While one of the oldest settled areas in Mississippi, D’Iberville just became an incorporated city in 1988. D’Iberville, located on the north shore of the Back Bay of Biloxi in Harrison County, is named for Frenchmen Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, who was selected by the King of France to defend the French claim to the Louisiana area in 1699.
For most of the 19th century, the area was known as Back Bay, and its small population consisted primarily of descendants of d’Iberville’s followers, and the French language and culture were pervasive. In the 1830s, more immigrants from France, Spain, Germany, Croatia and Switzerland began to arrive.
In 1901, a wooden bridge connecting the area to Biloxi opened, increasing trade of seafood, produce, dairy, citrus, pecans, wool and timber to Biloxi and the railroad. The area was intermittently known as Lazarus, Seymour and North Biloxi during the 20th century, reflecting the names of local post offices. Timber was a stronghold of the economy from late 19th century until the 1920s, when the turpentine industry began to develop. World War I boosted the economy, keeping Biloxi shipyards busy. After the war, canneries began to open along the Back Bay.
World War II brought another economic boon, with the opening of Keesler Field (now Keesler Air Force Base) in Biloxi, along with shipyards in Biloxi, Pascagoula and New Orleans, and D’Iberville gradually became a bedroom community for workers in these larger cities.