William G. Elder was a Charter member of the Moss Point F.&A.M. Lodge 202. When he came to the Moss Point area in 1831, he said that he had built his home on the most beautiful site he had ever seen, the white beach near the presently located Thiokol Chemical Co. William saw the need for a formal education after five families settled in the area, and he built a one room school where his future daughter-in-law, Miss Etta Gould from Iowa, taught. The school was the Escatawpa River, and he founded the Elder Ferry, which ceased operation in 1909. The ferry was the shortest route along the coastal road from Biloxi to Mobile. Logs were layed in the swamp beds on the south side of the river for carriages to ride on. The old ferry landing was where the Thickol Chemical Co., Standard Products Co. Inc., The Fish Meal Co., and the Mississippi Menhaden Products are located. There was a post office called Elder's Ferry from 1853 to 1868 which was run by William Elder. The Yankee troops, during the Civil War, built camp on Mr. Elder's property living off the land, slaughtering animals, emptying smoke houses, corn cribs, destroying flourishing crops of oranges, pears, grapes, peaches, figs, and other fruits. They also damaged the post office/store and the other surroundings. Mr. Elder owned land from the Pascagoula Beach into Helena (including Petit Bois Island) which was called Orange Grove (not to be confused with the Orange Lake area). His son, Samuel Tyng Elder, also gave land to many as wedding gifts to reside and help settle the area. One tract of land included approximately 65 acres given to Miss Dora McFarlane, former principal of the Ed Mayo School. Mrs. Harriet Dozier Elder had to sell Petit Bois Island to the government after her husband's death to help pay for her children's education. The East Moss Point Baptist Church is one the site where Mrs. Gould Elder had her private school after the one room school was discontinued. Edler's Cemetery is near the Elder's Ferry and many of the Elder family are buried there.
Father: Samuel Tyng ELDER b: 18 APR 1784 in Portland, ME
Mother: Mary Burrisa WALKER b: 19 OCT 1797 in Elbert County, GA
Marriage 1 Harriet L. MCREAR
Marriage 2 Harriet DOZIER
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