Henry Gautier's Homes: 'First House' and 'Twelve Oaks'

Located on Orrell Drive in Gautier, the an historic markers has been pending for the site of the First Henry Gautier House. The text for the proposed marker reads:

"This house, constructed ca. 1878, was built by Henry Gautier for his first wife, Adelaide Hull Gautier. Henry (1848-1921), a noted businessman, yachtsman and angler, was the oldest son of Fernando Gautier. After Adelaide's death in 1893, Henry remarried and built a second house, known as 'Twelve Oaks,' in 1896."

This text was approved by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History but the marker was never ordered due to a questioning of the construction date by descendant Dorothy Gautier. "Family oral history indicated the house was built before Henry married Adelaide on Jan. 7, 1874," said Gautier historian Jack Womack. "The marker has been put on hold until the date can be resolved."

In 1996, the home received the Historical Preservation Award from the city of Gautier. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

At 701 Graveline Road in Gautier is "Twelve Oaks" and its historical marker reads: "Built c. 1896 by Henry Gautier (1848-1921) for his second wife, Laura Canty. Henry Gautier was the eldest son of Fernando Gautier. The house is located in the Helen Moro Spanish land grant claim and was built on the site of the McRae Hotel, a pre-Civil War vacation resort for coastal area residents."

Aimee Gautier Dugger wrote in an article dated March 19, 1992: "On Dec. 20, 1892, Henry Gautier purchased the tract of land upon which still stands his beautiful home known today as "Twelve Oaks."" This beautifully restored home is the only one of the original Gautier family homesites located in the city of Gautier that is not lived in by descendants of the builder."

Twelve Oaks

Henry and his brother Walter operated, along with their father, Fernando, the Gautier and Sons Sawmill. Census reports and tombstone records show that Henry was born in Tchoutacabouffa, Harrison County, Miss., and that he and his first wife Adelaide Hull (1848- 1893) had three children: Louise S. (1879- 1957), Marie Adelaide (born 1881), and Henry Hull (1988-89). Widowed, he then married Laura Canty (1865-1934). He and Laura had three children: Newton Henry, Fairfax Hollister and Richard.

"During the last year of the Civil War, Henry served in Company C, 24 th Division,"" according to "The History of Jackson County, Mississippi."" Data submitted to MDAH shows that Henry served in the Confederacy and entered service in 1862 when he would have been only 14 years old. His obituary read in part: "...Mr. Gautier entered on a career that brought honor to his name from his early boyhood to the close of his life. He successfully managed the Gautier sawmill on West Pascagoula river for more than a quarter of a century. He was a lover of aquatic sports and won several silver cups offered as prizes by the Southern Yacht Club and ranked among the foremost anglers of the coast..."