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Bay St. Louis in Hancock County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

100 Men D.B.A. Hall

 
 
100 Men D.B.A. Hall Marker (Front) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 19, 2015
1. 100 Men D.B.A. Hall Marker (Front)
Inscription.
Front
The 100 Men D.B.A. Hall, a longtime center of African American social life and entertainment, was built in 1922 by the One Hundred Membersí Debating Benevolent Association. Over the years the association sponsored many events and also rented the hall to promoters who brought in blues, rhythm & blues, and jazz acts. Local residents have recalled performances by Etta James, Big Joe Turner, Guitar Slim, Irma Thomas, Professor Longhair, Ernie K-Doe, Deacon John, Earl King, and numerous others here.

Rear
In the decades following the Civil War, African Americans throughout the South formed many fraternal and benevolent organizations in order to collectively increase their social, economic, and political power. The One Hundred Membersí Debating Benevolent Association was incorporated in Bay St. Louis in 1894. According to its charter, “the purpose of this Association is to assist its members when sick and bury its dead in a respectable manner and to knit friendship.” The charter stipulated that “the Association may from time to time give entertainments for the purpose of replenishing the treasury.” Despite its name, the association was founded by twelve men, and the nature of its “debates” appears to be lost to time. (In other organizations, the initials D.B.A.
100 Men D.B.A. Hall Marker (Rear) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 19, 2015
2. 100 Men D.B.A. Hall Marker (Rear)
often stood for Death and Burial Association.) By the 1950s the functions of many benevolent organizations were supplanted by insurance companies, although in New Orleans they have survived as social aid and pleasure clubs that organize annual parades. The Disabled American Veterans acquired the 100 Men D.B.A Hall in the mid-1970s. After Hurricane Katrina the hall was slated to be razed until Jesse and Kerrie Loya stepped in to purchase it in 2006. The Loyas restored it with the intent of creating a nonprofit community center and venue. It operates today as an ongoing live blues locale.

As a resort community in the early decades of the twentieth century, Bay St. Louis was the site of performances by New Orleans jazz and dance bands, as well as local groups, including the Supreme Band and bands led by Paul Maurice, August Saucier, and Harry Fairconnetue (who played regularly at the Promo Benevolent Association Hall). Bay St. Louis natives Fairconnetue and Warren Bennett also worked in Clarence Desdunes' Joyland Revelers. Other local performers of the era included the Alexis family (Peter, Ricard, and Joseph), Edgar Benoit, Sumner Labat, Edward Palloade, Edgar Saucier, Oscar Collins, Eddie Thomas, Anderson Edwards, and Johnny Toncred. Famed New Orleans musicians Lorenzo Tio, Sr. and Jr. and Johnny and Warren "Baby" Dodds also lived in this area in the early 1900s. After
100 Men D.B.A. Hall Marker (Closeup) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 19, 2015
3. 100 Men D.B.A. Hall Marker (Closeup)
Click on photo for closeup of photos.
World War II the 100 Men D.B.A. Hall became a stop on the “chitlin circuit,” a network of African American clubs, with many of the acts booked out of New Orleans. Mississippi coast bands, including M. C. Spencer & the Blue Flames, the Sounds of Soul, Carl Gates & the Decks, and the Claudetts, also played here. Another area venue in the early '50s was the Cotton Club on Highway 90, operated by guitarist Jimmy Liggins, who relocated here briefly from Los Angeles. Onetime area residents who later achieved musical fame included the Bihari family, whose sons formed one of the most important independent record companies, Modern Records, in Los Angeles, and singer-guitarist Ted Hawkins, who was born in Lakeshore.
 
Erected 2011 by the Mississippi Blues Commission. (Marker Number 132.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Mississippi Blues Trail marker series.
 
Location. 30° 18.569′ N, 89° 20.092′ W. Marker is in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, in Hancock County. Marker is on Union Street 0.1 miles east of South Necaise Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Union Street does not run continuous across the city. Marker is at or near this postal address: 303 Union Street, Bay Saint Louis MS 39520, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At
100 Men D.B.A. Hall and guitar artwork. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 19, 2015
4. 100 Men D.B.A. Hall and guitar artwork.
least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Publius Rutilius Rufus Pray (approx. 0.4 miles away); Naval Battle of Bay St. Louis (approx. 0.7 miles away); St. Augustineís Seminary (approx. 0.8 miles away); United States Merchant Marine Academy Cadet Memorial (approx. 2.8 miles away); Brown's Vineyard (approx. 3.5 miles away); Scenic Drive Historic District (approx. 5.4 miles away); Saucier-Bidwell-Pratt House (approx. 5.5 miles away); Blues & Jazz in the Pass (approx. 5.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Bay St. Louis.
 
Also see . . .  About the 100 Men Hall (Hall website). (Submitted on February 23, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
100 Men D.B.A. Hall & Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 19, 2015
5. 100 Men D.B.A. Hall & Marker
100 Men D.B.A. Hall Information and uses. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 19, 2015
6. 100 Men D.B.A. Hall Information and uses.
Looking westerly on Union Street. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, February 19, 2015
7. Looking westerly on Union Street.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 221 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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