Pascagoula II PCE-874 - History

Pascagoula II PCE-874 - History

Pascagoula II

(PCE-874: dp. 903; 1. 184'6"; b. 33'1"; dr. 9'5", s. 15.7 k.;
cpl. 99; a. 1 3", 6 40mm.; cl. PCE-842)

PCE-874 was laid down 1 March 1943 by Albina Eng. & Mach. Works, Portland, Oreg. Launched 11 May 1943, and commissioned 31 December 1943, Lt. Roger W. Mabie, USNR, in command.

After shakedown off San Diego, PCE-874 transited the Panama Canal 2 March 1944 and escorted SS Esso Baytown to the port of Aruba, Netherlands West Indies, then proceeded to Reeife, Brazil to conduct ASW exercises with Brazilian submarines. This duty was followed with repeated escort voyages to Trinidad and down the South American coast to Bahia and Rio de Janeiro.

PCE-874 departed Recife 29 November with a merchant convoy bound for Key West, Fla., where she arrived 11 December. She later transited the Panama Canal and put into Hollandia, New Guinea 2 March 1945. She spent several weeks escorting convoys between Hollandia and Leyte and on 9 April was assigned defense patrol duties in the Philippine Islands. Sailing from Cebu City, she supported the landings at Dumaguette, Negros Island 26 April and participated in a similar operation at Tabluelan, C'ebu Island on 2 May. On 8 May she captured two Japanese soldiers in a dugout canoe and interned them at Zamboanga City, Mindanao. The remaining months of the war found PCE-874 on freauent patrol of the Sibitu Passage, the Guinan Roadstead, and the Tawi Tawi Anehorage. She was in San Pedro Bay when the Japanese surrender was announced.

On 15 September she departed Lauaak Bay, Samar, on the first of a series of weather station patrols in support of aerial flights to the Philippine Islands. After overhaul in the fall and winter, she sailed on 4 February 1946 for the Marianas.

PCE-874 arrived Apra Harbor, Guam 23 February and spent the next five months on weather statioh patrols which took her as far as Kwajalein in the Marshalls. She departed Apra 26 July and returned to San Diego 31 August. On 16 September she left San Diego and, following a brief stay in the Canal Zone, reached New Orleans where she decommissioned 25 November. She was placed in service the same day as a rescrvo training ship, and assigned to the 8th Naval D~striet.

Alternately based at New Orleans and Corpus Christi, Texas, she spent the remainder of her career conducting eountless training cruises, for reservists, to the principal ports of Florida and Guantanamo Bay. PCE-874 was named Pascagoula 15 February 1956. On 30 April 1959, Pascagoula was placed out of service at New Orleans and struck from the Naval Vessel Register 1 May 1959. Pascagoula was loaned to Ecuador 5 December 1960, under the Military Assistance Program. Penamed Manabi (E-02) she serves the Ecuadorean Navy into 1970.

PCE-842-class patrol craft

The PCE-842-class patrol craft were United States Navy patrol craft escorts designed during World War II that were intended for coastal and convoy escort. The design was derived from the 180-foot (55 m) Admirable-class minesweeper as a substitute for the 173-foot (53 m) PC-461-class submarine chasers that were used for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) in coastal areas. [1] At 185 feet long and 640 tons, the PCE is more than twice the displacement of the PC. It has a crew complement of 99 officers and men.

    , Chicago
  • Albina, Portland
  • United States Navy
  • United States Navy
  • Royal Navy
  • Republic of Korea Navy
  • Mexican Navy
  • Ecuadorian Navy
  • Colombian National Navy
  • Republic of Vietnam Navy
  • Republic of China Navy
  • Cuban Revolutionary Navy
  • Philippine Navy
  • Myanmar Navy
  • 180 ft (54.86 m) wl
  • 184 ft 6 in (56.24 m) oa
  • 2 shaft diesel engines
  • 2,000 bhp (1,500 kW)
  • 1 × 3"/50 caliber gun
  • 6 × Bofors 40 mm guns (3 twin mounts)
  • 4 × 20 mm guns
  • 1 × Hedgehog anti-submarine projector
  • Depth charges

Jeffrey P. Brain, Tunica Treasure, (Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University: Cambridge, Massachusetts-1979), 329 pages.

Carl A. Brasseaux, A Comparative View of French Louisiana, 1699 and 1762: The Journals of Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville and Jean-Jacques-Blaise d'Abbadie, (The Center For Louisiana Studies, University of Southwestern Louisiana-1979), 159 pages.

Gail Alexander Buzhardt and Margaret Hawthorne, Rencontres sur le Mississippi, 1682-1763, (University Press of Mississippi-Jackson, Mississippi-1993), 250 pages.

Margaret Rose Carraway, "The Cornerstone of Old Fort Maurepas", Journal of Mississippi History", April 1951, pp. 101-104.

Volney J. Cissna, Jr., "Reconstruction of Fort Maurepas", (The Gulf Regional Planning Commission Report: Gulfport, Mississippi-1973).

J.F.H. Claiborne, Mississippi as a Province, Territory, and State, (The Reprint Company: Spartanburg, South Carolina-1978), 591 pages. Reprinted from an 1880 edition.

Charles L. Dufour, Ten Flags in the Wind: The Story of Louisiana, (Harper & Row: New York-1967).

Antoine Simon Le Page Du Pratz, The History of Louisiana, (Claitor's Publishing Division: Baton Rouge, Louisiana-1972), 366 pages. Reprinted from a 1774 edition.

Robert B. Fisher, The French Invade the South and Lose, (Shaugnessy & Company: Biloxi, Mississippi-1984), 50 pages.

Dale Greenwell, Twelve Flags Triumphs and Tragedies, (Dale Greenwell: Biloxi, Mississippi-1968), 175 pages.

Peter J. Hamilton, Colonial Mobile, (Reprint by Heritage Books: Bowie, Maryland-1991). Two volumes. Originally published in 1910.

David Hardcastle, "The Military Organization of French Colonial Louisiana", from The Military Presence on the Gulf Coast, (Gulf Coast History & Humanities Conference: Pensacola, Florida-1978).

Virginia C. Harrell, Vicksburg and the River, (University of Mississippi Press: Jackson, Mississippi-1982), 112 pages.

Jay Higginbotham, "The Chaumont Concession: A French Plantation on the Pascagoula (River)", Journal of Mississippi History, November 1974, pp. 353-362.

Jay Higginbotham, Fort Maurepas: The Birth of Louisiana, (Colonial Books: Mobile, Alabama-1968), 93 pages. (may have been reprinted by the University of Alabama Press)

Jay Higginbotham, The Journal of Sauvole, (Colonial Books: Mobile, Alabama-1969), 70 pages.

Jay Higginbotham, Old Mobile: Fort Louis de la Louisiane (1702-1711), (Museum of the City of Mobile, Publication No. 4: Mobile, Alabama-1977), 585 pages.

Elbert R. Hilliard, "The Establishment of the Fort Maurepas Historical Site", A Report from the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History: Jackson, Mississippi-1973).

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989), 438 pages.

Louise C. Hoffman, An Artist's Vision: Josephine Crawford, [The Historic New Orleans Collection New Orleans, Louisiana-2009]

Journal of the Frigate "Le Marin" (September 5, 1698-July 2, 1699), (Blossman Printing Company: Ocean Springs, Mississippi-1974), 70 pages.

Jo Merle Kennedy, Dauphin Island, Alabama: French Possession 1699-1763, (Coffee Printing Company: Selma, Alabama-1976),

Richebourg G. McWilliams, Fleur de lys and Calumet, The Penicaut Narrative, (LSU Press: Baton Rouge, Louisiana-1953), 281 pages.

Richebourg G. McWilliams, Iberville's Gulf Journals, (University of Alabama Press: Tuscaloosa, Alabama-1981), 195 pages.

James H. Malone, The Chickasaw Nation, (John P. Morton & Company-Louisville, Kentucky-1922).

Francois Xavier Martin, History of Louisiana (1892).

C.E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1972), 142 pages. (out of print, but available at all local libraries)

Truman Stacey, Louisiana's French Heritage, (Acadian House Publishing: Lafayette, Louisiana-1990).

Julie Broussard Suarez, Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Records, Burial Books 33 thru 42, (1945-1960), (Suarez: Biloxi, Mississippi-1999).

Charles Sullivan, Hurricanes of the Mississippi Gulf Coast-1717 to Present, (Gulf Publishing Company: Biloxi, Mississippi-1986), 139 pages.

Charles Sullivan, The Mississippi Gulf Coast: Portrait of a People, (Windsor Publications: Northridge, California-1985), 200 pages.

Daniel H. Thomas, Fort Toulouse: The French Outpost at the Alabamas on the Coosa, The University of Alabama Press: Tuscaloosa, Alabama-1989), 90 pages.

Greg A. Waselkov and Diane E. Silva, Archaeology at the Krebs House (Old Spanish Fort), Pascagoula, Mississippi, (University of South Alabama Center for Archaeological Studies: Mobile, Alabama-1995), 85 pages.

Samuel Wilson, Jr., Gulf Coast Architecture, (Historic Pensacola Preservation Board: Pensacola, Florida-1977), 49 pages.

The Phantom Barber of Pascagoula

History is peppered with strange accounts of phantom attackers. These mystery assailants attack, stir up a massive panic, and then disappear as mysteriously as they come.

Many, like the legendary Spring-Heeled Jack, are clearly more fiction than fact, but now and then an outbreak of strange behavior is rooted in genuine criminal activity. The panic surrounding the London Monster, for example, likely grew out of legitimate attacks on women in 18th century London streets.

Like on Facebook

To stay in touch & get our latest news

A phantom attacker similar to the London Monster stalked the streets of Pascagoula, Mississippi during World War II, preying on women and girls. His particular perversion involved cutting hair, leading locals to dub him The Phantom Barber of Pascagoula.

A mysterious assailant

The year was 1942. America was at war. As her men and boys went off to fight in foreign fields, her towns geared themselves up to produce the material the troops would need to win the war. The small town of Pascagoula was no exception.

Indeed, the war was a boom time for the town–its population increased by 15,000 in just two years. Pascagoula was involved in the manufacture of war ships, a crucial industry for a nation involved in a war on two oceans.

However, the influx of so many people into what was once such a small town lead to tensions. It was the perfect recipe for a panic, what with the social upheaval and the specter of warfare hanging overhead. Soon enough, there was indeed a panic, one that seems similar in many ways to the Mad Gasser of Mattoon episode, which has become a textbook case of mass hysteria.

The attacks began in early June 1942, when the Phantom Barber cut the hair of Mary Evelyn Briggs and Edna Marie Hydel in their bedroom at the convent of Our Lady of Victories. By the end of that week, three people received unwanted hair cuts at the shears of the Phantom Barber. None saw their attacker.

Mary Evelyn Briggs and her sister Laura

The town was understandably in a panic. It got to the point where the Army even modified its blackout regulations (blackouts were procedures to defend against air raids) in order to help police hunt the Barber. The Phantom Barber primarily struck on Monday and Friday evenings, and entered through a slit in window screens.

The Phantom Barber strikes again

A week after the first attack, the Phantom Barber struck the home of David G. Peattie, shearing his daughter Carol’s hair. The parents found a bare footprint near the window.

The following Friday, the attacks became violent: the Phantom allegedly entered the house of Mr. and Mrs. ST Heidelberg, and proceeded to beat them with an iron bar. The final attack happened on a Sunday, two weeks later.

The Phantom clipped a two inch lock of hair from the head of Mrs. RR Taylor. Mrs. Taylor reported a sickening smell and something being pressed to her face, which authorities assumed to be a chloroform rag. All told, about ten homes were broken into during the Phantom Barber’s reign of terror.

In August, the police apprehended a suspect that they concluded was the Phantom Barber. His name was William Dolan, a 57-year-old German chemist with reported German sympathies and a grudge against the Heidelbergs.

Mr. Heidelberg’s father was a local judge who had refused to lower Dolan’s bail on a trespassing charge several months before. Dolan was charged with the attempted murder of the Heidelbergs, but curiously he was never charged with one of the Phantom Barber attacks, despite the FBI finding a bundle of human hair behind his house, some of which belonged to Carol Peattrie, who you will remember was the Barber’s fourth victim. Dolan denied being the Phantom Barber.

He received ten years for the attempted murder charge. After his arrest, the Phantom Barber attacks ceased.

It isn’t clear whether Dolan really was the Barber though. His attack was uncharacteristically violent compared to the Barber’s attacks.

It could be argued that the Barber attacks were practice runs leading up to the assault on the Heidelberg’s, but if that were the case, why do another Barber-style attack after the Heidelberg assault? Also, if they were practice runs, why cut hair? It sounds like something sexually motivated, a hair fetish perhaps.

If that were the case and Dolan were the assailant, why keep his prizes in the back yard? Also, it doesn’t seem that the footprint in Carol Peattrie’s room was ever analyzed, a definite oversight on the part of the police.

As it often happens, there are no definitive answers in this case. It is certainly possible that a pervert with a hair fetish was stalking the streets of Pascagoula.

Whether that pervert was William Dolan, or another man who decided to book it out of town once authorities snapped up Dolan and his name was linked to the attacks, remains unknown. The identity of the Phantom Barber of Pascagoula will remain a mystery.

Development and design [ edit | edit source ]

The Admirable class had been developed as a smaller minesweeper than the Raven-class and Auk-class minesweepers, which would be cheaper and easier to build, while still having good seakeeping capabilities in high seas. An escort derivative of the new design was proposed for supply under the Lend-Lease scheme to Britain's Royal Navy (which had already rejected the Admirable -class as minesweepers), and when the US Navy realized that a shortage of engines might prevent it from receiving additional PC-461-class submarine chaser beyond those already on order, it was decided to build the escort variant, designated as PCEs (Patrol Craft Escort) for both the US Navy and Royal Navy. Ώ] ΐ]

JFK’s body moved to permanent gravesite

On March 14, the body of President John F. Kennedy is moved to a spot just a few feet away from its original interment site at Arlington National Cemetery. The slain president had been assassinated more than three years earlier, on November 22, 1963.

Although JFK never specified where he wanted to be buried, most of his family and friends assumed he would have chosen a plot in his home state of Massachusetts. Because JFK was a World War II veteran, he qualified for a plot at Arlington National Cemetery, but he also deserved a special site befitting his presidential status. The spring before he died, President Kennedy had made an unscheduled tour of Arlington and had remarked to a friend on the view of the Potomac from the Custis-Lee Mansion, reportedly saying it was "so magnificent I could stay forever." After the assassination, the friend who accompanied JFK to Arlington that day relayed the comment to the president’s brother-in-law, Sargent Shriver, who suggested the site to Jacqueline Kennedy, the president’s widow. Jackie, who was responsible for the final decision, toured the site on November 24 and agreed. “He belongs to the people,” she said.

During funeral preparations, the first lady asked if cemetery workers could erect some sort of eternal flame at the gravesite. Cemetery officials scrambled to put together a makeshift Hawaiian torch under a wire dome, covered by dirt and evergreen boughs. The flame was fed by copper tubing from a propane tank situated 300 feet away. After the graveside military ceremony on November 25, Jackie lit the first eternal flame and, a few days later, the gravesite was enclosed with a white picket fence. In December 1963, Jackie Kennedy returned to the grave and was photographed kneeling in prayer among a sea of wreaths and bouquets left by recent visitors.

JFK’s original gravesite attracted 16 million visitors in the first three years after his death. In 1967, the Kennedy family and Arlington officials chose to move JFK’s grave in order to construct a safer, more stable eternal flame and to accommodate the extensive foot traffic caused by tourists. The final resting place, which is only a few feet from the original site, took 2 years to construct, during which time JFK’s body was secretly moved and re-interred in a private ceremony attended by Jackie, his brothers Edward and Robert, and President Lyndon Johnson. The bodies of two of the couple’s children who died at birth were also moved to the new site from graves in Massachusetts. The makeshift propane gas line was replaced with a permanent natural gas line and furnished with a continuous electronic flashing spark that reignites the flame in case it is extinguished by rain or wind. The Kennedy family chose Cape Cod granite flagstones to surround the flame. They also paid the costs of the original burial, but the federal government funded construction of the final site and appropriates money for the plot’s upkeep.

In 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, also a victim of assassination, was buried near his brother. In 1994, Jackie Kennedy died after a battle with cancer and, although she had remarried and again been widowed, was laid to rest in the same crypt as her first husband, JFK. When former United States Senator Ted Kennedy passed away in 2009, he was also laid to rest near his brothers.

William Taft is the only other president besides JFK interred at Arlington.

History of Greene County – Part 3

This year marks the 200th anniversary of Mississippi’s statehood. On December 10, 1817, President James Monroe signed the resolution that admitted Mississippi as the twentieth state. Throughout the year, various activities are planned across the state to celebrate the bicentennial. We encourage you to contact the Mississippi Department of Archives and History for further information regarding these events.

In recognition of the State’s bicentennial, the Greene County Museum and Historical Society has chosen as its annual goal to provide the public some aspects of the history of Greene County as it paralleled the development of the State of Mississippi.


Typically, early settlers to the Mississippi Territory claimed land along navigable waterways and where major trails crossed. Land suitable for farming or for grazing livestock was also a major factor.

Large, extended families, along with their neighbors, would frequently migrate together, claim land and clear it and thus establish a new community. As the availability of land in the more desirable locations was claimed, later settlers made their claims further inland.

Where did the earliest families settle in Greene County, Mississippi?

Remembering that the boundaries of Greene County changed over the years since it was first established in 1811, some of the following towns would have been located in Jackson County and, since 1910, George County.

Between 1822 and 1 May 1910, places such as McManus, Merrill, Avent, Bexley, Rocky Creek and Lucedale were located within the boundaries of Greene County. One of the earliest settlements found on record was Greene Courthouse, located on Boise Bluff or Courthouse Bluff on the east bank of the Leaf River near the present day town of McLain. The Paulding and the Mobile to Natchez Roads intersected at Boise Bluff. The Paulding Road ran south from the early trading settlement of Paulding (now in Jasper County) to Mobile. The Greene Courthouse settlement served as the first seat of government for Greene County, which, at the time, stretched from the east bank of the Pearl River to the west bank of the Tombigbee River. The first Greene County Courthouse was built there in 1811. Once the County boundaries were reduced in 1820, a new, more centrally located site was established at Leakesville along the Chickasawhay River in 1827.

McManus-now extinct, was named for Archibald McManus, who, with his family, settled along the Pascagoula River in 1811-1813 at what is now known as Big Eddy (Rev. Jackson, page 113). Mr. McManus owned land in Jackson and Greene Counties as well as a mercantile store just below where the town of Merrill would be located some years later. He served as Clerk of Court for Jackson County in 1815 and in 1819 was appointed Justice of the Quorum Court (a position like our present day County Supervisor). He also represented Greene County by serving as “the first member of the Lower House in the state legislature (Rev. Jackson, page 113).” A post office was established at McManus about 1825 with Mr. McManus its first postmaster (Cyril E. Cain, Four Centuries on the Pascagoula, Vol. I, USA, 1953 pages 6, 14, 71, 72, 162).

McManus would be one of three towns in Greene County with a post office in 1846. The other two were Leakesville and Vernal. According to Mr. Cain (page 162) the post office at McManus was discontinued in 1852, which might also represent the end of McManus as a settlement. A post office was later established at Cochran in 1893, with the town changing its name to Merrill in 1898 (Cain, page 160).

Once the United States took possession of Mobile and established a post office there in 1813, the town of Leaf River, located close to McLain on the Leaf River, had the first post office in Greene County by 1814. This post office was discontinued in 1842 (Cain, page 164).

According to Dr. Byron E. Green, Jr. in Glimpses of the Green Family of Greene County, Mississippi, excerpts of which appeared in the Greene County Herald and now available online, “the first two settlements of note in Greene County were Salem (Leaf) and Scotland [or “Little Scotland”] (Vernal).” The town of Salem was established in 1838 by such families as McKay, McLeod, Thomson and Cowart (Dr. Green). Leaf is located about six miles south of McLain on Hwy 57. Mr. Cain (page 164) lists the town of Leaf having its own post office by 1874, remaining in operation until 1986. The unincorporated community of Leaf was a stop on the Mobile, Jackson and Kansas City (M.J. & K.C.) Railroad, later to become part of the Illinois Central rail system.

The Salem Camp Meeting was first held in 1826 and has met at the Salem Camp Ground the first week in October, with few exceptions, every year since (Rev. Jackson, Vol. II, page 591). The Salem Academy was founded at Leaf around 1845 and closed in 1862. According to Rev. Jackson (Vol. II, page 203), “Salem School, near Leaf, was given a staggering blow by the Civil War and finished off by Yellow Fever.” The Salem Presbyterian Church was organized about 1850 (Jackson, Vol. II, page 682).

Another settlement, now extinct, was called McLeods, which was located on the west bank of the Leaf River. A post office was established there in 1838 with Norman McLeod its first postmaster. The post office was discontinued in 1867 as all mail was being routed through State Line by way of Mobile after the Civil War ended.

State Line, located in the northeast corner of the county, about two miles from the Alabama line, was already considered the primary trading center for Greene County by the time of its founding in 1856. The town was incorporated in 1875 and currently straddles the Greene-Wayne County line. Its continued importance was assured by the opening of a post office that same year, which, by the 1870 Federal Census, served the entire county. Perhaps more importantly, the Mobile & Ohio (M. & O.) Railroad ran through it by the mid-1850’s. Protection of this rail line led to the only documented skirmish between Confederate and Yankee forces in Greene County during the Civil War.

Vernal, the oldest settlement in Greene County according to Rev. Jackson (Vol. II, page 38), is an unincorporated community located about 12 miles southwest of Leakesville at the crossroads of the Federal Road and the Mobile to Natchez Road. It was named for one of its Scottish settlers and had previously been referred to as “Little Scotland” during the 1850’s. McLeod was a prominent family name in this community.

John Riley Bliss McIntosh and his wife Rachel McInnis owned and operated a store in the Vernal Community in the mid-1800s (Rev. Jackson, Vol. II, page 475). As of October 1, 1846, Vernal was one of three locations in Greene County with a post office. In 1893, Dan Norman McLeod was appointed postmaster at Vernal. He built a separate building out of lumber.

A picture of this post office, which reportedly still exists, may be found in the Greene County Museum collection. The post office was phased out in March 1956.

The Vernal Presbyterian Church was organized in February 1880, with their first church building dedicated on 27 August 1882. Charter members included such family surnames as McLeod, Pipkins, McInnis, Cowart, Woodard, Box, Brown, and Hillman.

According to Rev. Jackson, Dr. J.H. Thompson was the founder of the church and was head of the Salem Academy at Leaf until the Civil War (Vol. I, pages 72-73). The current building was built between 1906-08 and was added to the National Register of Historic Buildings in 2002.

The Vernal (Springs) Male and Female Academy was founded and incorporated in 1860 by the Rev. Richmond McInnis (1817-1881) (Rev. Jackson, Vol. II, page 43). He brought Rev. James B. and Kate Smith of Illinois to operate the school. “Its career, though brief, was prosperous. Average attendance, about fifty about one-fifth borders. There was a small patronage from Alabama and Texas. (Goodspeed’s, Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi: Vol. II, Part II. Goodspeed Publishing, Chicago, 1891 page 334).”

The Vernal School was mentioned in a Greene County Herald article appearing on January 8, 1904, indicating that public education was being provided in Vernal beginning in 1900-01 (Rev. James T. Dunnam, Volume II, Greene County Herald: 1904-09 January 2009). However, the Vernal School had its beginnings as early as 1895 when Rev. A.G. Ferguson came to preach and teach at Vernal Presbyterian Church.

The Vernal Consolidated Rural School was built, initially as a two-story building, in 1913. The second floor was removed in about 1933. Students were provided an education from grades one through eight. Once a student completed the eighth grade, they could attend Leakesville High or the Greene County Agricultural High School located in the PineLevel Community. The school closed following the 1956-1957 academic year. The school building was designated a Mississippi Historic Landmark on July 18, 2002. Annual reunions continue to be held at the school the first Saturday in May (Patterson, Dorothy Mathis, Vernal Public School: History and Memories, 1913-1957 2010).

The Bear Pond School was said to be located in Vernal, opening by 1907. According to Rev. Jackson (Vol. II, pages 101 and 109), the school was located on the Greene and George County line and served students from both counties. Evidently, the school closed following the 1912-1913 academic year as it was not listed among the Greene County Schools in the Herald after that time.

Located just below Vernal was the Ball community, named for the concentration of Ball families who settled the area in the early to mid-1800s. However, one of the earliest settlers in the area (1808) was Colonel Josiah Skinner, for whom Skinner Creek was named (Rev. Jackson, Vol. II, page 12). The creek runs under the present day Vernal River Road and behind the Pine Grove (now Missionary Baptist) Church.

James Sampson Ball claimed land in the area as early as 1835 and was operating a “stand” along the Mobile to Natchez Road during the Civil War. A stand served as a rest stop for travelers along the roads of the day. Travelers along the Natchez Trace today will see signs indicating where stands existed in years gone by. The Ball Stand, or tavern according to one author’s account, will play a role in the day and night before the skirmish between Confederate and Yankee forces just up the Vernal Road toward Leakesville in December 1864.

The Pine Grove Methodist Church was built in the Ball community in 1887 with the Tyra Augustus Ball family donating an acre of land for the building. Charter members of the church included the Tyra Augustus Ball, William Washington Ball, and John Jefferson Ball families (all sons of James Sampson and Sarah Roberts Ball who had survived military service during the Civil War) the James Monroe Ball family (son of Tyra A. and Martha Stringfellow Ball), the Randle McInnis family, and the D. S. Williams family. In 1952, an additional half-acre was donated by Griffin Clanton Ball, youngest son of Tyra A. Ball, for a cemetery (Rev. Jackson, Vol. II, pages 617-619). Services were held at the church until the congregation merged with the Methodist Church of Merrill in 1966. The combined congregations then established Grace United Methodist Church, which is located at the corner of Highway 98 and Vernal River Road. The Pine Grove Cemetery is now referred to as the Pine Grove/Grace Cemetery.

There was a post office in Ball, according to Rev. Jackson, which was near the spot in a picture of the “old Military Road running through Vernal…(Vol. II, page 557).” Rev. Jackson’s identification of the roadway as the “old Military Road” rather than the Federal Road was hopefully clarified in the previous article. The Ball Post Office operated from 1903 to 1912.

The last remaining Ball living in the community today, to my knowledge, is Mavis Ball Dungan, whose late husband, George L. Dungan, preserved the old post office and enclosed it in a building. This places the structure in close proximity to the Pine Grove Church and the Old Federal Road.

Buck Creek was represented on an 1863 map of Mississippi railroads and was located in the Washington/Neely vicinity. There was a post office there from 1856 to 1893.

The first settlers in the area that would later become the town of Leakesville were the John J. McInnis family. Leakesville, close to the Chickasawhay River and Paulding Road (one of the first federal roads to traverse the Piney Woods), was established as the new and present county seat in 1827. It was named for Walter Leake, who served as Governor of the State of Mississippi from 1822 to 1825 and later as a US Senator for the state. According to J.F.H. Claiborne’s “Trip Through the Piney Woods” in 1840, there was no town other than the courthouse and jail.

The first Greene County Courthouse (in Leakesville) and all the County records were destroyed by fire on March 23, 1873. The second building was also lost to fire prior to 1899, when the third courthouse was constructed. A picture of this structure is also available in the Greene County Museum collection. The third building was demolished in the late 1930’s to make way for the construction of the present courthouse, which was completed in 1939. The fourth floor of the Courthouse served as the County jail until a new jail was built behind the Courthouse in 1991. The fourth floor and former jail now serves as home to the Greene County Museum, which opened in 2004.

A post office was located at Leakesville in 1817, with Norman McDuffie serving as its first postmaster (Rev. Jackson, Vol. II, page 49). Again, it was one of three locations in Greene County with a post office in 1846. A picture of an early Leakesville Post Office may be found in the Greene County Museum collection.

Leakesville was incorporated in January 1904 and was reported to have 123 residents at the time. The previous year 1903 saw the first railroad connection established when the Vinegar Bend Lumber Company extended their line to Leakesville, which subsequently connected to a line running to Pascagoula. Leakesville High School was scheduled to open in the fall of 1904 according to the Greene County Herald (Rev. Dunnam, Vol. II, p.8).

Access to Leakesville from the east necessitated crossing the Chickasawhay River. According to Rev. Jackson, John McInnis had the first ferry there (Vol. II, page 19). A ferry service between Leakesville and Vernal was begun by John Rory McLeod about 1860 (Rev. Jackson, Vol. II, page 20).

Old Avera was established prior to 1860 by Powell Avera and was located about a mile from the present town of Avera along the Chickasawhay River. Avera is located about 15 miles northeast of Leakesville and was formed in 1880. There will be more about Avera in a furture article. The Avera Ferry was located four miles below the Avera store, at a place that would become Adamsville.

Adamsville was located on the west bank of the Chickasawhay halfway between Leakesville and State Line. It was named for Dr. Bodo Otto Adams, who had a store at that location (Rev. Dunnam, Greene County Herald, Vol. 1, p. 8). An 1863 railroad map of Mississippi identifies a place called Adam’s Store and on an 1891 Mississippi County map it was referred to as Adamsville. A post office was established there in 1854 and was abolished on Sep 30, 1909 (Rev. Dunnam, Vol. II, p. 114). The Adamsville School continued to be listed in the newspaper as late as 1926.

Establishment of sawmills led to the development of many small towns and communities in Greene County during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. These frequently short-lived towns will be presented in another chapter of Greene County history when we take a look at the logging and timber industry and its impact on the county.

Pascagoula II PCE-874 - History

Larry Ryan, a Pascagoula fisherman, discusses his career mullet-fishing, shrimping, oystering, and crabbing.

Jennifer M. Buchanan, is education coordinator at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

Mr. Gerald William Bosarge was born on November 13, 1934, in Pecan, Mississippi, to Mr. Charles Bosarge and Mrs. Bosarge (born Saksa, in Finland). He is married to Mrs. Harriet Janice Zirlott (born in Coden, Alabama on June 27, 1945). They have two children, Gerald William Bosarge Jr. and Lori Ann Bosarge. At the time of this interview, Mr. Bosarge was retired from commercial fishing, and after forty years of fishing for a living, he currently fishes for fun and sustenance. He is from a multi-generational fishing family, with ancestors who fished on both sides of his family.

By clicking the "I understand" button you acknowledge that the Voices Oral History Archives offers public access to a wide range of accounts, including historical materials, that may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes.

Voices Oral History Archives does not edit or verify the accuracy of materials submitted to us. These interviews are presented as part of the historical record. The opinions expressed in the interviews are those of the interviewee only.

The interviews here have been made available to the public only after the interviewer has confirmed that they have obtained consent from the interviewee .

Jack Lucas shared his story, love of country, met presidents

He lived to travel the country and parts of the world to share his story and love of country and the Marine Corps. He met several presidents, including President Harry Truman, who awarded him the Medal of Honor. He wined and dined with movie stars, but was as down to earth as anyone of his stature could be.

And he continued to serve the country he loved in any way he could, including a second career in the military.

Lucas was 14 when he signed up for the Marine Corps, forging his mother's signature and using a different year of birth to make it appear he was 17. And when he was 17, the Marine stowed away on the USS Deuel, a Navy ship ported in Hawaii, that ended up in Iwo Jima.

He married — more than once — and had five children. His widow, Ruby Lucas, was always at his side, until June 5, 2008, the day he died of cancer. Jack Lucas was 80.

Today, she continues to talk about her late husband's valor and promotes his love of country every chance she gets.

On Nov. 7, Ruby Lucas attended a keel authentication ceremony for the DDG 125 Jack H. Lucas, which is being built at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula.

"It was very thrilling for me," she said. "It was sad and happy at the same time.

"If that hadn't been a destroyer ship, I believe Jack would have come up out of that ground. That's exactly what he would have wanted."

Ruby Lucas said Gov. Phil Bryant, who attended the ceremony, had a great love for her husband. When he got up to speak, she saw his lips quiver, which in turn made her emotional.

"Now I've got to follow him," she said. "I don't know if I can make this or not."

(Story continues after photo.)

Catherine Reynolds and Ruby Lucas trace their initials onto a steel plate that will be welded inside the guided missile destroyer Jack H. Lucas. Looking on is Gov. Phil Bryant, who spoke at the Nov. 7, 2019, ceremony. (Photo: Derek Fountain/HII/Special to the American)

One thought on &ldquo The Phantom Barber of Pascagoula &rdquo

Truly a bizarre story. I guess the barber was as weird as the criminals that like to steal women’s under garments. No one likes their space violated, especially when asleep in their homes. The story also gave insight on the mindset of Americans dealing with the war. Fear of those that sought to do harm to our nation was forefront on their minds. Unlike today when we are told to embrace those who openly state the intent to destroy our way of life, our faith, and our lives. Being diverse should not mean committing suicide as a nation. As a child I was taught to avoid peer pressure. Today peer pressure has become the only acceptable way of life. I can now see the danger of such ignorance.

Watch the video: Herman and Gladys Adkins oral history interview, 1995-07-06