Desloge "Vouziers"Mansion

Florissant, Mo.

(Located near the terminus of New Halls Ferry Road at Shackelford Rd.)

The mansion was called Vouziers  (Voo-zee-ay) because Joseph Desloge, Sr., served in the French Army during  WWI and was decorated for bravery near Vouziers, France.  He built the mansion to look like a French chateau.  The estate was later purchased by a family of the name Kroeger, but is now owned by the Boeing Aircraft Corporation, serving as a leadership training facility.

 

The rear of the mansion. All of these photos were taken in April 1999 by Peggy Kruse during a tour sponsored by St. Louis Community College.

 

The ballroom was built in 1946.   There was an underground tunnel from the mansion to the ballroom. Note: The rear of the mansion can be seen on top of the hill on the right.
 

A view of the carriage house.

 

View from the veranda of  the underground ballroom.

 

History on the Desloge Family:

Joseph S. Desloge*, b. 26 Jan 1889 St. Louis, Missouri; d. 11 March 1971.  Joseph married to Anne Kennett Farrar, born 12 Oct. 1892 St. Louis Missouri ; d. 8 June 1934 Florissant, Mo. Anne was the daughter of Bernard Gaines Farrar and  Eliza Howard. They had four children.  [See St. Louis University's webpage on Joseph Desloge family, which include portraits and an interesting story about an "empty patent medicine bottle on a sandbar on Pelican Island in the Missouri River" ].

Joseph S. Desloge is listed in the 1930 census as an Engineer in the Electrical business. Years following Anne's death in 26 Oct 1953, Joseph S. Desloge married Anna Margaret Saalfrank, b. 13 Dec 1897 Schauenstein, Bavaria, Germany.  No children are known from this 2nd marriage.

* "St. Louis: The Fourth City, 1764-1909", by Walter B. Stevens gives Joseph's birthdate as 27 Jan 1888. (Dave Lossos' website)

Joseph  was the son of Firmin Vincent Desloge, Sr. ** (b. 30 Aug 1843, Potosi, Mo.; 7 Mar 1932 St. Louis, Mo.) and Lydia Davis ( b. 24 Jun 1855 Lexington, Kentucky; d. 7 Mar 1932 St. Louis, Mo.) In 1858, Firmin came to St. Louis and attended St. Louis University. In the 1870 census, Firmin and his brother, John are running the family merchantile store in Breton Township, Washington County, Missouri. In 1910 U.S. Census he living in St. Louis as a manager of a Lead Mine. In 1920 at  age 76, is the President of a Lead Mining Corporation and was boarding at 600 Kingshighway.  In the 1930's the family founded the Desloge Hospital which was operated by the Sisters of St. Mary. In 1959 it became a collective main part of St. Louis University Hospitals. The Desloge Hospital ("Desloge Towers") was built in Gothic French architecture and still can be distinguished today, 2005. See History of St. Louis University Hospital.

**Firmin Vincent Desloge, Sr. was the son of Firmin Rene Desloge, (b. 17 Feb 1803 Nantes, France. Died 20 Jul 1856 Potosi, Mo.) and Cynthia  McIlvain (b. 21 Jun 1813, Washington, Mo.; d.22 Sep 1875, St. Louis, Mo.).  In the 1850 census of Washington Co., Missouri, Firmin Desloge, age 47  is listed as Merchant, with real estate property worth $8,000 and owning seven slaves. They were the parents of at least twelve children: Francis, Lucy, Charles, Josephine, Jane, Firmin, Jules, Louise, John, George, Sophia, and Clara.  In the 1860 census, Cynthia is listed as the head of the household. The value of the real estate is listed as $15,000 and personal property at $9,000. A  clerk by the name of T. D. Castleman, age 30 is living with the family. Note: Walter B. Stevens gives Cynthia's death date as 1862.

During the Civil War there was a "F. Desloge", a resident of 7th ward St. Louis who was listed as a prisoner for "disloyalty", which indicates Firmin  may have been someone who was against the war or critical of the military government (During the Civil War St. Louis was a city under martial law and freedom of speech was not guaranteed. Thousands of civilians were imprisoned, placed under house arrest, censored, fined, or exiled.) (Source:  A List of Disloyal and Disfranchised Persons in St. Louis County, compiled from Official Documents; St. Louis, Mo.; 1865.) 

In the Spanish American War there was a nephew, Firman R. Desloge, son of Jules and Jennie Desloge, in the 1st Regiment Missouri Volunteer Infantry.

Photographs courtesy of Peggy Kruse.

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Scott K. Williams, all rights reserved 2005, Florissant, Mo. USA