Biloxi Local News & Events - News Summary

Who Designed Biloxi’s Peoples Bank?

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The Peoples Bank Building was designed by an architect named Wm T. Harkness. Now this may not seem interesting if it weren’t for some old newspaper articles which were found in which Harkness wrote a correction. According to him, The American Contractor had incorrectly sited J. F. Hutchisson as the architect for the Biloxi building. It seems that Hutchisson may have put out this lie to try to get business and take credit for the work.

Key Takeaways:

  • The former Peoples Bank Building’s iconic turret is used in Biloxi Main Street’s logo.
  • The Romanesque pile, now home to the wonderful Ellzy’s Hardware, served as the headquarters of the bank from 1896 until they purchased the former Harrison County Bank building.
  • The MDAH HRI database has documented evidence that Wm T. Harkness (1869-1941) was the Builder/Architect of the building.

“Multiple period newspaper articles cite Harkness as the builder, and a plaque original on that building that has since been relocated to the current-day Peoples Bank bears Harkness’ name. I had never thought to think otherwise until I came across the somewhat unusual ad that W. T. Harkness took out in the Biloxi Herald in November of 1896.”

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