"History's Time Portal to Old St. Louis"

Proud to be part of 
the American Local History Network 
and the American History and Genealogy Project.

"City of St. Louis" by W. Wellswood and A. C. Warren, 1872.

"Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry, and even whittle statues.  The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians...ignore the banks for the river."-- Will Durant (1885-1981)

This website seeks to combine St. Louis' history with its "story of civilization".

"Real Photo" divided back postcard, circa 1920's, of children playing in a St. Louis wading pool.  This picture is a rare illustration of black and white children at play during a time when segregation was the rule. Photo is from the author's personal postcard collection. 


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"American history is longer, larger, more various, and more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it ."--James Baldwin (1924-1987)



Featuring St. Louis History

History's Time Portal to Old St. Louis,

"A Site to Behold"

--St. Louis Post Dispatch, Jan. 1, 2006


Welcome to 2012! Now with well over 600,000 visitors! This is a mere survey of some of the amazing history and  heritage that exist for St. Louis City and County. The website was mainly put together from  1999 to 2006 from material in my personal collection, contributions from private collectors and from sources in the public domain. Many thanks to the contributors of articles and photographs. Since that time I have stopped adding new material to the site. From time to time I will make updates, such as correcting or adding links.  In the meantime, I will be out walking more, touring historical sites, collecting antique postcards, and spending family time.  Website work takes considerable time, so now I am semi-retiring to sit back and enjoy the efforts of others.   

This web-space for this not-for-profit site is provided free for by USGenNet. This site has been designated a Legacy Site, meaning it will be continued to be published even after I pass into history.  That is conditional upon support received from donations. That's the best time-protection of any site on the web. If you appreciate this site, please consider making a tax deductible contribution to USGenNet that supports websites like this. 


 --Scott K. Williams

San Ferdinando de Florissant, (Florissant), St. Louis County, Missouri.

Highschool class of 1980, McClurer

Email: showmemule"at"earthlink.net (spam control: replace "at" with @)




For those that arrived to this site trapped in the frames of another site, the web address for this page is:  http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/





Featured Photo 



"Kenwood Springs", St. Louis County, Mo. This postcard is circa 1910. In 1910 Federal Census, Ernest M. Leonard is recorded as living on Natural Bridge Road (no street number). By the 1920 census the family is living at 3710 Salome Ave. (which is a side street directly off Natural Bridge Road),  in present day City of Pine Lawn).  In a May 3, 1908 (part 3, page9) advertisement in the St. Louis Republic newspaper, the Kenwood Springs Realty Company (owned by Herman C. G. Luyties) describes Kenwood Springs as "The Garden Spot of St. Louis County", located on Natural Bridge Road, and that over 100 families are living there. "Only desirable people, those of families, are wanted at Kenwood.  Those who will own their own house and live in it. No speculators can get hold of Kenwood property." "Kenwood Springs is accessible to the city. All improvements are made--Sewerage, sidewalks, graded streets, county water supply, electric light, telephone service, gas, curbs, fine flowers, trees, natural drainage, restricted property..." Various models of homes were available including the very popular "bungalow". The add states one can secure a house for "$50 down and the balance on easy monthly installments." 1908 directions to Kenwood Springs: "Take any car to Wellston or Suburban Garden.  Change to car marked 'Ferguson.'. Three minutes ride from Suburban Garden.  Just outside the city limits." Thanks to Dennis Northcott, researcher at the Missouri Historical Society for finding this advertisement. 

More about the resident: Ernest M. Leonard (b. circa 1871 Maine) and his wife, Jessie N. (b. circa 1871 Mass.) lived with son, Stuart M. (b. 1906 Missouri).  In the 1910 Federal census (Central Township-St. Louis County) Leonard is listed as a shoemaker and by 1920 he is listed as a superintendent of a shoe factory.  By 1930, the Leonard family had moved off to the Mobile area of Alabama and were operating a truck farm.

See Past Featured Photos

The Frisco Hotel and Restaurant ("Open Day and Night") and train station at Valley Park, in western St. Louis County. This is how it appeared in a 1910 postcard, image contributed by James B. Whitlow.  [full size image]


"A People without history

Is Not redeemed from time,

for history is a pattern

Of timeless moments."

--T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets, 1942. (world famed poet, St. Louis resident)

Search This Site

Note: This search tool will only find words that are in text/html  files. Text in image files (like those in the World War I rosters) can not be searched using this tool. Also newly uploaded information usually takes a couple weeks before the site is re-indexed for the search tool.

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Table of Contents:


Images of Old St. Louis:

The circus comes to St. Louis, circa 1914-1917. Elephants passing in front of  the Johansen Brothers Shoe Co. This photo is just one of many subjects of the outstanding Thomas Kempland Collection.




Triangular Arrow Point, (actual height is 1 1/8 inches) was in use among the aboriginal Americans of the Late Woodland through the Mississippian tradition (900 to 1600 A.D.) Although common, they are often difficult to find due to their small size. This one was found by the author in March of 2008 in Florissant.


Landmarks, Forgotten Places, Homes, Businesses:

About Individuals, Biographical, Family Histories:


Crime, Deception, and Tragedy from Long Ago:



Natural History, Disasters, Catastrophes:





Music Pages, Those Old Time Tunes:


Boyhood Home of Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams, 4633 Westminster Place, St. Louis, Mo. Williams Family History



Parade in the 1970's featuring "Banjo", the mascot of the 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Missouri Air National Guard headquartered at Lambert Field.  Photo from the collection of Wilbur Tackaberry, CMS USAF Ret.  [Enlarged Image]  For more see, "History of St. Louis Aviation," by Wilbur Tackaberry, CMS USAF (Ret)


St. Louis Naval Air Station as it appeared in 1930's. Photo courtesy of George Everding, LCDR USN (ret).

NEW: Read Everding's illustrated history, "The Navy At Lambert Field (1925-1958)"

What Visitors Are Saying About This Website


Jeff (St. Louis):  "Wow!! Wow!! What a site. I wish I could have found this earlier. You should be proud. St. Louis deserves the best and you have provided it."

Matt a soldier at Travis AFB, California writes, "I am originally a native of St. Louis. Now in the military for the past few years I tend to miss home. It is great to learn as much as I have on your website. I kind of find it a shame that I have learned more about St. Louis in the past 8 hours than I had my whole 19 years there. Thank You"

Erin, St. Ann, Mo.: "This is a great web page and so very helpful I am a student at washington university and I am doing my final paper on the Veiled Prophet and I found a lot of good info THANK YOU SO MUCH."

Vicki, Festus, Mo.: "Your site is outstanding!! I have been researching my family history and your site helped me to better picture the places where my ancestors had lived. I come from the Kettler and Hagemann lines of St. Louis. You have been a big help!"

Florence,  Sun City West, AZ: "Born and reared in St. Louis. Love visting your site - nostalgic and very interesting! Everyone with ties to St. Louis area should be apprecative of your efforts - we are!"

Joseph (Washington DC) "Marvelous site! Brought a lump to this old Missouri (ex-Jefferson City; wife, ex-St. Louis) boy's throat. Beeen away 30 years, but have great memories. Expect to view you often.

Jake (Atlanta, GA): "I just moved from St. Louis to Atlanta and am thrilled to find this site. I spent 26 years there and it is still my "home." I hate the Braves and "Bleed Blue." I hope to search more of it soon when I have time. I especially like the songs! I love music. Go Blues and God Bless!"

Debbie, a teacher in Crestwood (Mo) writes, "I love your site. The organization is excellent. This is going to be a valuable resource for me and my students. Thank you!"

Andrea of Gerald, Mo (Franklin Co.) .:  "My heart started racing when I started reading some of the stuff in here! My mother was also a Williams with lots of St. Louis history before her.... I have to add this, especially after I heard the "maple Leaf Rag", did it ever bring back memories. We had an old player piano back in the sixties, that an elderly neighbor of ours had given to us. Well, we had several rolls of music by Scott Joplin. There was nine of us fighting over that old piano, man did we have fun! Can you believe my mother sold it to someone ,we were so mad at her! I sure wish I had it right now to play for my granddaughter I did let her listen to this website's music, though, how wonderful Thanks!"

Penny: "Very impressive and interesting. St. Louis is a wonderful city and I enjoy it more every time I visit. My husband was born and raised there, so he still has two sisters living in the area. You've done a marvelous job. I commend you on your accomplishment."

S. P. of Oakville, Missouri. "MSN's search engine is sooooo awful. I was looking for St. Louis body art sites, typed in Iron Age, and ended up HERE! Good thing I did. Most informative; thanks for a wonderful site. I've bookmarked it for my school-age children. P.S. Especially enjoyed the old pics of Jefferson Barracks, as we live not far from there."

Virginia (Cleveland, OH): "What a splendid website! I was born in St. Louis in 1925 and have been looking into some family history and especially have been scanning old photographs. The riches you are assembling here give some background. *Maybe* we (a cousin who is similarly involved) can contribute some interesting material about early aviation days in St. Louis. Thanks for your thoughtful work on developing and sharing this information."


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This nonprofit research site is a USGenNet CertifiedSafe-Site™ and affiliate of the American History Local Network, Inc. (ALHN). Web hosting is generously provided by USGenNet, a nonprofit, tax-exempt public benefit corporation. This site makes no claim to the copyrights of individual submitters, and is in full compliance with with USGenNet's Conditions of Use. The names American Local History Network, ALHN and AMLHISTNET are trademarks [tm] of the American Local History Network, Inc.

Note: All web sites hosted by USGenNet are automatically USGenNet Certified Safe-Sites. This site maintained by Scott K. Williams of Florissant, St. Louis County, Missouri.



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You are the 656245th Visitor to this Site. This page was last updated Thursday, 23-Aug-2012 18:23:06 CDT by Scott K. Williams, Florissant, Mo.

Website created by Scott K. Williams, Florissant, Missouri. USA

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