (1920-2005), the Olney's son, was wounded while serving on the Saratoga during WWII, probably near Iwo Jima in February 1945, when the ship was hit by Japanese Kamikaze attack planes.(http://world connect.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=olney&id=179645)


In the early 1950s, the former Saratoga Inn, was called the Florence-Charles Motel.  Mrs. Olney 

Harold M. Olney died at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Mississippi on July 20, 1975.  His corporal remains were sent to Clinton, Iowa for burial in the Rose Hill Cemetery.   



The Daily Herald, "Harold Maynard Olney", July 21, 1975. 




In late May, The Sun-N-Sand Motel and restaurant were sold by Alexander E. Bailey, builder and native of Pennsylvania, to R.E. Dumas Milner of Jackson, Mississippi.  Milner owned the King Edwards Hotel in Jackson and Beaumont, Texas.[The Daily Herald, May 30, 1959, p. 1]