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Hancock County is located on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, between New Orleans and Biloxi. While its history is intimately connected with that of both cities, it is also unique, with its own independent development. Some of its history's many elements include prehistoric stone-age people, European explorers, extermination of the buffalo, pirates, a naval battle in the War of 1812, Indians, settlers, the county's role in the Civil War, timber barons and their company towns, the testing of Saturn rocket motors, and casino gambling. These stories and many others are told in the book's 35 well-documented chapters. This volume is, by far, the most authoritative history of the county written to date, and should be of value to genealogy buffs as well as those with an appetite for local history. It is a BIG book with over 700 pages and with 100 pictures.
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Although Scharff claims to be neither a historian nor a writer, he is both. By writing this history of Hancock County he performed an invaluable service. His accounts are at once thorough and entertaining. Even readers without connections to Hancock County will find themselves drawn into the pages of this book and learn a lot about this country as a whole as they read about Hancock County.About the Author:
Robert Scharff was born in Memphis, but grew up in Bay St. Louis and attended all three schools there: St. Joseph's Academy, Bay Central School, and St. Stanislaus. He was active in the school bands of the latter two. He graduated from LSU with a Bachelor's degree in chemistry (1950) and married Gertrude Rosenzweig of New Orleans; they have two children and a granddaughter. Scharff worked as a chemist in New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Linden, NJ, Ashtabula, OH, Asheville, NC, and Charlotte, NC, in the capacity of research chemist, chief chemist, laboratory manager, marketing director, quality control supervisor, environmental manager, safety director, and personnel manager. He is now retired and lives in Charlotte, NC. Although he considered himself neither a writer nor a historian, he got the idea for this book about 1986 when a local librarian told him that no books had been published on Hancock County's History.
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