Jones' descendants upset about removal of statue's base - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Jones' descendants upset about removal of statue's base

By Danielle Thomas - bio | email

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The descendants of one of Gulfport's founding fathers say they're worried about what will become of a statue honoring their ancestor. That's because Wednesday morning, Harrison County crews removed the base section of the Captain Joseph T. Jones statue from its spot on the beachfront.

Harrison County officials say it was done after a request from Gulfport. Relatives say they suspect the city wants the statue out of the way to pursue other plans for the land.

It was lifted, loaded and hauled away before Margaret Moran, Grace Lebo, and Rosemary Finley knew what had become of the base for the statue of Captain Joseph T. Jones. Gulfport city officials say it will be refurbished, which the three sisters say is fine for now.

Margaret Moran said, "No question. Put it back and put it back just like it was."

The sisters worry that may not happen since they say Gulfport officials have told them the city plans to relocate the statue from in front of the damaged library to Jones Park, which is on the other side of Highway 90.

"They've been wanting to move the statue for ages," said Moran. "I don't know why. I don't know what's behind it, but they've been trying to move this statue for a long time. "

The beachfront property was deeded to the city by Captain Jones' family in 1928. The sisters say in his daughter, Grace Jones Stewart, paid to have his statue erected in the 1940s where it would overlook the port he built. The family also says relocating the monument from high ground would make it more vulnerable to hurricanes.

"If he'd been down there in Katrina, we'd probably not have the statue now at all, so we'd much prefer that it be up here," said Lebo.

Before the library was built on the property, the Chautauqua House was there where people would come for proms, meetings and other special events. The sisters say their fear is that the city will use this property for something other than for the community, which they say is not what their cousin Grace Jones Stewart intended.

Rosemary Finley said, "We have no idea what they intend to do with the property. It's sad because we've lost so much and to lose another building and to lose a founding father standing here."

Hurricane Katrina knocked the statue of Captain Joseph Jones of its base. Gulfport city officials say they removed the base so that it and the statue could be refurbished together. Officials say no decision has been made on where the statue will be be remounted.

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Hwy. 57 bridge may have to be replaced before it reopens

    Hwy. 57 bridge may have to be replaced before it reopens

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 11:23 AM EDT2017-09-19 15:23:01 GMT
    There appears to be a hole straight through the pavement on the roadway. (Photo source: WLOX)There appears to be a hole straight through the pavement on the roadway. (Photo source: WLOX)

    Officials with the Mississippi Department of Transportation said the damage is still being assessed, and it's possible the bridge will have to be replaced before it can reopen. 

    More >>

    Officials with the Mississippi Department of Transportation said the damage is still being assessed, and it's possible the bridge will have to be replaced before it can reopen. 

    More >>
  • All clear at St. Martin Middle School after bomb threat

    All clear at St. Martin Middle School after bomb threat

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 10:17 AM EDT2017-09-19 14:17:44 GMT
    All clear after bomb threat at St. Martin Middle SchoolAll clear after bomb threat at St. Martin Middle School
    Authorities evacuated St. Martin Middle School Tuesday morning after a bomb threat. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said a threatening note was found at the school. Ezell said deputies checked the school and found nothing.  “We feel right now it is a prank. We went through the school and believe everything is OK,” Ezell told WLOX News Now. Jackson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Amacker said the situation was resolved quickly. “The school took the n...More >>
    Authorities evacuated St. Martin Middle School Tuesday morning after a bomb threat. Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell said a threatening note was found at the school. Ezell said deputies checked the school and found nothing.  “We feel right now it is a prank. We went through the school and believe everything is OK,” Ezell told WLOX News Now. Jackson County Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Amacker said the situation was resolved quickly. “The school took the n...More >>
  • Hurricane Maria targets Puerto Rico, expected to turn north

    Hurricane Maria targets Puerto Rico, expected to turn north

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 8:17 AM EDT2017-09-19 12:17:35 GMT

    The monster system has ravaged the Caribbean Islands in its path, making a direct hit in Dominica on Monday night. It's on a path for another direct hit with Puerto Rico by Wednesday.

    More >>

    The monster system has ravaged the Caribbean Islands in its path, making a direct hit in Dominica on Monday night. It's on a path for another direct hit with Puerto Rico by Wednesday.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly