Pictured circa 1920 is Biloxi's third hospital. The first, a charity hospital, opened in 1908 on the south side of E. Howard Avenue between Crawford and Hoxie Streets. That hospital moved to a larger house on the northwest corner of Claiborne Street and E. Howard Avenue in 1909. But, that little hospital was bursting at its seams by 1919.
It has been said and written that New Orleans philanthropist Harry T. Howard "gave" his home on the northeast corner of present-day Maycock Street and U.S. 90 for a new hospital, but he didn't "give" it. His property was for sale in early 1919 for $15,000, and he offered it to the Biloxi Charity Hospital Association for the reduced price of $10,500.
With the borrowed balance and $30,000 raised by the Biloxi Order of the Elks, the home was converted into a proper hospital and opened in October 1919. The facility was a teaching hospital that housed training nurses. The laboratory was closeted in a small room under the staircase, and the first X-ray equipment was installed in 1924.
At times, the hospital's existence depended on donations; funds and such necessities as food, linens, furniture and once even a milk cow. In 1928 the hospital building was moved to the rear of the property. On the site, a new brick and privately funded Biloxi Hospital opened on July 3, 1929.
Murella H. Powell, a local historian, writes the weekly Flashback column. Do you have a local photograph to submit to Flashback? It can be of any subject or event in the Coast's distant or recent past. Please send a description with your name, address and daytime phone number to Flashback, the Sun Herald, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi, MS 39535; or call 896-2424; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.