The HIERN Family — Significance
Roger Alden Hiern was a merchant marine sea captain. His name appears early in Pass Christian's history, first as a real estate agent representing Edward Livingston's ownership of Pass Christian; and, secondly, as the builder and first lighthouse keeper of the Pass Christian Lighthouse in 1831; and thirdly, as owner of large tracts of Pass Christian properties having acquired 6000 acres from Charles Shipman who was married to Roger's sister, Cornelia.
Roger built the house at 943 East Scenic Drive, which was constructed before 1850 and was left to Finley's three children. Roger's Will was filed at Mobile on April 18, 1867, following his death. He willed his estate to his spinster sisters, Claudine and Sarah, but in the event of their death, the estate would go to his nieces and nephew, Cornelia, Eliza, and Charles H. Hiern, Finley Hiern’s children.
Shortly before his death, he was operating a business in New Orleans at #12 Dauphine, a two-story red-brick building.
Finley Bodam Hiern served as first Mayor of Pass Christian from 1848 through 1853. The position was then known as Recorder and the terms were for two years duration. He was called back for another term in 1882 at the age of 77. He had also served as Lighthouse Keeper succeeding his brother, Roger, in 1839, (at approximately 34 years of age). Remaining active in city and regional government, he served as Public School Commissioner, Election Commissioner, and was elected as the first President of the County Police Board which was equivalent to the current County Board of Supervisors. He died at age 85 while attempting to aid one of his employees who had gotten entangled in saw-mill equipment. He was owner and operator of a saw-mill employing 500 men near Pitcher's Point located at present-day west Long Beach.
Finley had three children — Cornelia, Eliza, and Charles Henry Hiern.
Upon Finley’s death, the Hiern Sawmill was left to his son, Charles, an attorney who married Margaret Isabel Innerarity having five children. Charles also served as a member of the Board of Supervisors. His sister-in-law, Eliza Jane Innerarity (Boggs), made their domicile near the site of the sawmill, developing Boggsdale. Former Louisiana U.S. Congressman Hale T. Boggs and his wife Lindy ( former U.S. Congresswoman and Vatican Ambassador) were intending to build a summer home there before Hale Boggs was killed in a plane crash.
Claudine A. Hiern, one of two spinster sisters, succeeded her brothers, Roger (1831) and Finley (1839), to serve as the City's Lighthouse keeper from 1844 to 1861, at which time, the light was closed due to the Civil War. The lighthouse was located at the site of present day City Hall and the Hiern sisters lived on adjoining property at the corner of Hiern Avenue and Scenic Drive.
Sarah A.Hiern succeeded her brother Finley as the City's first Postmistress.