(I cannot visualize the boundary being further south than Arsenal Street)
This is my own area breakdown, and can or may be changed
My research on this area may be flawed, or understated. I ran out of time. I know it is a stretch to name so great an area “South Cheltenham”. For now it will suffice. I know the areas of Lindenwood, Hampton Village, whatever the name would be for the Southwest area down towards Chippewa. They would all be called something different like an area around a certain train station. Probably, the areas surrounding the valley are close enough to Cheltenham. Just didn’t have the time to check all the different boundaries. Though Southwest High School covered all the way to Oakland and the City Limits. Could be someone would like to break down the separate communities. We will see how big this document will get.
Charles Gratiot was the first owner of the area. You can find his story in the chapter "St. Louis and the Beginnings".
It was called "Gratiot League Square" being 3 Square Miles
The next major owner was William Sublette. He bought approximately 1000Acres of Gratiot League Square. You can find his story in “William Sublette, Mountain Man”. On March 10, he bought 446 acres of land on the River Des Peres, six miles from St. Louis for $3000.00, and a few weeks later, on April 26, his attorney purchased in his name an adjoining tract of 333 acres for $4000.00.The two tracts together were more commonly known as the “Sulphur Springs” tract. The total 779 rolling fertile acres were located in a rough triangle formed by four modern St. Louis thoroughfares: Kingshighway on the east, Old Manchester Road (now Southwest Ave.) on the south, Tamm Ave. on the west, and New Manchester Rd. on the north.
Defined broadly: the Hill is bounded by Kingshighway, Hampton, Columbia, and Northrup. Over time it has expanded to Kingshighway, Hampton, Northrup, and Fyler. With the area expanded, the highest point is at Arsenal and Sublette. That point is at the crest of a general rise in topography southwestward from Kingshighway and Shaw. Beyond it the land slopes into the River Des Peres Valley.
Defined narrowly: The “Hill” originally called “Mound St. Louis” was a very small area. It was bounded by Manchester (south of the tracks), St. Louis Ave. (Macklind), Phare (Shaw), and Sublette. The E/W streets were numbered 1St thru 5Th. The two N/S streets between Macklind and Sublette were named Hall and Gratiot. A very small area.
The Hill seemed to grow just like Dogtown. In fact, today it would be an insult to think the people living on Arsenal didn’t live on the Hill. Actually, it is one big hill with the Sanitorium on Arsenal being the highest point in the whole area west of Kingshighway.
Figure 2. Kemper College
A chart of St. Louis area mines shows in 1837, the “Kemper College Mine” along Arsenal between Kingshighway and on a line with the present Hampton. It was operated by the students. In 1840, a medical department was started, and known as “The Missouri Medical College”. Because of financial difficulties, the buildings were sold in 1845. This must have been to Peter Lindell and Henry Shaw who in 1853 sold it to the county to be used for the old County Poor House. The Insane Asylum still occupies a portion of the old college grounds. Across the street, and on what is now Sublette Park, was another notorious Hospital which was known, in the old days, as the Female Hospital. This has a story of its own, which I have not researched very much. Did learn the hospital was used for women with venereal disease. It became a place to put ladies off the streets.
By 1850 the Hill was broken down into large tracts owned by Peter Lindell, Henry Shaw, James F. Cooper, David W. Graham, Dr. J.W. Hall, Mrs. Frances L. Sublette, also Andrew and Solomon Sublette.
Property owners west of Tower Grove Park and Shaw’s Garden were: James D. Fyler, John Dalton, Wesley Watson, John W. Daggett, Frederick Billon. This was a separate list, which complements the other list. The date was probably later in the 1850’s.
The Poor House moved to 5600 Arsenal, and later the “Chronic Hospital” (for the poor). This was used until the 1950’s. My dad used this facility for three years until he died. Not long after that they closed it. I hadn’t realized how big the complex was till I went there to visit him. These buildings (3), are all gone and new brick bungalows have been built for the elderly or for mental halfway houses. (Don’t quote me on this). This is along Arsenal, east to Brannon.
At 5400 Arsenal is the “Missouri State Hospital”, formally known in 1864 to 1910 as the “Insane Asylum”, and later “The Sanitarium”. Originally it was a County facility. The Sanitarium came under City control in 1876, and under State control in 1948. The hospital’s five story central structure was flanked by four-story wings and topped by a 194 Ft. high cast iron dome. The hospital was built for 250 patients, but had 343 patients by 1881. Additional construction increased the institution’s capacity to 2000. This addition was built immediately in front of the original building, with the same curvature. A well was dug in 1869 to a depth of 3,845 Ft. deep to reach an Artesian source for the institution.
This makes me think this could be the same water source that supplied the spring that came up like a fountain from the hill below Northrup. There were a lot of Artesian wells in Missouri in the old days. I think mining ruined a lot of the underground springs.
The buildings in the lower right of this picture could be the College where the students were mining coal along the south side of Arsenal.
In the early 1890’s, the “Koerners Garden” and Amusement Park occupied the S/W corner of Kingshighway and Arsenal. Transit service to it was provided by the Tower Grove Line on Arsenal and Southwest which began as a horse-car line of the Gravois RR Company on Arsenal to Grand. Finally called the Union Depot RR Co., and electrified, it went to Koerners Garden. Then by 1904, the line was extended to its loop at Tamm and Columbia. That run lasted to my times. A long run.
Southwest High School took over that corner in 1936. It now has a new building in front where the old running track was. The old building now stands empty and ready for the headache ball. It was the latest public high school built, and could well be the first to go.
Henry Shaw built a four room, two story schoolhouse at what is now Vandeventer and Kingshighway in 1870. A two story frame building with four rooms for 240 pupils. He then gave it to the city. A new school was built and designed by William B. Ittner in 1907 at 5229 Columbia at Macklind. “The Shaw School” kept the name when it moved to Columbia. This building is now being used as a community school.
In 1855 another area school was a black public school at 5326 Morthrup. This was discontinued in 1910.
In 1870, the Female Hospital (originally “The Social Evil Hospital”, was a four story Victorian building on a triangular shaped tract. This was donated to the city in 1915 and became Manchester Park. It was 13.5 acres bounded by Sublette, Southwest, January and Arsenal. It was renamed Sublette Park in 1925 when Old Manchester Road became Southwest Avenue.
Figure 2. Arsenal Hospital
The Fasterling building was built in 1863 on the N/E corner of Macklind and Southwest. It was used at various times as a roadhouse, grocery, saloon, and a general store. Behind it was Fasterling Grove, a favorite spot for school picnics but also served as a beer garden. The building’s final use was a furniture store which was razed in 1953.
The Oak Hill and Carondelet Branch of the Mo-Pac lines was built in the late 1880’s to connect the RR main line with the Iron Mountain tracks in Carondelet.
"BLACKMER & POST FIRE CLAY CO" 1878. On Hereford north of Arsenal.
"THE CLAY MINES" bounded by Arsenal, Railroad, Columbia, and Kingshighway.
"CHELTENHAM FIRE BRICK CO." South of New Manchester, west of Kingshighway approx. where the Mo-Pac tracks leave Manchester.
"CHELTENHAM FIRE BRICK CO." West of Macklind east of River Des Peres between Northrup and Pattison.
"SUBLETTE & THOMAS MINE" 1842-1856 Corner of Shaw and Hereford.
"SUBLETTE MINES "(3) 1835-1842 Bounded by Sublette, Marconi, Columbia, and Sulphur Springs Farm.
"EDWARDS & HEREFORD MINE" Date unknown at Marconi, Southwest, and Arsenal.
"SANDERS MINE" At Macklind and Bishoff.
"BUELKER MINE" At January and Elizabeth.
"MURRAY AND SEINS" At Pattison and Kingshighway.
"LACLEDE #1" At Wilson near Sulphur.
The rest of the information came from the book “The Hill” and various other books about the Hill. I tried to put it all together and had to leave a lot while condensing all the sources into one. The mine information came from a map of the mines found at the History Museum, and a book called “Brick” (1904). Also from an 1890 “Bulletin-Missouri Geological Survey”. There will be more, but I need to finish something before I get too old.
The National Origins Act shut the door on south-eastern Europe immigration from the 1880's to 1924. So the Italians swelled their ranks, and eventually outnumbered the others. These early immigrants lived in the northern edge of the Hill around Pattison, Northrup, and Shaw.
During the 1890's, Lombards (Northern Italians) arrived in a constant stream. Many worked in the Clay Products Plants, and because they had to live close to their work, the Fairmont Section built up rapidly.
By 1900, Sicilians (Southern Italians) discovered the Hill, although the Lombards outnumbered the Sicilians three to one, and two languages were spoken in the mines and factories. This inaugurated a generation of bitter, ethnic quarreling. The Mutual Aid Society, in 1907 imposed a fine for fighting. After a couple of generations, the differences mostly disappeared.
There was a definite problem with the Sicilians and the Lombards. They didn't mix well. But most of the trouble was with words, not knives. In Italy, the Lombards were in the north, and the Sicilians were in the south. For the most part, the Lombards lived on the Hill, and the Sicilians stayed downtown.
In St.Louis, they had a common problem; "Survival", so the community held together. The Sicilians called the Lombards "Pigeons", and the Lombards countered with "Hatchets" for the Sicilians.
My cousin Elaine Schmidt married Sam Di Carlo. Can remember going to their wedding which was on the north side of downtown St Louis. We were very cautious in the middle of Sicily.
The Hill was remote from the city, and public utilities were virtually non-existent. Many lived in the old shotgun frame shanties that were usually three rooms, or in two story, four-family frame tenements. Some lived in boxcars until the mine companies built more three room shanties.
These were single men who married later, or married men who sent for their families later. The men would pack in wherever they could, and sleep in shifts. When the day shift left for work, the night shift men slept in their place. The houses were full all the time. In 1890, the hill's residential district consisted of ten austere shacks, each with about a dozen men. One hundred seventy five men were found living in thirty-four rooms. After the turn of the century, one-story four room brick houses appeared. Most of those early homes served as boarding houses.
In 1906, Carlo Ferrario had arrived in St. Louis, followed shortly by his wife Josephine. They had two children. Their home was at 5123 Pattison Ave. He worked in the clay mines while she took care of four boarders who worked in the brickyards. This was typically how they started until they could arrange for their own home. The boarding house system outlived their usefulness by the 1920's. During that period, 999 homes were built on the hill. The next decade added another 321 units. The national census of 1930 recorded virtually no boarders on the hill.
In 1908, the yearly output of clay products for the city was valued at $6.4 Million. An expert geologist once remarked that Cheltenham Clay could easily be used in the manufacture of the finest pottery in the world. But the local industries preferred sewer pipe and fire brick which, rather than attracting master potters, attracted thousands of unskilled laborers.
The Cheltenham Industrial Complex dominated the local economy until the 1880's. Every morning, wrote the columnist Harry Brundidge in 1936, "an army of workers stepped down the steep paths to work in the mines and factories".
The Hill, in the early 1900's became one of the most stable areas in the city where there was very little movement.
In a 1935 study, Donald Cowgill called the Hill "Fairmont Heights".
In 1900, 90% of the Hill's male work force (325) were employed at the Cheltenham Brick Works. By the depression, only 30% labored there. By the 1930's, the Clay Industry started to slow down.
In 1900, a brick workers pay was $1.35 to $1.50 per day. The pay had hardly changed since the 1890's. Two strikes came, one in 1901, the other in 1917. The companies brought in blacks to break the ranks. The miners would give in and go back to work. The Unions never did get in.
The 1917 strike was more violent. This second strike was led by the Sicilians. Two company guards were stabbed and one striker was shot.
Gradually, the Italians found other work. The simultaneous exhaustion of the Clay Mines and the Great Depression devastated the Cheltenham Brick, Tile, and Mining Industries. In 1930, 17% of the factory workers in the area were unemployed or laid off without pay.
The employment situation would worsen, and by the time the AFL was strong enough to unionize the industry, the Cheltenham kilns were cold. I'm only guessing, but figure this is about the time Evans and Howard took over Cheltenham.
The district changed from the French blue-blood trappers, to German and Irish miners, to the Lombards and Sicilians, and to the Icarians. The factories constantly changed owners or tenants. During all this, the Lombards and Sicilians staunchly refused to leave the neighborhood.
Also, not forgetting the blacks, who stayed in the area to the north of Manchester and east of Hampton. I remember seeing many blacks as I rode the streetcar to Southwest High. I would imagine there could be quite a history from this area. Sorry I didn't do that.
I remember that the old hand-drawn map of Sulphur Springs in 1929 showed Negro homes on Macklind, the church on Pattison (Pattison Avenue Baptist Church) at what is now 5232 Pattison Ave., and Negro homes and a church which surprised me. No need for surprise, since Bob Corbett has it as a Pentecostal Church. This was in the bend of River DesPeres and next to Laclede Christy. Also, "Negro Sullivan's corn field" on the east of Sublette. I suppose this would have been a terrible place to live, the way the River Des Peres had to flood from time to time. This must have been a map drawn from memory, because by 1929 River Des Peres was straightened out and covered.
Here is my attempt to clear up my mind, if not for anyone else.
The Cheltenham Colored School (or Colored #10 1Stlocation) at Davis and Manchester. This was in a rented building opened 1877. I think, according to the 1875 pictorial map there is a small building next to the Gittens Hotel. On the 1878 map of Cheltenham you can barely see it marked “BSH” (Black School). This school was moved to Northrup and Pattison in 1890 according to the Public School book of 1998, and renamed “Vashon Colored Elementary” for namesake George Boyer Vashon. The address would have been 5326 Northrup according to the 1899 Plat Map.
This is where I became confused: The Public School Book states the second location was closed in 1898, and moved to the second location of Vashon Elementary at Sulphur, near Manchester. Davis became Sulphur, which could have meant they used the George A. Davis home. Notice the house #8 on the pictorial map. Is that a bell tower on top of the house, or another building? Could it be George Davis died, or just sold it to the school? I’m pretty sure the Vashon we know was always a High School.
The Germans, in the 1890’s had the St. Aloysius Gonzaga Church which centered on the Magnolia-January area (5608 Magnolia). This was a small group that moved there from an older parish in Soulard.
When the flood of Italians arrived in the early 1900’s, a mission was started for Italians in the basement of the German Catholic Church. They met here many years. They would walk (not too often) the six blocks to St. Aloysius.
Fathers Holweck and Long ministered to the German population, but agreed to preach for their Italian neighbors as well. The trouble was, neither of them could speak Italian.
In 1903, Rev. Cesare Spigardi of St. Charles Borromeo Church near downtown St. Louis, established a mission on the Hill. After a fund drive spearheaded by Rev. V. Spigardi, the Italians erected a frame building in 1903 for $10,000. This was on the corner of Cooper and Wilson. This structure burned in 1921. This church has its own legend (about a vat of moonshine exploding in the rectory).
The St. Ambrose Church was built at 5130 Wilson in 1926 in the Lombard Romanesque Style. The Sicilians were included in the planning and building, pulling the whole Italian family together.
Other churches of note in the area include the Italian Evangelical Protestant Church, formerly at 2109 Edwards, and since 1929 at 5343 Botanical. Later at 5801 Southwest and now Mt. Tabor Church at 6520 Arsenal.
There was a Public School (Black), at 5326 Northrup from 1855 to 1910.
Henry Shaw Public School first opened in 1870 in a two-story frame building at Kingshighway and Vandeventer. This school is shown on the 1876 pictoral map. It was moved to the present address of 5329 Columbia in ----?.
Important commercial landmarks on the hill were Southwest Bank at Southwest and Kingshighway, Fair Merchantile Co. at 5257 Shaw in 1925. The Columbia Theater opened at Southwest and Edwards, and the Family Theater opened at Marconi Ave. near Daggett in 1920.
Later arrivals were Chemetron, several printers and binderies and paper houses, Ravarino-Freschi Spaghetti Company, and the Blue Ridge Bottling Company. The Oak Hill and Carondelet branch of the Mo-Pac R/R was built in the late 1800’s to connect the railroad’s main line with the Iron Mountain tracks in Carondelet.
Transit service to the area was provided by the Tower Grove line on Arsenal and Southwest which had begun as a horse-car line of the Gravois Railway Company. This ran out Arsenal as far as Grand Avenue. In the early 1890’s this line became a branch of the Union Depot Railway. It was electrified, then extended on Arsenal to Kingshighway to serve Koerners Garden. By 1904 the line reached westward to its loop at Tamm and Columbia. The other route serving the area was the Southampton Line on Kingshighway south from Vandeventer. In 1924, the Peoples Motor Bus Co. began operating its Lindenwood Bus Line on Vandeventer and Southwest to provide direct service downtown.
During the period after 1910, heavy and light industries gravitated to the Cheltenham locale. Two of the most important sources of employment were the Carondelet Foundry and the Banner Iron Works which by 1930 employed 11% of the colony’s males (205 jobs).
The Quick Meal Stove Co. introduced the gas-burning Magic Chef Oven in 1929. They erected an immense factory at 2100 Kingshighway in 1910 and employed more than 100 neighborhood workers during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Joining the industrial network was the McQuay Norris Co. which built a spacious plant at Southwest and Cooper in 1919. The factory manufactured piston rings and engine parts and employed 75 residents in 1930.
In the decade after 1920, Cheltenham experienced an economic renaissance. Eighteen companies selected sites and located plants in the industrial valley, including the National Bearing Metals Corporation, Liggitt and Meyers Tobacco Co., the Forest Park Highlands, and several low grade foundries and shoe companies. On the eve of the depression, 144 Italians worked at the nearby shoe factories. Hundreds of others were dispersed throughout the local economy.
Berra Park, containing nearly five acres is in the block bounded by Shaw, Lilly, Daggett, and Macklind. First named Vigo Park when acquired by the city in 1945. Renamed in 1965 for the late Louis G. (Midge) Berra, a political leader of the Hill for many years. And who can forget the Big Club Hall which was organized in 1913 by the Lombards. It was on the corner of Shaw and Marconi, and as an all-around community center. I remember while going to High School during the late 1940’s hearing the stories of the wild times there. Of course I stayed clear of the action. My being small, shy, and busy working after school kept me away. I left the fighting up to the football players.
A story I almost passed up was the story of prohibition in June 1919. This is an important ingredient in the story of the Hill. There seemed to be complete cooperation of the church, police, and between both factions of Italians (Sicilians and Lombards) and also the business community (stores, taverns, and the manufacturers).
The church turned a blind eye. There is even an old legend about the burning to the ground of the St. Ambrose Church. It is said a vat of moonshine exploded in the rectory. There was a code of silence and no one told what they knew. The police must have known, and there was always someone to warn of a raid. When warned, the people of the neighborhood would move the equipment.
Isadore Oldani Jr’s father was owner of the Blue Ridge Soda Co., and president of the St. Ambrose building committee. They would come home from work and find their basement and garage filled with supplies of sugar and cans of moonshine.
There were times when a raid would be planned but it was hard to surprise them. An old barber remembered a time in 1919 when agents busted a still, and the residue slop flowed into the gutter. Chickens would eat the mash and weave away drunk.
One day on the 5200 block of Wilson, the federal men went from door to door. If the occupant talked in Lombard they wouldn’t go in. If they talked in Sicilian, the house would be raided. That day the gutters were full of moonshine. In December 1921 agents found a massive still at 5225 Bischoff, seizing 5,000 gallons of alcohol and the still itself which produced 125 gallons per day.
One of the biggest busts in St. Louis history occurred in 1925 when agents surprised a small group of Sicilians on the hill. They confiscated 40,000 gallons of White Lightning plus a unit capable of delivering 250 gallons a day.
A social worker said he knew of several hundred families, both Lombard and Sicilian who participated in the various stages of bootlegging. The men were employed part of the time each week at the brick-yards, and at night they engaged in a Branch Bootlegging activity. Some hauled sugar, others dug cellars for stills, or hauled equipment from one place to another. He estimated about 90% of the men were engaged in some phase of it during that time, (1919-1933).
Prohibition functioned as an important agent of the 1920’s neighborhood economy. Grocers supplied the sugar, cornmeal, and yeast. Business men bankrolled the operation and loaned warehouse space. Saloon keepers, soft drink vendors, and grocery stores provided a ready outlet for the finished product.
Luckily the Hill escaped the organized crime route. There were killings, but most were due to outsider mob battles. Few Italians on the Hill tried to compete with the mobs. They perceived prohibition not as an escape from their Ghetto, but rather the means to uplift the neighborhood. Moonshine meant the difference between poverty and middle class. There were drastic changes on the Hill from 1919 to 1933. Small brick bungalows were built. Later, larger houses were built on the edge of the community. Cars were bought, also fine clothes and expensive furniture. Fully 298 of the homes built on the Hill from 1900 to 1950 were built in the 1920’s. Also, some of the profits could have been directed to the “quarter of a million dollar” St. Ambrose Church, which by 1935 was only $12,000 in debt.
Prohibition allowed the colony to acquire the trappings of the middle-class, but did not alter the value structure. Few bootleggers paid the price for bigness and efficiency. No Mafia tyrannized the inhabitants. Prohibition infused money into the neighborhood economy, but did not take people out of the community.
This was just a small part of the story of “Immigrants on the Hill” By Gary Ross Moreno. This book covers very well the history of the Hill from the 1880’s to 1982 of the Italians, with the first chapter covering the Irish, Germans, and Blacks as Pre-History of the Hill.
As I redo this, it seems it all happened in waves. I wouldn’t be surprised if the early birds crossed the river with their noses to the ground. William Sublette found coal pretty quick as did Peter Chouteau along Berthold and Oakland. William started mining coal in 1835, and he may not have been the first. The whole Gratiot League Square turned out to be a special kind of “Gold Mine”. I will take a guess and choose Sulphur Spring as the attention-getter with coal-fire clay, then brick clay, then the shale clay they had cast aside. Add to that were the Limestone Rock Quarry’s. Over 100 yrs of hand labor at about a dollar a day. This was working in mud. They had to keep water pumps going day and night.
I suppose the Irish moved to Dogtown, and the Germans to Clifton Heights and St. Louis Hills (later). It seems the Germans possibly took on supervisory roles.
This came up with references to the German bosses being tough. I can remember a Black community north of Manchester from about Sublette to Hampton. Of course the Irish settled Dogtown centered at Clayton and Tamm. The poorer side seemed to settle on top of the Clay Mine sites as soon as it was safe to do so. That is where our family bought an old three room shack. Dad had to dig a basement. The land was cheap, and all they had to do was put up a shack. I remember being told the original owners got the land for 25 cents a front foot. (This has not been verified).
It seemed most laborers found work in the many clay plants, steel mills, and many varied foundaries in the valley of the River Des Peres. Not until the end of WW2 did the area gain respectability of some sort. You can tell by most history books Cheltenham was not the ideal place to live with the factories belching out thick, black smoke and poor, underpaid immigrants living in shanties in the last area in the city to get utilities. Young people are returning to the area with cheaper, smaller homes making the neighborhood more stable (I think). Many houses built after WW2 were prefab, mass production, and were never thought to last, but did.
The Gratiot League Square started as a land speculation, then came the mining industry, (limestone, coal, and clay) which became the backbone of St. Louis. Profits were made but never filtered down to the immigrant worker. The Hill and Dogtown profits were made, but never filtered down to the immigrant worker. The Hill and Dogtown held on to remain a nice place to live with two highways serving them to all parts of the city. Light industry takes the place of heavy. The air is cleaner, and life is good. This would seem a good place to end the story, but it is something I have thought about. Rules were broken, mines still are there, waiting for the next earthquake. I don’t think all the braces were knocked out when they left the mine. In some cases, they just flooded the mine. Many times the mine had to be pumped all day every day.
"EVANS AND HOWARD MINE" (CLAY) AT HOWARD STATION ON
MO/PAC AND FRISCO R.R.(ADJACENT TO FACTORY) IN -1855-.
"HYDRAULIC PRESS BRICK #2 MINE" (COAL/CLAY) AT SOUTHWEST
CORNER OF KINGSHIGHWAY AND ST.LOUIS/SAN FRANCISCO R.R. IN -1896-.
"HYDRAULIC PRESS BRICK #4 MINE" (CLAY) AT KINGSHIGHWAY AND McREE IN -1909-.
"SUBLETTE AND THOMAS MINE" (COAL) AT CORNER OF SHAW AND HEREFORD FROM 1842-1856.
"SUBLETTE MINES-3 MINES" (COAL) FROM SUBLETTE TO MARCONI;
SOUTH TO COLUMBIA (SULPHUR SPRINGS FARM) FROM 1835-1842.
"LACLEDE-CHRISTY #7 MINE" (CLAY) AT WILSON, PATTISON, LILLY AND MACKLIND FROM 1915-1921.
"TIEPELMAN PIT MINE" (CLAY) SOUTH OF RIVER DES PERES AND SUBLETTE IN -1890-.
"EVANS AND HOWARD #6 MINE"(SOUTH PIT) (COAL/CLAY) WEST ST.LOUIS SOUTH OF RIVER DES PERES IN -1896-.
"LAGARCE PIT MINE" (CLAY) AT BASE OF HILL, SOUTH OF RIVER DES PERES IN 1890
"GILKER #4 MINE" (CLAY) AT STEPHEN, SUBLETTE, ELIZABETH, AND BISCHOFF FROM 1911-1919.
"LACLEDE-CHRISTY #4 MINE" (CLAY) AT COLUMBIA, SUBLETTE, WILSON, AND EDWARDS FROM 1914-1948.
"EDWARDS AND HEREFORD MINE (COAL) AT MARCONI, SOUTHWEST, AND KINGSHIGHWAY DATE UNKNOWN.
"BLACKMER POST MINE" (CLAY) AT ARSENAL, RAILROAD, COLUMBIA, AND KINGSHIGHWAY IN 1878.
Clifton Heights is a rather hilly section to the west of the Hill, bounded by Hampton on the east, I44 on the north and west, and Fyler on the south.
Within Clifton Heights is the picturesque “Clifton Heights Park” not well known outside its immediate neighborhood. By 1860 the owners were, B.F. Buchanan, David W. Graham, Peter Lindell, and The Christy and Cooper Estates.
The southwestern corner of David W. Graham’s Sulphur Spring Tract was sold in 1885 to a Methodist Minister, The Reverend Mr. Benjamin St. James Fry. He hired Julius Pitzman to survey and lay out Clifton Heights Subdivision with its park atop a hill. He then induced a colony of Methodists to move there, and began services at a Church that would bear his name. Its neighbor, St. Aloysius Parish at the same time brought its own young German background Catholic parishioners from an older parish in Soulard. This congregation centered in the Magnolia-January area in the 1890’s.’ This is the church that helped the Italians start a Mission in their basement until they built a small frame church on Wilson.
The Clifton Area is predominantly built with single family dwellings. About 60% of which were in place by 1904, as in most of the cities outlying areas. Commercial and industrial uses cluster around principle transit intersections, or are parallel to major streets. This is evident on Watson Rd., Arsenal and Southwest, Ivanhoe near Fyler, Clifton and Columbia, on Hampton from Wilson to Southwest, and along the west side of Hampton between Scanlan and Fyler.
"ARROW #1 MINE" – Van Cleave (Clay) at 6500 Southwest in 1909 -
"LACLEDE-CHRISTY GRANDVIEW #17 MINE"(Clay) at San Francisco RR, North of Columbia and Southwest in 1923-1945.
"LACLEDE-CHRISTY #11 MINE" (Coal-Clay) at Columbia, and Hampton, Elizabeth, and Sulphur in 1918-1923.
"LACLEDE-CHRISTY #1 AND #2 MINES" (Clay) at Hampton, January, Columbia and Wilson from 1900-1947.
"KRUMMEL AND BUCHNER MINE" (Coal/Clay) at Columbia Ave. and 59thin -1911-
"VAN CLEAVE MINE" (CLAY) at Southwest and Watson and in 1903.
"LACLEDE MINE" (Coal/Clay) at River Des Peres from 1855-1869.
BEFORE AND DURING DEVELOPMENT WERE THE COAL AND CLAY MINES.
"BLACKMER POST MINE"(CLAY) AT WATSON RD.SOUTH OF ARSENAL IN 1909-1913.
"JAMIESON PIT MINE"(CLAY), NORTH OF SCANLAN AND THE COFFIN MINE IN 1896.
"JAMIESON MINE”-1878- COFFIN MINE-1882-
“AMERICAN CLAY”-1895 (CLAY) AT WATSON AND SCANLAN NEAR GRATIOT.
"PRIME WESTERN SPELTER CO.MINE" (CLAY) AT WATSON AND FYLER IN -1909-.
"HUMES MINE"(COAL/CLAY) AT SUBLETTE AND FYLER IN -1911-.
"MISSISSIPPI GLASS MINE"(CLAY) AT SUBLETTE SOUTH OF FYLER IN -1909-.
"GOETZ MINE"(CLAY) AT SUBLETTE AND PERNOD IN -1911-.
"SUPERIOR PRESS BRICK MINE"(COAL FIRST, REOPENED FOR CLAY) AT MARQUETTE, PERNOD, REGAL, & TEDMAR IN -1908-.
"LACLEDE-CHRISTY #8 MINE"(CLAY) AT BANCROFT, PERNOD, JANUARY, & KINGSHIGHWAY IN 1916-1923.
"LACLEDE-CHRISTY #3 MINE" (COAL&CLAY) AT BANCROFT, PERNOD, JANUARY, & MACKLIND IN EARLY 1900'S.
"MITCHELL CLAY MANUFACTURING CO.MINE"(CLAY) AT JANUARY BETWEEN THOLOZAN AND CHIPPEWA IN 1937-1944.
"TOLE AND THORP FIRE CLAY MINE" (COAL AND CLAY) AT SPUR OF OAK HILL R/R NEAR INSANE ASYLUM IN 1880-.
"GARTSIDES MINE"(COAL) AT ARSENAL NEAR R/R SPUR-BRANON IN -1855-.
"KEMPER COLLEGE MINE"(COAL) ALONG ARSENAL BETWEEN HAMPTON AND KINGSHIGHWAY, OPERATED BY STUDENTS IN 1838.
From the time that it began to be developed, the Southwest area has been primarily a single family residential area, and one of the city’s most desirable. This area was once part of two vast Spanish Land Grants. The land north of Bancroft was in Gratiot League Square. That portion south of Bancroft was a 1797 Grant to Madam Anne Camp and her son-in-law Antoine Reilhe. This portion was later known as U.S.SURVEY 1839 which covered 2,471 Acres. The South/Southwest area is bounded by Kingshighway on the east, Fyler on the north, Gravois on the South, and I44 and the City Limits on the West.
The outer edge of the neighborhood parallels the River Des Peres, once a river, now a drainage ditch, whose valley creates a gentle slope to the west. In earlier times the area was drained by two small creeks that flowed into the River Des Peres near the present location of Loughborough. Topography is rolling hills with a high ridge crossing through the eastern portion of the Lindenwood District.
Another high section lies to the south of Fyler, behind the State Hospital Complex.
This could be Wherry Creek. The land sloped down from Brannon to west of Macklind. It also sloped east from Hampton to Macklind. Storm water collected into this creek which flowed from Sutherland and Macklind into open lands west of Hampton and drained into the River Des Peres.
This drainage ditch was eventually paved over, and is now known as “Wherry Ave”. (This tidbit was from “Streets of St, Louis”). By 1856, sections north of Bancroft were held by John and Matron Lewis, Phineas Block, Peter Lindell, and other old patron families, such as Sarpy, Sire, and Chouteau. Frederick Mittleburg came into ownership of land in the western part of the Southwest in 1862. A successor in interest, Sam T. Rathell, subdivided it as Lindenwood in 1888.
Construction of the Frisco Railway made the development of this area possible. Commuter Trains to downtown operated from Lindenwood Station at Marquette, and the Gravois Station at Scanlan. The service ceased about 1920.
The largest multiple dwelling project in the vicinity is Hampton Gardens Apartments, A 510 unit development on a 25acre tract bounded by Hampton, Scanlan, and Fyler. Its site at one time was the ‘The Potter’s Field, the cities burial ground for indigents. The tract was leased from the city for 75 years in May of 1850. Hampton Village at Hampton and Chippewa, and again at Chippewa and Jamieson are the most prominent shopping areas.
Earliest subdivision in 1856 were Hazelwood, along the south side of Eichelberger, west of Kingshighway.
Lindenwood was subdivided in 1888. Also platted was Harlem Place, an area south of Fyler, and Ivanhoe in the old Lake Farm.
Gartside Estate Subdivision-1889, between Marquette and Pernod from Watson to McCausland tunnels
Lindenwood Addition-1889, West of McCausland. Harlam Heights Addition -1890 to the Clay Mine Southwest of Hancock and Ivanhoe. Tilles Park South-1889. Crawford Place Addition -1890
And Nottingham-1896. A section to the east of Macklind was revised by amended plat in 1905.
There was also a rapid buildup in the 1920’s and 1930’s north of Chippewa and west of Kingshighway. North of Chippewa and west of Kingshighway. West of Macklind, the Chatsworth and Overcrest Developments were delayed due to WW2 restrictions, and the need to allow for settlement of the ground because of old Clay Mine tunnels under the properties.
Two parks in the area are fourteen acre Lindenwood Park-1947, and the 29 acre Rosalie Tilles Park-1957.
The earliest school was the Grandview School on Watson Road south of Arsenal-1881.
Longfellow School opened a decade later in 1891 at Smiley and Ivanhoe.
Southwest High School served them at Kingshighway and Arsenal. It was completed in 1936, and additions were made in 1957 and 1964. The southwest area was the well to-do area of the city except for our Dogtown bunch. There have been more changes since. The last I saw, an addition was built on the athletic field.
If I missed anything, add on. I never thought of doing so much school work.