von Rosambeau Family




The von Rosambeau Family of Ocean Springs was founded by a German immigrant, Augustin Julius von Rosambeau (1849-1912), called Gus, who arrived in the United States in 1875, from Australia.  He and countryman, Charles E. Pabst (1851-1920), had earlier departed Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany to seek their fortune in the 19th Century world.  Upon arriving in America, the young adventurers found employment at Leon Godchaux's sugar plantation in South Louisiana.  von Rosambeau was employed as a sugar chemist while Pabst toiled as a sugar cooker.  The two amigos came to Ocean Springs after buying stock in a peanut-growing venture, which was being promoted by affluent New Orleanian, Ambrose A. Maginnis (1815-1877).  When this agricultural scheme failed, von Rosambeau and Pabst remained at Ocean Springs.  von Rosambeau became a successful merchant while Pabst made his livelihood as a horticulturist, and is credited with developing the pecan as a commercial crop at Ocean Springs.(The Gulf Coast Times, September 2, 1949 and Ellison, 1991, pp. 77-80)


Charles E. Pabst's wife, Catherine Gehm Pabst (1851-1916), bought the lot just south of the von Rosambeau site on Jackson Avenue, present day 416 Jackson Avenue, from Antonio Franco (1834-1891) and R.A. VanCleave (1840-1908) in March 1882.  It is known that Charles Pabst was living on Calhoun in 1883.  He probably never lived here, but the property remained in the Pabst family until August 1936, when A. Lynd Gottsche (1902-1974) acquired it in a tax sale.  John H. “Jack” Gottsche, a son of A. Lynd Gottsche (1902-1974), resides here today at 416 Jackson Avenue.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 8, p. 581-582 and Tax Sale Bk. 3, p. 144)


Marie Ann Soden

Gus von Rosambeau married a young lassie named Marie Ann Soden (1857-1937) at the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church at Ocean Springs on September 13, 1879.  Marie Ann, called Mollie, was the daughter of Irish immigrants, Martin Soden (1815-pre 1870), and Bridget Kelly (1825-1899). The Sodens came to the United States from the Emerald Isle in 1852, and settled at Ocean Springs.  Mr. Soden worked initially as a laborer to support his growing family.  Later he operated a grocery store at Jackson and Porter.  Two of the Soden children, Thomas Soden (1845-1893+) and Catherine S. Butler (1847-1904) were born in Ireland while the remainder of the Soden clan were born at Ocean Springs: John Soden (1853-1931), James Soden (1854-ca. 1915), Rosa Soden (b. 1859), Margaret Soden Honor (1860-1932), and Bridget Soden (1864-1944). (Lepre, 1991, p. 321)


The Soden children also became engaged in commerce at Ocean Springs.  In March 1899, James Soden and Casper Vahle (1869-1922) opened a livery stable opposite the L&N Depot on the lot recently occupied by the old Soden and Illing stable.  They also opened an ice house on Washington Avenue near Calhoun in June 1903.


Bridget Soden was the proprietress of the Big Pine Grocery located on Washington Avenue across the street from the entrance to present day, Little Childrens' Park.  Miss Soden was a resident of the Edwards House at the time of her demise in April 1944.


Margaret Soden Honor rented cottages and rooms at her "Many Oaks" property on the Front Beach.  She advertised in The Jackson County Times of November 12, 1921 as "open for winter guests-adults preferred" and having "furnace heat, private baths, hot and cold water, handsomely furnished, large and beautiful grounds".

Young Mollie Soden was fortunate to receive an education at Ocean Springs.  She attended the three-month school term held in a small frame building on Washington Avenue.  Judge Minor taught the school in 1874-1876.  Her classmates were: A.J. Catchot (1864-1954), Charlotte Franco Cochran (1864-1939), and John J. Franco (1859-1935).(Schmidt, 1972, p. 65)


Assassination Attempt

On July 15, 1879, an unknown assailant fired a pistol shot through the open bedroom window of A.J. von Rosambeau in an attempt to murder him.  The felon was in such close proximity to his intended victim that the projectile burned a hole in the mosquito bar draping his bed.  In addition, the shot left von Rosambeau with gunpowder burns on his face.  In retaliation, the surprised victim returned gunfire as his attacker fled over a fence.  von Rosambeau’s  two shots missed.  He could not understand the cause of such a vicious attempt upon his life and the assassination attempt was being investigated by local law enforcement officials.(The Pascagoula Democrat-StarJuly 27,1879, p. 3)


Jackson and Calhoun

In March 1880, Mary Ann Soden von Rosambeau bought a tract of land on the southeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Calhoun from Margaret Foy (1830-1892), an Irish immigrant, and the aunt of Ocean Springs schoolmaster, James Lynch (1852-1935).  The Foy lot had a front on Jackson of 118 feet and 260 feet on Calhoun.  This .70 acre tract became the von Rosambeau homestead for the next ninety two years.  The von Rosambeau tract was divided into three lots designated Lot 7, Lot 8, and Lot 9 of Block 125.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. Book 4, pp. 570-571)


 From the Land Rolls of Jackson County, Mississippi, it can be deduced that the first von Rosambeau house was built on Lot 9, present day 910 Calhoun, between 1880 and 1883.  Since the first von Rosambeau child, Amelia Theresa (1881-1958), was born in November 1881, the home was probably built shortly before her birth.  A brother, Leonhard William Julian von Rosambeau (1883-1931), soon followed arriving at Ocean Springs on June 2, 1883.  The other von Rosambeau children were Henrietta Margaret von Rosambeau (1887-1972) born April 23, 1887, and Blanche Magdalen von Rosambeau (1892-1982) born August 14, 1892.  From the 1900 US Census of Jackson County, Mississippi, it appears two other von Rosambeau children died at birth.


420 Jackson Avenue

Circa 1890, the von Rosambeau family built a store and home on Lot 7 at the southeast corner of Jackson and Calhoun, present day 420 Jackson Avenue.  The store catered to the basic needs of the oystermen and housewives of the growing village.  The young von Rosambeau couple had the genetics for success in commerce as Mollie von Rosambeau had learned the grocery business from her parents, and Augustus was born with the Teutonic work ethic, intelligence, and business acumen.  In an 1894 Directory of Ocean Springs, the von Rosambeaus advertised their business as:






Dry Goods, Groceries

Hats, Boots, Shoes, etc.

Free Delivery



By January 1898, Mr. von Rosambeau's business was going well enough for him to purchase a nine-ton, schooner, “Guide”, for the coastal trade.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 21, 1898, p. 3)

Although he worked hard, Augustus von Rosambeau took time occasionally to hunt and fish with his friends.  He is known to have fished in the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico with George L. Friar (1869-1924). 



Marshal von Rosambeau

Upon the resignation of Marshal Samuel P. Starks (1860-1919) in early April 1906, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the Town of Ocean Springs appointed Augustin J. von Rosambeau as Marshal, Tax Collector, and Street Commissioner.(Town of OS, Ms. Minute Bk. 2, p. 397)


In October 1910, The Ocean Springs News lauded Marshal-Tax Collector, von Rosambeau as follows:  “for the past five years….his services have been eminently satisfactory to the people, so far as we have been able to learn.  While the duties of marshal do not amount to much and he makes no special pretensions as a sleuth.  Gus is generally found on the spot when his services are needed.  As a tax collector, which is the really important branch of the office he is filling, he has few equals and his record along that line is beyond criticism.”(The Ocean Springs News, October 1, 1910, p. 1)


An example of Marshal von Rosambeau’s character in office was exhibited in September 1909, when two Black men, alleged suspects of a robbery in Vancleave, were apprehended at Ocean Springs while boarding the L&N train for the Crescent City.  Gus von Rosambeau released the men immediately upon learning from informed sources of their innocence.(The Ocean Springs News, September 4, 1909, p. 5)


In addition to his tenure from 1906 to 1910 as Town Marshal, Gus von Rosambeau was very active in the social and civic affairs of Ocean Springs.  He served as town clerk in the incipient years of Ocean Springs' municipal government and also as Ward 4 Alderman (1899-1904).  He was one of the first, if not the very first person at Ocean Springs to have a private street lamp, which was installed in the 1890s.  Mayor F.M. Weed (1850-1926) also had a street lamp at his house on Iberville.  Mr. von Rosambeau died in 1912.  His corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou. 


Millinery shop

After Mr. von Rosambeau’s demise, Mollie von Rosambeau opened a millinery shop in her Jackson Avenue commercial space.  In 1915, she advertised as follows:




Gage and Stonehill

Exclusive Shapes

Sport Hats

For Ladies and Children



Mrs. Rosambeau-Ocean Springs, Mississippi

(The Jackson County Times, October 7, 1915, p. 2)





The Fire

The von Rosambeau home and store at 420 Jackson Avenue were destroyed by fire.  The conflagration commenced when oil stove exploded.  Young Margie von Rosambeau was the only occupant of the house, when the destructive accident occurred on November 13, 1917.  In addition to the total loss of the store’s merchandise, most all the families clothing, furnishings, and valuable antiques.  Students from St. Alphonsus School next door rescued some family items including Mr. von Rosambeau's desk and the family coat of arms.  The desk is now owned by Fred Brooks who resides at 910 Calhoun.  The von Rosambeau fire happened almost one year to the day of the Big Fire of November 1916, the fieriest destruction in the recorded history of Ocean Springs.(The Jackson County Times, November 17, 1917, p. 1, The Sun Herald, March 30, 1975, p. B-10 and Fred Brooks, February 1993)


The Big Fire began in the evening of November 15, 1916 at the leeward end of the business district on the southeast corner of Porter and Washington.  The kitchen of the vacant J.P. Van Cleave store is the credited source of the conflagration.  A gale force wind blew out of the north and the flames and burning embers were sent streaming south towards the beach with great celerity.  The Richardson Cottage and the Firemen's Hall both near the fire's origin were rapidly consumed by the fast, moving, fiery tempest.  Anxious residents on Washington Avenue between Porter and Calhoun were on their roofs with buckets of water and brooms to sweep away incipient flames and douse smoldering particles.  A serious consequence of the Big Fire was the lost of the town’s general fire alarm, the fire bell, which hung in the hall of Ocean Springs Volunteer Fire Company No. 1, which was a primary victim of the Big Fire.  The loss of this alarm was a major blame in the total destruction of the von Rosambeau property on Jackson, as the fire was well out of control by the time the volunteer firemen reached the scene.(The Jackson County TimesNovember 18, 1916, p. 1 and  November 17, 1917, p. 1)



New home

The materials for the 1917 erection at 420 Jackson Avenue were obtained from the razing of the old Eliza Ames (1845-1917) residence on Cemetery Road, now Sunset, which leads into the Evergreen Cemetery.  Leo von Rosambeau (1883-1931) and a

platoon of laborers did the work.  The Jackson County Times of December 1, 1917, reported, "There is a lot of very fine building material in the old (Ames) structure and it will be used in a new bungalow to be erected by Mrs. A. von Rosambeau on the site of the store and residence recently destroyed by fire".


The von Rosambeau family lived at 410 Jackson Avenue until their new home and store were completed in late 1917.  Mrs. von Rosambeau sold groceries, while her daughter, Margie, marketed hats and ribbons in the new store, which northwest of the home and was entered from Calhoun.(The Sun Herald, March 30, 1975, p. B-10 and Sanborn Map 1925, Sheet 5)


Probably as a consequence of age, Mrs. von Rosambeau closed her store circa 1931.  An anecdotal story says that Orey Young bought the store building and removed it to an unknown location in Ocean Springs.  Mrs. von Rosambeau expired on February 20, 1937.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Evergreen Cemetery on Old Fort Bayou.(The Jackson County Times, February 27, 1937)



von Rosambeau children

A brief biography of the four von Rosambeau children follows:


Amelia T. von Rosambeau

Amelia Theresa von “Amy” Rosambeau (1881-1958) was born at Ocean Springs on November 15, 1881.  Fortunately Augustin von Rosambeau lived to see the wedding of his first child, Amy, to Giovanni "John" James Clesi (1888-1928) of New Orleans, the son of Antonio Clesi (1856- pre-1900), a street peddler, and Rosaria Volpe (1861-1924), both Italian immigrants.  John J. Clesi was born at New Orleans on April 2, 1888 and grew up on Royal and Frenchman Streets in the Vieux Carre.  His parents had thirteen children, but only seven survived into the 20th Century.(1880 and 1900 Orleans Parish Federal Census T9_462, p. 1, ED 57 and T623 572, p. 14A, ED 66) 


The nuptial ceremony of John J. Clesi and Amy von Rosambeau took place on September 20, 1911 at the St. Alphonsus Church in Ocean Springs.  Joseph Clesi (1890-1943) served his brother as best man while Margie von Rosambeau attended her sister as maid of honor.  As a young lady, Amy, was the organist at the Catholic Church across from her home.  At the time of her marriage to Mr. Clesi, she played piano at the Dukate Theater in Biloxi.(Lepre, 1991, p. 276 and The Daily Herald, September 25, 1911, p. 8)


Clesis resided in the Crescent City where Mr. Clesi was the owner of his own enterprise called the Typewriter Emporium.  He had graduated from McDonogh 16 High School and went to work for the Royal Typewriter Company.  While with Royal, Clesi was their star salesman in the entire South.  During the seven years he toiled for Royal, John Clesi established the remarkable record of selling at least one machine each day.  On his own by 1904, as proprietor of the Typewriter Emporium, he was selling the Wales adding machine, F&E check writer, and Royal typewriter.  The F&E Company awarded him their highest honor for his outstanding sales ability of their check writer.  Later Clesi entered the real estate business at New Orleans and was also successful at this venture. 


A son, John J. Clesi Jr. (1913-2007) was born in March 1913.  He is retired from his career as an oil scout with Humble Oil and Refining Company, now integrated into ExxonMobil, in 1973.  Since Leo von Rosambeau the only male heir had no children, the name von Rosambeau ceased to exist at Ocean Springs.  John Clesi Jr. of New Orleans has reared a large family in the Crescent City.  He and his wife had three girls and one boy.  They now have ten grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.  Mr. Clesi died on October 23, 2007 and his corporal remains were interred in the Metairie Cemetery(John Clesi Jr.-February 1993 and The Times-Picayune, October 31, 2007, p. 5)  



Leonhard W. J. von Rosambeau

Augustin von Rosambeau's only son, Leonhard “Leo” William Julian von Rosambeau (1883-1931), was born at Ocean Springs on June 2, 1883.  Leo began work initially at Ocean Springs in 1901, as a telephone operator for the Cumberland Telephone and Telegraph Company, which opened for business in the Herman Nill Drugstore, which was situated on the northwest corner of Washington and Porter.  The telephone office had opened in April 1900.(Lepre, 1991, p. 276)   


In March 1902, Leo Rosambeau and Walter Franco left for Mobile to work for the L&N Railroad.  By October 1902, Leo and Frank Jackson had gone to the Ardoyne Plantation at Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana to assist in the sugar harvest.  Leo was a sugar weigher.  By the summer of 1903, Leo was back in Mobile at the L&N Railroad shop.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 20, 1901,  March 21, 1902, October 10, 1902, and October 16, 1903)


In the 1920 Federal Census, Leo Rosambeau listed his occupation as an interior decorator.  He hung wallpaper and painted house interiors.  Leo was ambidextrous with a paintbrush, and had a deft touch with difficult jobs.  Some people who knew him in Ocean Springs believed that he made his livelihood as a horticulturist.  Leo was known as "polecat" to his friends because of his interest in odorous facial lotions.  He drove a sporty sedan about Ocean Springs, and liked the "ladies" although he never married. (Orwin Scharr, January 1993)


In the fall of 1923, Leo vacationed on the West Coast in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and planned a stop at Juarez, Mexico before returning to the Mississippi Coast.  Leo W.J. von Rosambeau died after an operation in Biloxi for a possible stomach cancer on October 18, 1931.(The Jackson County Times, October 6, 1923, p. 5 and The Daily Herald, October 18, 1931, p. 2)



Henrietta Margaret von Rosambeau

Henrietta Margaret “Margie” von Rosambeau (1887-1972) was born at Ocean Springs on April 23, 1887.  In July 1902, she was awarded the gold medal for excellence at St. Anthony's School.  Mr. Charles Ziegler of New Orleans donated the medal.(Lepre, 1991, p. 277 and The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, July 11, 1902)


In the 1910 Census, Margie von Rosambeau lists her occupation as a singer at the picture show.  In later life Margie may have worked as an usher at the Saenger Theater in Biloxi, and as a postal clerk at Keesler Air Force Base at Biloxi.  She died at the Howard Memorial Hospital at the age of 85 years on May 16, 1972. (The Ocean Springs RecordMay 25, 1972, p. 2)



Blanche Magdalen von Rosambeau

Blanche Magdalen von Rosambeau (1892-1982) was born on August 14, 1892 at Ocean Springs.  All the von Rosambeau children worked in the family store in her youth.  As a career vocation her occupation was that of telephone operator.  Blanche worked in the telephone exchange above the Ocean Springs State Bank with Carrie Seymour Ames (1889-1979) for many years.  She also managed the telephone office at Biloxi.(Lepre, 1991, p. 276)


Blanche was married briefly in late October 1925 to Edward Carroll of New Orleans, at St. Anthony’s in the Crescent City.  They took an apartment on Coliseum Street in the “Winling”.(The Jackson County Times, November 7, 1925, p. 3)

Blanche M. von Rosambeau expired at New Orleans on May 5, 1982 at the age of 89 years.  All members of the von Rosambeau Family are buried together in their family plot at the Evergreen Cemetery in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.



Real estate

The Rosambeaus invested their money wisely in real estate.  They had the vision to see Ocean Spring growing as a year round tourist haven.  The city was especially attractive to the "snow birds" from the Chicago and other Midwestern areas. 


410 Jackson Avenue

In August 1904, Mary Ann von Rosambeau acquired another lot on Jackson Avenue just south of their homestead.  She bought the 97'x 200' piece of ground from Charles Bruning of New Orleans for $250.  This lot had been the location of the Egan House, a tourist home or rental cottage, of the 1870s.  Schmidt & Ziegler, owners of the Ocean Springs Hotel (1853-1905) across the street, acquired it in 1878.  They were the proprietors when it burned on January 23, 1898.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 28, p. 534)


Circa 1908, the von Rosambeaus would build a Victorian style home here at present day 410 Jackson Avenue to accommodate guests.   This house was sold to Mrs. Odette Brou Bryan (1879-1957) on December 31, 1917 for $1500.  Her son, Frank H. Bryan Jr. (1914-1999), lived here until his demise.  This old von Rosambeau house is now in the possession of the     family of New Orleans.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 45, pp. 252-253)


In January 1903, another rental house was built.  The structure was located on Lot 8 (908 Calhoun).  This domicile would serve as the winter retreat for the nationally known baseball writer, Charles Dryden (1860-1931), for about twenty years.  Dryden called the house his "Winter Rest", and the towns’ people affectionately referred to it as the "Fish Fry Inn".


In July 1947, Mrs. Mollie van Rosambeau's Estate was divided among her three surviving daughters.  H. Margaret “Margie” von Rosambeau acquired the family home at 420 Jackson Avenue, Blanche von Rosambeau received the house at 908 Calhoun, and Amelia T. “Amy” von Rosambeau  Clesi now owned 910 Calhoun.  The fourth von Rosambeau property, a cottage at present day 410 Jackson Avenue, was sold in December 1917, by Mrs. von Rosambeau to Marie Odette Brou Bryan (1879-1957).(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 45, pp. 252-253)




CLESI-BROOKS HOUSE-910 Calhoun-Lot 9

[image made post-Katrina circa 2012]


The home at 910 Calhoun was very likely the original von Rosambeau residence.  It is estimated to date from circa 1881.  The structure was built as a Greek Revival cottage, but survives today highly modified.  A survey by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (1979) describes the house as:  One and one-half story, wood frame house with a front gable roof.  Three-bay undercut porch supported by Doric columns.  Off center entrance with eared architrave.  Second floor balcony recessed within the gable.  New brick foundation.  Greek revival and chalet.  Circa 1880. (Mississippi Department of Archives and History-State Wide Survey of Historic Sites (1979), "Old Ocean Springs Historic District", p. 13)


In March 1880, Mary Ann “Mollie” Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1937), the wife of German immigrant, Augustin von Rosambeau (1849-1912), bought a tract of land on the southeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Calhoun from Margaret Foy (1840-1892).  The lot had a front on Jackson Avenue of 118 feet and 260 feet on Calhoun.  This tract was divided into three lots designated Lot 7, Lot 8, and Lot 9 of Block 125.  The residence at 910 Calhoun was built on Lot 9.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 570-571)           


Dryden Rental

After the von Rosambeau Family built a grocery store and home at 420 Jackson Avenue circa 1890, they vacated this structure.  The von Rosambeaus utilized 910 Calhoun as a rental unit for many years.  In the winter of 1901, Charles Dryden (1860-1931), a nationally known sportswriter and humorist, began coming to Ocean Springs to vacation after the baseball season.  Dryden enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and excellent fishing offered by the small village. 


Charles Dryden's brother-in-law, John L. Davenport, was the top hat salesman for the Gage Brothers Millinery of Chicago.  Davenport's work took him to many parts of America including Ocean Springs.  There is a high degree of certitude that he met Augustin von Rosambeau (1849-1912) at his general store on Jackson Avenue.  It is known that Davenport's wife, Louise Dryden Davenport, began vacationing at Ocean Springs as early as December 1900 with her young son, John Dryden Davenport (1893-1965).  They stayed at the Rosambeau cottage.  The Pascagoula Democrat-Star of January 18, 1901 reported, "Master Dryden Davenport, a precocious infant of seven years, caught a fine redfish off the pier of the Ocean Springs Hotel".(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, December 13, 1901)


Mrs. Davenport probably introduced Ocean Springs and the von Rosambeau family to her brother, Charles Dryden.  In later years, Mrs. Davenport and John Dryden Davenport would join her brother at the von Rosambeau compound.  Among other visitors from Chicago were eminent physicians, Drs. A.H. Bohart and Joseph Reese.  Mr. Dryden loved to entertain his guests with dinner parties.  His favorite meal was fresh fish caught from the fecund waters of Fort Bayou and the Bay of Biloxi.  In time, the local people began to refer to his apartment on Calhoun as the "Fried Fish Inn".  Often Dryden was the dinner guest of the von Rosambeau family.(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, February 27, 1903 and September 11, 1903)


Dryden’s skill as an angler was lauded in January 1910, when he was fishing in Old Fort Bayou for perch and landed a seven-pound redfish.  The skill being the ability to handle the larger fish on the small linen line used for the perch.(The Ocean Springs News, January 8, 1910)


In later years, it is believed that Charles Dryden began to utilize the newer von Rosambeau cottage at 908 Calhoun built in 1903.  He referred to this cottage as his "Winter Rest".  After Charles Dryden suffered a debilitating stroke in 1921, it is believed he stayed with his sister, Mrs. Davenport, on Jackson Avenue.  He died at Ocean Springs on February 14, 1931.  The body was sent to Monmouth, Illinois for burial.(John Dryden Davenport Jr.-March 1993)


Amy Clesi

In July 1947, when the three von Rosambeau sisters partitioned their mother's estate, 910 Calhoun became the real property of Amelia Theresa “Amy” von Rosambeau Clesi (1881-1958.  There is a high degree of certitude that Amy Clesi was born in this house as her natal arrival was in November 1881.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 97, pp. 312-317)


Amy von Rosambeau married John J. Clesi of New Orleans on September 20, 1911, at the St. Alphonsus Church, which is adjacent to the von Rosambeau familial home on Jackson Avenue.  As a young lady, Amy was the organist at the same church.  The young couple lived at New Orleans where Clesi was the owner of his own enterprise called the Typewriter Emporium.  He learned the trade as an employee of the Royal Typewriter Company.  While employed with Royal, John Clesi was their best salesman in the South.  John and Amy von Rosambeau Clesi had a son, John James Clesi Jr. (1913-2007).  After the death of Amy Clesi on January 17, 1958, her son, John Clesi Jr., of New Orleans inherited 908 Calhoun.  He acquired it legally on May 30, 1959.


John J. Clesi Jr.

John James Clesi Jr. (1913-2007) was born at New Orleans on 13 March 1913.




John J. Clesi Jr. (1913-2007) sold the property to John Fredrick Brooks for $8000 on October 20, 1961.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 215, p. 380)


J. Fredrick Brooks

John Fredrick “Fred” Brooks (1927-2004), a native of Ellisville, Mississippi, and his wife, Mary Imogene Clark (1930-2002), born at Eucutta in Wayne County, Mississippi came to Ocean Springs in 1961.  She was the daughter of Marshall and Bernice Clark of Pascagoula.  At the time Mr. Brooks was employed by the Mississippi Power Company and was transferred from their Pascagoula office.  He left the utility business in 1974, and became self-employed in the auto parts retail business.  Prior to his retirement, Fred Brooks was the proprietor of an automobile repair shop and auto parts store on Bienville Boulevard.  The Brooks had four children:  Theresa “Terri” Jean B. Mason  (1951-2005), Debra B. Shotlander (b. 1953), Rene B. Rush (b. 1955), and John Brooks (b. 1968).  Imogene Clark Brooks passed on September 17, 2002.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Crestlawn Memorial Park in Ocean Springs.  Fred Brooks died at Mobile, Alabama on August 29, 2004.  Corporal remains at Crestlawn Memorial Park in Ocean Springs.(Fred Brooks-February 1993 and The Sun Herald, September 20, 2002 and August 31, 2004, p. A5  )


At the time of the Brooks purchase, the Clesi home was in poor condition.  New owner, Fred Brooks, remodeled both the exterior and interior of his home.  In the interior, he totally gutted the structure removing the fireplace, wall partitions, stairs, beaded board wall, and ceilings.  The walls were replaced with wood paneling.  On the exterior, Mr. Brooks removed the cypress turned posts, balusters, and wooden porch.  He replaced the posts with Doric columns, cemented the porch foundation, and added old brick steps.  A dining room was added to the west side of the structure.(Fred Brooks-February 1993 and June 2004)


In the summer of 2000, The Clesi-Brooks home was given an exterior painting and façade change.  At the suggestion of the author, Mr. Brooks and Joie Mason, his son-in-law, replaced the out of character Doric columns with an appropriate substitute.  A balustrade was added to the front porch matching the balcony balustrade.  Before his demise in August 2004, Fred Brooks sold his house to himself and Debra B. Shotlander.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1358, p. 548)









von Rosambeau-Thetford Cottage: 908 Calhoun-Lot 8


In March 1880, Mary Ann Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1937) acquired a .70 acre tract of land on the southeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Calhoun from Margaret Foy (1840-1892).  The von Rosambeau tract was divided into three lots designated Lot 7, Lot 8, and Lot 9 of Block 125. The residence at 908 Calhoun was built on Lot 8.  Blanche Magdalen von Rosambeau (1892-1982) acquired this property in the partition of Mrs. Mary Ann von Rosambeau's estate in July 1947.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, pp. 570-571 and Bk. 97, pp. 312-317)   


In the historic sites survey of the Old Ocean Springs Historic District (1979), 908 Calhoun is described as: One story, wood frame house with front gable roof.  Three-bay undercut porch with turned posts and sawn brackets.  Circa 1898.( Mississippi Department of Archives and History-State Wide Survey of Historic Sites,1979, p. 13)


The Pascagoula Democrat-Star announced on January 16, 1903, that "Mr. A.V. Rosambeau is erecting a neat six-room cottage on Calhoun Avenue".  There is a high probability that this is 908 Calhoun.  The von Rosambeau Family utilized it as a rental unit for many years.  Probably the most famous person to stay here was the baseball writer, Charles Dryden (1860-1931).  In fact, Dryden referred to 908 Calhoun as his "Winter Rest".(The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, January 16, 1903)


In August 1972, Blanche von Rosambeau sold her home to Mr. and Mrs. Ernest H. Brown and Virginia Mary O'Keefe (b. 1950).  After selling all of her real estate in 1972, Blanche moved to the Villa Maria retirement apartments at 921 Porter Avenue.  Blanche von Rosambeau died in New Orleans at the age of eighty-nine years on May 5, 1982.  Like all the von Rosambeau Family she is interred in the Evergreen Cemetery at Ocean Springs.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 437, p. 436)       



Ernest H. Brown

Ernest H. “Ernie” Brown married Virginia Mary O'Keefe (b. 1950) circa 1971.  She is the daughter of Jeremiah J. O'Keefe III (b. 1923) and Annette Saxon O'Keefe (1924-1998) of Biloxi.  The Browns had four children before their divorce circa 1979.  A son, Justin Ernest Brown (b. 1973), was born while they resided in the house.  In 1989, Ernest Brown owned the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery on the front beach at Biloxi.  Virginia Brown has been employed as an elementary school teacher, tutor director for the Biloxi Public Schools, and vice-president and office manager of Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Homes, Inc.  The Browns conveyed 908 Calhoun to Wilbern H. Thetford and Janice Crews Thetford in August 1974.(The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 303 and JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 508, p. 370)


W. Hugh Thetford

Wilbern H. Thetford (1931-2015), called Hugh, met his wife, Janice L. Crews (1933-2002), in 1947, at Holdenville, Oklahoma.  She was the daughter of Stanley and Madge Crews.  Hugh and Janice married in 1949, and began an interesting career in the USAF, which took them to Labrador, Okinawa, Texas, and Mississippi. The Thetfords' two sons, Phillip Wayne Thetford (b. 1951) and Richard Rust Thetford (b. 1957), were born in Wichita Falls, Texas while they were stationed at Sheppard AFB.  Phillip Thetford resides at Ashland, Virginia where he is a Presbyterian minister.  Richard Thetford is an Apache helicopter pilot with the US Army stationed at Savannah, Georgia.(Janice C. Thetford-March 1993)


Phillip W. Thetford graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1976.  He married Mary Flowers in January 1978 and departed Hattiesburg, Mississippi in July 1980 to study at the Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia.(The Ocean Springs Record, May 22, 1980, p. 8)


Hugh Thetford retired from the USAF circa 1979, while stationed at Keesler Field in Biloxi.  Immediately he took a consulting position with Lockheed Aircraft and was sent to Saudi Arabia.  The nature of his assignment was to assist Lockheed in evaluating the self-sufficiency of the Royal Saudi Air Force.  Hugh later found employment in the Civil Service at Keesler AFB.(Janice C. Thetford-March 1993)


Janice L. Thetford worked as a dispatcher for the Ocean Springs Police Department for two-and-one-half-years.  In retirement, she occupied her time as an active participant in the Ocean Springs Garden Club and the Womens Club.  Janice was a certified master flower judge and a past president of the local garden club.  She expired in mid-January 2002.  Her corporal remains were interred in the Biloxi National Cemetery.(The Sun Herald, January 20, 2002, p. A-11)


The Blanche von Rosambeau house is in near original condition.  The Thetfords have completed a forty-foot addition to the rear of the house, and added some wallpaper paneling in the dining room.  The two original fireplaces are in situ.  A friendly "ghost", called Omar, roams the Thetford residence occasionally "borrowing" items like wedding rings.  Omar always returns his booty after giving the owner some anxiety pains! (Janice C. Thetford-March 1993)




von Rosambeau-Gautier House-420 Jackson Avenue-Lot 7


In March 1880, Mary Ann Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1937), the wife of German immigrant, Augustus von Rosambeau (1849-1912), bought a tract of land on the southeast corner of Jackson Avenue and Calhoun from Margaret Foy (1840-1892).  The Lot had a front on Jackson Avenue of 118 feet and 260 feet on Calhoun.  This tract was divided into three lots designated Lot 7, Lot 8, and Lot 9 of Block 125.  The residence at 420 Jackson Avenue was built on Lot 7.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 4, p. 570-571)


Marguerite H. von Rosambeau (1887-1972), called Margie, acquired Lot 7 of Block 125 in the Mary Ann von Rosambeau property partition of 1947.  Upon the death of Margie von Rosambeau on May 16, 1972, John Clesi Jr. of New Orleans, her nephew, inherited the property.  Almost immediately in June 1972, Mr. Clesi sold the house to Blanche von Rosambeau.  On October 10, 1972, Thomas H. Gautier (b. 1945) and his wife, Caroline Brou Gautier (b. 1947), acquired Lot 7 from Miss Blanche von Rosambeau. (JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 97, pp. 312-317, JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 432, p. 430, Bk. 442, p. 436)


This structure was built in 1917, after the original von Rosambeau store and house, which was built circa 1890, burned to the ground.  The fire began when an oil stove exploded.  Young Margie von Rosambeau was the only occupant of the house when the conflagration commenced.  All the families clothing and furnishings were lost with the exception of Mr. von Rosambeau's desk.  It was saved as is now owned by Fred Brooks who resides at 910 Calhoun.(The Jackson County Times, November 17, 1917, p. 1)


The materials for the 1917 erection at 420 Jackson Avenue were obtained from the razing of the old Eliza Ames (1845-1917) residence on Cemetery Road (now Sunset).  Leo von Rosambeau (1883-1931), the only son of Augustin von Rosambeau (1849-1912) and Mary Ann Soden (1857-1937), and a group of laborers did the work.  The Jackson County Times of December 1, 1917, reported, "There is a lot of very fine building material in the old (Ames) structure and it will be used in a new bungalow to be erected by Mrs. A. von Rosambeau on the site of the store and residence recently destroyed by fire".


A store northwest of the house was part of the new construction.  It was smaller than the original store and may have been more of a millinery shop than a general mercantile store as before.  It is believed that Mrs. von Rosambeau sold groceries while Margie vended hats and ribbons in their new venture.  Probably as a consequence of age, Mrs. von Rosambeau closed her store circa 1931.  Mary Ann von Rosambeau died on February 10, 1937.(The Sun HeraldMarch 30, 1975, p. B-10)


Frank H. Bryan Jr. (1914-1999), a neighbor to the south, believed that this store was removed from the site by Orey A. Young Jr. (1892-1986) in the 1930s.  This cannot be confirmed.


The house at 420 Jackson Avenue was described in the Old Ocean Springs Historical District Survey (1979) as:  Gautier House.  One-and-one-half story wood frame house with a side gable roof pierced by a large central gabled dormer.  Undercut three-bay gallery supported by box columns.  Open soffits expose the rafter tails.  Craftsman.  Circa 1920.( Mississippi Department of Archives and History-State Wide Survey of Historic Sites,1979, p. 8)





Thomas and Caroline B. Gautier

Until October1972, Thomas Harry Gautier and Caroline Brou Gautier were the first people other than a von Rosambeau or descendant of this family to own 420 Jackson Avenue.  This property had remained in the ownership of the von Rosambeau family for ninety-two years.   Thomas H. Gautier and Caroline B. Gautier are both natives of Biloxi.  They married in September 1969 and were the parents of three children: William Brou Gautier, Virginia Mercee Jane Gautier, and Adam Thomas Gautier.


Caroline B. Gautier was one of the first to introduce the skill of “windsurfing” to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  During the early 1990s, she operated at Biloxi, Hot Seasons, a sports shop, which specialized in skate boards, sail boards, inline skates and accessories.


In April 1996, Thomas H. Gautier quitclaimed his interest in the home to his spouse.  They subsequently divorced in June 1999.   Caroline is now employed in the local casino gaming industry and maintains her yard and historic home at 420 Jackson Avenue in her spare time.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1165, p. 173 and JXCO, Ms. Chancery Court Cause 99-1004)




von Rosambeau –Benz House: 410 Jackson Avenue-Lot C

Mrs. Mary Ann von Rosambeau (1857-1937) acquired Lot C in 1904, from Charles Bruning for $250 in 1904.  This lot had a ninety-seven foot frontage on Jackson Avenue and was two-hundred feet deep to the east.  This location had been the site of the Egan House, possibly an early tourist home, which was located across Jackson Avenue from the Ocean Springs Hotel (1853-1905).  It is believed that the Egan House burned or was demolished between 1880 and 1900.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 28, p. 534)


A Queen Anne style structure was built here by the von Rosambeau Family circa 1908.  It was utilized as a rental cottage for winter visitors, and by others who were newly settling into the community.  There is a possibility that local contractor, Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960), himself the son of German immigrants, Gregoire Wieder (1849-1899) and Dora Armbruster (1884-1924), built the von Rosambeau cottage.            


Lemon family

 In 1912, James Kirkpatrick Lemon (1870-1929) and his young family arrived at Ocean Springs from Gulfport where he had been in the employ of the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad .  They relocated here because of the wide acclaim of the efficacious properties of the subsurface potable water.   Since Mrs. Lemon, Sarah George McIntosh (1884-1939), suffered from a skin affliction, they hoped that her condition would improve or be cured by the “aqua vita” flowing from artesian wells in Plio-Miocene strata beneath the town.   Initially, Mr. Lemon had anticipated being a participant in the local seafood industry, but fate dictated that he enter the furniture retail business.  A son, J.K. Lemon Jr. (1914-1998), arguably the most outstanding Twentieth Century citizen of Ocean Springs, was born in the von Rosambeau cottage at 410 Jackson in October 1914.(The History of Jackson County, Mississippi, 1989, p. 261 and J.K. Lemon Jr., March 1995)


The von Rosambeau home was described in the Old Ocean Springs Historic District survey as: One story wood frame house with T-shaped plan and a cross gabled roof.  Undercut three-bay porch with turned post.  Brackets and spindle frieze removed.  Small polygonal porch on south elevation.  Bead flush boarding laid horizontally above a dado formed by vertically laid boarding within the shelter of the front porch.  Gable ornament.  Queen Anne.  Circa 1890. (Mississippi Department of Archives and History-State Wide Survey of Historic Sites (1979), "Old Ocean Springs Historic District", p. 7)


Marie O. Brou Bryan           

In December 1917, Mary Ann “Mollie” Soden von Rosambeau (1857-1937) sold her cottage at present day 410 Jackson Avenue to Marie Odette Brou Bryan (1879-1957) for $1500.  Marie Brou Bryan (1879-1957) was born at New Orleans, the daughter of Joseph E. Brou of New Orleans.  She established herself in the Crescent City business community as a professional stenographer.  Through her occupation, Miss Brou met and married Frank H. Bryan (1872-1936) at New Orleans in 1904.  Bryan was a native of Maryville, Missouri.  He made his livelihood as an insurance underwriter for the Rankin-Benedict Company, which was primarily involved in protecting timber related businesses in the area between Beaumont, Texas and west Florida.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 45, pp. 252-253 and Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)


Circa 1909, the Frank H. Bryan family moved to Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  Frank H. Bryan was convinced the geographic location of this small town on the L&N Railroad would be conducive for his business travels.  In May 1910, Mr. Bryan commenced construction of a Queen Anne structure at 406 Jackson Avenue.  This Joseph A. Wieder (1877-1960) built edifice was once one of the most attractive in Ocean Springs.(The Ocean Springs News, May 14, 1910 and Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)             


Bryan brothers

Frank H. Bryan and Marie O. Brou Bryan had two sons:  Thad W. Bryan (1907-1994) and Frank H. Bryan Jr. (1914-1999).  Thad Bryan graduated from Biloxi High School in 1924 where played football and baseball.  He matriculated to Auburn Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University, and graduated in electrical engineering.  Thad Bryan worked for A.T. & T. and later joined RCA at East Orange, New Jersey where he worked with the research team, which developed the vacuum tube.  He also worked for the Civil Aeronautics Authority, and Boeing Aircraft at Seattle.  Mr. Bryan’s life ended at Pasadena, California on May 30, 1994.(Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995 and Beacon Glow-1924)


Frank H. Bryan Jr. graduated from the Gulf Coast Military Academy about 1929, and went to California to stay with his father.  He attended the Los Angeles School of Business at Los Angeles, California.  After graduation, Frank H. Bryan Jr. worked as a general office clerk for an insurance company and tire manufacturer in the Los Angeles area.  He relocated to New Orleans in 1935.  World War II found Mr. Bryan in the US Navy.  He was discharged in 1945, and returned to his native haunts of Ocean Springs in 1946.  Bryan found employment as a budget analyst at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi and retired from civil service work at the Veterans Administration at Biloxi in 1974.  He did some consulting work in the accounting field after retirement.(Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995 and The Sun Herald, June 4, 1999, p. A-9


Soon after the birth of Frank H. Bryan Jr. the Bryans' marriage began to deteriorate.  Mrs. Odette B. Bryan moved from 406 Jackson next door to the von Rosambeau tourist home at 410 Jackson.  As previously mentioned, she acquired the cottage in late 1917, from Mollie von Rosambeau.  Frank H. Bryan moved to California in 1925, and remarried.  He died on February 15, 1936, and his remains were interred at Maryville, Missouri.(Frank H. Bryan Jr.-June 1995)

Mrs. Marie B. Bryan remained in her Jackson Avenue home until her death on July 20, 1957.  She enjoyed classical music and the fine arts which she had studied in New Orleans.  Mrs. Bryan’s corporal remains were interred in the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery at Biloxi.               


“Brou Avenue”

Arguably Jackson Avenue our town’s oldest street could be renamed “Brou Avenue”.  The first Brou to settle on Jackson Avenue other than Mr. Frank H. Bryan was her sister, Marie Adele Brou (1875-1937), also from New Orleans.  Miss Brou acquired Lot 7-Block 3 of the Ocean Springs Hotel Tract from Frank J. Lundy in May 1910 for $350.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 35, p. 620)


Here a home called “Coozy Nook” was built and later sold by Miss M. Adele Brou to Edward Crawford Brou (1896-1949), her nephew, in May 1937, shortly before her death on July 21, 1937.  Edward Crawford Brou had moved to Ocean Springs in 1920.  He married Bertridge Bellman (1900-1992), the daughter of Phillip Bellman (1872-1927) and Alice Seymour (1880-1957).  The E.C. Brous lived on Martin Avenue before locating to Jackson Avenue.  E.C. Brou was employed by the L&N Railroad as brakeman and conductor for thirty years.  He was a partner in Bel-Bru Sporting Goods, which opened in 1946 at Biloxi.  Their family consisted of: Edward J. Brou (1918-2004), Margaret E. Brou (1922-2015), Phillip E. Brou (1923-1958), and Claire E. Brou (1928-2017).  The old Brou home was destroyed by Camille in August 1969, and the lot is vacant today and possessed by Claire E. Brou.(The Daily Herald, December 20, 1949, p. 1 and p. 11 and The Jackson County Times, July 24, 1937 and Claire E. Brou-March 2002)

Edward J. Brou's daughter, Caroline Brou Gautier, resides in the von Rosambeau-Gautier house at 420 Jackson Avenue.  Audrey B. Brou, the widow of Edward J. Brou, and son, Joe Brou, are situated at 510 Jackson, in a home built in 1948.  Margaret Brou and Claire Brou also live on Jackson Avenue at 325 and 313 Jackson respectively.  Valerie Brou and her talented daughter, Gabrielle Brou, are domiciled at 401 Jackson Avenue.  Hence, the reasons for renaming Jackson Avenue as “Brou Avenue”.


Russell Moran

Mrs. Bryan willed her Jackson Avenue home to her two sons, Thad W. Brayn and Frank H. Bryan Jr.  In 1967, the Bryan brothers failed to pay the property taxes at 410 Jackson.  Russell Moran (1930-1981), a local attorney, bought the house in September 1968, by paying the delinquent taxes.  In May 1971, title in the O.B. Bryan estate property was confirmed to Mr. Moran in a judgment rendered in Jackson County Cause No. 23,035, "Russell Moran v. Frank H. Bryan".(Jackson County, Ms. Chancery Court Cause No. 14, 736,  February 1960 and Jackson County, Ms. Individual Tax Sale Book 6, p. 3)


In June 1971, Russell Moran conveyed the home to Frank H. Bryan Jr.  He lived here until his demise on June 2, 1999.  Frank’s corporal remains were interred in the Southern Memorial Park Cemetery at Biloxi.(JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 407, p. 371 and The Sun Herald, June 4, 1999, p. A-9)       

Catholic Social Services

In March 2001, Earl L. Denham, executor of the Estate of F.H. Bryan Jr. conveyed 410 Jackson Avenue to the Catholic Social and Community Service and Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Biloxi, the legatee of Frank H. Bryan Jr.  By June 2001, the Catholic Social and Community Service and Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of Biloxi had found a buyer for the former von Rosambeau cottage in Richard W. Benz and spouse, Faubourg Bouligny residents of New Orleans.( JXCO, Ms. Land Deed Bk. 1232, p. 744 and Bk. 1243, p. 39)


Richard W. Benz

Richard W. “Dick” Benz (b.1964) and spouse, Jennifer “Jenny” Becker Benz (b. 1969), of the Crescent City own and operate a widely acclaimed Uptown New Orleans eatery appropriately called Dick and Jenny’s.  Situated at 4501 Tchoupitoulas Street near Napoleon Avenue and the Mississippi River, in a unique older home, Dick and Jenny’s has been described as: “inventive, eclectic, using locally grown and raised products, yet still maintaining a New Orleans flair and unpretentious a place as you could possible imagine”.  The Times Picayune rated it as one of the “restaurants we love”.(The Times Picayune, April 4, 2004)


Dick Benz grew up in Orange County, California and met Jenny Becker, a native of Buffalo, New York in New Orleans.  He began his gastronomic career in Louisiana at Commander’s Palace and worked as a chef at Gautreau’s and Upperline.  As any Crescent City culinary aficionado knows these rank among the finest eateries of a city blessed with an abundance of outstanding restaurants.  Some of Dick’s signature dishes are: pecan crusted speckled sea trout with a meuniere sauce; filet mignon and lobster with brie; seared tuna; a beef platter; crab ravigote, escargot, veal cheeks, and lamb shank.  Delectable appetizers served at their bistro are: fried oysters, crab cakes, tournedos, sweetbreads, and gumbo.(Jenny Benz-June 28, 2004).


Dick and Jenny Benz are the parents of two daughters: Ruby Jane Benz (b. 2000) and Charley Rose Benz (b. 2001) who was born a month before they acquired their Jackson Avenue cottage.  The Benz plan to renovate 410 Jackson Avenue next year in anticipation of a permanent move to Ocean Springs in the near future.  Is a “Dick and Jenny’s” coming to the City of Discovery?  Hold your taste buds and pray!



The Benz House was washed from its foundation by Hurricane Katrina in the morning of August 30, 2005 and subsequently demolished.  Kathy Beaugez Wilson, a neighbor on the west side of Jackson Avenue, acquired some of the gable ornamentation from the derelict Benz home and subsequently and somewhat inappropriately applied this ornamentation to her home.  As of August 2010, the Benz family was domiciled at Buffalo, new York and engaged in the restaurant business.



Benz Lot still undeveloped.




Ray L. Bellande, Ocean Springs Hotels and Tourist Homes, (Bellande:  Ocean Springs, Mississippi-1994), p. 29.

Regina Hines Ellison, Ocean Springs, 1892, (Second Edition),  (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula-1991), p. 35 and pp. 77-80.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"James Kirkpatrick Lemon", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula, Mississippi-1989), p. 261.

The History of Jackson County, Mississippi"O'Keefe, 5th & 6th Generations", (Jackson County Genealogical Society: Pascagoula-1989, Mississippi), p. 303.

Jerome Lepre, Catholic Church Records Diocese of Biloxi, Mississippi, Volume I, (Catholic Diocese of Biloxi:  Biloxi-1991), pp. 276-277 and 321-322.

Mississippi Department of Archives and History-State Wide Survey of Historic Sites (1979), "Old Ocean Springs Historic District", p. 13.

C.E. Schmidt, Ocean Springs French Beachhead, (Lewis Printing Services: Pascagoula-1972), p. 113.

WPA For Mississippi Historical Data-Jackson County, Mississippi, (State Wide Historical Project: 1936-1937), p. 277.

Chancery Court Causes

Jackson County, Mississippi Chancery Court Cause No. 14,736, "The Estate of Odette B. Bryan", February 1960.


The Biloxi Daily Herald"Ocean Springs Notes", March 21, 1899, p. 1.

The Daily Herald"Clesi-Rosambeau", September 25, 1911, p. 8.

The Daily Herald"Leo Rosambeau Obit", October 18, 1931, p. 2.

The Daily Herald"Edward C. Brou Dies Suddenly at Ocean Springs", December 20, 1949, p. 1 and p. 11.

The Daily Herald,  "Mrs. Marie Brou", July 20, 1957, p. 2.

The Daily Herald,  "Rosambeau home, store Ocean Springs landmarks", March 30, 1975, p. B10.

The Jackson County Times"Fierce Fire Does Heavy Damage", November 18, 1916.

The Jackson County Times, “Fire Totally Destroys Rosambeau Store and Residence”, November 17, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Local News Interests”, December 1, 1917.

The Jackson County Times, “Local and Personal”, October 6, 1923.

The Jackson County Times"Local and Personal", October 30, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Carroll-Rosambeau”, November 7, 1925.

The Jackson County Times, “Mrs. A.V. Rosambeau”, February 27, 1937.

The Jackson County Times, “Marie Adele Brou”, July 21, 1937.

The Jackson County Times"Bridget Soden Obit", April 28, 1944, p. 1.

The Ocean Springs News, “Local News”, May 28, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News, “They’re Off In a Bunch”, October 1, 1910.

The Ocean Springs News, “Millinery”, October 7, 1915.

The Ocean Springs Record"Miss Marguerite H. Rosambeau Obit", May 25, 1972, p. 2.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", January 27, 1994, p. 14.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", March 2, 1995, p. 18.

The Ocean Springs Record"Sous Les Chenes", March 9, 1995, p. 17.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star, “Ocean Springs”, July 27, 1879.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", January 21, 1898.

"Ocean Springs Locals", January 28, 1898.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", December 13, 1901.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", December 20, 1901.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", March 21, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", July 11, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", October 10, 1902.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", January 16, 1903.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", February 27, 1903.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", June 5, 1903.

The Pascagoula Democrat-Star"Ocean Springs Locals", October 16, 1903.

The Sun Herald"Rosambeau home, store Ocean Springs landmarks", March 30, 1975, p. B-10.

The Sun Herald, “Frank H. Bryan”, June 4, 1999, p. A-9.

The Sun Herald, “Janice Thetford”, January 20, 2002.

The Sun Herald, “Imogene C. Brooks”, September 20, 2002.

The Sun Herald, “Theresa B. Mason”, March 15, 2005, p. A7.

The Sun Herald, “Wilbern 'Hugh' Thetford”, February 23, 2015.The Times-Picayune, 'Clesi', October 31 , 2007, p. 5.


Sanborn Map Company (NY), “Ocean Springs”, Sheet  (1909).

Sanborn Map (Pelham, NY), “Ocean Springs”, Sheet 5, February 1925.


US Census-Jackson County, Mississippi (1850), (1860),

(1870), (1880), (1900), (1910), and (1920).


Personal Communication:


Orwin Scharr - January 1993

Elaine Miheve - February 1993

John Clesi, Jr. - February 1993

Fred Brooks - February 1993

Frank H. Bryan - February 1993

Vertalee VanCleave - February 1993

J.K. Lemon-March 1995.