Sheriffs-Harrison County






John Brill (1802-1878)-was the first elected Sheriff of Harrison County, Mississippi.  He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  John Brill came South in 1835 and had settled at Pass Christian, Mississippi in 1837. 



The Pascagoula Democrat Star, “Brill”, June 28, 1878.

The Pascagoula Democrat Star,  “”,

The Pascagoula Democrat Star,  “”,

The Pascagoula Democrat Star,  “”,



Elected November 1843.[Minutes Harrison County Board of Police 1, p. 47]




Elected November 1847.(Bk. 1, p. 51)



J.T. Liddle-Elected November 1853.[Minutes Harrison County Board of Police 1, p. 290)



Christopher Quave-1855

Christopher Quave-1858


John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936)



Christopher Quave-1860




Benjamin E. Walden (1818-1894) was born on August 17, 1818 in Virginia the son of Colonel Richard Walden.  Some of his family relocated to New Orleans.  Here two brothers, John P. Walden (1810-1874) and George W. Walden, served the people of Orleans Parish as  Civil Sheriff and Deputy from November 21, 1861 until June 14, 1862.(The True Delta, November 12, 1861 and The Daily Picayune, May 16, 1873, p. 1)

Walden family lore relates that    Walden, also a brother to Sheriff John P. Walden, was a Tax Collector and Mary Walden, a widowed sister, worked for the U.S. Mint both  in the Crescent City.

Ben married Minerva Fatheree on October 28, 1852.


Ben Walden died June 22, 1894?

Old residents on the coast heard with sincere sorrow of the death of Mr. Ben Walden, a resident of Woolmarket, whose demise took place at his home on Sunday night.  Deceased was a native Virginian, one of those fine old gentlemen of the ante-bellum days that Porte Crayon delighted to delineate.  For many years he had been a citizen of Harrison county, having held the office of Sheriff for two terms, and an excellent sheriff he is said to have made.  At the ripe age of 81 years he peacefully departed these scenes.(The Biloxi Herald, Biloxi Miss.
Saturday, March 10, 1894, p. 1)


Benjamin E. Walden-1862

Benjamin E. Walden-1864

Benjamin E. Walden-1865

Benjamin E. Walden-1866

William Wheaton-1869



The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, ‘The Walden Family’,(Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989).

John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936).

The Daily True Delta, “”,

The Daily Picayune, “”,

The Daily Picayune, “Triple Sheet”, July 12, 1865.

The Daily Picayune, “Sheriffs of Orleans Parish”, May 16, 1873.

The Daily True Delta, “Sheriffs sworn in, November 12, 1861.





Louis E. Pradat (1809-1896) was born at New Orleans to Pierre Pradat (1781-1854), a French immigrant, and Elizabeth Inelly Pradat (1790-1855). Louis married Caroline Glover Pradat (1851-) and they were the parents of: Augustina Pradat (1856-1897); Oscar Pradat (1859-1929) m. Rose C. Keller (1867-1936); Louis Pradat; Mary Pradat; Lilly Pradat (1864-1914) m. Valentine Woodworth; Alice Pradat; and William Pradat.

As early as 1850, Louis E. Pradat and family lived at Pass Christian, Mississippi.  Here he made his livelihood as a merchant and was elected Sheriff in 1870.(1850 Harrison Co., Mississippi Federal Census M593_729, p. 369B, image 746)


Louis E Pradat

St. Louis Cemetery No. 1-New Orleans


The Daily Picayune, 'Died'. August 14, 1896.




Andrew Jefferson Ramsay (1840-1917), called ‘Jeff’ was born at Stonewall, Hancock County, Mississippi on July 4, 1840 to William J. Ramsay (1812-1860+), a farmer, and Mary Ramsay (1815-1860+). 


Civil War

Company A, Third Mississippi Regiment.

By 1880, Jeff Ramsay was a merchant at Stonewall, Harrison County, Mississippi.  He had partnered with Washington C. Myers (1845-1880+) before November 1881.  They were lauded by a reporter for The Pascagoula Democrat-Star and ran the following advertisement:  A.J. Ramsay and Wash C. Myers, two clever gentlemen as can be found, and customers will always get some good bargains by trading them.  They keep a general stock of merchandise such as usually found in first class stores.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 4, 1881, p. 3)



A.J. Ramsay                                                                                                 Wash C. Meyers [sic]

Stonewall, Mississippi

Dealer in dry goods, notions, groceries, feed, hats, ready made clothing, boots and shoes, hardware, crockery; in fact everything necessary to country trade.  The highest prices paid for wool and all country produce.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, November 4, 1881, p. 3)


Marriage and family

Jeff Ramsay married Mary E. Myers (1856-1935) of Whistler, Alabama on February 19, 1884. 

Jeff and Mary M. Ramsay were the parents of three children: Andrew J. Ramsay Jr. (1885-1923+), called ‘Little Jeff’ m. Martha Corinne Murphy (1890-1966); Katherine ‘Kate’ D. Ramsay (1887-1909); and Frederick Benson Ramsay (1893-1918+) m. Esther Nill (1895-1986), the daughter of Herman J. Nill (1863-1904) and Caroline Vahle Nill Hulsey Kratli (1862-1949).


Mississippi City Cemetery



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

John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936)

The Biloxi Herald, “City News”, June 2, 1888.

The Daily Herald, “Miss Kate Ramsay”, January 27, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “A.J. Ramsay celebrates 75th birthday”, July 5, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Ramsay-Nill”, June 22, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “More men leave and more going”, August 1, 1918.

The Daily Herald, “A.J. Ramsay called to last reward”, August 2, 1917.

The Daily Herald, “A.J. Ramsay”, March 19, 1923.

The Daily Herald, “Funeral services for Mrs. Ramsay attended by many”, July 6, 1935.

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Gulfport Advocate, “A.J. Ramsay, Jr.”, August 7, 1915.

The Pascagoula Democratic Star, “A.J. Ramsay & Company”, November 4, 1881.

The Pascagoula Democratic Star, “Ramsay-Myers”, March 21, 1884.

The Pascagoula Democratic Star, “”,

A.J. Ramsay-1871

A.J. Ramsay-1873

A.J. Ramsay-1875






Abner Reuben Knight Northrop (1839-1896) was born July 28, 1839 at Franklin, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana to Abner Northrop and Christina Knight.  His father was a native of Hartford, Connecticut and a West Point graduate.  Mrs. Northrop was the daughter of Reuben Knight, a Louisiana sugar planter.(Lang, 1936, p. 165)


Marriage and family

On November 19, 1869, Abner Knight Northrop (1839-1896) married Helena Elmer (1838-1917) at Biloxi in Nativity B.V.M. Catholic Church.  She was the daughter of Jacob Elmer (1812-1894) and Barbara Gettindorf  (1818-1859).(Lepre, 1991, p.    and Harrison Co., Mississippi Circuit Court MRB 6, p. 127)

Jacob Elmer (1832-1894) was a Swiss immigrant having been born at Canton Glarus in Switzerland, the same area of the Hosli and Abbley family origination.  Mr. Elmer came to Biloxi in 1836 and circa 1837, he married Barbara Gettendorf (1823-1858), a native of Winweiler, Rhein Kreis, Bavaria.



John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936)



Andrew J. Ramsay (1840-1917)



John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936)

The Biloxi Herald, “City News”, June 2, 1888.










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 and Charlotte Orr Seal.  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 (1879-1966) m. Lazaro Lopez Jr. (1877-1918) and Roderick Dudley Seal (1881-1942) m. Marie Ramon.(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)

State v. Florian Seal

Florian Seal was charge with embezzeling $8571 from Harrison County while Sheriff and Tax Collector.  He was acquitted by a jury on March 19, 1909 of this allegation.  L.H. Doty and Thomas Evans, attorneys for Mr. Seal, brought an expert witness in accounting to the stand who testified that after a four month examination of the Harrison County financial records that not only was Seal innocent of embezzelment, but the County owed hm $400.  It was geneally held that former Sheriff Seal had been victimized by a combination of "bad bookkeeping" by the State Auditor, the Board of Supervisors and himself.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, March 19, 1909, p. 1)

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)

Florian Seal, a Biloxi native, had an illustrious political public service career in Harrison County, Mississippi.  During his life, he held thirteen public offices.  Among them were: county officer, Sheriff-five terms; and tax assessor-eight terms.  Florian Seal’s education was at Springhill College, Mobile, Alabama and at Washington and Lee in Lexington, Virginia.  Rebecca Walker Seal was born at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.(The Daily Herald, December 12, 1927, p. 1 and September 12, 1936)

Florian Seal-(1852-1927)-elected Sheriff five times and tax assessor eight times.

Florian Seal-1888-Joseph A. Delamarre, deputy appointed May 1888.(June 2, 1888, p. 8)



John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936)

The Biloxi Herald, “City News”, June 2, 1888.

The Biloxi Herald, “”,

The Biloxi Herald, “”,

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “First complete map [of Gulfport]”, July 9, 1902.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “For Sheriff", August 5, 1903.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Money wins”, August 7, 1903.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Harrison County's vote”, August 8, 1903.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Chancery Court proceedings”, October 24, 1908.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Florian Seal is acquitted”, March 19, 1909.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Final decree in Florian Seal case”, October 6, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “Seal gets back in official life”, January 1, 1916.

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

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





George Poindexter Hewes (1868-1959) was born June 17.1868 to Hewes and    .  He married Mary Wallace Henderson (1872-1963).


Live Oak Cemetery-Pass Christian, Mississippi


John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936)

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,











William Reeves Jr. (1867-1933) was born at Lyman, Harrison County, Mississippi to William Reeves and               .  He married Mary I. Cowart (1868-1922) in Harrison County, Mississippi on May 16, 1889.  They were the parents of six children of whom   five lived to adulthood: John Clarence Reeves (1893-1954); Edith Reeves; Byron F. Reeves (1900-1922); Milliard F. Reeves; and Mary Reeves.



William Reeves Jr. succeeded Florian Seal and took office as Sheriff and Tax Collector in January 1908.  His deputies were E.W. Wells, F.L. Patnotte, Hugh McManus, J.V. Hagan, and William Murray.

Candidates: M.A. Broadus, William Reeves Jr., and Uriel Wright.(The Daily Herald, July 30,1907, p. 2)



Sheriff Reeves resigned from his office on September



The Biloxi Daily Herald, "

The Biloxi Daily Herald, "County officers qualify", January 7, 1908.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, "Noted visitor", June 5, 1909.

The Daily Herald, "Icham Reeves for Supervisor", January 26, 1911.

The Daily Herald, "Report of [Charles J.] Moore in Reeves matter is made public", August 12, 1911.

The Daily Herald, "Reeves resigns; Brother takes place", September 9, 1911.

The Daily Herald, "Icham Reeves passes away", September 7, 1925.

The Daily Herald, "Reeves ", September 9, 1933.




James Chester Elmer (1883-1920) was born at Biloxi, Mississippi on     1883, the son of Frederick W. Elmer (1847-1926) and Elizabeth Carson Maycock (1850-1905).  Jacob Elmer (1812-1894), his grandfather, was a native of Canton Glarus, Switzerland while Barbara Gettendorf (1823-1858), his grandmother, was born in Bavaria.

J.C. Elmer was educated in the Biloxi public school system and graduated from the Poplarville High School, Pearl River County, Mississippi.  He attended Alabama Polytechnic Institute [Auburn] for three years before going to Charlottesville, Virginia to study law.  After a year at the University of Virginia, he continued his legal studies at the University of Mississippi.  J.C. Elmer returned to the Mississippi Coast after his law studies, he assisted his father in his lumber exporting enterprise at Gulfport.  James Chester Elmer was admitted to the Mississippi bar in May 1907.(The Daily Herald, January 4, 1911, p. 1)


J.C. Elmer was a fine football player.  He played the rugged sport at every college that he attended and was a member of the highly touted University of Virginia squad of 1903.  He was a team mate of future Harrison County Sheriff, Cleveland Pol Huggins (1885-1933), at the University of Mississippi.(The Daily Herald, January 6, 1909, p. 2)

Political career

James C. Elmer began his most successful political career at Biloxi in May 1908, when he defeated Zachary T. Champlin, veteran adjudicator, for the office of Police Judge.  J.C. Elmer garnered 487 votes compared to Judge Champlin’s 247 ballots.   Judge Elmer took office in early January 1909 and heard his first case on January 4th.(The Daily Herald, July 15, 1908, p. 1 and p. 2 and January 4, 1909, p. 1)


OnMarch 26, 1913, James C. Elmer married Hazel Thompson (1890-1974), the daughter of Erastus R. Thompson (1855-1924) and Mary Ellen Aber (1863-1910).  Hazel Thompson was born at Harrisonburg, Catahoula Parish, Louisiana and came to Biloxi in 1908.  At Harrisonburg, Mr. Thompson made his livelihood as a dry goods merchants.  At Biloxi, the Thompson family may have built a large home in the Avondale Subdivision at 2116 West Beach Drive.  The Elmer-Thompson marriage was held in the Thompson home and their nuptial ceremony performed by the Reverend C.B. Crawford of the Church of the Redeemer.  The newlyweds were domiciled on Main Street and Water Street in a home that was given them by Erastus R. Thompson.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, June 11, 1908, p. 2 and The Daily Herald, March 26, 1913, p. 8 and March 27, 1913, p. 8)

Thompson family

Erastus R. Thompson had married Mary Ellen Aber at New Orleans on April 12, 1888.  From this holy union four children were born and three survived: Hazel Thompson (1890-1974); Emmet Ray Thompson (1894-1969) and Louis O. Thompson (1896-1972).

Sheriff J.C. Elmer

James Cleveland Elmer was elected Sheriff of Harrison County, Mississippi in

West Beach Home

In December 1916, J.C. Elmer acquired for $7000 a large residence from Sam W. Taylor at 1918 West Beach Drive in Biloxi.  It was situated in the Bienville Subdivision, in Lot 5 and Lot 6 of Block 1.  At this time, Mr. Taylor also conveyed Lots 5 and 6 in Block 8 and Lots 5 and 6 in Block 9 to J.C. Elmer.(Harrison Co., Mississippi Land Deed Bk. 117, pp. 405-406)

Candidate for State Revenue Agent


District Attorney




J.C. Elmer expired on April 30, 1920 in the Touro Infirmary at New Orleans.  He was survived by his spouse, father, and sisters: Marie Ann Sichirich (1872-1946) of Buenos Aires Argentina; Nina V. Scott (1877-1926+) of Atlanta, Cora V. Enochs (1878-1962) of Biloxi, Inez Elmer Ebersole (1885-1926+) of NOLA, and Marguerite Elmer Cole (1887-1965) of Biloxi; and two brothers, F.W. Elmer II (1881-1920) and Edward E. Elmer (1896-1926+).(The Daily Herald, April 30, 1920, p. 1)


Hazel Thompson Elmer lived until January 1974.



John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936)

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, June 11, 1908.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Personals”, July 12, 1908.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “Results of the election”, July 15, 1908.

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “The winners yesterday”, July 15, 1908.

The Daily Herald, “Judge Elmer opens court”, January 4, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi’s new administration”, January 6, 1909.

The Daily Herald, “The new administration of the City of Biloxi”, January 4, 1911.

The Daily Herald, “Ovation for Elmer on Eve of election”, August 22, 1911.

The Daily Herald, “Elmer is Sheriff of Harrison [County]by over 70”, August 23, 1911.

The Daily Herald, “Chicken spaghetti in honor of newly elected Sheriff”, August 24, 1911.

The Daily Herald, “Sheriff-elect Elmer will have Bradley and Huggins as Deputies”, December 12, 1911.

The Daily Herald, “Near-beer saloons of Biloxi cleaned out Saturday night”, August 5, 1912.

The Daily Herald, “Marriage of Mr. Elmer and Miss Thompson”, March 26, 1913.

The Daily Herald, “Elmer-Thompson wedding last night”, March 27, 1913

The Daily Herald, “J.C. Elmer leaves in interest of his candidacy”, May 7, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Sheriff Elmer to open law office”, December 15, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Local News Paragraphs of Interest”, October 17, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Elmer announces for District Attorney”, March 14, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Biloxi and Coast Cities lose most valuable citizen in James C. Elmer”, April 30, 1920.

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,




John B. Clark (1859-1940) was born at Handsboro, Harrison County, Mississippi on December 26, 1859 to Clark, a Kentuckian, and      Clark from Alabama.  In 1900, John B. Clark was a resident of Nugent, Mississippi and married to Vernell A. Hurlbert (1869-1936).  They had wedded in Harrison County, Mississippi on June 13, 1886.  At this time, John was engaged in the manufacture of lumber and lived in the vicinity of his two brothers, Hiram Clark (1857-1900+) and William W. Clark (1845-1900+), who were in lumber and carpentry respectively. Vernell A. Hurlbert (1896-1981), a niece of Mrs. Clark, who would marry Albert S. Lloyd (1891-1972) in February 1918, was also in their household in 1900.(1900 Harrison County, Mississippi Federal Census T623_808, p. 12B, ED 32)

Political career

John B. Clark

Evergreen Cemetery


John B. Clark expired at Nugent on September 17, 1940.  Living with him at this time was Albert S. Lloyd and his spouse, Vernell Hurlbert Lloyd, and their four children: John B. Lloyd (1918-2003), Albert Homer Lloyd (1921-1930+), Claude Lloyd (1925-1930+), and Juanita Lloyd (b. post-1930).  Buried at Evergreen Cemetery with his wife who had died on September 23, 1936.


John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936)

The Daily Herald, “Remarkable political occurrence”, July 21, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Seal gets back in official life”, January 1, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “Patenotte is to be retained”, January 3, 1916.

The Daily Herald, “John B. Clark taken in death”, January 17, 1940.

The Daily Herald, “”,





Joseph 'Joe' Wesley Havens (1881-1941) was born May 24, 1881 at Vancleave, Jackson County, Mississippi to Abizer Havens (1858-1933) and Margarette Berry Havens (1849-1907).  He was reared in an an agrarian and timber society and educated in the public schools of Jackson County, Harrison County, and Peral River County, Mississippi.  In his youth, Joseph W. Havens worked for the Kew Mercantile Company at Wiggins, Mississippi and the at the large department store at Lyman, Mississippi owned by the Ingram Day Lumber Company.

Joe Will Havens (1915-1993)

from The Daily Herald,  April 9, 1925.

Mr. Havens married Leona Hutto (1888-1971), a native of Montrose, Mississippi on June 10, 1914. They were the parents of two children: Joe Will Havens (1915-1993) m. Roberta Alice Irby and Mary Frances Havens (b. 1921) m. Joseph Thomas White.  In 1934, Joe Will Havens was a student at Mississippi State College and Mary Frances Havens was studying at Gulfport High School.

The J.W. Havens family lived at Nugent, Mississippi about 8 miles north of Gulfport.  Here Sheriff Havens owned a home on 31 acres of land.  He had pecan trees, fruit trees, blueberry bushes and did some small scale farming.

Joseph W. Havens was elected Harrison County Tax Assesor in 1911 and served the County as its tax assessor from 1912 to 1915 and deputy tax collector from 1916 to 1920.  He was elected Sheriff and Tax Collector in 1919 and was Sheriff from 1920-1924 and 1928-1932.  

Joe Havens was described as a “good plain man, full of good hard common sense and those qualities which equip a man for Public service.  He is calm and courteous and maintains a pleasant front under the most trying circumstances.  Havens tried to live by his motto: “never start anything that you can’t finish”.(The Daily Herald, February 18, 1919, p. 1) 

In June 1932, Joseph W. Havens was appointed Superintendent of Beauvoir, the last home of Jefferson Davis, at Biloxi, Mississippi.  He expired on November 24, 1941 at Gulfport, Mississippi.  Mrs. Havens lived until December 17, 1971.  Their corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Gulfport, Mississippi.

Joseph W HavensF Leona <i>Hutto</i> Havens

Evergreen Cemetery-Gulfport, Mississippi


The Daily Herald, 50th Anniversary Souvenir, Golden Jubilee Number, Biographical and Historical 1884-1934, "Joseph W. Havens", (The Daily Herald: Gulfport-Biloxi, Mississippi-1934). 

The Daily Herald, “Had [Joe Will Havens] a birthday 'March 31st'”, April 9, 1925.

The Daily Herald, “Jos. W. Havens to run for Sheriff”, February 18, 1919.

The Daily Herald, “Joseph W. Havens taken by death”, November 24, 1941.

The Daily Herald, “”,




In August 1923, Benjamin Franklin  ‘Frank’ Duckworth (1870-1939) of Gulfport, Mississippi faced Louis Staehling of Biloxi for Sheriff of Harrison County, Mississippi.  Duckworth garnered 2663 ballots while Staehling received 2227 votes at the August 28, 1923 election.(The Daily Herald, August 29, 1923, p. 1) 

Ballots stolen from courthouse



Frank Duckworth was the son of B.F. Franklin (1836-1915) and Josephine Shelby (1849-1900+).

Benjamin Franklin Duckworth

Evergreen Cemetery-Gulfport, Mississippi



John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936)

The Daily Herald, “B.F. Duckworth, well-known man, dies at age of 79”, December 27, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Harrison Co. Tabulation”, August 29, 1923.

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,








Cleveland Pol Huggins (1885-1933), son of George E. Huggins (1862-1951) and Isabelle E. Pol (1864-1954), was born at Pascagoula, Mississippi on January 25, 1885.   He coached football at Biloxi in 1908.  

On December 12, 1912 in the Church of Redeemer in Biloxi, Cleveland P. Huggins married Eleanor Virginia Greaves (1890-1974), called Virginia and Virgie, the daughter of Dr. Walter J. Greaves (1858-1930+) and Lucy Harrison (1870-1954).  She was born at Biloxi on July 7, 1890.  They were the parents of two children:  Virginia Huggins (1913-1983) m. T.O. Green and Cleveland P. Huggins Jr. (1916-1990).(The Daily Herald, December 3, 1974, p. A2)

Cleveland Pol Huggins was elected Sheriff of Harrison County, Mississippi and took office in January 1932.  He expired on January 25, 1933 while in office.  Mrs. Virgie Huggins was appointed Sheriff of Harrison County by Governor Martin ‘Mike’ Sennett Conner (1891-1950).  Virgie lost her office to Oscar L. Meador in a special election held on March 10, 1933.  Although about 6000 registered voters were expected to cast ballots in the race, the turnout was close to 5100 voters resulting in the election of Mr. Meador as their Sheriff.(The Daily Herald, March 9, 1933, p. 1 and March 13, 1933)

Cleveland P. Huggins expired on January 25, 1933.  His corporal remains were interred the the 6th Addition of the Biloxi Cemetery.





After the demise of her husband, Sheriff Cleveland P. Huggins on January 25, 1933, Virginia Greaves Huggins (1890-1974) was appointed Sheriff of Harrison County, Mississippi by Governor Martin Sennett ‘Mike’ Conner (1891-1950).  She lost her post to Oscar L. Meador in the special election held on March 10, 1933.


Special Election

Shortly after the demise of Cleveland P. Huggins, the denizens of Harrison County voted on March 10, 1933 for a new Sheriff.  In addition to Oscar L. Meador, the candidates for the Sheriff’s post were: Curtis Dedeaux; Duckworth; George M. Foote (1873-1934+), former three-term, Gulfport Mayor and Harrison County State Senator; Virgie E. Huggins; and Redfield.  Although about 6000 registered voters were expected to cast ballots in the race, the turnout for this special election was close to 5100 voters who elected Oscar L. Meador as Sheriff.(The Daily Herald, March 9, 1933, p. 1 and March 13, 1933, p. )



Virgie Greaves Huggins died on December 1, 1974.  Her corporal remains were interred the the 6th Addition of the Biloxi Cemetery.



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

John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936)

The Biloxi Daily Herald, “City News”, November 28, 1908

The Daily Herald, “Sheriff-elect Elmer will have Bradley and Huggins as Deputies”, December 12, 1911.

The Daily Herald, “Mr. Huggins and Miss Greaves wed”, December 12, 1912.

The Daily Herald, “Greaves property is deed to daughter”, September 17, 1914.

The Daily Herald, “Huggins for Assessor”, January 16, 1915.

The Daily Herald, “Notice”, July 17, 1917.

The Daily Herald, “Gulfport”, September 6, 1917.

The Daily Herald, “Huggins makes appointments”, January 4, 1932.

The Daily Herald, “Sheriff Huggins dies of pneumonia, Gov. Conner comes to attend funeral”, January 26, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Deputy acts as Sheriff”, January 26, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Funeral of Huggins held”, January 27, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Sheriff to be named Friday, seven in race”, March 9, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Official returns give Meador 2133, Mrs. Huggins, 1636”, March 13, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Huggins ends her term”, March 20, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Mrs. Virgie G. Huggins”, December 3, 1974.





Oscar Lafayette Meador (1880-1973) was born on June 18, 1880 at New Island, Newton County, Mississippi. He lived at Hattiesburg, Mississippi before coming to Gulfport.  Oscar L. Meador married Feltie McManus (1894-1993) `on May 29, 1917 in Harrison County, Mississippi.  She was born on November 27, 1894 the daughter of   McManus and    .  They were the parents of four children:  Elizabeth D. Meador (1918-2001+) m. M.D. Speed; Oscar L. Meador II (1922-2007); Richard Lamar Meador (1931-2001) m. Beth Grubb; and Gordon Meador.  Before he was elected Sheriff of Harrison County, Mississippi, Oscar L. Meador was a salesman for the Swift Company at Gulfport and Hattiesburg.  He later represented wholesale grocers and coffee companies operating from New Orleans.  Prior to his election to Sheriff, Oscar L.  Meador served as a deputy sheriff with Joseph Havens and Cleave Huggins.  He was later a deputy sheriff for Laz Quave (1910-1985) and Edward A. McDonnell (1912-1986).


1933 Election

Oscar L. Meador was elected Sheriff on March 10, 1933 and was sworn into office on March 20, 1933.  He named William F. Gorenflo of Biloxi as his chief deputy.  Other deputies appointed at this time were: Edward VanZandt; Jimmie Williams [Biloxi]; W.G. ‘Bill’ Simpson [Pass Christian]; Joe Mattina [Biloxi]; and Lieutte S. Broadus [Gulfport].(The Daily Herald, March 20, 1933, p. 1)


Alonzo Gabrich, former Biloxi Police Chief, was appointed a deputy by Sheriff Meador in December 1933.  Gabrich was regarded highly in the local law enforcement community.  He had been a detective and assistant police chief before becoming Biloxi's chief law enforcement officer.(The Daily Herald, Decemebr 22, 1933, p. 1)


1936 Election

During his life at Gulfport, Mississippi, Sheriff Meador and family resided at 1308 2nd Street.  He was active in many facets of Gulfport’s social, civic and religious organizations:  Mr. Meador was a member of the following: 1st Baptist Church of Gulfport; Southern Star Lodge No. 500 F. & A.M. at Long Beach, Mississippi; 32nd Degree Mason and Shriner; Coast Shrine Club; Knight of Commander of the Court of Honor of Scottish Rite Masonry; Gulfport Elks Club; Tennessee-Mississippi Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association; Civitan Club; Kiwanis Club; and served as a Colonel on the staff of Governor Paul B. Johnson.



John H. Lang, History of Harrison County, Mississippi, (The Dixie Press: Gulfport, Mississippi-1936)

The Daily Herald, “Sheriff to be named Friday, seven in race”, March 9, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “Official returns give Meador 2133, Mrs. Huggins, 1636”, March 13, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Meador takes office as Harrison County Sheriff and names his Deputies”, March 20, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Gabrich appointed Deputy Sheriff”, December 22, 1933.

The Daily Herald, “Obit”, October 15, 1973.

The South County Journal (Kent, Washington), “Richard L. Meador”, January 4, 2001.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Oscar L. Meador”, November 14, 2007, p. B5.




Raleigh Clifton Edwins (1897-1960) was born on June 28, 1897 in rural Orangeburg County, South Carolina to Milton Calhoun Evans (1862-1946), a farmer, and Ida Miller Edwins (1866-1946), both natives of South Carolina.  He married Mary Ruth Cottrell Edwins (1902-1987), native of Alabama.



R.C. Edwins made his livelihood as Gulfport as the proprietor of Edwins Auto Supply Company.  His first child, R.C. Edwins Jr. (1928-1928), died at Gulfport in March 1928.  Another son, Rallie Cottell "Rack" Evans (1930-1991) was born at Gulfport and became an attorney at Baton Rouge.  In addition, the Edwins had two daughters, Patricia Edwins Hardesty and Mary Frances Edwins Carothers.



In the spring of 1935, Mr. Edwins announced that he was considering becoming a candidate for Sheriff of Harrison County with this statement:  “Many of my friends from every walk of life have encouraged me to enter the race for Sheriff of Harrison County and I am giving it deep consideration.  Although I am considering the business which I have and the future for it in case I do sacrifice the growth of my business to enter race for Sheriff, but if the number of voters for this county think that I am the man to make this race I am for the people any and all times and will make the sacrifice.”


Laz Quave, a deputy.


Illegal Operations

Sheriff R.C. Edwins commenced his war on crime in Harrison County shortly after assuming the office of Sheriff.   He demonstrated that his regime was serious about deterring gambling and illicit spirits when his men destroyed 1700 bottles of bonded whiskey and 38 slot machines in the yard of the County jail in late May 1940.(The Daily Herald, May 31, 1940, p. 1)


Ban of gaming and liquor

On September 9, 1940, Sheriff Raleigh C. Edwins (1897-1960) announced a ban in Harrison County on slot machines, liquor, dice and other forms of gambling.  This included bank nights and bingo as well as counter games, like ‘high dice’ or ‘double or nothing’, being held in cigar stands and cafes.(The Daily Herald, September 11, 1940, p. 1)


East Biloxi Raid

In mid-June 1941,Sheriff R.C. Edwins and twelve deputies seized a large quantity of bonded whiskey and high volume alcoholic wine from an unidentified location on East Howard Avenue in Biloxi. Grover Graham Sr. (1893-1964) was arrested in the raid which also uncovered slot machines, dice tables, and poker chips.  It appeared that gambling was in progress at the time of the break-in as money and other evidence were found on the premises.(The Daily Herald, June 16, 1941, p. 1)



Raliegh C. Edwins expired circa September 17, 1960 at Gulfport, Mississippi.  Mary Ruth Edwins died circa June 19, 1987.  Both were buried at Evergreen in Gulfport, Mississippi.



The Daily Herald, “Edwins considering running for Sheriff”, April 15, 1935.

The Daily Herald, “R.C. Edwins takes oath of office”, January 1, 1940.

The Daily Herald, “Sheriff destroy liquor and slots”, May 11. 1940.

The Daily Herald, “$50,000 liquor seizure made at Biloxi following raids up and down Coast”, June 16, 1941.

The Sun Herald, “Rallie C. 'Rack' Edwins”, July 4, 1991, p. A-2.






Maxie M. Broadus ran (1906-1985) was born on April 6, 1906 in Harrison County, Mississippi in T4S-R10W near the Perkinston community to J. Willis Broadus (1871-1930+) and Maranda A. Lott (1878-1930+).  He was the fifth of seven children reared in a rural setting where his father farmed and ran a logging operation.  Married Harriet Rogers (1910-2003) in Harrison County, Mississippi in September 1932.(1910 Harrison County, Mississippi 1910 Federal Census T624_741, p. 10B, ED 51; 1920 Stone County, Mississippi Federal Census T625_893, p. 2A, ED 143; and Harrison Co., Mississippi MRB 44, p. 44)



In the Harrison County, Mississippi elections of August 1943, Maxie M. Broadus lost to Deputy Sheriff Arthur W. Lang (1922-2006) in the first primary by 28 votes.  He defeated Lang in second primary 4836 to 3345, leading in 24 of 29 voting precincts.(The Daily Herald, August 5, 1943, p. 1 August 25, 1943, p. 1 and August 26, 1943, p. 1)



The Daily Herald, “photo with campaign ad”, July 31, 1943, p. 8.

The Daily Herald, “Lang, Broadus, enter second Sheriff race”, August 5, 1943, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, “Maxie M. Broadus elected Sheriff by big majority”, August 25, 1943.

The Daily Herald, “Official returns in second primary”, August 26, 1943, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, “Maxie Broadus takes office as Sheriff”, January 3, 1944, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, “”,




Laz Quave (1910-1985) was born on October 31, 1910, in rural Jackson County, Mississippi, near Vancleave,  the son of Joseph Quave (1859-1928), a farm laborer, and Della ? Quave.  In 1930, Laz Quave was a seaman stationed aboard the USCG Cutter Tallapoosa, near Annapolis, Maryland.(1930 Anne Arundel Co., Maryland Federal Census R 844, p. 29A, ED11)
Returning from his military duty, Laz Quave married Bernice S. Thornton (1908-2000) on June 6, 1934.  She was the daughter of Arthur Thornton (1880-1922) and Sophronia ? Thornton (1883-1920+).  Laz and Bernice T. Quave were the parents of three children: June Rose Quave m. Eugene L. Martino; Leon J. Quave m. Peggy Ann Cook; and Laz Quave Jr. m.         .(Harrison Co., Ms. MRB 45, p. 210)
Seafood Industry
Laz Quave was a partner in Union Fisheries and a director and vice president of the Gulf Coast Shrimper’s and Oystermen’s Association.


Venus and Quave

On September 4, 1968, the Biloxi Canning & Packing Company was chartered by D.J. Venus III, Gordon D. Venus, and Laz Quave with 150,000 shares par value at $1.00 per share.(HARCO, Ms. Chancery Court Charter Bk. 2, pp. 179-182)

On September 9, 1968, the Charter of Biloxi Canning & Packing Company was amended and the name changed to Rosalis, Inc.  Roy Rosalis (1909-1984), president, and Rena LeBlanc Rosalis (1917-2004), secretary, 300 shares issued.(HARCO, Ms. Charter Bk. 2, pp. 175-178).   

On October 10, 1968, Rosalis, Inc. conveyed to Biloxi Canning & Packing Company for $610,000, all improvements, buildings, warehouses, docks, wharves, with riparian and littoral rights.  (go 413.4 south along east side of Anglada x Landers x 253' x Chartres Street (332.9) x 136' (Stanovich) x Back Bay to point of beginning on Anglada).  The sale included the following brands:  Negro Head, Biloxi, Sea Beach Canned Shrimp, Mobile Bay, Danny Boy, and Pueblo.  Mr. Rosalis then retired and resided at 872 Central Beach Boulevard.(HARCO, Ms. Trust Deed Bk. 535, p. 47 and Bk. 535, p. 50).

Deputy Sheriff

Laz Quave was a Deputy Sheriff in Harrison County, Mississippi during the term of Raleigh Clifton 'R.C.' Edwins (1897-1960) from 1939 to 1943.


Police Chief

Laz Quave was named Biloxi's Police Chief by Mayor Chester A. Delacruz in January 1943.  He replaced Alonzo L. Gabrich, long-time Biloxi public servant.  Police Chief Quave named Louis Anglada his assistant. Other members of Quave's staff were:  Earl Wetzel, City Detective; Arthur Largilliere, Desk Sergeant; Joseph MattinaCharles ComeauxVincent FernandezAlbert DemoranOswald ChathamHenryCookAl BoehmS.O. HallJohn Labash; and Floyd Gill.(The Daily Herald, January 4, 1943, p. 5)


Sheriff Quave

Laz Quave was elected Sheriff of Harrison County, Mississippi in August 1947 when he defeated Aubrey Beeson of Long Beach by about fourteen hundred votes.  He succeeded Maxie M. Broadus (1906-1985) of Gulfport.(The Daily Herald, August 30, 1947, p. 1)


Mayor Quave

When Laz Quave placed his name in the race for Mayor of Biloxi, he was in competition with R. Hart Chinn, incumbent, Norman Levine (1917-198), poultry marketer, and Elmer Williams, owner of the DeJean Packing Company.(The Daily Herald,  April 13, 1953, p. 1)


Supervisor Quave

From July 1962 to December 1971, Laz Quave served the people of Harrison County, Mississippi Beat 1, as their County Supervisor.(Sullivan, 2002, p. 581)


Biloxi Cemetery

Laz Quave expired at New Orleans on December 20, 1985.  His corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi City Cemetery.  Bernice Thornton Quave followed her husband in death passing on February 26, 2000 at Gautier, Mississippi.  Her corporal remains were also buried in the Biloxi City Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, February 29, 2000, p. A5 and December  , 1985, p. ) 



Charles L. Sullivan, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College: A History, (McNaughton & Gunn, Inc.: Saline, Michigan-2002)


The Daily Herald, “New Police Chief”, January 4, 1943.

The Daily Herald, “Quave announces for Sheriff of Harrison County”, March 26, 1947, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, “Quave is elected in Harrison County”, August 30, 1947, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, “May 12 ballot at Biloxi will have 19 names listed”, April 13, 1953.

The Daily Herald"Coast Mayors take office", July 6, 1953, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, “Quave Grand Marshal, Ross East End Marshal”, July 8, 1954, p. 23.

The Jackson County Times, “Quave is elected in Harrison”, August 30, 1947.

The Sun Herald"Biloxi leader Laz Quave dies", December 22, 1985, p. A-1 and p. A-12.

The Sun Herald, “Bernice Quave”, February 29, 2000, p. A5.





Edward A. McDonnell (1912-1986) was born October 30, 1912 to Sidney McDonnell and Leona Arguelles. Eddie McDonnell  attended the Sacred Heart Academy in Biloxi and married Lillian Newman (1915-2004).  They were the parents of Charlotte McDonnell (b. 1941).

Herbert M. McDonnell (1902-1974) elected to House of Representatives and took office in January 1940.

Eddie accepted a position with the Mississippi State Fish and Game Commission as chief law enforcement officer in 1957 and resigned from this post to be a candidate for Harrison County Sheriff in 1959.(The Daily Herald, august 26, 1959, p. 1)

Expired June 1986.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      



The Daily Herald, “Representative”, January 1. 1940.

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “Edward McDonnell announces candidacy for Harrison Sheriff”, June 5, 1947.

The Daily Herald, “Eddie McDonnell takes oath as Harrison County Sheriff; Deputies, others sworn”, January 7, 1952.

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “Order lid clamped on Harrison gaming; McDonnell is offered use of National Guard”, August 24, 1955, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, “Sheriff is mum on game order”, August 25, 1955, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, “Dedeaux elected to Harrison Sheriff Post”, August 26, 1959.

The Daily Herald, “Claim grounds to invalidate vote [McDonnell’s attorneys in statement]”, September 8, 1959.





John Joseph “J.J.”  and "Joe" Wittmann (1911-1990) was born on October 14, 1911.  He married Frances King of Orange Grove.  They were the parents of three children: John Edward Wittman; Margaret L. Wittman; and Ann Wittman.

In 1936, Joe Wittmann began his long career in law enforcement as a County patrolman.  In 1942, he joined the Mississippi State Highway Patrol and later became an assistant inspector and inspector of the District 8 headquartered in Gulfport, Mississippi.  Wittmann resigned his inspectors position in 1956 to campaign and be elected as Sheriff of Harrison County, Mississippi.  In the race for Sheriff, he defeated Aubrey Beeson, a Long Beach, Mississippi accountant, in late August 1955 by acquiring 10065 votes to 8554 for Beeson.


Mayor Wittman

In February 1968, J.J. 'Joe' Wittmann won a landslide victory in his quest for Mayor of Pass Christian, Mississippi.  Wittmann filled the office of former Mayor Francis J. Hursey who assumed duties as Harrison County, Mississippi Beat 3 supervisor.  Wittman's term expired on July 1, 1969. He defeated J.J. 'Snap; Hayden Sr., R. Parnell McKay, Shannon P. Pickich in the mayoral contest.


Mr. Wittmann expired on December 3, 1990 at Pass Christian on December 3, 1990. 



The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”Coleman new governor; Wittmann is Sheriff”, August 24, 1955.

The Daily Herald, “Sheriff is mum on game order”, August 25, 1955, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, “Wittman group holds party at Pass [Christian], August 25, 1955, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, “Sheriff, others new Harrison Officers sworn”, January 2, 1956.

The Daily Herald, “Wittmann gives list of new officers in Sheriff’s office”, January 2, 1956.

The Daily Herald, “Wittman new Mayor of Pass”, February 21, 1968

The Daily Herald, “Pass Christian-Wittmann cite minutes”, March 6, 1968.

The Sun Herald, “Wittman (sic), former sheriff, ex-Pass mayor dies”, December 5, 1990.





Curtis O. Dedeaux (1919-1966) was born October 6, 1919 in Harrison County, Mississippi.  He was educated in Mississippi schools and acquired a Master's degree in political science from the University of Chicago.


Dedeaux, a packing plant operator, was elected Harrison County, Mississippi Sheriff in late August 1959.  Challenger Edward ‘Eddie’ McDonald of Biloxi claimed that the results of the second Democratic primary held on August 25th and won by Mr. Dedeaux, who garnered 9661 votes to 9566 cast for McDonnell, were invalid.  In a recount of the forty-seven county ballot boxes, Mr. McDonnell’s legal representation reported that “has gained in excess of 63 votes”.(The Daily Herald, August 26, 1959, p. 1 and September 8, 1959, p. 1)


Dedeaux had made an unsuccessful run for Sheriff in 1955. 


Harrison County Sheriff's Department

[2nd row-L-R: Lawrence Mensi, Sheriff Dedeaux and George Rosetti.  From the Daily Herald, December 23, 1960, p. 5]


Income Tax Evasion-1965

In late October, Joseph Asa Garriga (1903-1973) testified as one of seven witnesses for the prosecution in Federal Court in a case that charged Curtis O. Dedeaux, former Harrison County, Mississippi Sheriff, with accepting graft from bar operators, income tax evasion and giving false information to the IRs in the years 1960-1962. Joseph Asa Garriga stated that he and his brother, Edward Garriga, had opened the Silver Dollar Lounge in December 1959 and that he ran a bar and brothel until 1962 when he was convicted of the breaking the White Slavery Traffic law and sentenced to the penitentiary.  Garriga alleged that Sheriff Dedeaux had taken 'protection' money from him to operate slot machines, prostitution, and illegal alcohol, etc.(The Daily Herald, October 27, 1965, p. 1 and p. 30)



Curtis O. Dedeaux was found dead on September 10, 1966 at 218 Oak Ridge Circle, his west Biloxi residence.  An autopsy revealed that the cause of his death was "poisoning due to overdose of barbituates".  Mr. Dedeaux's funeral was under the auspices of Riemann Funeral Home of Gulfport, Mississippi.  His interment was in the Evergreen Cemetery at Gulfport after services at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church [Biloxi] with the Reverend James O'Riordan officiating.(The Daily Herald, September 10, 1966, p. 1 and September 12, 1966, p. 2)



The Daily Herald, “”, October 27, 1957.

The Daily Herald, “Dedeaux elected to Harrison Sheriff Post”, August 26, 1959.

The Daily Herald, “Claim grounds to invalidate vote [McDonnell’s attorneys in statement]”, September 8, 1959.

The Daily Herald, “Harrison County elected officials take their oaths”, January 4, 1960.

The Daily Herald, “Dedeaux takes about $15,000 worth of whiskey”, September 5, 1960.

The Daily Herald, “Pete Parker Beat Constable seizes contents of Grover Graham Jr. warehouse of Biloxi”, September 5, 1960.

The Daily Herald, “Romeo gives statement on Sheriff’s raid”, September 5, 1960.

The Daily Herald, “Romeo, Graham reported still closed today”, September 6, 1960.

The Daily Herald, “Former Coast bar operator [Asa Garraga (1903-1970)] tells of payoff”, October 27, 1965.

The Daily Herald, “Found dead, September 10, 1966.

The Daily Herald, “Ex-Sheriff rites held, autopsy report pending, September 12, 1966.
The Daily Herald, “Dedeaux autopsy report, September 13, 1966.






The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “McDonnell sworn in as New Sheriff”, January 6, 1964.

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,





Mr. Luther Raleigh Patton (1916-2009), age 92 years, passed away on Saturday, March 21, 2009 at Memorial Hospital at  Gu;fport, Mississippi from pneumonia. Mr. Patton was a life-long resident of the Gulf Coast, born in Saucier on October 25, 1916, the youngest son of Evariste "Valreece" and Mary Jacobs Patton.

Luther was best known for his time in politics, including serving as Sheriff and Tax-Collector of Harrison County from 1968-1971 overseeing law enforcement on the coast during Hurricane Camille and the aftermath. He also was a member of the Mississippi Highway Patrol, serving on the Governor's detail in Jackson and was the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the MS Department of Fish and Game Southern District. "Sheriff" Patton had a farm on Hwy 53 and enjoyed hunting and fishing in his early years. He was employed with Broadus Furniture Company for over 20 years.

Mr. Patton graduated from Success High School and was a Methodist attending both Burton Memorial and Lyman Methodist Church for many years. Most recently he attended Lakeview Baptist church in Lyman and lived at the Lakeview Nursing Home.

Luther  was preceded in death by his wife of forty-years Florence Hamner Patton (1923-1987), his parents, three brothers - Virgil, James, and Woodrow, five sisters - Clara, Cora, Ethel, Hazel, and Zimley, and his grandson, Ryan Christopherson. He is survived by a large, loving family consisting of his son Shephard Hamner "Sonny" Patton (1940-2010) and wife Cindy; son Luther R. "Ronnie" Patton II and wife Janet; son Hunter Lowery Patton and wife Jan all of Gulfport; grandchildren Andy R. Patton (Sandy) of Hill City, Kansas; Shephard H. Patton, Jr. (Melinda) of Vaiden, Mississippi; Susan Patton Shannon (Jeff) of Mesa, Arizona; Shane Tyler Patton of Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Nancy Barron, Deanna Patton, and Christopher Patton, all of Gulfport, and PO1 Jarrell Patton (Heather) of Suffolk, Virginia. He also is survived by nine great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The Patton  funeral service was held on Wednesday, March 25th at the Riemann Funeral home with visitation one hour prior to services. Burial was in the Finley Cemetery at Lyman, Mississippi. 


Former Sheriff Luther Patton dies

Former Harrison County Sheriff Luther Patton, age 92 years, who held the office from 1968 to 1972 on a platform to clean up the Biloxi strip and stop illegal gambling, died Saturday afternoon in Gulfport.

He had been hospitalized with pneumonia, but could not recover, said his son, Hunter Patton of Lyman. Funeral arrangements are pending at Riemann Funeral Home in Gulfport.

Patton ran for sheriff three times before being elected on his fourth try. Then, after his first term, he ran for re-election and won his Republican party primary, his son said, but lost in the general election to Leroy Hobbs, an independent.

Politics aside, Patton loved to hunt and fish and was a big bird hunter.  "Matter of fact," Hunter said, "that's how I got my name. I was the youngest of three boys and they said the next son they had, they were going to either name him Hunter or Fisher. I'm glad it was not Fisher."

After his wife died, Patton, who was Methodist, did not go to church for a long time.

"The last year and a half before he went into the nursing home, he began going with me to Lakeview Baptist," Hunter said. "He made the statement that, 'Who'd have ever thought; here's a Methodist in a Baptist church listening to a holiness preacher.' "

For 15 or 20 years, until he was 89 years old, his son said, Patton worked at Broadus Furniture Store on 25th Avenue in Gulfport, opening and closing the store, driving a truck and taking orders for furniture. He started there because the store was owned by the brother of one of his deputies, Maxie Broadus.

"He always gave of himself, not only his time and finances, but his personality," said his grandson, Jarrell Patton, of Suffolk, Va., who was with Patton when he died.

Patton really liked to eat at Catfish Charlie's on Canal Road and Saturday night, his son said. "Me and my boy are going to go there and eat a meal for him."



The Sun Herald, "Former Sheriff Luther Patton dies", March 22, 2009.

The Sun Herald, "Luther Raleigh Patton", March 23, 2009.

The Sun Herald, "





Howard LeRoy Hobbs (1934-2008) was born September 19, 1934 at Gulfport, Mississippi to Howard B. Hobbs (1907-1974) and Verna Mae Hobbs.


June 1983 Drug Sting

Sheriff Howard Leroy Hobbs (1934-2008) was arrested on June 16, 1983 with David J. Venus III; Chief Deputy Sheriff Craig Monroe; D.J. Venus IV; George Mims Venus; Bill Carroll; Jim Blackwell; John Higgins; and Wayne Ford.    Phillip Baugh was arrested on 20 July in connection with this case which involved cocaine conspiracy.(The Daily Herald, July 28, 1983, p. A-2)


1983 Election



Howard LeRoy Hobbs, Sr., 73, of Biloxi, passed away Monday, March 3, 2008 in Biloxi. He was a longtime resident of Biloxi, but the entire coast was his beloved home.   His law enforcement career started with the Gulfport Police Department in 1958 through 1972. He served as Chief from 1963 and received many awards including Outstanding Law Enforcement Officer of the year and started the first local Police Training Center in the state. 

Sheriff Hobbs was a graduate of the FBI National Academy 86th class and was a former president and Secretary-Treasurer of the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers Association. Mr. Hobbs was elected Harrison County Sheriff in 1972 and served until 1984 where he started the Sheriff's Air Patrol, Watch Programs, and was a founding member of the Mississippi Sheriff's Boys and Girls Ranch. Through the highs and lows he always kept his quick wit and keen sense of humor. Nothing touched him more than when he would co-ordinate and personally fly childreen to and from one of the many Shriner's Children's Hospitals and Burn Centers for treatment. He will be dearly missed by his many friends and family.

He was preceded in death by his father, Howard Buck Hobbs, mother, Verna Mae Toncrey, guardian aunt, Hattie Hobbs, sister, Verna Marie "Tillie" Fountain, and wife, Bonnie Lee Hobbs.  He is survived by his daughter, Nina M. Rosskopf (Ken); two sons, Howard L. Hobbs, Jr. (Jamie), Lawrence L. Hobbs; and grandchildren, Haley and Alicia Hobbs, Whitney, Madison, and William Rosskopf.  The funeral service will be Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 12 noon at Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport where friends may visit from 10:00 a.m. until the service. Interment will follow at Evergreen Cemetery, Gulfport.(The Sun Herald, March 5, 2008, p. A-10)

Howard LeRoy Hobbs (1934-2008), former Harrison County Sheriff expired on March 3rd.(The Sun Herald, March 4, 2008, p. A1 and March 5, 2008, p. A10)



 The Daily Herald, "Mayor Shaw clarifies Chief Hobbs' position", September 11, 1971, p. 1.

The Daily Herald, "Two Gulf Coast indictments included in grand jury report', July 28, 1983.The

Daily Herald, "Biloxian arrested on charge of perjury during grand jury's conspiracy probe', July 29, 1983, p. A-1.

The Daily Herald, "Murder, threats suggested as federal officials argue testimony in Hobbs case", August 3, 1983.

The Sun Herald, March 4, 2008, p. A-1.

 The Sun Herald, March 5, 2008, p. A-10.




Farley E. Rhodes (1921-1999) was born on July 19, 1921 at Gulfport, Mississippi to Ernest Cleveland Rhodes (1890-1930+), a meat market butcher, and Collie Amelia Lundy (1894-1974).  He was reared at 2720 25th Street with his siblings: Ernest C. ‘Dutch’ Rhodes II (1914-1985) m. Kathy Dianne McDonald and Elizabeth Rhodes (1916-1999+) m. Russell Thomas Baldwin.  Farley attended Gulfport High School and was the blocking back on their 1941 Big Eight Champion football team. For some reason he was ineligible to play football in 1940 although he lettered in 1939.(The Sun Herald, May 30, 1999, p.  A11 and Times-Picayune, September 13, 1914, p. 5)


With the advent of WWII, Farley E. Rhodes enlisted on June 18, 1942 in the US Army at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.  He became an Army officer and after the war he became a junior executive for the USAF at Brookley Field, Mobile, Alabama.  Farley was also a veteran of the Korean Conflict and owned several restaurants at Gulfport, Mississippi.(The Sun Herald, May 30, 1999, p. A11)

Farley E. Rhodes married Nelly Quiros (1921-2007, the daughter of Tulio Quiros and Carmen Barralt.  Nelly was born in the Dominican Republic and reared in Brooklyn, New York.  She graduated from Huntington College at Huntington, Indiana and during WWII  joined the US Navy as an interpreter in its Naval Intelligence branch.  Nelly was fluent in three languages.  With Farley, she reared two daughters: Barbara Farlene Rhodes m. Stephen Curtis Friday and Theresa Rhodes m.  Mr. Liner.


Farley E. Rhodes and family led a peripatetic life as his work as an executive with the Chrysler Corporation in its aerospace division brought them to Mount Clemens, Michigan, Detroit and New Orleans.  In the Crescent City, he was assigned to the Michoud Plant in East New Orleans.  Mr. Rhodes was a well-educated man having attended New Mexico State, Springhill College at Mobile and the Chrysler Institute of Engineering at Auburn Hills, Michigan. .(The Sun Herald, May 30, 1999, p. A11)


The Rhodes family returned to Gulfport, Mississippi and in 1971, Farley E. Rhodes was named Chief Administrator for the Harrison County, Mississippi Sheriff’s Office.  When Sheriff Howard LeRoy Hobbs (1934-2008) was convicted and imprisoned for a felony, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors appointed Farley E. Rhodes as Sheriff in 1983.  He again served Harrison County as its Sheriff in 1988 following the untimely demise of Larkin I. Smith (1944-1989) who was killed when his airplane crashed on August 13, 1989 in rural Perry County, Mississippi.


Farley E. Rhodes lived until May 28, 1999.  He died at Gulfport, Mississippi and his corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi National Cemetery.  Nelly Q. Rhodes expired on May 27, 2007.  She joined Farley in eternal rest also at the Biloxi National Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, May 30, 1999, p. A11 and June 3, 2007, p. A?)



The Sun Herald, “Farley E. Rhodes”, May 28, 1999.

The Sun Herald, “Nelly Rhodes”, June 3, 2007.

The Times-Picayune, “Gulfport might be tougher this season in Big 8”, September 13, 1941.





Larkin I. Smith (1944-1989)-Sheriff from January 1984-January 1988.  Born june 16, 1944 in Pearl River County, Mississippi.  Ran for the 5th Congressional District seat in 1988 and won beating Gary Eugene ‘Gene’ Taylor.  Took Federal office in January 1989 and was killed on August 13, 1989 in Perry County, Mississippi in an airplane crash.


Floral Hills Cemetery-Gulfport, Mississippi



The Sun Herald, “”,

The Sun Herald, “”,

The Sun Herald, “”,

The Sun Herald, “”,

The Sun Herald, “”,















The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Daily Herald, “”,

The Sun Herald, “”, June 1, 1999, p. A4.

The Sun Herald, “”,

The Sun Herald, “”,




When George H. Payne Jr. ran for Sheriff in 1999, he faced fellow Republicans, Joseph Price, the incumbent, as well as James D. ‘Jimmy’ Johnson and Danny W. ‘Dan’ Tackett.  The first primary was held on August 3rd and the general election on November 2nd.(The Sun Herald, June 1, 1999, p. A4)



The Sun Herald, “”,

The Sun Herald, “”,

The Sun Herald, “”,

The Sun Herald, “Candidates”, June 1, 1999, p.A4.





Melvin T. Brisolara (b. 1956) was elected Sheriff of Harrison County, Mississippi in August 2007.  He ran as a Republican against his former boss, George H. Payne.

In 2011, Sheriff Brisolara had thirty-four years experience in law enforcement with administrative duties under four Sheriffs.  His education was in specialized law enforcement training at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.  Owner of Oil Plus Inc.(The Sun Herald, June 19, 2011, p. A8)

Sheriff  Melvin Brisolara is the son of Arthur L. Brisolara II (1914-1977) and Haydee Ratigan (1922-2003).  His father and mother were both Louisiana natives.  Arthur L. Brisolara II was reared in Bunkie, Avoyelles Paris, Louisiana where Arthur L. Brisolara (1885-1968) and Alma T. Leon (1890-1974), his parents operated a hardware store.  She was the daughter of David Leon (1862-1930+).  The ancestral family of Melvin Brisolara originated at New Orleansmarried Barbara Reed.  Three children: Sara; Brandon; and Chelsea.


Money issues

In June 2011, Sheriff Brisolara asked the Harrison County Board of Supervisors for an additional $430,000 to make his payroll of the last quarter of his fiscal year which ends on September 30, 2011.(The Sun Herald, June 14, 2011, p. A1 and p. A11)


2011 Election

Sheriff Brisolara’s only Republican opponent for the office of Sheriff in 2011 was Neil Resh (b. 1955) who he beat in the Republican primary of 2007.  Mr. Resh earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from William Carey College.  A former Gulfport councilman, Neil Resh worked twenty-one years for the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department and eight years as a security guard with Inter-Con Security in the Dan M. Russell Jr. Federal Courthouse.(The Sun Herald, June 19, 2011, p. A8)           


Melvin T. Brisolara’s faced Democratic opponent Randall S. Darty (b. 1967) a patrol officer with the Bay St. Louis police department.  Mr. Darty had specialized law enforcement and international police training.  On November 8, 2011, Sheriff  Brisolara bested  Darty garnering 70% of the 38,686 votes cast.(The Sun Herald, November 9, 2011. P. A10)


Homeland Security

In November 2011, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department was recognized byU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations [ICE and HIS] for its interdiction and capture in 2010 of large quantities of marijuana from Jamaica and meth and cocaine from Mexico.  An official with the Federal agency stated:Sheriff Brisolara and his team epitomize the concept of homeland security beginning with hometown security and I am genuinely grateful for their partnership.(The Sun Herald, November 13, 2011, p. A2)



The Sun Herald, “Sheriff’s budget shortfall causes still at meeting”, June 14, 2011.

The Sun Herald, “Editorial-Sheriff has the luxury of money in the bank to meet the needs”, June 14, 2011.

The Sun Herald, “Resh challenges Brisolara again in Sheriff’s race”, June 19, 2011, p. A8.

The Sun Herald, “Money, trust key issues in race”, June 20, 2011, p. A1.

The Sun Herald, “Harrison incumbents sweep elections”, November 9, 2011, p. A10.

The Sun Herald, “Hometown security leads to national award”, November 13, 2011, p. A2.

The Sun Herald, “”,

The Sun Herald, “Brisolara changes mind on retirement”, August 16, 2014, p. A-1.

The Sun Herald, 'Peterson won majority of precincts in Sheriff's race', August 28, 2015, p. A-5.







Troy Peterson was elected Sheriff of Harrison County, Mississippi on August  25,  2015.  He defeated incumbent and his former boss, Melvin Brisolara, in a runoff election.  Sheriff elect Peterson had won the first primary held on August 4, 2015 but did not gain the majority of the 20,491 votes casts.  In the runoff, Brisolara garnered only 7237 votes [38%] while Peterson had 11,998 [62%].(The Sun Herald, August 28, 2015, p. A-5)




The Sun Herald, '',

The Sun Herald, 'Peterson won majority of precincts in Sheriff's race', August 28, 2015, p. A-5.