D'Iberville History Time Line

Time Line


D’Iberville, Mississippi History

17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st 

Century Chronology of D’IBERVILLE

Commencing with the year 1682 and continuing to present day, I have subjectively gleaned salient dates and facts relating to our local chronology from journals and other authoritative sources. 

French Colonial Period [1699-1763]


Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle (1643-1687) reconnoitered the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes locating its deltaic mouth on the Gulf of Mexico in April 1682.  He claimed for France the vast area between the Rocky Mountains and the Alleghenies drained by the Mississippi and all of its tributaries.  We know this territory as Louisiana, i.e. belonging to King Louis XIV of France.  La Salle called the Great River, Colbert, in honor of the French Minister of Marine.


French soldiers led by Iberville in the service of King Louis XIV of France, commenced the construction of  Fort Maurepas, at present day Ocean Springs, Mississippi, in early April.  Fort Maurepas was named to honor the French Minister of the Marine (Navy), Jerome Phelypeaux de Maurepas, Comte (Earl) de Pontchartrain.  Several locales in North America bear the name Maurepas or Pontchartrain:  Lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain in southeastern Louisiana and Point Maurepas on the island of Michipicoten (Ontario) in Lake Superior.  The Fort Maurepas settlement was also called Biloxi for the local Siouxan Indian tribe which lived on the Pascagoula River.

In late April, Bienville explored the area of present day D’Iberville and found it to be fine for a settlement.  Iberville also visited here and commented: “I found it very beautiful with pine woods, mixed with trees of other kinds in spots, many prairies, light sandy soil everywhere; I saw a good many deer.  Deer are killed everywhere in the vicinity of the fort.”

Iberville aboard La Badine and his fleet departed Ship Island for France in May.  He left a garrison of seventy-six men and ten officers under Sauvolle at Fort Maurepas.


Iberville returned from France and anchored at Ship Island on January 8th aboard Renommee.  He departed Ship Island for New York and France in late May 1700.  At New York, Iberville sold 9000 pelts acquired from trappers in the Mississippi Valley.

February 6th, the French establish Fort de La Boulaye (Fort Mississippi) on the Lower Mississippi, near Phoenix, thirty miles below New Orleans.  Bienville in command of fifteen men.  First French establishment in present day Louisiana.  Position abandoned 1707, with Juchreau St. Denis in command.


Commandant Sauvolle expired at Fort Maurepas on August 22nd.  Bienville assumed command of Fort Maurepas on Bilocchy [Biloxi] Bay.

Iberville arrived at Pensacola aboard Renommee December 15th.

Iberville ordered Bienville to abandon Fort Maurepas on December 17th and build a fort at La Mobile on the Mobile River, twenty seven miles from Dauphin Island.


Fort Maurepas was abandoned in the early January 1702, as Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne (1680-1768), Sieur de Bienville removed the French garrison to Dauphin Island to construct a warehouse. 

Iberville laid out the streets of La Mobile in late March.

On March 26th, Iberville, Tonty, and Bienville, interpreter, met with three Chickasaw and four Choctaw chiefs at La Mobile to establish a peace between these warring tribes and discourage them from trading with the English. He gave each Indian nation the following: twelve muskets; 200 pounds of black powder; 200 pounds of bullets; 200 pounds of game-shot; 100 axes; 150 knives; kettles; glass beads; gun flints; awls; and assorted hardware.

Iberville left Pensacola for Havana on April 27th with a load of beaver pelts and common animal skins.  Renommee sailed for Rochefort, France from Havana on June 17th.


Iberville died at Havana




Fort Toulouse was erected by the French at the juncture of the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers near present day Wetumpka, Alabama, just north of Montgomery, Alabama to prevent English trade with the local Indians and to deter Anglo settlers and traders from advancing from the Carolinas.

The French return to Biloxi Bay and locate on the site of old Fort Maurepas after a hurricane in August 1717 damages their harbor at Dauphine Island. 


French move Louisiana Colony government to New Orleans on the Mississippi River.


Bienville led French forces in the northeast Mississippi Chickasaw campaigns at Ackia and Cotton Gin (Amory).


Bienville left Louisiana and arrived at Rochefort, France in October.  He retired to Paris.


British Colonial Period [1763-1780]

The Treaty of Paris often called the Peace of Paris, or the Treaty of 1763, was signed on February 10, 1763, by the kingdoms of Great Britain, France and Spain, with Portugal in agreement. Together with the Treaty of Hubertusburg, it ended the French and Indian War or Seven Years' War.[1] The treaties marked the beginning of an extensive period of British dominance outside of Europe.[2]  While the bulk of conquered territories were restored to their pre-war owners, the British made some substantial overseas gains at the expense of France and, to a lesser extent, Spain.[3] Preferring to keep Guadaloupe, France gave up New France [Canada] and all of its claims to the territory east of the Mississippi River to Britain. Spain ceded Florida to the British, but later received New Orleans and French Louisiana from France; Manila and Cuba were restored to Spain. France retained Saint Pierre and Miquelon and recovered Guadelupe,Martinique, and Saint Lucia in exchange for Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tobago going to the British. In India, the French lost out to the British, receiving back its "factories" (trading posts), but agreeing to support the British client governments, as well as returning Sumatra and agreeing not to base troops in Bengal. The British garrison on theMediterranean island of Minorca was returned to her control, having been captured by the French at the outbreak of hostilities in Europe.  Britain returned the slave station on the isle of Gorée to the French, but gained the Senegal River and its settlements. Britain agreed to demolish its fortifications in Honduras, but received permission from Spain to keep a logwood-cutting colony there. Britain confirmed in the treaty the rights of its new subjects to practice the Roman Catholic religion[4] and received confirmation of the continuation of the British king's Hanoverian right as a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire.


Bienville died at Paris. Buried Montmarte Cemetery 


In June 1768, George A. Gauld (1732-1782), a Scottish cartographer and surveyor, in the employ of the British Admiralty, made a map of coastal Mississippi.  He was operating fromHMS Sir Edward Hawke.  During his reconnaissance and charting of the region, Gauld made many observations about Horn Island.  He discovered that it was some sixteen miles in length, but in width no more than one mile.  Orientation was nearly east-west.  As regards to vegetation, Gauld noted that there were uneven groves of trees on the west end of the island.  The middle was characterized by dense growth, and the eastern end of the sand bar was fairly devoid of tree growth.(Ware, 1982, p.107)     


On July 4, 1776, the thirteen American colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. 


In June 1779, Spain declared war on Great Britain.  In September, General Bernado de Galvez (1746-1786), Spanish governor of the Louisiana Territory, captured Fort Bute at Manchac, Louisiana; the English garrison at Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and accepted the surrender of Fort Panmure at Natchez. Spanish Colonial Period [1780-1811] 


On March 14, 1780, General Galvez captured Fort Charlotte and the city of Mobile, Alabama.  The Mississippi Gulf Coast became a part of Spanish West Florida. 


In May 1781, the English at Pensacola, Florida surrendered to Spanish forces led by General Galvez. 


American Revolutionary War ends with Great Britain the signing of the Treaty of Paris.  America is now bounded on the north by Canada; east by Atlantic Ocean; south by Spanish West Florida; and west by the Mississippi River


The Mississippi Territory was organized on April 71798, from territory ceded by Georgia and South Carolina; it was later twice expanded to include disputed territory claimed by both the U.S. and Spain. Land was purchased (generally through unequal treaties) from Native American tribes from 1800 to about 1830. 


The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of approximately 530 million acres (828,000 sq mi or 2,100,000 km²) of French territory on April 30, 1803, at the cost of about 3¢ per acre (7¢ per ha); totaling $15 million or 80 million French francs. Including interest, America finally paid $23,213,568 for the Louisiana territory.

[1] The land purchased contained all of present-day ArkansasMissouriIowaOklahomaKansasNebraskaMinnesota south of Mississippi River, much of North Dakota, nearly all of South Dakota, northeastern New Mexico, northern Texas, the portions of MontanaWyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide, and Louisiana on both sides of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans. (The Oklahoma Panhandle, and southwestern portions of Kansas and Louisiana were still claimed by Spain at the time of the Purchase.) In addition, the Purchase contained small portions of land that would eventually become part of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. The land included in the purchase comprises around 23% of the territory of the modern United States.[1] The purchase was an important moment in the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, it faced domestic opposition as being possibly unconstitutional. Although he felt that the Constitution did not contain any provisions for acquiring territory, Jefferson decided to purchase Louisiana because he felt uneasy about France and Spain having the power to block American traders' access to the port of New Orleans United States of America [1811-2019+]


The Republic of West Florida was declared independent of Spain in September at St. Francisville, Louisiana.  It lasted only forty-five days. 


 When Dr. William 'Fat Doctor' Flood, the representative of Governor Claiborne of the Orleans Territory, was dispatched to the Mississippi coast to hoist the flag of the United States in January 1811, he found the population between the Pearl River and Biloxi to be about four hundred people chiefly French and Creoles.  Dr. Flood in his report to Governor Claiborne wrote:  proceeded to the Bay of Biloxi, where I found Mr. Ladnier (Jacques), and gave him the commission (Justice of the Peace).  He is a man of excellent sense, but can neither read or write, nor can any  inhabitants of the bay of Biloxi that I can hear of. They are, all along this beautiful coast, a primitive people, of mixed origin, retaining the gaiety and politeness of the French, blended with the abstemiousness and indolence of the Indian.  They plant a little rice, and a few roots and vegetables, but depend on subsistence chiefly on game and fish.  I left with all these appointees copies of the laws, ordinances, etc.  But few laws will be wanted here.  The people are universally honest.  There are no crimes.  The father of the family or the oldest inhabitant, settles all disputes......A more innocent and inoffensive people may not be found.  They seem to desire only the simple necessities of life, and to be let alone in their tranquility.  I am greatly impressed with the beauty and value of this coast.  The high sandy lands, heavily timbered with pine, and the lovely bays and rivers, from Pearl River to Mobile will furnish New Orleans with a rich commerce, and with a delightful summer resort.  For a cantonment or military post, in consideration of the health of the troops, this whole coast is admirably fitted


 Jackson County was created on December 12, 1812 as part of the Mississippi Territory. 


Mississippi entered the Union on December 10th as the 20th State of the United States of America. 


The Picayune began publishing it newspaper at 38 Gravier Street at NOLA on January 25, 1837 by Francis A. Lumsden and George Wilkins Kendall (1809-1867).  The four page journal cost 25 cents per week or 6 1/4 cents per issue, the value of a Spanish picayune.  A three months subcription was $2.50.  By early November 1837, the paper became The Daily Picayune.  In 1914, The Daily Picayune merged with The New Orleans Times-Democrat to become The Times-Picayune. 


Harrison County, Mississippi was formed from Hancock and Jackson County, Mississippi on February 5, 1841. 



On June 22nd, John Fayard sold the Federal Government a tract of land at Biloxi to build a lighthouse.  The consideration was $600.(Harrison Co., Ms. Land Deed Bk. 3, p. 392) 


Benjamin L.C. Wailes (1797-1852), State geologist of Mississippi, viewed the village of Back Bay, present day D'Iberville, from Biloxi on August 27, 1852, and observed the following:  Rode in the morning, after a call from Judge Smith, to Back Bay 2 miles, which is the extension of the Bay of Baluxi (sic).  Found a steam ferry running across where it seems to be a mile in width.  The extensive brick yard of Mr. Kendall, where bricks are made on a very extensive scale from dry compressed earth by steam power, was in sight of the opposite side, about two miles distant.  A number of small craft were in the Bay, and several along the shore were undergoing repairs.  Several steam mills, which are very numerous on the Bay, for sawing pine timber, were also in view.(Wailes, 1854) 


Yellow Fever struck Biloxi on June 29th, when it was brought to Biloxi by someone from New Orleans.  Dr. Andreas Byrenheidt (1768-1858) reported following the crisis that there were  533 cases of Yellow Fever in Biloxi, which resulted in 111 deaths.  He estimated that the population at this time was 5500 people, which included summer tourists and those fleeing the epidemic at New Orleans.(Testimony of Dr. A. Byrenheidt, M.D. in Report of the Sanitary Commission of NOLA on the Yellow Fever of 1853, 1854, p. 540) The 1853 Yellow Fever epidemic at New Orleans killed about 10,000 of the 30,000 persons infected with the mosquito borne virus.  It earned the Crescent City the epithet "Necropolis of the South".  


The Hurricane of 1855 of September 15th-16th hits near Bay St. Louis, and destroyed bath houses, piers and many houses at Biloxi between its three miles of waterfront development from west of the Biloxi Lighthouse to Point Cadet.(The New Orleans Daily Picayune, September 20, 1855, p. 1 and Sullivan, p. 135)  


The Last Islands [Isles Dernieres] Hurricane mauls this seaside resort off of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana on August 11th and kills about 200 people.  According to modern estimates by the NOAA the storm was probably a Category 4 hurricane with central pressure of around 934 mb. It tied with Hurricane Hugo as the 10th most intense hurricane to hit the mainland United States. 


Dr. Andreas Byrenheidt (1786-1858), Biloxi physician and native of France, expired on March 4th.  


John B. Toulme (1795-1860), native of Saint Domingue, now Haiti, expired at Bay St. Louis, on August 17th.  He was a pioneer settler of this village and assisted General Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) with information on the British invasion forces in this area during the War of 1812.(The Daily Picayune, August 25, 1860, p. 2) 


The War of the Rebellion or American Civil War commences on April 12, 1861 in South Carolina.     “The Biloxi Rifles”, Company E, 3rd Mississippi Infantry Regiment, C.S.A., were sworn into State military service on May 21, 1861 and mustered in Confederate service on October 5, 1861.(Howell, To Live and Die in Dixie, 1991, p. 565)  


The Civil War ends on April 9, 1865 in Virginia. 


On October 29, 1870, the New Orleans, Mobile, & Chattanooga Railroad (Chartered 1866) completed the rail line between Mobile and New Orleans.  Rail service commenced on November 21, 1870. 


The N.O.M. & C. was reorganized on April 18, 1871 and became the New Orleans, Mobile & Texas Railroad


An editorial in The Star of Pascagoula blasted the New Orleans, Mobile & Texas Railroad as "nothing more that or less than a gang of highway robbers, entitled to as little consideration from the people as so many bandits who rob and plunder the weak and defenseless in defiance of the law.  The only remedy for these wrongs is the sale of the road.  Refuse to patronize the road, even if undergo inconvenience in doing so. (The Star of Pascagoula, May 22, 1875, p. 2) In June, D.B. Seal, District Attorney of Hancock County filed litigation against the New Orleans, Mobile, & Chattanooga Railroad (sic?).  The plaintiffs were asking that the railroad build a draw bridge across the Pearl River.  The present bridge was blocking the East Pearl River channel, which was needed for the lumber trade.(The Star of Pascagoula, June 12, 1875, p. 3)  


Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) died at New Orleans on December 6th.  His remains were interred in the Metairie Cemetery. 


Misses Susie Henley and Lizzie McCabe opened the public school.(The Biloxi Herald, Novemebr 8, 1890, p. 4) 


In late May, the corporal remains of Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) were sent from New Orleans by a L&N funeral car to Richmond, Virginia for burial on May 31st in the Hollywood Cemetery.(The Biloxi Herald, May 29, 1893, p. 1)  The Mexican Gulf Coast Illustrated written by T.H. Glenn of Ocean Springs is complete and being bound.(The Biloxi Herald, July 8, 1893, p. 8) Casmir Harvey commenced his ferry operation across Back Bay to Biloxi on December 2nd.  His vessel was called ‘the Shrimp’.  Captain Ed Richards took over he rope or skiff ferry and handled the oars.(The Biloxi Herald, December 2, 1893, p. 1) 


The Spanish American War commenced on April    1898. Mr. Saucier's mare beat Fannie, the mare of T.P. Dulion, by half a neck at the race track.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, June 25, 1898, p. 8) 


The first pedestrian Bridge, a wooden structure, across Back Bay Biloxi opened on August 3rd.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, August 3, 1901, p. 1) 


Henry Krohn, overseer, commenced work on a new road from the Tchoutacabouffa River south to the Back Bay Bridge in September.  It became known as the Lamey's Bridge Road.(The Daily Herald, September 22, 1907 and September 22, 1947, p. 1)


The Seymour Eagles [from D'Iberville] a baseball team composed of Adolph Boney, Terrell Chinn, Emile Fayard, Walter Fayard, J. Joullian, Jesse Parker, Lazaro Quave, Peter Quave, and Joseph Santa Cruz defeated Ocean Springs 10-1.  J. Ryan and O. Fayard was the battery for Ocean Springs.(The Biloxi Daily Herald, June 20, 1909. p. 4) 


In February, the Back Bay Fishermen's Association was charted by Raymond Fournier; Philip Trochessett; Leonard Fountain; Henry Cannette; and Joseph Cannette.  This North Biloxi association provided members with weejly sick benefits and provided $20 towards the funeral of a deceased member.(The Daily Herald, February 14, 1910, p. 8)   


The Harrison County Board of Supervisors ordered that a bridge be built over the Biloxi River at the Lorraine Ferry.(The Daily Herald, February 9, 1912, p. 1) 


In July 1913, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors let a $6300 contract to the Austin Brothers of Atlanta, Georgia to erect a structure across the Tchoutacabouffa River to replace the Lamey Ferry.  In November 1913, board member, F.W. Elmer Sr., was appointed to oversee construction of the bridge.(HARCO, Ms. Board of Supervisors Minute Bk. 10, p. 274 and p. 391)  


At its April 1914 meeting, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors accepted the completed work and paid the Austin Brothers for the Tchoutacabouffa River bridge.  Philip Lamey was appointed bridge keeper for one year and paid $30 per month for his services.(HARCO, Ms. Board of Supervisors Minute Bk. 11, p. 6 and p. 10) Raymond Fountain sold the Little John, a schooner barge, to Peter Quave (1863-1936).  Willie Beaugez was endorsed as master.(The Daily Herald, May 22, 1914, p. 8) WW I commenced in Europe when Germany declared war on Russian and France in early August. 


In late April 1915, D.B. Lemon, an experienced mill man, planned to harvest timber from Cat Island.  Estimated reserves at 3,500,000 board feet.  Mill could process 7,000 board feet each day.  Lumber shipped to Gulfport for domestic and export utilization.(The Daily Herald, April 28, 1915, p. 7) Captain F.P. Barry arrived in Biloxi from Tampa to take charge of the Deer Island Ferry service.(The Daily Herald, May 15, 1915, p. 2, May 24, 1915, p. 2, and May 30, 1915, p. 4)In June, A.B. Lemons of Gulfport commenced his sawmill on Cat Island and planned to cut 10000 board-feet per day.  The lumber has been sold to a NOLA interest.  Estimates are that he will cut 4 million board feet in 400 working days.(The Gulfport Advocate, June 5, 1915, p. 4) The Deer Island Island Development Company formally dedicated their Deer Island amusement center on June 23rd.  Meyer Eiseman of the DIDC;  George W. Grayson of the Biloxi Commercial Club; Mayor Glennan of Biloxi; Mayor Foote of Gulfport; and Mayor Saucier of Pass Christian spoke at the ceremony.  Ocean Springs beat Biloxi 5-2 in the baseball game.(The Gulfport Advocate, June 26, 1915, p. 1) A hurricane struck D'Iberville and the Mississippi Gulf Coast on September 29th. 


 The United States declared war on Germany on April 6th. Peter Quave (1863-1936)former manager of the Imperial Packing Company, is preparing to erect his own factory on north side of Back Bay near the bridge.  Machinery will be installed before the shrimp season opens in August.(The Daily Herald, June 7, 1917, p. 3) 


World War I ends in November 1918. 


Mississippi Power Company planned a forty-six mile power line from the Miss.-Ala. state line to Gulfport where a large step-down transforming station will be built.  Power for the line will come from hydro-electric plants on the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers in Alabama.  With no difficulties, hydro-electric power should be available on the Mississippi Gulf Coast by January 1, 1927.(The Biloxi News, March 28, 1926, p. 19) 


Brother Isaiah, nee John Cudney (1847-1934), healer and miracle worker, who lived in the St. Martin area of Jackson County in the early 1920s, passed on at Oroville, California in late July 1934, breaking the pledge to his faithful cult that he would never die!(The Jackson County Times, July 28, 1934, p. 2) 


On May 6, 1935, the Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) was created to help provide economic relief to the citizens of the United States who were suffering through the Great Depression. 


 In June 1941, the U.S. Army Air Corps activated Station No. 8, Aviation Mechanics School, at Biloxi, Mississippi.  By late August 1941, this military installation had been dedicated as Keesler Army Airfield, in honor of 2nd Lieutenant Samuel Reeves Keesler (1896-1918), a native of Greenwood, Mississippi.  Lieutenant Keesler had died in France from wounds received while in aerial combat against Germany during the Great War.  Keesler Army Airfield not only became technical training center, but trained basic recruits.  The first contingent of recruits arrived at Biloxi on August 21, 1941.Byron Patton 'Pat' Harrison (1881-1941) of Gulfport, former Congressman (1911-1919) and US Senator (1919-1941) died in Washington D.C. on the 22nd.On December 7th, the Empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands.  America declared war on Japan the next day.  Germany and Italy sign an alliance with Japan and enter the war on December 11th.