Hospital Hill Neighborhood
The portion of St. Catherine Street that extends from the site of the Rhythm Night Club to D'Evereux Street was originally part of the property of the city's first public hospital (above).
The hospital fronted St. Catherine and stood on a hill on the north side of the street across from where Holy Family Church now stands.
An 1813 newspaper described the proposed hospital as fifty-feet square and two stories above the basement.
Henry Gurney photographed the hospital in 1866 when it was used as an encampment for Union soldiers during the Civil War. A tent is visible on the far left in the picture above. The rear wing of the hospital survives and is accessed from Bowles Alley.
After acquiring the U.S. Marine Hospital in 1884, the city sold the 1813 hospital, which was demolished in 1886 and its property divided into building lots.
Over a century later older residents of St. Catherine were still referring to the property as "Hospital Hill." The Louis Kastor House, John Banks House, George Bowles House and the parsonage of Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church were built on the hospital property.
In a 1902 publication Evidence of Progress Among Colored People, G.F. Richings described Louis Kastor (above) as "a first-class harness maker by trade" and owner of "one of the largest and best-equipped stores in his line in the
According to Richings, "Mr. Kastor began first with $65.00 and is now doing a business of $22,000 a year, He owns a fine property for a residence and has the respect and confidence of the best people of Natchez." Kastor lived at 7 St. Catherine Street and his business was on Franklin Street.
The Louis Kastor House at 7 St. Catherine Street (left) was built ca. 1890 in the Queen Anne style but later remodeled in the craftsman style. Merchant Samuel Krouse owned the house in the 1920s.
By 1935 the Kastor House had become a funeral home, operating as West and Webb Funeral Home by 1947. The partnership dissolved and Aubrey Webb continued operations in the Kastor House. George West opened a new funeral business on Martin Luther King Street. In the 1950s Webb remodeled the house and built a front addition.
The George Bowles House at 13 St. Catherine (left) was one of several houses built on the hill after the 1886 demolition of the hospital. Partially visible is the parsonage of Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church.
African American George F. Bowles moved to Natchez in 1871 and was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1875. He married Laura Davis, sister of local banker William Minor Davis.
Bowles was both a member of the school board and a city attorney during Reconstruction. He was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives and served two terms from 1887 to 1891.
Bowles served as Grand Chancellor of the Knights of Pythias, the fraternal organization that erected his tombstone in the Natchez City Cemetery at his death in 1899.
Erected by City of Natchez.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Natchez Trails marker series.
Location. 31° 33.526′ N, 91° 23.827′ W. Marker is in Natchez, Mississippi, in Adams County. Marker is on St. Catherine Street near Abbott Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7 St. Catherine Street, Natchez MS 39120, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 20-30 St. Catherine Street and Eduation (a few steps from this marker); Dr. John Banks House - 9 St. Catherine Street (a few steps from this marker); Holy Family Catholic Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Holy Family Church and School (within shouting distance of this marker); Rhythm Night Club (within shouting distance of this marker); Views of St. Catherine Street - Western End (within shouting distance of this marker); Voss Family and A-B Motor Company (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); 300 Block of Martin Luther King Street (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Natchez.
More about this marker. St. Catherine Street is one way westbound at this location.
Part of the Natchez Trails "St. Catherine Street" walking tour.
Categories. • African Americans • Roads & Vehicles • Science & Medicine • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 22, 2017. This page originally submitted on September 21, 2017, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 60 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on September 21, 2017.