The history of the Guest House is reflective of that of Gulfport itself- of its early prosperity, real estate speculation, and turns of fortunes. Two of the earliest names to appear in the deeds are Spencer S. Bullis and Joseph T. Jones. These two men were officials of the Gulf and Ship Island Railroad and, in a sense, founding fathers of Gulfport. Both men were heavily involved in the development of Gulfport and their ownership of lots 19 and 20 where the house stands was likely part of their wider real estate activities.
H. S. and Mattie M. Walker acquired the property in 1906. This was the same year that the fortunes of Gulfport were dimmed by the destruction of Gulf Coast timberlands by a storm. The first appearance of the house on a Sanborn Fire Insurance map is in 1912. The 1904 and 1907 Gulfport editions did not extend to that part of the town. In 1914, the Gulfport Daily Herald published a notice that the Walkers had defaulted on their loan from the First National Bank of Gulfport and the property would be offered at public sale to the highest bidder. In 1919, transfer of the property from H. S. Walker to E. H. and A. C. Selby was recorded.
It is clear that the Selbys did make the house their personal residence and that they were living there as early as 1917. Social groups having gatherings at the Selbys' included the Christian Endeavor Society of the Presbyterian Church (1917) and the Mississippi Auxiliary of the First Methodist Church (1928).