I’m still working on getting pictures of the MDAH CHPG projects, so in the meantime, I thought I would add another picture or two to our collection of architect and builder photos. These come from a source that Carunzel brought to my attention last week in the discussion about J.F. Barnes. I think I’ve mentioned the Internet Archive before, but I had never noticed this little gem, a full-copy print of the Biloxi Daily Herald’s Twentieth Century Edition of 1902. In this 114-page document, they give little bios of the leaders in the community at the time, and a few of them are in the construction industry.
After many years have passed away the name of this gentleman will be preserved to future Biloxians in this city from plans of this master architect—buildings that stand as monuments testifying to his skill and artistic taste. Mr. Brune was born in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1854, and studied architecture in the universities of that country, graduating with the highest honors. After coming to the United States Mr. Brune followed his profession in New York and St. Louis and some four years ago located in New Orleans, where his services are much sought after. Among the handsome buildings in this city that owe their beauty of creation to the artistic mind of Mr. Brune may be mentioned the beautiful homes of L. Lopez and W. K. M. Dukate, the Biloxi Yacht Club building, Dukate’s Theatre, the substantial and imposing brick business houses occupied by T. P. Dulion & Co., Folkes & Grant and L. Lopez & Co. The magnificent Catholic Church building, now in course of construction, will add another laurel to his reputation.
The gentleman whose name appears above was born at Kiln, Hancock county. Miss., on the 15th of September, 1865. His wife was Miss Mattie Swanzy. Mr. Thompson is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the Odd Fellows. His business is that of an architect and builder, and has a well-earned reputation in each branch of his calling in many surrounding towns, as well as in Biloxi, for excellent work. He has many handsome structures standing to his credit throughout this coast country. Among the many handsome buildings erected in this city by Mr. Thompson may be mentioned the new convent of the Sisters of Mercy and the three-story brick hotel building owned by Mr. P. Kennedy, an illustration of which appears in this edition, and the new First Baptist Church on Lameuse street.
I only know of one other building built by Mr. Thompson, the dearly departed F.B. Hewes House on Beach Blvd in Gulfport. It was listed on the National Register in 2002, but destroyed completely in Hurricane Katrina.
Mr. Owen was born in Holmes county. Miss., September 18, 1871. He is a contractor and builder and the magnificent structures that he has erected in this city are evidence that he is thoroughly skilled in that line. But his work in this city alone is not all the testimony of his proficiency. Many handsome structures in other cities and towns of the State stand as witnesses of skillful handiwork, and are proof positive that Mr. Owen is indeed master of his avocation. Careful and painstaking in every detail of the plans and specifications laid down to guide him in his work there is no such thing as failure to please those for whom he builds. To meet and converse with him is to recognize at once that he is an up-to-date man, who makes no claim to that which he does not understand, either in contracting or building.
It always annoys me in these bios when they go on and on about how many buildings a man has built but never get specific. Don’t they know it’s all about my research? From what I can find, Owen was the contractor for the White House Hotel in 1923 and the designer of the Central Fire Station in Pascagoula, now the popular restaurant Scrantons.
And my personal favorite, a man unafraid to declare his manhood and tell the world, “Yeah, I’ve got a bushy beard, what of it?”:
The subject of this sketch is a native of North Carolina, being born in that State on the 20th of May, 1858. He married Miss Edna V. McElvary, their union being blessed with one child—Hazel. Mr. Burke is a member of the Knights of Pythias and of the Biloxi Benevolent Association. He is a prominent contractor and builder, and there are many fine residences in Biloxi and the country circumjacent which attest his skill as a workman.
I know of none of the buildings allegedly built either in Biloxi or its circumjacents–maybe someone out there does?
There’s lots of other interesting stuff in this Daily Herald special edition, including pictures of many of the buildings mentioned in these bios sprinkled here and there. Make sure you have time to sit and browse because it will suck you in, I guarantee!