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Episodes of My Life






C o p y r ig h t ,


R olla W ells



J e n n ie P ark e r W


i d e d ic a t e t h i s v o l u m e to o u r c h il d r e n

M aud W



E rastu s W


L loyd P a r k e r W
Jane W


I sabella W



S m it h
R o b e r ts


F orew ord

For fifty years, from my twenty-second year until
my retirement a few years ago, I held various execu­
tive positions in the private, quasi-public, and public
occupations in which I was engaged.
Fifty years is but a brief and fleeting span. Yet it
seems long when one considers not so much the years
which have vanished, but rather the complex work and
intricate perplexities encountered.
As I review these years a panorama unfolds, in the
enactment of which many persons had a part. Those
who supported and co-operated with me, and likewise
those who opposed me were actors in the drama of my
career—some prominent and some minor. However,
the principal figure in one’s life is himself.
For the friends and colleagues who volunteered their
loyalty and encouragement, and for those fellow-citizens with most of whom I had not even the pleasure
of being acquainted, who accorded me their good will
and approbation, I have a deep sense of appreciation.
Envisaging the half century, I see the simple mode
of living developed into the complex. The evolution of
the kerosene lamp to the great variety of conveniences
provided by electricity and gas. The telephone, the
wireless, the radio, the motion and talking pictures,
the self-propelled motor vehicles, the air-ships, refrig­
eration, and innumerable other facilities of the present

day form a striking contrast with the accommodations
of my boyhood and youth.
I behold the progress from the horse-car to the trol­
ley-car and motorbus, and the transformation of in­
dustry and trade from a primitive status to large scale
production and mass marketing by mechanization and
I visualize the advancement of St. Louis to the me­
tropolis it is today, and I rejoice in the contemplation
that my career embraced practically the entire period
of this transition.
This Autumn of mine is a fair and golden season
to me, in which there is no regret, no animosity, and
I like, above all, to remember the sincerity and fidelity
of my friends, and the civic pride of the people of
St. Louis.
This narration is not an official record or history,
but simply a recital of some of the episodes of my
life for members of my family and my associates.
R. W .
S eptem ber,


Co n t e n t s

E rastu s W



H enry



E a r l ie s t R e c o l l e c t io n s


IV .

A Cou n try H om e


A M in is t e r


V I.
IX .
X I.


B e g in n in g



V enture


G old M i n i n g


T h e S t . L o u is F a ir A


s s o c ia t io n

F a ir g r o u n d P a r k


B a s ic





J ob

ants a

A Ca ttle R a n c h

X IV .

L ib e r ia
B u s in e s s L if e

A Stran ger W


X V I.



S te e l In d u stry

U nexpected S u m m o n s
N a t i o n a l D e m o c r a t ic

Co n v e n t io n


D e m o c r a t ic S o u n d M o n e y O r g a n i z a t io n
S t . L o u is

D e m o c r a t ic

A C a n d id a t e

fo r


M oney

C lu b

M ayor


XVIII. T h e C a m p a ig n o f 1901
XIX. “ W e l l s ’ V i c t o r y ’ s S i g n i f i c a n c e ”
XX. I n a u g u r a t i o n A s M a y o r
XXI. A d m i n i s t r a t i o n b y C o n f e r e n c e
XXII. S e c r e t a r i e s t o t h e M a y o r
XXIII. No E n t a n g l i n g A l l i a n c e s
X X IV .

X X IX .





N e w S t . L o u is B a n q u e t


Boss R u l e


C h e s le y


Is la n d

F ir s t A n n u a l M essage


L ig h tin g C o n tr a c ts


C le ar , P ure, W
Sm all P arks



P layg ro u n ds


holesom e




P u b lic B a th s


T h e C a m p a ig n o f 1902


X X X IV .

B anquet

S t r e e t C a r S e r v ic e a n d R a p id T r a n s i t
P urchase



to t h e

P r e s id e n t

of t h e

E x p o s it io n

S u p p o rte rs


T h e C it y B e a u t if u l


L o u is ia n a

th e

A d m in is tr a tio n


Co n t e n ts

X X X IX .
X L I.
X L IV .
X L V I.
X L IX .
L I.

D evelopm ent

T h e M ayoralty

and the

R e s t o r a t io n

F o r e st P a r k



S econd C a l l

C o m m it t e e



“No B r id g e — No B o n d s ”


S t . L o u is ’ M u n ic ip a l R e n a is s a n c e





E nd Crow n s





A T h ir d C a l l
K in d W





R e q u it a l

L X I.

T h e F e d e r a l R e se r v e B a n k

P r in c e H e n r y




T r ip




of t h e


M e c h a n i­

T rades

General W

S t . L o u is


il l ia m


Cl a r k

il s o n

T r e a s u r e r D e m o c r a t ic N a t i o n a l C o m m it t e e

J e n n in g s B r y a n

il l ia m

P r in c e t o n

V erboten
R o o s e v e l t ia n a







Panam a

D a v id R a n k e n , J r ., S c h o o l

K n ig h t


heatres an d

S o c ia l C l u b s


Statu e


T rack

P layers
and the



L o n g A go

V e il e d P r o p h e t

S t . L o u is

F r a n k l in D e l a n o R oosevelt


A M o t o r c a d e o f 1904

A Jaunt

L X X I.

S t . L o u is

M o n t ic e l l o


L X IX .


A L o v in g C u p

L a u n c h in g


P r u s s ia

L X IV .

L X V I.

C r it i c is m

U n it e d R a i l w a y s C o .





B u s in e s s M e n ’s L e a g u e

R e c e iv e r







A C o s t l y F o l l y — T h e “ F r e e ” B rid ge

M a r k T w a in

L IX .


R a i l F a c il i t i e s


A P il g r im a g e


F a ir

O n e T h ou san d


T h e “ A r b it r a r y ”

A T r ib u t e


or l d ’ s

M ayoralty

to t h e

L IV .


P lan


L V I.

C it y



I llustrations
R o lla W e lls
M r. a n d M rs. E r a s tu s W e l l s


C o u n tr y H om e


S cen es a t W h ite O ak s


S t . L o u is J o c k e y C lu b H o u s e


G rov er C le v e la n d


T h e M a y o r a t H is D e s k


H a rry B. H aw es


M a y o r ’s S u it e , C i t y H a l l

2 1 8 ,2 2 2

F e s t iv a l H a l l a n d C ascades


O ur G uest


S ilv e r S e r v ic e


F ir s t G overn ors o f t h e F e d e ra l R eserve B a n k s


L e t t e r o f W . P . G . H a r d in g


L e tte r o f R. A . Y oung


M e m e n to o f U n ite d R a ilw a y s R e c e iv e r s h ip


P r in c e H e n r y o f P r u s s ia


J e f f e r s o n C l u b L o v in g C u p


C h a r le s J . G lid d e n ’s R e c o r d C a rd

4 22

L a u n c h i n g o f t h e U . S. C r u is e r S t . L o u is


T r ip t o P a n a m a


D a v id R a n k e n , J r .


W ood row W ils o n


W ood row W ils o n L e tte r


H a r r y B . H a w e s , R o l l a W e l l s a n d W m . J. B r y a n


T h e o d o re R o o s e v e lt


M is s A l i c e R o o s e v e l t


A cto rs and A ctresses o f L ong A go


S t a t u e o f S t . L o u is


F r a n k lin D. R o o s e v e lt



E rastus W ells
Erastus Wells, was born in Sackett’s Harbor, Jefferson County, New York,
December 2, 1823. He was the only son of
Otis Wells, a descendant of the Wells family of Con­
necticut. His paternal grandmother was Ethelinda
Otis, a descendant of the Otis family of Massachusetts.
From his twelfth to his sixteenth year he lived on
a farm and during the winter months attended a dis­
trict school. It was a log school house and it was
necessary for him to go through the deep snow of those
Northern winters to reach it. At the age of sixteen,
he left the farm to seek his fortune in the world.
He proceeded to Watertown, New York, where he
obtained employment in a grocery store at a salary
of eight dollars a month. He remained there but a
short time, going in 1839 to Lockport, New York, and
engaged as a clerk for a firm in which ex-Govemor
Washington Hunt was a partner. His salary ranged
from eight to twelve dollars a month. At the end of
three or four years he had laid up the sum of one
hundred and forty dollars, in those days almost a for­
tune to a young man who had earned it by hard work
and close economy.
With this sum in his pocket he turned his face toy fa th e r ,



E piso d es o f M y L if e

wards the West, and decided to go to St. Louis, then
one of the most enterprising points of the Western
frontier. On the journey he passed through the city
of New York, and the omnibuses which were operated
on Broadway interested him. He arrived in St. Louis
in September, 1843. His mother had given him a let­
ter of introduction to Mr. Calvin Case, a prominent
resident of St. Louis. He looked around for several
days, having in mind some occupation in which to
engage, and then presented his letter to Mr. Case, who
received him most cordially and inquired how long he
had been in the town, and whether or not he had deter­
mined what he would like to do. My father replied
that in passing through New York City he was im­
pressed with the busses in use in that city, and he had
observed that in St. Louis apparently there were no
public transportation facilities. Mr. Case was inter­
ested and thought it was an idea worth considering,
and it ultimately resulted in a partnership between
Mr. Case and my father, in the inauguration and oper­
ation of the first public transportation enterprise in
St. Louis—namely, a bus line.
In the course of time this enterprise developed into
a large transportation system, covering many parts of
the city. In 1859 my father obtained a charter for the
first horse-car line operated west of the Mississippi
River, which was called the Missouri Railroad Com­
pany, of. which he was the president, and on July 4,
1859, the first car was operated for a short distance
west on Olive Street.
For a period of fifteen years he was a member of

E rastus W ells


the Board of Aldermen; first elected to this body in
1848, and re-elected in 1854, and was a member until
March 1, 1869, when he resigned to take his seat in
Congress, March 4, 1869. During the twenty-three
years of his service in public office he advocated such
measures as were best calculated to advance the growth
of the city and to add to the prosperity of its citizens,
permitting no party partisanship to influence him.
It was while he was a member of the Board of Alder­
men, as Chairman of the Committee on Water-Works,
he urged the building of new water-works, which
should be on a scale commensurate with the needs of
the city for some years to come.
He was appointed on a special committee to visit the
principal cities in the East to examine the system of
water-works in each city, and was the only member
of the committee who performed this duty. He visited
New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Cincin­
nati, Louisville and Cleveland, and was given every
opportunity to make an inspection of the water supply
in use in each city. Upon his return he made a report
and mainly through his efforts an act was passed by
the Legislature authorizing the City of St. Louis to
issue bonds to the extent of $3,000,000 to commence
the construction of what led to the then considered
imposing water-works.
He realized the inadequacy of the police system of
St. Louis, and when on his investigation relating to
the water supply he also informed himself of the dif­
ferent police systems of the several cities which he
visited. He learned from the mayors of New York,


E piso d e s of M y L ife

Boston and Philadelphia, that in their opinion Balti­
more had the best police system. At that time com­
plaints came from almost every city of any size, chiefly
the Eastern cities, of the difficulties in their police
regulations. Baltimore, especially, had passed into the
hands of a desperate class of men known as the “ plug
uglies,” a kind of city rowdy, ruffian or disorderly
tough, a term said to have originated by a gang of
such in Baltimore, against whom the police authorities
were powerless, and this unruly turbulent element was
not placed under control until the Legislature of Mary­
land had passed what was known as a metropolitan
police bill.
He brought home with him a copy of this bill, and
after changing it to meet the laws of Missouri, and to
comply with the City Charter, he secured the consent
of Francis Whittaker, Henry Keyser, George K. Budd
and Bernard Pratt to put their names to the Act, they
to serve as the first Board of Police Commissioners of
this city. After a struggle in the Board of Aldermen,
a resolution was passed recommending its passage by
the State Legislature.
He visited Jefferson City and laid the resolution,
with the bill, before the Legislature during the session
of 1860-1861. Claibom Jackson was Governor of the
State at the time, and there was a good deal of politi­
cal unrest. The party in power insisted upon eliminat­
ing the names of the commissioners set out in the bill,
leaving it with the Governor to make the appoint­
ments. The friends of the bill were successful in secur­
ing its passage and the Governor signed it. Its pro-


E ra stuff Wells and Isabella Bowman Henry Wells
Reproduced from a daguerreotype o f 1850, the yea r o f their marriage


E rastus W ells


visions were at once carried into effect and a new era
of a metropolitan police system for St. Louis was in­
At the close of his career as Alderman, by unani­
mous vote of the Board of Aldermen, his portrait was
hung, with due ceremony, on the walls of the chamber.
In 1850 he was united in marriage to Isabella Bow­
man Henry, daughter of Captain John Heniy, of Jack­
sonville, Illinois.
His Congressional career began in 1869, and he
served as a member of the House of Representatives
for eight years, during the incumbency of President
U. S. Grant. At the election of November 3, 1874, he
was re-elected for a fourth term by a majority of
nearly three to one.
In politics he was a Democrat, but was popular with
all parties. He received many votes from those politi­
cally opposed to him. Through his effort Congress ap­
propriated the sum of $4,000,000 for the building of
the St. Louis Post Office and Custom House, now lo­
cated on Olive and Locust Streets between Eighth and
Ninth Streets.
He was helpful in obtaining appropriations for the
improvement of the Mississippi River, and was asso­
ciated with Captain James B. Eads, in the matter of
legislation relating to the promotion of the Eads
At the last session of the 43rd Congress he intro­
duced the bill which led to the conversion of the Indian
Territory into what is now known as the State of


E piso d e s o f M y L if e

During his later years, owing to ill health, he retired,
and I am proud to say his confidence in me was such
that he put all of his affairs in my charge, and our
association as father and son has been a life-long in­
spiration to me.
My mother, Isabella Bowman Henry, was born at
Jacksonville, Illinois. She died in 1877. I owe much
to her loving care and guidance.


J ohn H enry
in my possession an autobiography written
in 1881 by my maternal grandfather Captain John
Henry. It is a record of an active and interesting
career in private and public life, in the early days of
Lexington, Kentucky, and Jacksonville, Illinois.
Captain Henry was born in Lincoln County, Ken­
tucky, November 1, 1800. His father was bom in
Virginia, on the 5th day of July, 1776, the day when
the victory of American Independence was proclaimed.
In 1789 his father and grandfather emigrated from
Virginia to Kentucky, when that state was a vast
wilderness and subject to Indian depredations. His
grandfather, Watson Henry, located at Logan's Fort,
near Stanford, now in Lincoln County. His maternal
grandfather, David Potts, located at Harbesen Fort,
near Perryville, in Boyle County.
When he was eighteen years of age, as was the
custom of the time, he was apprenticed to Robert
Wilson, a cabinet-maker, living in Lexington, Ken­
tucky, for a term of three years.
At the end of his apprenticeship he married the
oldest daughter of Mr. Wilson, Isabella Wilson, April
5, 1821, started a business of the same character for
himself, and remained in Lexington until 1828.




E piso d e s of M y L if e

In his autobiography he tells of his desire to emi­
grate to some new country where it would not be neces­
sary to have a large amount of money to begin busi­
ness. He and his wife decided to move to Illinois,
with their three children, Margaret, Mary and Rob­
ert. After a journey of three weeks, with a fourhorse team, they arrived at Jacksonville, Illinois, on
the 13th day of October, 1828. He brought with him
a thoroughbred stallion, the first thoroughbred horse
in Morgan County. This stallion was named “ Selim,”
after the great charger which General McDougall rode
in the Revolutionary War. My grandfather thought
a great deal of this animal, and expressed the opin­
ion that he deserved a place in the history of Morgan
They rented a cabin in what was called Mitchell’s
Row. All of the cabins in the row were built of round
logs. They paid $1.50 a month rent and lived there
for one year. He then purchased a farm in the neigh­
borhood of Jacksonville and at the same time set up
a cabinet shop in the village. He tells of the difficulty
he had procuring the kind of wood necessary for his
work, and of hiring an ox wagon and team to go to
St. Louis, a distance of one hundred miles, for a load
of wood, which he hauled to Jacksonville. He had an
opportunity to purchase a large log house which had
been built on government land by a man named Cox,
who sold it for twenty dollars. It was moved to an­
other location and made a very commodious shop, which
was the first regular cabinet shop in Morgan County.
It was the second best house in the village.

Jo h n H e n r y


The first Board of Trustees of Jacksonville held
their meetings at night in the cabinet shop. There
were five members—James Parkinson, George Hackett, Mr. Henry, and two others whose names are for­
The shop was utilized as a meeting place for a com­
mittee of Jacksonville citizens who were planning for
a celebration of the Fourth of July, 1829, “in honor
o f American Independence.” The committee consisted
01 John Eads (uncle of James B. Eads, the builder
of the Eads Bridge and the New Orleans jetties),
Abraham DeWitt, John P. Wilkinson, Joseph Fairfield
and Mr. Henry.
A County Convention met in the shop in the year
1832, to nominate delegates to attend the State Con­
vention in Springfield, Illinois, to select a candidate
for the Democratic ticket. The delegates chosen were
Joseph Morton, Mathew Stacy, John Wyatt and Mr.
Henry. The delegates were instructed for General
Andrew Jackson.
Early in life my grandfather took an active inter­
est in the political questions of the day. He was a
Clay Whig, and in 1824 cast his first vote for Henry
Clay for President, who was defeated by John Quincy
Adams. In 1826 the Legislature of Kentucky instructed
Mr. Clay to vote for General Jackson in opposition to
John Quincy Adams. Clay cast his vote for Adams,
which caused a split in the Whig party, Mr. Henry go­
ing with the Jackson wing and continuing with it until
In 1832 Mr. Henry was elected to the lower house


E p iso d e s o f M y L if e

of the General Assembly of Illinois, where he re­
mained until 1840. He was then elected to the State
Senate, serving as State Senator until 1847, at which
time he was elected a member of the United States
House of Representatives.
His first difference with the Jackson party arose in
1832, upon the question of introducing into Western
politics the New York system of conventions. Dur­
ing the session of the Legislature in 1832 a meeting
of the members of the Democratic party was called
at Vandalia, to consider the advisability of adopting
the convention system. This was the first meeting
of the kind held in the West. The project was con­
sidered and the system adopted. Mr. Henry, the
youngest member of the Lower House, opposed the
measure, introducing a resolution denouncing it as
anti-republican, and antagonistic and dangerous to
our republican form of government. This resolution
caused Mr. Henry to be read out of the old Jackson
In 1836 the Honorable Hugh L. White of Tennessee
was nominated to be President. Mr. Henry was one of
Mr. White’s electors from Illinois. In 1840 General
William H. Harrison was elected, Mr. Henry still
clinging to the Whig party, in fact he was one of
the last men in the State to leave it, and then joined
with Stephen A. Douglas on the doctrine of non-inter­
vention and in favor of local self-government.
As illustrative of the primitive social status of that
period, Mr. Henry introduced into the Legislature a
bill providing for the exemption from execution of

Jo h n H e n r y


one horse worth sixty dollars and a mechanic’s tools
worth the same amount; and, also that a woman at
the head of a family could hold free from execution
six sheep and their fleece.
While in the Legislature he introduced a bill to in­
corporate the Female Academy at Jacksonville, which
was the first incorporated institution of learning in
the State. He was also prominent in the establish­
ment of other public and charitable institutions. He
took a prominent part in the formative period of the
inauguration of the public school system of Illinois.
In 1832 he volunteered and raised a company for
the Black Hawk war, and served under Governor
John Reynolds and General Joseph Duncan, and was
present at the treaty with the Indians at Fort Arm­
In 1837 and 1838 the General Assembly of the State
of Illinois passed a bill to construct over twelve hun­
dred miles of railroad, under the supervision and direc­
tion of agents appointed by the State. Commissioners
were sent to Europe to procure a loan to carry on the
work, and were successful. In the bill there was no
preference given to any section of the State as to where
the railroads would be built. Then the trouble began.
All sections claimed that the road must be built in their
vicinity, and in less than eighteen months the w'hole
scheme exploded with a considerable loss to the State.
On the 27th day of February, 1841, a bill passed the
General Assembly of Illinois to finish the Northern
Cross Railroad from Jacksonville to Springfield, Illi­
nois, and made an appropriation of $120,000 to com­


E p iso d e s o f M y L if e

plete the work under the supervision of John D. White­
side, Fund Commissioner of Illinois. On the 5th day
of March, 1841, Mr. Whiteside appointed Mr. Henry
and Edward D. Taylor joint agents to complete the
road. The work was accomplished in five months. The
railroad was built on wooden stringers and flat iron
rails. Mr. Henry superintended the operation of the
road for one year, assisted by George Gregory, locomo­
tive engineer, and a man named E. Miodzianowski, an
exiled Polander, acting as civil engineer. They, had
great difficulty in operating this road, as the spikes
which held the flat iron rails on the wooden stringers
were constantly getting loose, to the danger of lives
and the destruction of the equipment. Finally, Mr.
Henry was compelled to dispense with the engine and
use mules for the motive power.
Captain Henry was a man of keen and intelligent
mind. His autobiography is a document of real human
interest, and tells of many of the early settlers, who,
together with himself, had taken an active part in the
affairs of the country. Among the many personal and
intimate friends with whom he was associated, were:
Mr. Stephen A. Douglas, Governor John Reynolds,
General Joseph Duncan, Governor Richard Yates,
Colonel E. D. Baker, Colonel John J. Hardin, Colonel
James Dunlap, Judge William Thomas and Mr. Jacob
He died April 28, 1882, at the age of eighty-two
years. I was present at his deathbed, and an incident
relating thereto made a lifelong impression on my
memory. Near the end, Reverend Robert G. Brank,

Jo h n H e n r y


the stately and kindly pastor of the Central Presby­
terian Church, entered the room with a prayer book in
his hand. He approached the bedside, and my grand­
father, aroused, was incredibly able to exclaim, ad­
dressing Dr. Brank:
“ I want you to understand, sir, this is not a death­
bed confession,” which was an unforgettable expres­
sion of his character and life. In a few moments he
passed away.

E arliest R ecollections
date of my birth was June 1, 1856. The
place, St. Louis, Missouri, on the south side
of Olive Street, midway between Fifteenth and
Sixteenth Streets, at that time considered in the
My earliest recollection was the battle of Camp
Jackson, during the Civil war. The occasion which
impressed this on my child-mind, being only five years
of age, was, being seated in a one-horse surrey, next
to my grandfather, Captain John Henry, who was
visiting in St. Louis at the time.
He and I were occupying the front seat, he driving;
my mother and Mrs. M. M. Hodgman, an out-of-town
friend, were on the rear seat. We drove out Olive
Street, stopping on a vacant lot on the southeast comer
of Garrison Avenue and Olive Street, looking west to
what is now Compton and Theresa Avenues. We heard
firing and saw the smoke arising, as the result of a
skirmish which was styled “ The Battle of Camp Jackson.
I remember seeing the soldiers marching east on
Olive Street, past the lot on which we were standing.
This childhood impression was confirmed in later years
by my grandfather.

E arliest R ecollections


I remember being taken to the Sanitary Benefit Fair
which was held on Twelfth Street, north of Olive
Street, during the Civil war, where I saw Nellie Grant,
daughter of General U. S. Grant, who was impersonat­
ing the old woman who lived in a shoe, surrounded by
numerous dolls.
I remember the Federal troops escorting in military
form the ragged and forlorn Confederate soldiers,
prisoners of war, to the Gratiot Street prison, formerly
the McDowall Medical College.
One day, while playing in the stable at the rear of
my home, I found a ten dollar Confederate bill. Be­
lieving that it had value, much elated, I showed it to
my father. The next day he took me to the Accommo­
dation Bank, of which he was the president, located on
Chestnut Street, between Third and Fourth Streets.
Father having covertly guaranteed the deposit, I was
told to hand in the bill, for which I was given a pass
book showing a credit of ten dollars; also, a check
book. This transaction was the incentive for me to
learn to write, which I laboriously did, by writing
checks for one dollar each until the credit was ex­
hausted. The proceeds of the first check for one dollar,
as I remember, I spent for the purchase of a toy fiddle.

A C ountry H ome


n 1868 my father purchased 66 acres of land in St.
Louis County, fronting on the north side of St.
Charles Rock Road and extending northwardly,
and erected a three story brick house, which was used
as our country home. What is now known as Kienlen
Avenue was the driveway. This tract of land is now
a part of Wellston, which was named for my father.
A house in the country at that time, and for some
years later, did not have the conveniences of the pres­
ent day. There were no electric lights, gas, telephone,
or community water supply. The roads leading to and
from the city were the St. Charles Rock Road (mac­
adam) and some parallel and intersecting dirt roads, a
portion of which frequently crossed private property as
a short cut-off. The only means of transportation being
horseback and horse-drawn vehicles, it required the
good part of a day for my mother to go in her carriage
to the city and return for shopping or social functions.
I remember a pair of young, jet-black stallions
(Morgan stock) we owned at that time. One Sunday
afternoon, during a summer vacation, I had one of the
horses saddled, and rode him along the St. Charles
Rock Road. He was full of spirit, prancing and jump­
ing, and held his head well in the air.

A Co u n tr y H om e


Two men came along in a buggy. They stopped me,
and one of them said: “ Hello, young fellow, what horse
is that you are riding?"
In my elation, I quickly made up a name, and being
somewhat of a little rebel, I replied, “ This stallion is
the celebrated ‘Stonewall Jackson’.”
They admired the animal and then drove on, evi­
dently keeping sight of me when I turned into our
driveway towards home.
That night two horses were stolen from our barn—
“ Stonewall Jackson” and a buggy horse belonging to
Father had posters placed at all the country cross­
road stores, offering a liberal reward for the return
of the horses, but we never saw them again. That
was my first lesson on undue pride.
This country place was the source of much pleasure
and recreation for my father. He enjoyed the products
of the orchard, the vineyard, the melon patch and the
garden. The Sunday afternoon visits from his many
friends were especially enjoyable, sitting in the shade
of the trees, talking and joking, and refreshed with ice
cold mint juleps.
Good neighbors were close by. A short distance to
the northwest of us, in their country homes, lived the
Clarks, the Glasgows, the 0 ’Fallons, the Turners, the
Lucases, the Lindsays, the Hunts, the Hargadines, the
Frosts, the Wickhams, the Hameys and others.
A few years after the death of my father, in 1893,
while the house was vacant, through some unknown
cause, it caught fire and burned to the ground. The


E p iso d e s o f M y L if e

property then was subdivided into building lots, and,
as I before stated, is now a part of Wellston, named
for my family. It seems to me almost incredible, that
at this writing that section is now made up of inter­
secting, smoothly paved streets and alleys, and block
after block of residences, stores and other structures.
In the Fall of 1868 I was sent to the Vermont Epis­
copal Institute, a semi-military school, conducted under
the auspices of the Episcopal church of Vermont. The
school was located on what was known as Rock Point,
a projection into Lake Champlain, at the outskirts of
Burlington, Vermont.
A number of my St. Louis boyhood companions also
attended this school. As I now recall their names, they
were Isaac H. Lionberger, Edward Dameron, Clarence
O’Fallon, Willie Carter, H. S. McKellops, Jr., Allen H.
Collins, H. H. Simons, G. W. Baker, J. B. Collins,
James R. F. Duncan, C. J. McLaren, Edgar J. Valle
and George Blackman.
Being an Episcopal school, our Easter vacations were
long, and I spent the time visiting my father and
mother, who were living in Washington, D. C.
Father frequently took me with him on the floor of
the House of Representatives. At that time each mem­
ber had his individual desk, and I was allowed to sit
by his side. This was an interesting experience, as it
brought me in passing contact with many of the promi­
nent members of that period. Some of those I remem­
ber are, James G. Blaine, Speaker of the House; John
A. Logan, Proctor Knott, John Morissey, Fernando



A Co un tr y H om e


Wood, John A. Bingham, James A. Garfield, Benjamin
F. Butler, Samuel S. Cox.
When I finished at the Vermont Episcopal Institute
I returned to St. Louis, and in the year 1871 entered
Washington University, then located at Seventeenth
Street and Washington Avenue. After leaving Wash­
ington University, I went to Princeton University. In
1915 I was complimented by having an honorary de­
gree conferred upon me by Washington University,
and, in 1916, an honorary degree was conferred by
Princeton University.

A M inister to L iberia
early seventies, when my father, mother and
sister, then an infant, were living in the old Wil­
lard Hotel, in Washington, D. C., my sister be­
came quite ill. One morning about five o’clock my
father and mother imagined that the child was in a
critical condition. Father, in great distress, rushed to
the office of the hotel to get some one to go for the
doctor, there were no telephones in that day. It hap­
pened that at this early hour no one was visible in the
hotel office or the lobby.
In desperation, father ran to the sidewalk at the
Pennsylvania Avenue hotel entrance, looking around
for some means of getting word to the doctor. Just
then a negro who happened to be from St. Louis came
sauntering along. He recognized father and surmised
that something was wrong.
Approaching, he said, “ Why, Mr. Wells, what is the
matter? Is there anything I can do for you?”
“ Yes, my daughter is ill and I am looking for some
means to summon the doctor,” father replied.
The negro inquired for the doctor’s address, and
when told, he started on a run to get him. The doctor
arrived in due time and all was well.
This negro was Milton Turner, of St. Louis.


n th e

A M in is t e r to L ib e r ia


A few days later, when father was entering the
hotel, he noticed Turner standing on the sidewalk. He
called him and expressed his thanks for the opportune
service he had rendered in notifying the doctor.
“ Turner, what are you doing in Washington?”
Father asked.
“ Mr. Wells, speaking frankly, I am walking the
streets looking for the means for getting back home,”
Turner replied.
“ Well, Turner, what brought you here,” asked my
“ Mr. Wells, I had an idea that I might get the ap­
pointment of Minister to Liberia, but I have abandoned
hope and want to get back to St. Louis,” replied
“ You stay around for a few days and I will see what
can be done.” He gave Turner money to tide him over.
Father and President Grant were quite friendly,
having known each other in the early days when Grant
was living in St. Louis. Father called upon the Presi­
dent at his office in the White House.
“ Mr. President, what have you done about filling the
vacancy in the office of Minister to Liberia?” The
President replied that he was about to appoint Mr.—.
“ Why don’t you appoint Milton Turner of St.
“ That would not do; Turner is a negro; it would be
unprecedented to appoint a negro to a position of that
“ Why not? It’s only a matter of drawing the salary,
and a negro can do that as well as a white man.”


E piso d e s o f M y L if e

Whereupon father related the story of the supposedly
dying infant daughter, the urgent need of a physician,
and the sauntering negro on the sidewalk coming to
his rescue by timely notice to the doctor.
The story was told in such a way, that in the telling
of it moisture appeared in the eyes of the President.
He rang for his secretary, and instructed that a certifi­
cate of appointment as Minister to Liberia be made in
the name of Milton Turner, of St. Louis, the first negro
to receive an appointment of that character. Turner
duly qualified and served his term with credit.
Father did not dream that in reciprocating to Milton
Turner for the timely service he had received he was
“ casting bread upon the waters,” as the following nar­
rative will show.
In my campaign for Mayor, in the Spring of 1901,
over thirty years after Milton Turner’s appointment
as related, it was my custom to attend such political
meetings as were assigned to me. I was usually accom­
panied by friends who were expected to, and did, par­
ticipate in the gatherings. It was our rule when the
itinerary for the evening was ended, to stop at the St.
Louis Club, located on Lindell Boulevard, just west of
Grand Avenue, for a sandwich and a bottle of beer or
some other refreshment.
One night, in getting out of our carriage (automo­
biles had not come into use), I was accosted by a politi­
cal ward worker, who informed me that there was
being held, in an old warehouse on Olive Street and
Cardinal Avenue, a large negro meeting, and he had
been sent with the request that I attend the meeting.

A M in is t e r to L ib e r ia


I demurred, declaring that I was tired and that I had
filled the engagements assigned to me for that night.
However, I was persuaded to go, on the ground that
it was a meeting well attended and of political im­
portance. We re-entered the carriage and drove to the
On entering the poorly lighted and dilapidated meet­
ing place, I noticed it was crowded with negroes and
that Milton Turner was on the platform, addressing
the audience. He had become a lawyer and a fine ora­
tor, and was a leading negro citizen.
I ascended the platform, Mr. Turner extending
greetings. Then continuing his speech, he related the
story pretty much as I have told it, of how, over thirty
years ago, through Mr. Erastus Wells, father of the
Democratic candidate for mayor, he had been honored
with the appointment of Minister to Liberia. It is
needless to say, that after such an introduction, I met
with a vigorous reception, proving on election day, I
believe, that “ casting bread upon the waters” was not
in vain.

B eg in n in g of B usiness L ife
OR a number of years my uncle, Alfred W. Henry,
had been my father’s principal assistant. He
was superintendent of the Missouri Railroad
Company, operating the Olive and Market street car
lines. I was thrown with him a great deal, and he was
good enough to call me his assistant, but my duties
were in no manner arduous. He was one of the most
popular men in the city. At the same time Mr. William
D. Henry was the secretary and treasurer of the rail­
road company, and his son Frank R. Henry in later
years became the auditor of the United Railway Com­
pany, a successor of the Missouri Railroad Company.
After leaving the railroad business Mr. Frank Henry
became vice-president, and later president of the
Majestic Manufacturing Company. In 1878 Mr. Alfred
W. Henry died. Father came from Washington to at­
tend the funeral. The burial was in Bellefontaine
Cemetery on a Sunday afternoon.
I shall always have a vivid memory of what hap­
pened the evening of that day. Father and I drove
from the cemetery to our country home. After dinner
we were sitting together. I noticed he was depressed.
Suddenly he said to me: “ For a number of years I
have been dependent upon the services of your uncle.

B e g in n in g of B u s in e s s L if e


My legislative duties in Washington require my im­
mediate presence. I have no one at this time to take
up his duties and responsibilities. I don’t know what
I am going to do.” Then, abruptly, he asked me if I
would undertake the management of the railway.
As can be imagined, the question was unexpected.
All I could think to say in reply was: “ If you have
sufficient confidence to give me the trial, I will do the
best I can.” He answered, “Very well, to-morrow
morning you will come with me to the office and I will
issue the order appointing you superintendent.”
I spent a restless night thinking of the big responsi­
bility that would be mine, and in the morning I awoke
with the determination that I would give all that was
in me to make good. I was twenty-two years of age.
The next morning we went to the office. The an­
nouncement was made that I had been appointed super­
intendent of the railroad. That night father left the
city for Washington, and I then realized that I was
confronted with a great responsibility.
For years I had been known among the employees
of the railroad as the son of the president, and there
had been a boyhood and young manhood familiarity on
my part and theirs. Some of them had been employees
since my infancy. It took some time to impress upon
them the change in our relationship; that I was in
charge and that my orders must be respected.
Early in my administration I saw the necessity for
a change in the method of regulating the running order
of cars and the time schedule.
After considerable study I perfected a plan and gave


E p iso d es o f M y L if e

orders to the foreman and the starting agent that the
new schedule should be put in operation on the follow­
ing day.
On the day the change was made I noticed that the
operation of the cars was more or less demoralized.
Calling the foreman and the starting agent before me,
I inquired what was the difficulty. They informed me
that the system I was attempting to introduce was not
practicable. I informed them, thereupon, that in the
morning they should again adopt the schedule, and if
I found that under their charge it did not operate as
I desired, it would be necessary for me to appoint a
new foreman and a new starter. It is needless to say
that the system from then on worked smoothly, and
that this action on my part put a quietus on underhand
opposition to my management, and put a stop to favor­
itism that had been exercised on the part of the fore­
man and the starting agent to the detriment of some
of the operating employees.
The operation of the line continued without inter­
ruption until April, 1881, when our conductors and
drivers went out on a strike.
They did this without warning and without request­
ing a conference in regard to any grievance they may
have had. This, I felt was a great misfortune, as I am
sure a satisfactory understanding could have been
At that period there were ten independent street
car lines in the city: The Missouri Railroad, the Citi­
zens Railway, the Union Depot, the Northwestern, the
Bellefontaine, the Lindell, the People’s, the St. Louis,

B e g i n n i n g o f B u s i n e s s L if e


the Cass Avenue and Fair Grounds Railway, and the
Compton Hill Railway.
The conductors and drivers of all of these roads
went out on a strike at the same time.
After a few days of the non-operation of the street
cars, threats were made by certain citizens that unless
the car service was resumed, legal action would be
taken to forfeit the charters of the companies. This
caused uneasiness among the officers of the various
roads. A conference was held and it was decided a
trial run would be attempted in order to demonstrate
our inability to operate, owing to lack of sufficient
police protection.

A S tranger W a n ts a J ob
to mention the personal action that cir­
cumstances forced upon me relating to this run.
However, inasmuch as there was at that time, and
in later years, newspaper publicity regarding it, some
of which was used against me when I was a candidate
for Mayor in 1901, I feel that the incident should have
a place in my story.
At the conference it was decided that as the Olive
Street line was located in the center of the city, and
comparatively a short run, the trial should be made
on that road.
On the fixed day (which, of course, was to be kept
secret in order not to incite undue attention) it was
up to me, as superintendent of the road, to put this
into effect.
I planned to start a car from the Olive Street car
sheds, which were located at Olive Street and Leonard
Avenue, and run it to Fourth Street, the eastern ter­
minus, and return.
The night before the trial run I went to our main
office, located on Market Street, between Eighteenth
and Nineteenth Streets, opposite where the Union Sta­
tion is now located. When I reached the office no one
was there, the working force having finished for the


d is li k e

A S t r a n g e r W a n t s a J ob


day. By use of a latch key I entered, turned on the gas
light, and settled myself for the reading of a news­
I had not been there long when there was a knock­
ing at the outer door. I went to the door, and, stand­
ing at the entrance was a rather nice looking fellow,
about five feet eleven inches tall, of athletic build; I
judged him to be about thirty years of age. There was
nothing unusual in his appearance excepting a scar on
one side of his face and he seemed to have consider­
able self-assurance. In the midst of the strike I was
naturally under a mental strain and mistrustful of
every stranger with whom I came in contact.
“ What can I do for you?” I inquired of the caller.
“ I want a job,” he replied.
Under existing conditions this made me a little wary.
“ Don’t you know that our men are on a strike—we
have no jobs to offer?” I said.
He answered that he was aware of the strike, never­
theless he wanted a job.
There was something in his manner and voice that
impressed me, and it occurred to me that at some time
his services could be used. I asked him if he was ac­
quainted with anybody around the Olive Street car
sheds, and he replied that he was not. Then I in­
structed him to go to the Olive Street car sheds the
following morning. There he would find loitering on
the sidewalk groups of employees. I advised him not
to accost them, but to quietly loaf around until I put
in an appearance.
I had been assured by some of our employees that


E piso d es o f M y L if e

they would resume work when requested. It was on
this assurance the test run was to be made; otherwise
I should not have undertaken it.
The next morning, a short time before the hour
fixed, I sent for the men who had declared they would
resume work when asked. In the meantime the fore­
man had arranged for a team of horses to be in readi­
ness at the shed (the hostlers were not on strike). I
met the men I had sent for at the entrance to the shed.
“ I want two of you to take a car to Fourth Street
and return,” I said.
The men in the small group demurred, taking the
position that, while they were willing to make good
their word, not one would consent to man the first car
to be run; if I could get the first car going, they would
follow. Now, this placed me in an awkward position,
as I had counted on some of them to do what they said
they would do.
The stranger I had encountered the night before
was standing by and overheard the conversation. I
called to him and led him into the car shed, filled with
idle cars, and when we were out of sight and hearing,
I said, “ You overheard the conversation on the side­
“ Yes,” he replied.
“ Do you still want a job?” “ Yes,” he replied.
“ Very well, I will give you a job. You are to drive
a car to Fourth Street and return.”
We started back to the entrance, and had not gone
far when I stopped and asked him, “Did you ever drive
a street car?”

A S t r a n g e r W a n t s a J ob


“ No,” he replied.
“ Do you know anything about handling a brake on
a street car?”
Again, he replied “ No.”
Then I realized my predicament. I informed him,
that owing to steep grades, it was necessary to have
some knowledge how to manipulate the brakes, or dis­
aster would result, and I then determined to drive the
car myself. I told him I had never driven a car, yet
I had observed the operation for so long a time I felt
I could manage.
I asked him if he would act as conductor of the car.
“ Yes,” he replied.
At that period a brake handle was of malleable iron,
of some weight. It fitted with a socket to an iron up­
right shaft. The handle extended horizontally ten to
twelve inches and at its end bending upward for a few
inches, had the form of a knob.
I stepped on to the platform of a car near where
we were and told him to follow.
I pulled the brake handle from its socket and said
to him, “ Do you see this? Here is a fine weapon handy
if we are seriously attacked.”
We went to the entrance. The horses were attached
to a car, and then I addressed the men with whom I
previously had been talking.
“ Since you object to being the first to take out a
car, I will take the first car myself, and I now call
upon you to make good your word by following me
with two additional cars.”
I took up the reins, and away we started.


E piso d e s o p M y L if e

The driving of the car was not easy, but I managed
it. On the southeast corner of Garrison Avenue and
Olive Street a building was being erected to be used
as a livery stable. From that very spot twenty years
before, my mother, grandfather and I witnessed the
battle of Camp Jackson.
It was the noon hour and a number of bricklayers
and mechanics were on the sidewalk eating their lunch.
They were in sympathy with the strikers. When the
car approached, they stood up, and called us names,
and raised a hubbub in general. I hurried past them
and, reaching about one hundred feet beyond, looked
back and saw my stranger companion with the malle­
able brake-handle in his hand, shaking it furiously
toward the mechanics, and in a loud voice calling them
names and daring them to “ come on.”
I drove rapidly for some distance, then stopped the
car and told him to come to the front. In an emphatic
manner I informed him I had called his attention to
the brake-handle as a weapon for protection only in
case of grave emergency, and not as an instrument for
inciting riot and inviting trouble. I calmed him and
then proceeded on our journey.
All along the street the operation of the car created
much excitement. If a circus parade had been the
spectacle I don’t believe the people would have sprung
up more quickly.
When we reached Sixth Street there was quite a
crowd. Every window in the adjacent buildings was
filled with onlookers, but no confetti was thrown in
our honor.

A S t r a n g e r W a n t s a J ob


At the corner of Sixth Street I saw my father. He
had been waiting for the demonstration. When he
recognized me, driving the car, he was nonplussed.
He boarded the car and joined me on the front plat­
form. With difficulty we reached Fourth Street, and
it was with great exertion that the three of us man­
aged to shift the horses to the other end of the car
for the return trip. The crowd was unruly and most
free with epithets. The police were of little service.
I started the car on the return trip. At Sixth Street
I saw the second car approaching. I hurriedly in­
formed my father the reason for the second car. He
left me and boarded the approaching car. I afterward
learned they had greater trouble in handling the sec­
ond car than we experienced with the first. At Twelfth
Street we met the third car.
Realizing that it would be almost impossible for it
to go through, I ordered the driver to return to the
shed on the same track. We completed the trial run
as agreed, and in so doing demonstrated we did not
have the necessary police protection. Within a short
time, through a compromise between the management
and employees, the strike ended and the cars in the
city resumed normal operation.
In the meantime, the stranger remained about the
shed, associating with no one and keeping his own
counsel. When the strike ended he quietly took his
departure. He called for no remuneration, and I never
learned his name or place of abode. The theory I have
concerning him is that he was a dare-devil soldier of
fortune with a fondness for a fight.


E piso d e s o f M y L if e

In the year 1875 my father and associates built and
operated a narrow gauge (three foot) steam railroad,
called the St. Louis and Florissant Railroad, after­
wards known as the Westend Narrow Gauge Railway.
Father was president of the road, and in later years
I was superintendent.
This railroad was a feeder to the Olive Street horsecar line. The eastern terminus of the Narrow Gauge
Railway was on the north side of Olive Street, just
across the line of the old city limits, at that time about
one hundred yards west of Grand Avenue.
For a few years the railroad ran to Wells Station,
near our country home. It was then extended to Nor­
mandy, and in 1878 was operated to Florissant, its
western terminus, with a total length of sixteen miles.
The railroad was unique in its character. It had no
freight traffic to speak of. The business was passenger
service for the accommodation of the numerous coun­
try homes along its route, and in season it was largely
utilized for picnic outings.
As I now recall, among those who lived on beautiful
estates along the line, and near-by, were the Colemans,
the Blossoms, the O’Fallons, the Jeff. Clarks, the Turn­
ers, the Wells, the Lindsays, the Glasgows, the Hargadines, the Hameys, the Wickhams, the Kimballs, the
Frosts, the Lucases, the Watermans, the Francises,
the Cabannes, the Gambles, the Grahams. As I have
no record, I probably have inadvertently omitted some
I do not now recall.
As I have heretofore stated, the service was unique
and largely of a community character. I can now vis­

A S t r a n g e r W a n t s a J ob


ualize the sons and daughters of some of these families,
school books under their arms, going to and returning
from their respective schools—many of them are now
grandparents. Well do I remember the joyous shouts
and laughter of the thousands of children who were
transported to their annual picnic outings.
About 1884 this railroad was purchased by an Indi­
anapolis Syndicate. They abandoned that section of
the road running from Morgan Street and Vandeventer
Avenue to the terminus located on Olive Street. They
then constructed from Morgan Street and Vandeventer
Avenue, eastward to Sixth and Locust Streets, a cable
road, known as the St. Louis Cable and Western Rail­
road. Later this road was acquired by the St. Louis
and Suburban Railroad and a double track standard
street railway gauge was substituted for the old nar­
row gauge, running from Vandeventer Avenue to Flor­
issant, and the entire road then from Florissant to
Sixth Street was operated by the St. Louis and Subur­
ban Railway Company with electric power, and is now
operated by the St. Louis Public Service Company.
The business of the street railways increased pro­
portionately with the growth of the population and
business activities.
During the year of 1882 my father informed me
that a syndicate had made him an offer to purchase
a majority interest of the stock we held in the Missouri
Railway Company, and he would leave the matter with
me for a decision. Realizing that his health was fail­
ing, and the holding of such a large interest in one
concern would cause him a certain amount of worry,


E p iso d e s o f M y L if e

I concluded it would be best for us to dispose of our
holdings. We sold to the syndicate a large percentage
of our stock. A new organization was formed, father
and I retiring from the management.
Heedless of the state of his health, father was then
induced to accept the presidency of the Laclede Gas
Light Company. At that time there were three gas
light companies in the city. The Laclede Company,
serving the city north of Washington Avenue, the
Carondelet Company in Carondelet, and the St. Louis
Company in the district between the Laclede and Car­
ondelet companies. Some years ago the three com­
panies became merged into one, known as the Laclede
Gas Light Company.
After resigning the superintendency of the Missouri
Railroad, I purchased a one-fourth interest in the
Robert Brown Oil Company, a going concern. This
company operated two oil mills located on the Missouri
Pacific Railroad tracks just west of Jefferson Avenue.
One mill manufactured linseed oil and linseed cake,
and castor oil and castor cake. The other mill manu­
factured cottonseed oil (both winter and summer oil)
and cottonseed oil cake. In addition to these mills, we
operated a cottonseed mill at Belton, Texas.
I started at the plants to learn the business, but was
there only a short time, as our company was absorbed
by the American Linseed Oil Company through an ex­
change of stock. This was the second large company
called a trust that was organized in the United States,
the first being the Standard Oil Company.

A Cattle R an ch
n September 21, 1883, a syndicate composed
principally of Western men (some of whom
resided in St. Louis) having large range-cattle interests, obtained the unofficial sanction of the
then Secretary of the Interior to enter into a written
contract or lease with the Cheyenne and Arapahoe In­
dians for three million acres of land adaptable for
grazing purposes. This lease was for a part of the
Cheyenne-Arapahoe reservation located in the Indian
Territory. These tribes together held about six mil­
lion acres, and the acreage specified in the lease was
of no particular use to them.
The terms of the lease called for the payment of
$80,000 a year; $40,000 to be paid semi-annually, in
advance, to the Indians in accordance with their ra­
tions allowance as determined by the Government
Indian Agent in charge. Thus, every Indian of the
tribes—bucks, squaws and minors—would receive com­
pensation in the same manner that the Government
distributed food, clothing and other supplies.
I have no doubt the Secretary of the Interior in his
unofficial sanction of this transaction, considered the
cash payment for the lease would be gratefully re­
ceived as financial assistance to the Indian tribes.



E p iso d e s o f M y L if e

The three million acres leased were divided among
various cattle companies. Mr. F. B. York, who was
interested in an open cattle range on Wolfe Creek in
Lipscomb County, the extreme northeast county in the
Panhandle of Texas, and who also operated general
merchandise stores at Medicine Lodge and Dodge City,
Kansas, together with Mr. J. W. Parker of Atchison,
Kansas, obtained an allotment of this land consisting
of about 378,000 acres.
Based on this acreage together with the open range
which Mr. York controlled, the Washita Cattle Com­
pany was organized with a capital of one million dol­
lars. The promoters induced my father and me to
purchase a substantial interest in the company. Father
was elected President; F. B. York, Vice-President and
General Manager; D. T. Parker, a brother of J. W.
Parker, Treasurer, and I was elected Secretary.
Our Cheyenne-Arapahoe ranch was about twentyfive miles west of Darlington, the Indian Agency.
Darlington was a mile from Fort Reno, the United
States military post.
There were no railroads west of Muskogee (on the
M. K. & T. R. R.), in the Indian Territory, and none
operating through the northern part of Texas. There
was a branch of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe
Railroad, with a terminus at Caldwell, a few miles
north of the southern boundary of Kansas.
To reach Darlington, the Indian Agency of the
Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes, we started from Cald­
well in a Concord stage drawn by four mules. Cross­
ing the Cherokee strip we rode a distance of one hun­

A Ca ttle R a n c h


dred and sixty miles, the journey requiring about six­
teen hours.
Our two-horse buckboard would be waiting at Dar­
lington, and in it we drove to our territory ranch, a
distance of about twenty-five miles, leaving all means
of communication behind us.
Having finished our business at this ranch, we then
headed for our Panhandle ranch, en route to which
it was necessary to ford the North Fork of the Cana­
dian River and the Canadian River, which took us
over the Chism cattle trail, sometimes called the Na­
tional Cattle Trail, this trail running from the south­
ern boundary of Texas, into Kansas, Wyoming, Mon­
tana and Dakota. The cattle trail was corrugated into
ruts caused by the passage of countless thousands of
cattle, accompanied by grub wagons, the herds, of
course, being guarded and in charge of cowboys.
There were no railroads running to the north at that
time and consequently, it was necessary to drive the
cattle over this trail in order to get the steer cattle
from the Southern country to the Northern grazing
ranches for fattening and maturing before being of­
fered on the market.
The soil of some sections of this cattle trail was
alkali, and as it seldom rained there was much dust,
which had a poisonous effect on the lungs, and was,
I believe, in many cases the reason that caused the
cowboys, with the help of liquor, to go on wild carou­
sals when reaching the towns en route, such as Dodge
City. At that time Dodge City was probably the most
unruly town in America. Every cowboy carried a six-


E piso d es o f M y L if e

shooter and shooting scrapes were not infrequent. In
later years when railroads in that section were in
operation, the cattle were shipped by rail and the trail
was abandoned.
Concluding our stay at Wolfe Creek ranch, again,
we headed north, crossing the neutral strip into Kan­
sas, and then to Dodge City, located on the Atchison,
Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, where our overland
journey ended. This entire overland drive by coach
and buckboard, commencing at Caldwell, Kansas, and
ending at Dodge City, covered a distance of several
hundred miles.
As I have stated, in leaving Darlington, the Chey­
enne and Arapahoe Indian Agency, we left communi­
cation with civilization behind, so except when we
were at the ranches, it was necessary to carry with
us food, cooking utensils and bedding, cooking our
meals and frequently sleeping in the open. I made the
journey several times, and being a tenderfoot found it
extremely fatiguing, often suffering for want of fresh
water. Over and over again I said, “ If I ever get
back to a railroad, never will I complain of its service.
A keg to sit on, a bunch of straw to lie on, in a box
car, running fifteen miles an hour, would be luxury
After obtaining possession of the leased lands in the
Indian Territory, all of the cattle companies expended
large sums of money in building wagon roads, trails,
corrals and ranch houses; and, of course, a large
amount of capital was used in the purchase of many
thousands of young cattle for the stocking of the

A Cattle R a n c h


ranches, the idea being to use these ranches for breed­
ing purposes, the steers, when sufficiently matured, be­
ing forwarded to the ranges farther north for fatten­
ing ready for the market.
I have mentioned that one of the provisions of our
lease required the payment of forty thousand dollars
cash in advance, every six months. In order to allay
any suspicion on the part of the Indians, the committee
of three, representing the lessees, arranged to make
the first payment with silver dollars. Imagine the risk
and trouble of carting silver dollars of that amount!
Colonel D. B. Dyer, the Indian Agent, persuaded the
Indians to accept currency when subsequent payments
were made.
I served as one of a committee of three, F. B. York,
Vice-President and General Manager of our company,
and a Mr. Dicky, a large cattle operator from Chicago,
constituting the committee making the third semi-an­
nual payment.
The two tribes, Cheyenne and Arapahoe, numbered
about six thousand. The rations tickets before referred
to would range from one person to the number in a
family, the buck or squaw, as the case might be, col­
lecting for the family. Therefore, it was necessary to
provide currency of small denominations, one, five and
ten dollar bills, and a few twenty dollar bills. Forty
thousand dollars in bills of small denominations made
some bulk.
We placed the money in an old carpet bag, smuggled
it on to the train which carried us to Caldwell; then,
transferring to the Concord stage, we threw it under


E piso d es o f M y L ife

the seat with the mail bags. The stage was drawn by
four mules, with a typical Westerner as the stage
Our party had expected to have the stage to our­
selves, but a short time before the starting hour a
typical Texan put in his appearance as a passenger.
Being a stranger to us it naturally caused some con­
cern. En route, however, we learned who he was and
why he was making the trip, which allayed our uneasi­
His story was, that he had a son, who in passing
through the Comanche and Kiowa Reservation, some
distance south of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Reser­
vation, got into a shooting scrape and the boy was
placed under arrest. Now, in order for the father to
get from Texas to the son, it was necessary for him
to go north over the M. K. & T. R. R. and connect with
the stage at Caldwell and then journey south to his
We started from Caldwell a little after three o’clock
in the afternoon and jogged along in fine weather,
with the side curtains rolled up. After sundown it
grew cold and the curtains were lowered, and we were
buttoned in with our blankets over our knees, fairly
comfortable. Naturally, we gradually grew tired and
Well in the night, suddenly, without the slightest
warning, the stage plunged forward and downward.
In an instant, it was rocking from side to side, and
was flooded with water almost to our knees.

A Cattle R an c h


I shouted, “ Get out your knives and slash the cur­
tains,” there being every indication that we would be
drowned like rats in a trap. By good fortune the lead­
ers got a foothold and we were yanked to dry ground.
We piled out. Looking back we saw a raging stream
and drift-wood and logs racing by. It seems that we
were on the far bank of what was known as Wild
Horse Dry Creek, with steep banks on either side.
When we recovered our breath, and the stage driver
untangled and adjusted the harness and informed us
he was ready to proceed, the Texan, our fellow-passenger, said to the driver:
“ Where are you going?”
“ Why, to Darlington, of course,” the driver replied.
“ No, you are not; I won’t permit you,” the Texan
The driver, in an angry manner replied, “ I am carry­
ing the United States mail and I dare you to interfere
with me.”
Whereupon, the Texan drew a six-shooter and said,
“ You unhitch those mules. I have been on the frontier
all my life and never before have I had as close a call
as I have just experienced, and I don’t propose to per­
mit you to drive me another step until daylight.”
Under the circumstances, the driver, with the gun
pointed at him, unhitched the mules and staked them
out for the balance of the night. The Texan apologized
to us for acting as he had, but informed us that he
was in earnest; that he did not propose to ride any
further until we had a clear road ahead.
Ordinarily this crossing was a creek bottom with


E p iso d es o f M y L if e

no water. That night, to the north there had been a
cloud-burst; a freshet was the result, and the driver
of the stage, being accustomed to crossing the dry
creek bed, had carelessly plunged into the torrent.
Those familiar with the dry creek and the effect of a
cloud-burst freshet could scarcely credit our escape.
Some months afterward we were water-bound at
this same crossing, waiting for the water to subside,
and it appeared to be an utter impossibility for a stage
to ford it, and, as some one said, it was a miracle that
we got through in safety on the former occasion.
On reaching Darlington several hours late, Colonel
D. B. Dyer, the Indian Agent, met us, and we told
him of our experience. We were apprehensive as to
the condition of the currency which we had brought
with us. He provided us with a room on the second
floor of a building and a guard was stationed at the
We took our carpet bag to this room, where we
opened it and found, as we expected, that the bundles
of currency were saturated with water, making it im­
possible to count or handle the bills.
Three of us spent two days, one of us being always
present in the room, spreading out the bills on the
floor, on the furniture, and everywhere, and vigor­
ously using palm leaf fans. Finally the money was in
a condition that we could handle it. The Agent called
in the Indians and the payment was made.
The several cattle companies were in peaceful pos­
session for two years, from the Fall of 1883 to the
Fall of 1885. During this period much capital was

A Cattle Ra n c h


invested in the building of roads, the erection of
houses, the construction of corrals and fences, but, by
far, the largest amount was expended in the purchase
of thousands of young heifers in stocking the ranches.
There was every indication that the enterprise was
But, “ You never can tell what a day may bring
forth.” Without warning, there were published in
several of the daily newspapers in the Middle West
sensational articles denouncing alleged outrages being
perpetrated by cattlemen against the Indians in the
Cheyenne-Arapahoe reservation. The news was so
startling and so unbelievable that Mr. York and I took
the first train to Caldwell and then by stage to Dar­
lington, the Indian Agency.
On reaching the Reservation we went into confer­
ence with Coloned D. B. Dyer, the Government’s In­
dian Agent, and were assured there was no foundation
for the newspaper reports.
I wrote to the editor of one of our St. Louis papers
and informed him that there was no justification for
the news items and editorials that were published in
his paper regarding the alleged outrage. I told him
a large amount of St. Louis capital was involved and
much financial loss might ensue. I did not make a
favorable impression. The items and editorials con­
These sensational articles were brought to the atten­
tion of President Grover Cleveland and caused the
President to instigate an investigation. At that time
it was said that the President had no personal knowl­


E piso d e s o f M y L if e

edge of the West; in fact, that he had never been west
of Buffalo, New York.
President Cleveland did what he thought, no doubt,
was the logical and effective manner in which to ascer­
tain the status of the situation. He appointed a repre­
sentative, one familiar with the Western country, to
go to the reservation with instructions to investigate
and report.
Mr. York and I being informed of the expected visit
of the President’s agent, decided we would remain in
Darlington until his arrival. He put in an appearance
and made his headquarters at the Officers’ Club at
Fort Reno, about a mile from Darlington. Mr. York
and I, also, had entree to this club.
As far as we could determine, there was no investi­
gation as to the relationship between the lessees and
the Indians.
Colonel Dyer, for the benefit of the President’s
representative, called in the Indians for a powwow.
There being no occasion for Mr. York and me to re­
main for this conference, we started in our buckboard
for our Territory ranch. En route we passed groups
of Indians—bucks, squaws and their papooses—pic­
turesque in their colored blankets, feathers, paint and
other Indian paraphernalia, headed for the Agency.
They were in a surly and angry mood, which we ac­
counted for on the theory that the Indians supposed
they were called in for the purpose of disarmament,
which they resented.
Surely, if Mr. York and I had felt that the lessees
were at fault, we would not have left the protection

A Ca t t l e R a n c h


of the Indian Agency. As I recall, it was about three
weeks after leaving Darlington that we arrived at
Dodge City.
During the journey we were out of communication
with the outside world, and it is impossible for me to
express the shock experienced on arriving at Dodge
City and there being informed that the President’s
special representative had made a report unfavorable
to the lessees, and resulting therefrom, President
Cleveland on July 23, 1885, proclaimed the forty day
notice. At least 200,000 head of cattle had to be driven
Representatives of the lessees had an audience with
the President and vigorously protested the short notice
that had been given, stating that many thousands of
cattle would perish from the hardship of an enforced
In the issuance of the order President Cleveland un­
doubtedly had the legal right, but had exercised it
recklessly. The losses under the enforced drive were
very great.
I have been informed that in 1886 the President in
referring to his action in this instance, expressed re­
gret insomuch as he felt he had been too precipitous.
This is an anecdote of forty-six years ago. I have
no records and relate it solely on my recollection of
my observations and what was told me at the time.
Now, what led up to this incident? Prior to our
getting possession of the leasehold lands a portion was
utilized by a few white men, and held through an
understanding with some of the Indian chiefs, to whom


E piso d es o f M y L if e

meagre compensation was made. Before we took pos­
session it was necessary to have these men and their
cattle removed. This was partially done with the as­
sistance of United States Cavalry stationed at Fort
Reno, which in itself was a tacit recognition of our
unofficial rights to the premises. The men driven off
naturally were embittered and revengeful, and on the
outlook for an opportunity to get even. These were
the days of the “ Wild West.”
There were located along the southern boundary of
Kansas, adjacent to the Cherokee strip, a few poor
white settlers. Without warning there appeared at the
Kansas border, which was more than one hundred and
fifty miles north of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe leased
grazing lands, a band of renegade Indians, who started
a series of horse stealing raids. These settlers were
only too glad to seize this as an excuse to stampede
to the towns to the north and seek a more favorable
location in which to live.
Now, this turned out to be the setting of a powder
mine ready to be fired. Based upon the horse raiding
scare, there were inaugurated sensational news items
falsely charging outrages upon the Indians by the
lessees of the grazing lands. These sensational articles
were copied by newspapers throughout the country.
The inference was that the horse-stealing raids were
instigated by those formerly occupying the grazing
country, for the purpose of ousting those who were in
possession under the lease described, having in mind
that they would probably again have an opportunity
to regain possession of the grazing lands of the Chey-

A Cattle R a n c h


enne and Arapahoe Indians, and resulted in the Presi­
dent issuing an order requiring the cattle companies
to vacate within forty days.

A V enture in G old M in in g
ramble on another quest, for “ a pot of gold
at the end of the rainbow.” It was the purchase
of a gold mine. This venture, like the cattle range,
was most alluring. The experience, however, differed.
The cattle range scorched our hide; the gold mine but
slightly singed it.
In the year 1883, my father and J. W. Parker, of
Atchison, Kansas, purchased the Homestake Mine,
located in a small mining camp, called White Oaks,
Territory of New Mexico. The ore of the mine was
free milling of low grade in which were found pockets
of high grade ore containing very rich wire gold speci­
mens. In the development of the mine no defined lode
or vein was uncovered.
One of the inducements leading to the purchase of
the mine was the claim of a mill operator that he could
extract the gold by using an electric process. Arrange­
ments accordingly were made, machinery purchased
and a plant erected. All of this required considerable
time, the mine being remote from a railroad. How­
ever, after the plant was in operation it did not take
long to realize that the process was a failure.
I took no part in this mining enterprise until Janu­
ary 5, 1886, subsequent to the failure of the electrolytic


n ow

A V e n t u r e i n G old M i n i n g


process. At that time the White Oaks Mining and
Milling Company was incorporated. The officers of this
company were, Thomas Howard, President; Edwin S.
Chester, Vice-President; Rolla Wells, Secretary and
Treasurer. The directors were, Erastus Wells, John
W. Harrison and James W. Parker.
This company entered into a contract to mill the
Homestake ore. I was instructed to purchase a twenty
stamp gold mill. I went to Chicago, and through Mr.
William J. Chalmers, of the old firm of Frazer &
Chalmers, made the purchase.
I remember being in Chicago over Sunday, a bit­
terly cold day. Mr. Chalmers took me for a sleigh ride
through the parks.
In the summer of 1931, while at my summer home
at Wequetonsing, Michigan, I came in contact with a
friend of Mr. Chalmers. It seems Mr. Chalmers had
asked her to inquire, when she saw me, whether or not
I remembered the sleigh ride. To me this was a pleas­
ant incident, as the sleigh ride had occurred forty-five
years before.
The town of White Oaks was not easily reached,
especially difficult in the delivery of heavy freight such
as a stamp mill. The only railroad in the vicinity was
the Atchison, Topeka and Sante Fe Railroad, and to
go to White Oaks, you left the train about seven o’clock
in the morning at a small station principally used as
a water tank for railroad purposes. This station was
called San Antonio, located about ten miles south of
After a miserable breakfast in a ramshackle shack,


E p iso d e s o f M y L if e

we boarded a two-horse Concord stage. The route was
in a southeasterly direction. A short distance out we
ran into heavy sand, impregnated with alkali. The
pulling was so heavy the horses barely moved. It re­
quired several hours to cross this sand, and as it was
always hot in that section, the heat and alkali dust
were intolerable.
After this wearisome journey in the sand, which we
thought would never come to an end, we reached solid
ground. Further on we were in the foothills of the
Sierra Oscuro mountain range. Further on we came
to the Mai Pais (Spanish for bad lands).
The Mai Pais was an ancient flow of flint-like porous
lava. It was a conglomerate mass with a winding
wagon trail about two miles long, very rough, with
many short ascents and descents. On the eastern
border of the Mai Pais was a crude stage station, built
of lava blocks, where fresh horses were obtained.
In the night, crossing the foothills of another moun­
tain range (Sierra Blanca) it became bitterly cold.
About five o’clock in the morning we arrived at White
Oaks, a typical Western mining town, with one main
street, one general store in which was located the post
office, and a stage-coach office and stable.
The first time I made this trip, being uninformed
of its character, and, therefore, not adequately clothed,
I was, on reaching White Oaks, so benumbed with the
cold that it was necessary that I be lifted out of the
To-day, there is a railroad within a few miles of
White Oaks; also, an automobile highway.


White Oaks, New Mexico, 1883


White Oaks, New Mexico, 1883

A V e n t u r e i n G old M i n i n g


In due time the mill machinery which I purchased
in Chicago arrived and was erected ready for service.
It turned out to be an excellent mill, but (and here
comes the frequent “but” in most mining ventures),
the yield derived from the ore was disappointing.
We struggled along until the fall of 1890, not meet­
ing operating expenses. The company then went into
bankruptcy. At a Sheriff’s sale I bought in the prop­
A new company was formed, of which I became the
president and largest stockholder, which would indi­
cate that I was the principal creditor of the old com­
pany. After several years of additional operation of
the property, it was sold to a coterie of miners living
at White Oaks.
In spite of the failure of the venture, I enjoyed my
visits at White Oaks and its vicinity. While the coun­
try roundabout was dry and there were no streams,
the climate was excellent. The elevation of the town
was about six thousand feet. I did a great deal of
horseback riding through the ravines and into the
It might be of interest to note that White Oaks was
within about ten miles of the rendezvous of a noted
outlaw of that period, called “ Billy the Kid.” Billy was
finally rounded up and shot by Pat Garrett, a wellknown and picturesque sheriff who afterwards was
quite a friend of President Theodore Roosevelt.
As I have before said, I severed all interest in the
mining property and its mill. “ The pot of gold at the
end of the rainbow” was always just out of our reach.

T he S t . L ouis F air A ssociation
I visualize the past there stands out the
pleasing mental picture of the Old Fair
Grounds. Its annual six-day Fair, with the
family gatherings and joyous assembly of people of
all classes. It was the Mecca of fanners, stock breed­
ers, merchants, bankers and politicians, intermingling
with city folk; renewing friendships and exchanging
I can see the agricultural field covered with wind­
mills and machinery of all kinds, in demonstration.
The horse and cow barns; the sheep and swine pens,
full of the finest livestock in the land. The poultry
sheds; the fruit and flower pavilions filled with luscious
fruits of all kinds and beautiful flowers and stately
Then, the Machinery Hall, with the exhibits of upto-date devices. The Textile Building, filled with dis­
plays of delicate needlework and other miscellaneous
articles, the handiwork of ladies and girls.
I visualize the exhibitors in all these departments in
friendly competition for the blue, red, white and honor­
able mention premium ribbons.
I see the large amphitheatre with its circular arena
and the speed contests of roadsters, carriage horses,



T h e S t . L o u is F a ir A s s o c ia t io n


gaited saddle horses, ponies, and the mirthful mule
races. I see the thousands of interested, excited and
goodnatured spectators, generous with their applause,
viewing the contests and anxiously awaiting the
I hear the voices of thousands of school children
shouting and laughing, skipping and running here,
there, and everywhere, on the free admission day set
apart for them.
Then comes “Big Thursday,” a holiday and all busi­
ness suspended, with vehicles of all kinds pressed into
service, street horse-cars jammed with the happy popu­
lace, to the number of one hundred to one hundred and
twenty-five thousand, all en route to the Big Fair.
No city ever had a more wholesome and enjoyable
The St. Louis Agricultural and Mechanical Associ­
ation, commonly known as the St. Louis Fair, was in­
corporated by an Act of the State Legislature in
1855. The incorporators were Andrew Harper, John
O’Fallon, Martin Hannah, Walter H. Dorsett, Robert
Martin, Ollie Williams, John Liegerson, Andrew Chris­
tie, John M. Chambers, John Harnett, Thurston Grimsley, H. J. Bodley, Henry C. Hart, Thomas J. January,
John Renfrew, John Withnell, John Sappington and
William C. Jenks.
The charter stated that the objects of the associa­
tion were the promotion of improvements in the vari­
ous departments of agriculture, including fruits, vege­
tables and ornamental gardening; the promotion of
the mechanical arts in all their various branches; the


E p iso d es o f M y L if e

improvement of breeds of all useful and domestic ani­
mals, and the general advancement of rural economy
and household manufactures.
The first Board of Directors was elected, May 4,
1856, and consisted of Andrew Harper, N. J. Coleman,
Henry T. Blow, J. Richard Barret, John M. Chambers,
Thomas T. January, Henry C. Hart, John Withnell,
Thurston Grimsley, Fred Dings, George W. Hughes,
Henry S. Turner and Charles L. Hunt.
Mr. Barret was elected the first President, and Mr.
G. O. Kalb the first Secretary, which position he held
for twenty-five years.
The office of President of the Association from its
inception, was held by the following gentlemen:
J. Richard Barret, 1856-59; Andrew Harper, 1860;
Charles Todd, 1861-65; D. G. Taylor, 1866; A. B.
Barret, 1866-73; Julius S. Walsh, 1874; Charles Green,
I became its eighth President after serving five years
as a member of the Board of Directors, and held the
office for three years, 1891-92-93. The other officers
were L. M. Rumsey, First Vice-President; C. C. Maffitt,
Second Vice-President; Ellis Wainwright, Third VicePresident; A. B. Ewing, Treasurer, and William M.
Lockwood, Secretary. The other directors were Alvah
Mansur, James Green, General J. W. Turner, William
F. Nolker and D. R. Francis.
At the time I was elected President the Association
was in financial difficulty. A first mortgage bond issue
had matured and there was a second mortgage issue
outstanding. The proceeds of these bonds had been


St. Louis Jockey Club House and Grandstand


T h e S t . L o u is F a ir A s s o c ia t io n


largely used in the construction of a race-course, in­
cluding a substantial grandstand, a beautiful Jockey
Club House, numerous stables, roadways, etc., all of
which joined the old Fair Grounds immediately to the
west, and were a part of the property of the Fair
In a reorganization plan, the capital stock had been
increased, which authorized the issue of eight hundred
thousand dollars of five per cent refunding bonds. A
voting stock trustee was provided with John T. Davis,
Charles Parsons and L. M. Rumsey acting as the
After I was installed as President, Mr. Alvah Man­
sur and I succeeded in placing four hundred and
twenty-five thousand dollars of five per cent bonds. As
I look back upon the experience Mr. Mansur and I
had, it is refreshing to recall the liberality with which
a number of citizens subscribed to this issue of refund­
ing bonds, based primarily on the sentiment they held
for the old Fair Association and their belief in its
present and future benefit to the city, inasmuch as the
bonds were not what might be considered a sound
financial investment.
It may be of interest for me to mention the many
prominent people who, from time to time, were visi­
tors to the Fair during its existence:
The Prince of Wales, afterward King Edward V II;
President U. S. Grant; President Grover Cleveland
and his bride; President Benjamin Harrison; VicePresident Henry Wilson; Vice-President Thomas
Hendricks; Vice-President Schuyler Colfax; General


E piso d es o f M y L if e

W. S. Hancock; Horace Greeley; General F. P. Blair,
Jr.; Stephen A. Douglas; Governor B. Gratz Brown;
General W. T. Sherman; General Bosie; General
Philip H. Sheridan; General John B. Fullerton; the
Emperor of Brazil, Dom Pedro; the Duke of New­
castle, the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia, and many
Governors, Senators, Judges and other outstanding
citizens of this state and country. Abraham Lincoln
attended the Fair before the Civil War.
It would be difficult to enumerate the many promi­
nent St. Louisans who generously devoted their time
assisting in the upbuilding and management of this
The first thing for which I had to prepare was the
thoroughbred running meeting to be held the following
June. We had a special racing outfit, a commodious
grandstand and club house.
The Jockey Club was under the management of the
directors of the Fair Association. When I assumed the
presidency the membership had dwindled to less than
two hundred. I called a meeting of the members and
submitted to them a co-operative plan for the manage­
ment of the club by its members. A direct, or legal,
control could not be granted, because it would affect
the exemption from taxation of the property of the
Fair Association.
The plan submitted and adopted created more active
interest among the club members. An advisory board,
a house committee, a membership committee, and other
committees were created. I particularly selected several
of my friends whom I knew to be active and aggres­

T h e S t . L o u is F a ir A s s o c ia t io n


sive, to serve on the membership committee, and
started a campaign to increase the membership.
In a comparatively short time we succeeded in in­
creasing the membership to 660, which, at fifty dollars
each, gave the Fair Association a fund amounting to
thirty-three thousand dollars, which, in our impover­
ished condition, was a great help in enabling us to
tide over until the June racing meeting.
The St. Louis Jockey Club (the Fair Association)
was a member of the Western Racing Association. In
the assignment of racing dates (there were no pro­
longed race meetings at that time), the Memphis
Jockey Club started the season early in the Spring,
running about ten days. Then came the Nashville
Jockey Club meeting; then the Latonia Jockey Club at
Covington, Ky., across the river from Cincinnati; then
the Lexington Jockey Club; then came the Louisville
Jockey Club meeting, and, following the Louisville, the
St. Louis Jockey Club meeting.
We ran thirteen days, closing on Friday, so that the
Washington Park Club (Chicago) could open on Sat­
urday, the following day, on which the American
Derby was run. The Chicago meeting lasted about
thirty days, extending into the month of July.
This circuit was ideal from a climatic standpoint
and most advantageous to patrons, owners, breeders
and followers of racing, as they were then enabled to
start early in the Spring at Memphis, then forwarding
their stables from track to track, ending the season the
latter part of July at Chicago.
The June meeting of the St. Louis Jockey Club was


E piso d e s of M y L if e

most successful from a racing point of view, socially
and financially. I sold the betting privilege (book­
makers) for this meeting for $30,000; the bar and
restaurant privileges in the grandstand also brought
a handsome amount, which, together with the gate ad­
missions, took care of our purses and stakes and oper­
ating expenses, leaving a substantial surplus.
At this meeting I was fortunate in having Colonel
M. Lewis Clark to act as presiding judge, and Mr. J.
F. Caldwell, the most noted race-horse starter of his
day, together with his negro assistant, known as Polo
Jim, to act as starter at our meeting, there being no
mechanical starting devices at that time. At this meet­
ing the racing stewards were C. C. Maffitt, Joseph
Lucas and myself. All the old frequenters who are now
living know, of course, the high standing of Colonel
Clark as a presiding judge and Caldwell as a starter.
This race meeting was an outstanding social func­
tion of St. Louis. It was the rendezvous for society,
and the equipages, both going to and coming from the
races, on Grand Avenue, were most picturesque. Many
social functions were held in the Jockey Club House.
The scene on the club house grounds and the ver­
andas, with the varied colored parasols and gowns of
the ladies, was brilliant.
Next came the preparation for the annual six-day
fair, always held the first week in October.
For the children and grown-ups nothing in St. Louis
was more popular than the Zoo in the Fair Grounds.
The bear pits especially attracted large throngs. These
buildings are still standing in Fairground Park, al­

T h e S t . L o u is F a ir A s s o c ia t io n


though their appearance has been somewhat altered.
When Mr. E. A. Noonan was Mayor of St. Louis and
I was President of the Fair, an effort was made to
convert the Fair into a municipal institution. Mr.
Charles Parsons, president of the State Bank, origi­
nated the plan for the city to own the institution and
operate it through a board of trustees.
Legal obstacles intervened to prevent consummation
of the plan. Mayor Noonan, however, had his wish
gratified for founding the Zoo in Forest Park. The
Fair Association proposed to donate the animals to
the city, but this, too, was found to be impracticable,
and the animals were sold at auction, the City of St.
Louis buying those which it desired for the Forest
Park Zoo. Citizens formed the Forest Park Zoological
Association and contributed to the city a fund with
which to purchase the animals.
During my incumbency as President of the Fair
Association I had an experience which might prove
of some interest. One day, while seated in my office,
a stranger stepped in, and, when I looked at him, there
was something in his appearance and manner, difficult
for me now to describe, which impressed me favorably.
When he approached, I noticed he had a roll of papers
under his arm. He informed me that he had complete
plans and specifications for an air-ship.
Now, as stated, there was something about the man
which impressed me favorably; otherwise, I probably
would have held up my hands and told him I was not
interested in air-ships, as at that time air-ships were
visionary in the extreme.


E piso d es o f M y L ife

I said to him, however, “All right, let’s see what
you have.”
He unfolded his blue prints and explained the draw­
ings, and, as I now recall, they were practically a
counterpart of the dirigible air-ships that are now be­
ing so successfully navigated all over the world.
While he was explaining, the thought came to me
that by some miracle, or chance, he might make a
demonstration, and if so and I could control the flight
and have it occur within the Fair Grounds, it might
attract a multitude of people, resulting in the Fair
Association reaping a handsome financial reward.
With this thought, I agreed to personally finance the
venture to a reasonable extent.
I gave him permission to erect a tent within the
race track enclosure. Naturally, it was not long before
there was considerable publicity as to what was going
on, the effect of which was some good-natured ridicule
directed at me by my intimate friends, who wanted to
know if I had lost my senses in the belief than an air­
ship was within the realm of possibility.
The man remained in the race track enclosure up to
a period when our next race meeting was about to
open, which made it necessary to have the tent re­
moved as it was not advisable to have it within the
enclosure during, or just before the meeting.
This gentleman’s name was E. J. Pennington. He
was very sanguine and worked diligently, but was un­
able to make a demonstration up to the time when it
became necessary to move him away from the site
allotted to him. So my vision of a demonstration with­

T h e S t . L o u is F a ir A s s o c ia t io n


in the Fair Grounds came to naught. At the time the
newspapers commented on Mr. Pennington and his ef­
forts, but everyone was so skeptical of success that
the articles were in a very light vein and of a burlesque
I never again came in contact with Mr. Pennington.
I am convinced that there was but one thing that pre­
vented the demonstration that I had hoped for, and
that was, that at that time (1892) the gas or gasoline
motor had not been sufficiently perfected to provide
the necessary power for the propulsion of an airship.
As we all know, today air-planes and dirigible air­
ships are a reality, and I have the satisfaction of real­
izing that my friends and others back in 1892 lacked
the vision of the ultimate mastery of the air, and not I.
In the early 80’s some antagonism existed against
the management of the Fair Association, which re­
sulted in the organization and operation of what was
known as The St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall
Association, the building of which was located where
the Public Library now stands.
The time of holding this exposition overlapped the
time for holding the annual fair, thus causing more
or less competition, which I believe ultimately resulted
in the discontinuance of the annual fair.
I was a director of the St. Louis Agricultural and
Mechanical Association for nine years. Of the nine
years, I was Treasurer for five years, and President
for three years, my tenure ending in 1893.

F airground P a r k
of the opinion that the old St. Louis Fair was
one of the most popular, successful and advan­
tageous enterprises our city ever had. Since its
discontinuance St. Louis has had no regular annual
institution or celebration appealing directly to the
farmers of the South and West; nor has the city had,
I believe, an autumnal festival which pleased our own
populace like the old Fair. Times have changed, I
appreciate; yet I feel that something like this widely
celebrated institution would thrive today; in fact, I
think that St. Louis needs an annual celebration and
exhibition with which to draw the farmers and their
families to this great center of the Mississippi Valley.
It pleased me that the turn of events afforded the
opportunity, when I was Mayor, to leave a permanent
memorial of the famous St. Louis Fair. The city
bought the grounds on north Grand Avenue formerly
used by the Fair Association, and actuated by senti­
ment, I named the recreation place Fairground Park.
Keeping alive the glory of the once popular Fair will,
I hope, at some future time lead to the inception of a
new enterprise to entertain and interest the people of
the South and West.
One of the most satisfying legislative acts of the



F air g r o u n d P a r k


Municipal Assembly during my second term of office
was the acquisition for park purposes of this property.
The transaction is explained in a letter from Mr. F. W.
Carter under the recent date of November 7, 1931,
addressed to me as follows:
“ Referring to the acquisition of the property now
known as the Fairground Park, on north Grand Ave­
nue, of this city, during the second term of your ad­
ministration as Mayor of the City of St. Louis, I have
to say that I feel that if it had not been for your
efforts the city never would have acquired this prop­
erty, which was acquired at an exceedingly reasonable
price, namely $700,000 for the 134 acres.
“ The facts in connection with the transaction are
about as follows:
“ In the latter part of 1907, the Missouri-Lincoln
Trust Company was then in liquidation and was the
owner of the equity in the property at the northwest
corner of Seventh and Olive Streets, this city, which
was then known as the Missouri Trust Building and
which was subject to a total encumbrance of $650,000.
The Trust Company succeeded in trading the equity
in this building to Mr. Louis Celia and his associates
for the old Fair Grounds, consisting of 134 acres, and
fifteen acres at the southwest corner of Fair and Kos­
suth Avenues, free and clear of encumbrances.
“About the time this deal was consummated, a bill
was introduced in the House of Delegates of the City
of St. Louis, authorizing the acquisition of the 134acre tract at a price of $700,000. Of course, the city
had not available funds to pay this price, and, with


E piso d e s o f M y L if e

your co-operation, it was arranged to place a deed of
trust on the property secured by 13 notes maturing
annually for $50,000 each, bearing four per cent in­
terest, so that the equity could be acquired by the city
for $50,000.
“ For some reason (which I have never learned) the
House of Delegates delayed for some time the passage
of this ordinance; in fact, they delayed it so long that
the owners had made up their minds to sub-divide the
Fair Grounds and sell it for residential purposes.
When I communicated this determination to you, and
after you stated your attitude to me in the matter,
which was that under no circumstances should we
abandon the effort to sell this property to the city for
a park, and that you felt if advantage was not to
be taken of the opportunity to acquire that property
for a park, future generations would damn you for
neglecting such opportunity, I was able to persuade the
owners to defer the sub-division of the property, and
with your efforts we finally secured the passage of an
ordinance authorizing the purchase of the property at
the price stated, and the city has paid for the property
in full since that time out of its current revenue.
“ I now feel, and have always felt, but for your co­
operation the opportunity to acquire this property
would have been lost to the people of St. Louis.”
The acquiring of this property for park purposes
rounded out what we already had, and placed St. Louis
in an enviable position, regarding parks, when com­
pared with other cities, as will be shown by the follow­
ing figures:

F air g r o u n d P a r k

St. Louis:
Population 575,000*
Park acreage per 1,000—3.84%
Population 1,292,000
Park acreage per 1,000—3.08%
New York City:
Population 3,437,000
Park acreage per 1,000—2.02%
Population 1,698,000
Park acreage per 1,000—2.00%

* Census of 1909.


B asic S teel I ndustry
1891, I acquired an interest in the St.
Louis Steel Foundry Company, located in East
St. Louis, Illinois. I took no active part in the
management. The company was engaged in the manu­
facture of crucible steel and subsequently Bessemer
steel castings.
The practice at that time was the pouring of molten
steel into a dry, or baked, mold, thereby limiting the
output to simple designs. The manufacture of a sound
casting of a complex shape in a dry mold was con­
sidered impossible, on account of the great shrinkage
of the metal in cooling, and then, when brought into
contact with the complex form of the dry sand mold,
resulting in checks, or flaws, and an unmarketable
In the Spring of 1892, the plant of the St. Louis
Steel Foundry Company was destroyed by fire. The
company then went into liquidation.
In 1893, Mr. Edward F. Goltra, who had been in
active charge of the St. Louis Steel Foundry Company
plant, came to me with a proposition to join him in
organizing a company having for its purpose the erec­
tion of a steel plant to be located in Granite City, Illi­
nois, the company to manufacture steel castings, pare br u ar y ,


B a s ic S t e e l I n d u s t r y


ticularly for locomotive and freight cars, by the basic
steel open-hearth process.
Mr. Goltra informed me that Mr. James G. McRoberts, who had been associated with him in the St.
Louis Steel Foundry Company, knew of a method for
casting steel in a green sand mold. At once, I realized
that if that could be accomplished it would revolution­
ize the art of casting steel, and would make possible
the manufacture of castings of all designs. Heretofore,
the pouring of molten steel into a green sand mold was
considered dangerous, by reason of the fact that an
explosion would result.
Now, the difference between the dry mold, as was
used by the St. Louis Steel Foundry Company and all
other steel foundries, and the green sand method, was,
as already explained, the dry mold confined the indus­
try to the manufacture of simple shapes, whereas the
green mold, being pliable, would yield to the shrinkage
of the molten steel sufficiently, when cooling, to make
possible a complex casting without checks or flaws,
thus producing a marketable article.
I answered Mr. Goltra’s request to join him to the
effect that, if he could convince me in a practical way
that a sound basic steel casting could be made in a
green mold I would consider his proposition. Shortly
after this conversation, Mr. Goltra came to my office
and asked me to go with him that night to Chicago.
He had arranged for a practical demonstration of cast­
ing steel in a green mold, at a foundry in South Chi­
cago, on the following day, and he would like me to
accompany him. I agreed to go.


E piso d e s o f M y L if e

Saturday morning we registered at the Auditorium
Hotel. After breakfast, preparatory to taking an Illi­
nois Central train for South Chicago, I met in the hotel
rotunda a gentleman (whose name I do not now re­
call), who was secretary of a large steel plant located
in Pennsylvania. In the course of the conversation
with him I remarked that I felt I was on a fool’s
I explained I was about to start for South Chicago
to witness an attempt of the casting of steel in a green
mold. His reply was, that in his judgment I certainly
was right in my surmise; what had been represented
to me could not be done. I answered, that, as I had
gotten this far, I would go on with it. I started for
the entrance, accompanied by Mr. Goltra, and, before
reaching the door, the gentleman with whom I had
been conversing caught up with me, and asked if he
could not go with us. I replied that I should like very
much to have him.
On the casting floor of the foundry we met Mr.
McRoberts, who had brought with him a molder; also,
an iron flask in which the mold was to be made, and a
pattern for a U-shape steel freight car bolster. In our
presence, the mold was made with green sand. In a
short time a ladle of molten steel was swung over the
flask, its nozzle placed in proper position for pouring.
Everyone in the vicinity, excepting Mr. Goltra and
Mr. McRoberts, stampeded. The Pennsylvanian and I
sought the shelter of an iron column about one hun­
dred feet away. Mr. McRoberts pulled the valve, and
the hot steel ran into the mold without the semblance

B a s ic S t e e l I n d u s t r y


of disturbance. The Pennsylvanian and I breathed a
sigh of relief and we were greatly surprised at what
we had witnessed.
My companion still was skeptical; he said there must
be some trick involved; that the casting would not be
sound. Inasmuch as it would remain hot for a number
of hours, I suggested that we return to the foundry
the following morning (Sunday) and have the casting
broken in order to ascertain its condition. This we did,
and we found the casting sound and of perfect shape.
It weighed about six hundred pounds. I was convinced
that the process was of great commercial value.
Returning to St. Louis, steps were taken to protect
the process by patents, which were granted and sub­
sequently adjudicated in the highest courts, and sus­
tained. In addition to the United States patents on
this green sand process, patents were obtained in many
foreign countries.
Early in 1894, we organized a company with a capi­
tal of three hundred thousand dollars, calling it The
American Steel Foundry Company, of which I was
President and Mr. Goltra Vice-President and General
Manager. We erected a foundry at Granite City, Illi­
nois. From the beginning the operation of this plant
was successful and, within a short period, by the in­
creasing of its output, we had one of the largest plants
of its kind in the country.
In 1899, shortly after the organization of the Amer­
ican Car and Foundry Company, of which Mr. William
McMillan was Chairman of the Board, and Mr. W. K.
Bixby was President, I was asked to call on these


E p iso d e s of M y L if e

gentlemen at their office. Mr. McMillan very briefly
stated that both he and Mr. Bixby knew all about our
plant and the business we were obtaining and that
they would buy a half interest in our company.
This proposition was unexpected. However, I real­
ized that having these gentlemen associated with us
as partners would be of much service. I told them I
would ascertain whether the minority stockholders in
our company would be willing to accept their offer.
Within a few days I obtained an option on all of the
stock of the minority stockholders, which, together
with a part of the holdings of Mr. Goltra and myself,
amounted to fifty per cent of our capital. Again, I
called on Mr. McMillan and Mr. Bixby and informed
them that I would sell them forty-five percent of our
stock at the price offered.
Mr. McMillan took exception to this, and bluntly
informed me that he and Mr. Bixby had offered to buy
fifty per cent; that they would not buy one dollar over,
nor one dollar under, fifty per cent; it must be fifty
per cent, or nothing; and, he also added that he and
Mr. Bixby would have nothing whatever to do with the
operation of the plant; that Mr. Goltra and I must
continue its operation, as we had been doing.
To hold out on these gentlemen would have been a
waste of time, so I informed them we would sell fifty
per cent of the stock of the company to them.
The operation of this plant became of large propor­
tions ; we were employing fifteen hundred to two thou­
sand men on double shifts. Our carrying charges in
the nature of raw materials, etc., were very large.

B a s ic S t e e l I n d u s t r y


Matters ran along satisfactorily until April, 1901,
when I was elected Mayor of the City of St. Louis.
My obligations in the performance of my duty as
Mayor naturally materially interfered with my activi­
ties in the American Steel Foundry Company.
About that time a proposition was made leading up
to the purchase of several steel casting plants, located
in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois and New Jersey. Our
company controlling the valuable green sand process,
it was evident that they were most desirous of pur­
chasing our plant, including the green sand patents.
I looked upon the proposition favorably and urged that
it be accepted, which, when consummated resulted in
the organization of a new corporation known as the
American Steel Foundries.
Prior to the sale the owners of the American Steel
Foundry Company had purchased what was known as
the Sligo Furnace Company, located at Sligo, Craw­
ford County, Missouri. Later the Sligo Furnace Com­
pany was acquired by the American Car and Foundry
The iron which we were making at Sligo by the use
of charcoal was especially adapted to the making of
car wheels, that being the inducement for the pur­
chase of the plant by the American Car and Foundry
After the sale of my stock in these two companies
I was no longer actively connected with any business
enterprise and for a period of eight years devoted my
entire time to the duties of the office of Mayor of St.

A n U nexpected Sum m ons
always maintained I was never a practical
politician. However, in 1894 I received my first
introduction into politics. At that time there was
rivalry between two political factions in St. Louis,
called the Francis-Maffitt faction and the Stone-Jones
These two factions had been engaged for some time
in formulating a plan of an organization for political
purposes. It was to be called “ The St. Louis Democ­
racy” and gave promise of considerable political power.
Later it became the Jefferson Club. The scheme was
based upon the formation of a local club in each pre­
cinct of the city.
To the extent of the Democratic vote in the precinct,
the precinct club was allowed a proportionate repre­
sentation in the central body, called the St. Louis
Democracy. The organization plan of the St. Louis
Democracy provided for a president, five vice-presi­
dents, a secretary and a treasurer, and the necessary
committees, each numbering twenty-eight, with repre­
sentation from each of the twenty-eight wards. It can
readily be seen that this organization, based on pre­
cinct organization, would be far-reaching with its in­
fluence and political strength.



A n U n expected S u m m o n s


Now, I was not concerned in any manner with this
movement. I knew nothing about it, excepting what I
learned now and then from reading newspaper com­
ment as to what was going on.
One evening, about half-past eight o’clock, while at
my fireside, settled for the evening, I was called to the
telephone. I recognized the voice of Mr. Howard Blos­
som, a prominent insurance man at that time. He in­
formed me that I was wanted immediately at the corner
of Garrison Avenue and Olive Street. When I asked
why I was wanted, he said he was not at liberty to
tell me. My reply was that he could not expect me to
leave my home without knowing the purpose and I
refused to go.
At last, I presume in order to get me, he remarked
that one of my intimate friends was at the corner of
Garrison Avenue and Olive Street, and had asked him
to go to a telephone and request me to come, and that
was all he would tell me. I concluded that the sum­
mons was of some importance and with that thought
I started for Garrison Avenue and Olive Street.
On reaching the location I noticed several groups
of men standing around on the sidewalk. There was
a public hall in the neighborhood. At soon as I got off
of the street car, somebody caught me by the arm and
hustled me out of sight on Garrison Avenue. There I
found myself surrounded by about half a dozen of my
friends, among them Mr. D. R. Francis, C. C. Maffitt
and Mr. Blossom, who hurriedly informed me of the
organization called the St. Louis Democracy; that it
had been brought about by the joint efforts on the part


E piso d e s op M y L if e

of the Francis-Maffitt and Stone-Jones factions, and
for several weeks, each faction had been maneuvering
to obtain control of the organization through the elec­
tion of a president. At the meeting now in recess, an
agreement had been reached, designating me as a com­
promise candidate.
Upon being told this I informed my friends I was
not interested. I was not in politics, never expected to
be, and would not accept the position. Whereupon,
Mr. Maffitt asked me as a personal favor to consent.
I told him if he went so far as to put it on a basis
of friendship, that he placed me in a position where
there was but one thing for me to say, that, if it were
a personal favor to him, I would consent. I was then
put in charge of two of these gentlemen and held until
a committee formally approached me and announced
my election as president.
I was escorted to the rostrum and formally installed
as president of the St. Louis Democracy. There must
have been two or three hundred members in the room
at the time.
I continued with the organization and found it inter­
esting. It gave promise of becoming a powerful politi­
cal club. The meetings were conducted twice a month
under a formal order of business. Matters ran along
in this way until after the Chicago Democratic Na­
tional Convention of 1896.

A N ational D emocratic Convention
National Democratic Convention of 1896 was
held in the city of Chicago. Historically, it will
always be known as the convention when the
free coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1 was the
paramount issue. One of the disciples of “ Free Silver”
was Mr. Richard Bland, of Missouri, who for a number
of years, as a member of the United States House of
Representatives, had been strongly urging the free
coinage of silver.
I decided I would attend the convention, and on
reaching Chicago the day before the opening I went
to the Auditorium Annex Hotel. Going into the ro­
tunda I ran into a group of St. Louis gentlemen, all
of whom were intimate friends. Each was decorated
with an imitation silver dollar badge, with the usual
ribbon attached, on which were the words, “Bland for
One of the gentlemen noticed that I was not deco­
rated and he spoke to one of his associates, saying,
“ Rolla hasn’t a Bland badge, give him one.” This
gentleman being amply supplied, started to pin one on
me, but I stopped him and told him that I did not care
to wear it. This led to quite a heated controversy be­
tween these gentlemen and myself. They expressed



E piso d es o f M y L if e

themselves as not being able to comprehend—I, a Mis­
sourian, not willing to wear the campaign badge of a
fellow-Missourian who was a candidate for President.
I informed them that I was not in accord with the
silver issue, and, therefore, would have to decline to
be a supporter of their candidate.
I left them and proceeded into the hotel. It was
quite crowded and I met Colonel Griff Prather, who
was the National Democratic Committeeman for Mis­
souri. The Colonel and I were old friends, and he
greeted me with the comment I was the very man he
wanted to see. I asked him what I could do for him.
He told me he wanted me to be his clerk. I inquired
what it would mean. He said he was just in the act
of going to the Palmer House, where Mr. William F.
Harrity, Chairman of the Democratic National Com­
mittee, had his headquarters, for the purpose of ob­
taining the Missouri allotment of convention tickets,
which he would have to distribute, and he wanted me
to go with him, get the tickets and return to his
quarters and help assort them preparatory to their dis­
tribution. I told him I should be glad to assist him.
With that, we started for the headquarters. Enter­
ing the hotel, the Colonel was a little in advance of me.
In the lobby was a long glass case in which were vari­
ous articles for sale; displayed on top of this case were
a number of political badges.
In looking over these badges, I noticed an imitation
gold dollar, made of tin and gilded to look like gold,
intended, of course, as a “ Sound Money” badge. I
asked the man in charge the price of the “ gold dollar.”

A N a t io n a l D e m o c r a t ic C o n v e n t io n


He told me, “ Ten cents.” I asked him how many he
had and he didn’t know. I said, “ Look and see.” He
reached down under his counter and pulled out a paste­
board box filled with the tin badges. I asked the price
of the box and purchased all of the badges. I stepped
behind the counter and crammed all of the badges into
my pockets.
Colonel Prather had gone ahead and did not witness
the transaction. I then joined him in Chairman Harrity’s headquarters.
It happened that in the month of May of that year
Mr. H. Clay Pierce invited a coterie of men consisting
of J. Griff Prather, J. L. Morrill, D. R. Francis, J.
Finney How, Estill McHenry, J. C. Van Blarcom, E. M.
Switzer, William F. Harrity, and myself, for a ten-day
outing at his trout preserve on the Broule River, in
Northern Wisconsin.
Mr. Harrity and I became well acquainted, and I
suppose based on our acquaintance he provided me
with credentials granting all privileges of the conven­
The Colonel and I got the package of convention
tickets, returned to his hotel, and went to his rooms,
which were on the second floor, locked the door and
sorted and arranged the allotment preparatory for the
distribution. We placed a notice on the outside of his
door to the effect the tickets would be distributed at
five o’clock that evening. Five o’clock came and there
was an eager crowd standing around waiting for the
tickets. In due time they were distributed.
I then bid Colonel Prather good day, and told him


E piso d es of M y L if e

I would go and prepare for dinner. Walking down the
stairs into the rotunda of the hotel, I pinned one of the
gold dollar badges on my coat.
I had not gone very far when a stranger accosted
me and said: “ Hello, there, what kind of a badge is
that you are wearing?” I told him it was a Sound
Money badge, and he said, “ Well, those are my senti­
ments. Where did you get the badge? I should like
to have one.” I told him if he wanted to wear one of
the buttons, I would give him one, and I gave him half
a dozen.
Before retiring that night I noticed around the Audi­
torium Hotel and at the Chicago Club, various persons
trying to find the man who had the supply of the Sound
Money badges. It looked as if I had a monopoly, and
in due time I disposed of all of them. Some of my
silver friends were not at all pleased.
The next day I attended the convention, and as Mr.
Harrity had furnished me with a badge granting all
privileges, I sat on the platform. I spent most of the
week in the companionship of my friend, Mr. Charles
W. Knapp, editor of the St. Louis Republic. We closely
followed the proceedings of the convention. I sat with­
in ten feet of Mr. William J. Bryan when he delivered
his “ Cross of Gold and Crown of Thorns” oration, and
brought about his own nomination.
There were many other men of intelligence and ex­
perience in oratory, who addressed the convention, but
owing to the great size of the hall and the vast crowd
of delegates and spectators, the noise and confusion
with the frequent calls of “louder, louder,” the inabil­

A N a t io n a l D e m o c r a t ic C o n v e n t io n


ity of these speakers to make themselves heard evi­
dently affected their impression on the convention.
But, when Mr. Bryan started his speech his voice was
of such volume that, from the moment he spoke the
first word to the end of his speech, his dramatic utter­
ances could be distinctly heard throughout the hall,
resulting in close attention to his remarks and stam­
peding the convention. I have frequently felt that the
lung power of Mr. Bryan on this occasion had a great
deal to do with his nomination.

D emocratic Sound M oney Organization


of those attending the convention would
not subscribe to the articles contained in the
platform relating to the monetary question.
Some of the Eastern delegates, being opposed to the
silver issue, did not wait for the adjournment of the
convention but left for their respective homes. A num­
ber of men, some of whom were delegates from the
Middle West, arranged for a caucus for the purpose
of considering what was best to be done, resulting in a
conference being held at the Auditorium. Hotel, Chi­
cago, July 23, 1896, at which the following were

L. M. Martin, Marshalltown, Iowa.
Thomas Borman, Council Bluffs, Iowa.
£ . M. Sharon, Davenport, Iowa.
Henry Vollmer, Davenport, Iowa.
E. W. Boynton, Davenport, Iowa.
Nath. French, Davenport, Iowa.
Henry T. Kent, St. Louis, Missouri.
F. W. Lehmann, St. Louis, Missouri.
Col. James O. Broadhead, St. Louis, Missouri
Holla Wells, St. Louis, Missouri.
L. C. Krauthoff, Kansas City, Missouri.
Lyttleton Cooke, Louisville, Kentucky.
F. Hogan, Louisville, Kentucky.
W. B. Haldeman, Louisville, Kentucky.
Richard W. Knott, Louisville, Kentucky.
Thomas W. Bullitt, Louisville, Kentucky.
George M. Davis, Louisville, Kentucky.

D e m o c r a tic S o u n d M o n e y O r g a n iz a t io n


W. B. Bynum, Indiana.
John P. Frenzel, Indiana.
Samuel C. Pickens, Indiana.
Allen Conduitt, Indiana.
John T. Dye, Indiana.
John B. Wilson, Indiana.
Daniel W. Lawler, St. Paul, Minnesota.
F. W. M. Cutcheon, St. Paul, Minnesota.
George H. Partridge, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Ellis B. Usher, La Crosse, Wisconsin.
William F. Vilas, Madison, Wisconsin.
Gen. Edward S. Bragg, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.
Charles A. Ewing, Decatur, Illinois.
Adam A. Goodrich, Illinois.
John P. Hopkins, Chicago, Illinois.
Henry S. Robbins, Chicago, Illinois.
James H. Echels, Ottawa, Illinois.
James T. Hoblit, Lincoln, Illinois.
Thomas A. Moran, Chicago, Illinois.
R. E. Spangler, Illinois.
C. H. Williamson, Illinois.
Lynden Evans, Illinois.
Talfourd P. Linn, Ohio.
S. H. Holding, Cleveland, Ohio.
Euclid Martin, Nebraska.
Fred W. Vaughan, Fremont, Nebraska.
William R. Shelby, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Edward S. Bragg, Chairman.
Charles A. Ewing, Secretary.

After a discussion of the Democratic political situa­
tion resulting from the action of the convention, the
gentlemen taking part in the conference adopted the
following preamble and resolutions:
“ In view of the revolutionary action of the recent
Chicago Convention, its repudiation of all Democratic
platforms and principles, and its condemnation of the
national Democratic administration—
“ Resolved—First: That it is the sense of this con­


E piso d es of M y L ife

ference, composed of Democrats from the States of
Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Missouri,
Michigan, Minnesota and Nebraska, that a thoroughly
sound and patriotic declaration of Democratic princi­
ples be enunciated and that candidates for President
and Vice-President in accord therewith be nominated.
“ Second: That the Democrats in the several States
who are in sympathy with this recommendation and
unalterably opposed to the declarations and tendencies
of the Chicago platform be requested to arrange to
select a member of a National Democratic Committee.
“ Third: That the National Committee thus selected
meet at the City of Indianapolis on Friday, the seventh
day of August, 1896, at 2 o’clock P. M., for the purpose
of issuing a formal call for a National Democratic Con­
vention, to be held not later than the second day of
September, 1896, at such place and to be convened in
such manner as said National Committee may deter­
This action brought about the Democratic Sound
Money Convention, held at Indianapolis, Indiana, on
September 2, 1896, and delegates from 41 States and
3 Territories attended the convention, which nomi­
nated Senator John M. Palmer and General Simon B.
Buckner, as the Democratic Sound Money candidates
for President and Vice-President, respectively.
Referring to the platform adopted at the Indian­
apolis convention, President Grover Cleveland made
the following comment:
“ I feel grateful to those who have relieved the politi­
cal atmosphere with such delicious infusion of fresh



D e m o c r a t ic S o u n d M o n e y O r g a n iz a t io n


air. Every Democrat after reading the platform ought
to thank God that the glorious principles of the party
have found defenders who will not permit them to be
polluted by impious hands.”
I firmly believe that President Grover Cleveland’s
unswerving fidelity to the cause of honest money and
the Sound Money Democrats’ opposition to the fallacy
of the free coinage of silver at a ratio of 16 to 1, un­
doubtedly defeated William J. Bryan and brought
about the election of William McKinley for President
in the campaign of 1896.
The Tuesday following the close of the Democratic
National Convention was the regular meeting night of
the St. Louis Democracy. I was more or less appre­
hensive as to what would happen when it came to the
regular order of business calling for resolutions. I
consulted two or three of my friends and informed
them that I was pretty well assured that, when reso­
lutions were called for at the meeting, some one would
offer a resolution advocating the endorsement of the
Chicago platform.
Being the president of the organization, and not in
accord with the Chicago platform, what would they
advise me to do? One suggested that I stay away from
the meeting, and another that I go to the meeting and
forget it; and, as usual, when you ask for advice you
rarely follow it. I presided at the meeting. The hall
was filled. The regular order of business was con­
ducted. I had my eye on one of the five vice-presidents
sitting in the front row.
I called for resolutions; one of the delegates arose


E p iso d e s of M y L if e

and read a preamble, followed by a resolution calling
for the endorsement of the Chicago platform. The
question was put, and, as far as I could determine,
carried without a dissenting voice. Thereupon, I asked
the vice-president to take the chair. Then I briefly
informed the meeting I was not in accord with the
resolution and I felt it was incumbent upon the execu­
tive officer of an organization of the character of ours
to at least concur with a majority of its members.
Consequently, I deemed it advisable not to continue as
its president, and therewith tendered my resignation.
I bid good evening to those around me, and left the

St . L ouis D emocratic Sound M oney Club
September, 1896, the Democratic Sound Money
Convention was held at Indianapolis, Ind. Accom­
panied by Colonel James 0. Broadhead, Frederick
W. Lehmann and Henry T. Kent, I attended the con­
vention, which nominated Palmer and Buckner, as the
Democratic Sound Money candidates for President and
Returning to St. Louis from the convention a meet­
ing was arranged for those advocating the Sound
Money doctrine, to be held in Addington's Hall, at the
comer of Olive and Seventeenth Streets.
At this meeting there were present a number of
prominent men: Colonel Broadhead, F. N. Judson,
Henry T. Kent, James L. Blair, Graham Frost, F. W.
Lehmann, and others. The advisability of organizing
a local Democratic Sound Money Club, for the purpose
of conducting a campaign in opposition to the can­
didacy of William J. Bryan, was discussed, and it was
decided that a club of this character should be organ­
ized, and, on motion of Colonel Broadhead, I was
elected its president.
We had no difficulty raising a sufficient amount of
funds to carry on an active campaign. At the Sound
Money Democratic meetings which were held throughn



E piso d es of M y L if e

out the city we endeavored to have speakers of promi­
nence who were imbued with sound money principles.
For one of these meetings we were successful in ob­
taining as the principal speaker Dr. William Everett,
of Quincy, Massachusetts, son of Mr. Edward Everett,
a noted orator and scholar in the early history of the
country. Dr. Everett was a Harvard graduate and a
member of the Harvard faculty.
The meeting was to be held on Saturday evening,
at the old Uhrig’s Cave Hall, and an audience of repre­
sentative citizens, regardless of party affiliations was
Dr. Everett was met on his arrival at the Union Sta­
tion, and together we visited various banks and he was
presented to the bank presidents and other prominent
citizens, preparatory to the meeting to be held in the
Six or eight gentlemen had been invited to meet Dr.
Everett at a supper at the old St. Nicholas Hotel, at
the corner of Eighth and Locust streets.
All old-timers will remember ex-Judge Chester H.
Krum. Judge Krum was a noted attorney of his day,
well known for his droll humor, and more or less
Bohemian tendencies. He was a classmate of Dr.
Everett at Harvard, and I had arranged with him to
introduce Dr. Everett at the meeting.
At the supper Dr. Everett was seated at my right
and Judge Krum at my left. Realizing that the meet­
ing would be held shortly after the supper, a very
simple repast was ordered, the wine to be a mild claret
served in a goblet with Apollinaris water.

S t . L o u is D e m o c r a t ic S o u n d M o n e y C l u b


The waiters began serving bouillon in cups, when
suddenly I was startled by an exclamation from Dr.
Everett, of this nature: “ Do I understand, Mr. Wells,
that this is to be a banquet? Do you not realize that
it is a great physical as well as mental effort that I
am about to endure in delivering my address this eve­
ning? Will you not please understand that under such
circumstances it is my custom to eat after speaking,
not before?”
I replied, “ I fully realize all you say, Dr. Everett,
and I assure you this is not intended as a banquet, but
a light supper preparatory for the meeting. Is there
anything in particular that you desire?”
“ Yes, sir,” he replied, “I want only a little toast and
tea.” The toast and tea were ordered.
After a while the waiters began to serve the claret
and Apollinaris water, and, again, Dr. Everett ex­
claimed :
“ As I said before, Mr. Wells, it is a great mental and
physical effort that I am about to endure in delivering
my address this evening, and will you please under­
stand that I do my drinking after speaking, and not
Under the embarrassment I tided over the situation
the best I could.
A few moments after, Judge Krum exclaimed in his
stentorian voice, holding an empty goblet in his hand,
“ Wells, is there any more wine in that bottle? I wish
you to understand, sir, that I do my drinking before
speaking, and not after.” It is needless to say that the
Judge was supplied with all the wine he desired.


E piso d es o f M y L ife

After the supper the party entered the carriages and
proceeded to the Uhrig’s Cave Hall. We took our places
on the stage and seated before us, as I had anticipated,
was a large audience of representative citizens. Judge
Krum’s introductory remarks were most pleasing and
appropriate, whereupon, Dr. Everett delivered a sci­
entific and most enlightening address on the monetary
question, and the importance of a gold basis.
After the meeting an informal reception by the
Alumni of Harvard was held at the University Club,
located at Grand and Washington Avenue.
Before bidding Dr. Everett good-night, I told him
that it was our practice at my home to have a Sunday
after-church family dinner, and it would please me
very much if he would be our guest the next day. Dr.
Everett accepted the invitation, and in due time we
received him, and never have I had a more delightful
and courteous guest. It was evident that at the supper
the evening before, anticipating his address, he was
under a nervous strain.
At the close of the campaign, the day before the
election, there was a large demonstration for Sound
Money in the nature of a parade. It required two or
three hours in passing, and before it finished was seri­
ously interfered with by those advocating the election
of Mr. Bryan.
The recollection of this parade brings to mind an
amusing incident. The members of the Democratic
Sound Money Club, of course, had a prominent part.
As president of the organization I was at the head.
Bafunno’s brass band had been retained for the occa­

S t . L o u is D e m o c r a t ic S o u n d M o n e y C l u b


sion and was placed in front of our division. The
members of the club wore high white Greeley hats
with a yellow hat band on which in heavy black letters
were the words “ Palmer and Buckner.” We carried
Just before starting, my old friend, Wayman McCreery, approached me and said: “ Rolla, I wish you
would let me walk by your side.” I answered, “ Why,
The signal, “ Forward, march!” was given, and in ac­
cordance with instructions Bafunno’s band started up
a lively air. Wayman and I immediately held our heads
high and expanded our chests, and stepped forward
buoyantly, swinging our canes.
Everything moved nicely until reaching Pine Street,
headed north on Fourth Street, when a chimney-sweep
dressed in the costume characteristic of his profession
of that period—high black hat, short jacket and face
covered with soot—stepped in front of Wayman and
me, behind the band, and began all kinds of antics,
which brought forth much laughter from the spec­
Wayman’s spirits immediately wilted. He said to
me: “ This is too bad to have that monkey interfering
with our parade just as we are approaching the Secur­
ity Building, where all of our friends will be looking
out of the windows and standing on the sidewalk
awaiting us.”
“ Don’t be sad, Wayman,” I said. “ Now, just watch
I waited for a favorable opportunity, quickly grabbed


E piso d es of M y L if e

the chimney-sweep by the collar, and, before he knew
what was happening, I rushed him into the side lines.
Getting back into line I said to Wayman, “ Cheer up,
old fellow, and step out, all is well,” and we marched
past the Security Building, with heads erect and chests
expanded, receiving the applause of our many friends
who were congregated there.
The night of the parade there was quite a mob of
Bryan advocates assembled on Twelfth street. The
effect of this was that many Sound Money Democrats,
who otherwise would have cast their ballots for Palmer
and Buckner, voted for McKinley, the Republican can­
didate, rather than lose their votes. The state of Mis­
souri was carried for Bryan by 74,243 majority, yet,
the city of St. Louis voted for McKinley by a hand­
some majority, due, I believe, to the influence of the
Democratic Sound Money Club.

A Candidate for M ayor
URING the interval after the election of 1896 up
to January 1, 1901, I took no active part in
In the State election of November, 1900, the City
of St. Louis went Democratic, the first Democratic suc­
cess in twelve years. This victory caused some of the
Democratic politicians to feel that, with the assistance
and coalition of the so-called “ Solar-Walkers,” or silk
stocking independents, the city could also be carried
at the municipal election the following Spring.
Now, many of the so-called “ Solar-Walkers” were
of the Democratic party. They were citizens who exer­
cised the right of independent political thought and
action when principles were involved. A coterie of
these gentlemen for years had made it a practice to
meet at luncheon at the Noonday Club. Their names,
as I recall, were Thomas S. McPheeters, F. N. Judson,
I. H. Lionberger, James L. Blair, Judge Wilbur F.
Boyle, James Campbell, John T. Davis, Henry T. Kent,
H. N. Davis and Fielding Oliver.
They were asked by some of the Democratic political
leaders to name a candidate for Mayor, with the assur­
ance that the party leaders would co-operate with them
to nominate and elect their choice.



E piso d es of M y L if e

This proposition was accepted and eventually re­
sulted in designating me as the candidate, provided,
of course, that I would consent.
The suggestion of my name as a possible candidate
created considerable discussion, some of which was in
the nature of a strong protest.
As the choice of the conferees the attack was cen­
tered on me on the grounds that I had been active in
the Sound Money campaign in opposition to William
J. Bryan and his followers. I was described in the
organ of the Republican machine as an aristocratic
autocrat, who would not look at a common man.
At the time of my selection I was in New York and
had no knowledge of the proceedings. The first intima­
tion that I was being considered as a possible candidate
for Mayor was received in a telegram from Mr. James
L. Blair.
I answered Mr. Blair that I would be in St. Louis
within a few days and would take the matter under
consideration. On reaching St. Louis I learned of the
coalition that had been formed between my friends and
the political leaders, resulting in my name being agreed
upon as the Democratic candidate for Mayor of St.
On January 17,1901,1 made the following announce­
ment: “ If the Democratic party, through its conven­
tion shortly to be held, deems it wise to honor me with
the nomination for Mayor, I will accept and will do all
in my power consistent and honorable to be elected,
and, if successful, will conduct the affairs of the office
in the interest of the people, to the best of my ability.

A C a n d id a t e for M a y o r


Do not understand by this, however, that I have ever
sought the nomination, nor that I intend to enter into
any strife or controversy for it.”
This announcement again aroused much bitterness
and opposition among the so-called “ regulars,” or
“ stand-patters.” They could not forget, nor would they
forgive, my repudiation of the Democratic National
“ 16 to 1” platform of 1896. In spite of this resentment
and opposition, however, at the Convention all opposi­
tion was withdrawn and I was nominated by acclama­
tion. My associates nominated by the Convention,
Joseph L. Hornsby, President of the City Council;
James M. Franciscus, Treasurer; James Y. Player,
Comptroller; Bernard J. Dierkes, Auditor; L. F. Hammar, Jr., Collector; P. R. FitzGibbon, Register; John
J. O’Brien, President of the Board of Assessors; Hiram
Phillips, President of the Board of Public Improve­
ments ; McArthur Johnston, Inspector of Weights and
Measures; James Scullin, City Marshal.
Members of the City Council were: Charles E. Gib­
son, George D. Markham, Joseph Spiegelhalter, Jr.,
James P. Newell, Jeremiah Sheehan, Joseph Boyce.
Members of the Board of Education were: Robert
Moore, Republican; Christopher Johnson, Republican;
Louis Fusz, Democrat; R. B. Dula, Democrat.

The Cam paig n



he first act of the Democratic political show—

the nomination by Convention—was ended, the
curtain rung down. I witnessed it in the front
row. Then I was confronted with the responsibility of
taking the leading part in the second and concluding
act. This was held in the municipal arena of St. Louis.
At the same time a like Republican play was being
enacted—a two ring show, as it were. The Republican
play, also, had a leading man—a gentleman whom I
respected, and who, I believe, respected me.
Each show had its expert ticket sellers and collectors
working in conjunction with barkers, using all of their
artifices to bedazzle onlookers to patronize their show
in preference to the other. In their eagerness, some
of the barkers said things they should not have said;
made assertions not warranted by facts. Such, how­
ever, is the usual whirl of a political whip. The end
justifies the means. The race must be won. It was in
this political drama I had been drafted and called upon
to perform a leading role.
I was in no sense an office seeker. I was nominated
as a candidate by a convention duly assembled, which
was the practice at that period. The convention method
of nomination has since been abolished through the

T h e C a m p a i g n of 1901


enactment of the Direct Primary law, a law which in
my opinion, in part at least, has impaired the oppor­
tunity of obtaining the best available representation
in National, State, Municipal and Judicial offices.
In the direct primary one must necessarily be an
office seeker and subjected to two campaigns, and in
many instances place himself under obligations or com­
mitments in order to obtain support. On the other
hand, in the convention method, the rivalry of the
two principal parties often compels the party leaders
and delegates, in order to be successful at the polls, to
search for the best available candidate—one who would
not of his own accord solicit the nomination, and who
would, therefore, be under no obligations or commit­
The campaign for the election of the officials as
nominated by the conventions was under way. A
Democratic campaign committee was designated, with
Mr. Thomas C. Hennings as the chairman. This com­
mittee was to have general supervision arranging for
meetings, mapping out itineraries and designating the
speakers. A large percentage of the membership of
the Jefferson Club, a strong political organization
under the leadership of Mr. Harry B. Hawes, Presi­
dent, was most active and enthusiastic in their sup­
port. Many meetings were held throughout the city
and many speakers took part. Among them, as I now
recall, were, Messrs. Isaac H. Lionberger, F. N. Judson,
David R. Francis, Harry B. Hawes, Daniel G. Taylor,
George J. Tansey, Thomas L. Anderson, Thomas C.
Hennings, Edward A. Noonan, Jr., Thomas S. Me-


E p iso d es of M y L ife

Pheeters, Edward C. Simmons, Waller Edwards, Wil­
liam J. Flynn, Judge James McCaffery, E. E. Guion,
Ford Combs, Judge William Jefferson Pollard, Frank
A. J. Hiller, George J. Neville, M. J. Gill, Guy Golterman, and many others.
It was not easy at that time to cover sixty-one
square miles of the city in attending these meetings.
There were no automobiles, the conveyances being car­
riages and street cars.
I was faithful in attendance at the numerous meet­
ings assigned to me, from Baden to Carondelet, and
the river to the western city limits.
During the campaign we were confronted with op­
position from sources outside of St. Louis. Governor
Altgeld, of Illinois, delivered a speech in the city in
behalf of the Municipal Ownership ticket, and William
Jennings Bryan took an active part in the publication
of several articles in his paper, “ The Commoner
which were commented upon by other newspapers not
directly concerned in the municipal government of St.
Louis. He was bitter because of the nomination on a
Democratic ticket of a man who had openly repudiated
the Chicago platform of 1896.
Mr. Bryan’s opposition attempted to make the con­
test of unusual importance, claiming that my nomina­
tion had a tendency to turn back the National Demo­
cratic party from Bryanism to Clevelandism.
Now, in this I believe Mr. Bryan was mistaken. I
do not think the gentlemen who primarily advocated
my candidacy had any such thought; if they did, and
if through my election under the circumstances a move­

T h e C a m p a ig n o f 1901


ment was initiated to carry the Democratic party back
to Clevelandism, I am proud and gratified that I should
have been its humble instrument.
I am satisfied however, that the inception of my
candidacy was simply the outgrowth of an earnest de­
sire to retrieve the city of St. Louis from the unsatis­
factory existing civic conditions and the taking of steps
to bring about better government.
Monday, April 1, 1901, the day before the election,
closed with a wave of enthusiasm in what was said to
have been the largest political procession and mass
meeting ever held in the city of St. Louis. From eight
to ten thousand men, representing every ward in the
city, carrying torch lights, banners and transparencies,
led by a large drum and fife corps and band of the
Jefferson Club, the men wearing Colonial uniforms,
and followed at intervals by ten or more other bands,
marched from Grand Avenue to the Coliseum, which
was located at Fourteenth and St. Charles Streets. It
was stated that it required one hour for this procession
to pass a given point.
The marchers crowded into the Coliseum, and, with
the audience already assembled, occupied all available
space. The enthusiasm created on their entrance can
well be imagined.
When I appeared upon the platform, voices shouted
a greeting of welcome; hats, flags and handkerchiefs
were frantically waved.
As soon as quiet was restored, Lieutenant Governor
John A. Lee stepped to the front of the platform and
announced that he had been requested to preside.


E pisodes o f M y L if e

Governor D. R. Francis and Harry B. Hawes were the
principal speakers. I expressed my earnest thanks for
the reception accorded me and for the hearty support
I had received from the many speakers and writers
during the campaign.
Mr. Hawes stated in his address that the meeting
was the last of a series of meetings, which, in number
and attendance, had eclipsed any previous campaign
in the political history of St. Louis. For more than
two weeks from five to fifteen meetings had been held
nightly. The halls were always crowded and the audi­
ences enthusiastic. His closing remarks were:
“ Tonight we close the campaign for Democracy and
good government. Our organization is perfect in every
detail, built upon intelligent lines and upon an honest
representative basis. The regular organization has
been ably assisted by the so-called independents. They
have spoken at our meetings, contributed money to
the expenses of the campaign, and the effect of their
intelligent work cannot but be felt upon election day.
Our efforts have been directed mainly towards the ex­
plaining of the issues of the campaign and the disprov­
ing of the false statements made by the Republican
speakers and published in partisan Republican papers.”
The next day, Tuesday, April 2, 1901, was election
day. On Wednesday morning following, the announce­
ment was made that the entire Democratic ticket had
been elected by about ten thousand plurality. I then
realized that I was the Mayor-elect of the city of St.

“ W ells ’ V ictory ’ s Significance ”
following article published on April 4, 1901,
in Marion Reedy’s weekly paper, “ The Mir­
ror,” is illustrative of what had happened, and
may be of interest:
“ Mr. Rolla Wells was handsomely elected Mayor of
St. Louis last Tuesday. The whole ticket was, likewise,
triumphant. The victory marks an end of Ziegenheinism, locally, and the beginning of the end of Free Silverism and the reuniting of the Democracy, nationally.
“ The cry of fraud is rot. The people revolted against
ignorant and corrupt and uncouth Republicanism,
against dictation in our affairs from Lincoln, Ne­
braska. Mr. Meriwether’s municipal ownership candi­
dacy smashed the candidacy of Mr. Parker, the Re­
“ Then the people wanted, for Mayor of a New St.
Louis, a young, progressive man. The young men
turned out for Mr. Wells. That young men’s organi­
zation, the Jefferson Club, stood firmly by him. Young
men like David R. Francis, George J. Tansey, Thomas
C. Hennings and E. A. Noonan, Jr. were leaders in the
fight. They made a clean fight. They urged nothing
but good government. They made no appeal to the
passion for spoils or to class prejudice. Conspicuously



E pisodes o f M y L if e

effective and brilliant were the services of Mr. Hawes,
another young man, not only on the field, but in the
“ But back of all was the exhibition of character by
Mr. Rolla Wells. He continually proclaimed his free­
dom from pledges. He had but one promise to make—
to do his best. He never criticised his opponent. He
did not truckle to any element. He never apologized
for being a gold-bug, and voting for McKinley. He
never lost his temper, and never said too much or too
little. His professions were moderate and his demeanor
modest. All these things told in his favor, as evidences
of a character that will make him an efficient, ener­
getic and popular Chief Magistrate of the fourth city
in the Union.
“ His triumph is of national importance. It shows
Missouri repudiating Populism in the face of the obse­
crations and adjurations of the Master Populist of
Nebraska, and, as the leading Democratic state, show­
ing the way out of, as it led the way into, Populism.
“Mr. Wells’ victory means that the days of dema­
gogic Democracy are done.”

I nauguration A s M ayor
T four o’clock in the afternoon of April 8, 1901,
a joint session of the City Council and the
House of Delegates was assembled in the
chamber of the House of Delegates, for the purpose of
holding the inauguration ceremony. Besides the mem­
bers of the two bodies of the Assembly, and other city
officials, there were present members of my family and
a number of friends.
I was met in the Mayor’s suite by a committee of
five, consisting of two members of the Council and
three members of the House of Delegates, and escorted
to the chamber. Judge Walter B. Douglas administered
the oath of office. I then delivered my inaugural ad­
“ Mr. President of the Council, Mr. Speaker of the
House of Delegates and Members of the Municipal
Assembly of the City of St. Louis:
“ Gentlemen: You have met in pursuance to the
organic laws of the city to carry into effect the action
of its citizens at the polls on April second, by assuming
with me the duties of our respective offices.
“In obedience to civic duty and through the will of
my fellow-citizens, I now devote myself to the public
service of this community.



E piso d es of M y L ife

“ I deeply appreciate the expression of confidence
that has called me to the executive chair of our city.
“ I realize the arduous duties that are before me, but
am impressed with the feeling that I can rely upon the
patriotic and able assistance of those who will share
the burden of the conduct of public affairs with me.
“ I am encouraged in the belief that all citizens are
most desirous of providing and maintaining a good
municipal government and therefore will render every
assistance and will co-operate with our administration.
“ Gentlemen of the Municipal Assembly, I need par­
ticularly your aid and co-operation. It is our duty to
promote the public welfare, and by harmonious action
we shall accomplish results that will redound to the
lasting benefit of the city.
“ There is much to be accomplished, and it should be
done consistently and quickly.
“ The business affairs of the city must be conducted
in a business-like way.
“ The present condition of the Treasury is inade­
quate to meet the demands of our Municipal govern­
“ Our revenue must be increased in order to keep
pace with enlarged and growing requirements.
“ Economy must prevail where extravagance may
now exist.
“ Our eleemosynary institutions and public buildings
must be reconstructed and made suitable for the pur­
poses for which they are intended.
“ Our thoroughfares and parks should be properly
maintained and additional ones provided.


The M ayor at His Desk


I n a u g u r a t io n A s M a y o r


“ Our water supply should be improved.
“As Mayor, I shall expect those at the head of de­
partments to properly operate and maintain their
departments, and, so far as the law permits, I shall
hold them responsible for the results.
“ Let us not forget that we are the servants of the
people, and on the conduct of public affairs placed in
our charge depends their welfare and protection.
“Let us remember that it is not only the approval of
the community that we should strive for, but also the
approbation of the Supreme Being above.”

A dministration by Conference
the City Charter of 1877, the administra­
tion of the affairs of the city was through the
Administrative Department and the Legisla­
tive Department.
The Mayor and other elective and appointive officers
constituted the Administrative Department. The Leg­
islative Department consisted of the Municipal Assem­
bly, composed of the City Council of thirteen members
elected at large, and the House of Delegates of twentyeight members, being one representative from each of
the twenty-eight wards of the city.
The Charter provided that the appointees of the
Mayor should hold over for two years of the succeed­
ing administration. In other words, a newly elected
Mayor would have serving with him for two years the
appointees of his predecessor.
No doubt, this provision was well intended by the
framers of the Charter, under the theory that the two
years previous experience of the appointive officers
would be of material assistance in the first two years
of a new administration. I believe, however, that ex­
perience had demonstrated that in this they were mis­
If the succeeding administration was of different



A d m in is t r a t io n b y C o n f e r e n c e


political faith, there necessarily would be, in some de­
partments at least, a lack of co-operation. Moreover,
the fact that some of the appointees, feeling that their
services would be terminated at the end of two years,
naturally would lack interest to some extent in the
management of their respective departments. Based
on my experience, I must admit, however, that many
of the holdover appointive officers were competent, re­
liable, and worked in harmony with me.
Having in view a greater efficiency in the manage­
ment of all of the city departments, within a few days
after I was installed I requested a conference in my
office with the heads of all departments—elective and
appointive. As plainly as I could, I told them that I
would hold them responsible for proper and efficient
management of their respective departments, on a
business, not a political, basis, and with that end in
view they would be given a free rein in the selection
and appointment of their employes. I cautioned them
against persuasion or threats of any political machine,
politicians, or members of the Municipal Assembly, if
they had reason to feel that recommendations were
made for the purpose of political patronage, rather
than efficiency and service.
I assured them in this they would have my co-opera­
tion. This policy was unique to the holdover officers,
as they evidently had been dictated to in the matter of
appointments. The innovation aroused animosity on
the part of some members of the Municipal Assembly
and party workers, but it did no good, and I am sure
greater efficiency resulted.

Secretaries to the M ayor
recalling my experience as Mayor, I am of the
opinion that one of the most important and ardu­
ous of the appointive positions is that of the
Mayor’s secretary. It is he who stands between the
Mayor and the innumerable applicants for this, that,
and many things. The Mayor must necessarily depend
upon his secretary in the matter of the remission of
fines, which within a year amount to considerable
money, and to the issuing of permits.
Upon taking office I had no one in mind for the posi­
tion. I made inquiries among my personal friends and
learned of a young man by the name of James G. McConkey, a practicing lawyer.
I sent for Mr. McConkey, and, after a short inter­
view, was convinced he was the character of man I
wanted, and, without hesitation offered him the posi­
tion, which he accepted.
During the many years that I have been associated
with Mr. McConkey, I have found him to be incor­
ruptible, kindly in disposition, but adamant when it
came to a matter of duty.
Mr. McConkey was not the type of man that the
ward-heeler, or politician, would fall in love with. He
was not one of those adroit mixers supposed to be


S ec r e t a r ie s to t h e M a y o r


heroes of small politicians. He had a fine sense of duty
and the courage of his convictions. He did much for
the success of good government principally through in­
vestigations and unceasing vigilance. His work prob­
ably was not approved by the “gang,” but it was
He greatly improved the system governing the dis­
tribution of charity—rather, he established a system
where none prevailed. In so doing he prevented the
waste of large sums of money. His methods may have
seemed rigorous, but they were right and he did not
hesitate. By denying charity to the undeserving, he
eradicated imposition and fraud, at the same time pro­
tecting the deserving poor and the Contingent Fund
appropriated by the Municipal Assembly for this work.
In the minor courts he also brought affairs to a
higher standard by requiring daily reports of trans­
actions. In this manner he stopped wholesale remis­
sion of fines and other financial operations that put
some courts under suspicion with the public. The
“gang” did not like this change, but I was not elected
Mayor to aid the “ gang,” and Mr. McConkey was not
appointed secretary in order to perpetuate the “gang”
Mr. McConkey served with me as secretary for six
years, at the end of which time I had the opportunity
of offering to him the appointment to the position of
one of the associate counselors. While I regretted to
part with him, I realized that it would be a good oppor­
tunity for him to re-instate himself in the practice of
law, and made the suggestion to him, which he ac­


E pisodes o f M y L if e

cepted, and he was duly appointed one of the associate
city counselors.
After the resignation of Mr. McConkey, I appointed
Mr. W. C. Connett, who held the position of secretary
until the end of my term in 1909, and who rendered
valuable assistance to me in many ways.
I realize that every executive owes his success largely
to the loyalty and integrity of the few intimate as­
sistants who participate in his responsibilities. I have
been exceptionally fortunate in this respect.
Appreciation impels me to express a few words of
commendation in behalf of Mrs. May W. Hofman, who,
as my private secretary, has been a co-worker through
the vicissitudes of my public and business career.
Upon being elected Mayor of the City of St. Louis,
I invited her to accompany me to the City Hall as my
private secretary. I recognized her ability and supe­
rior character. She continued as my secretary while
I was the Treasurer of the Democratic National Com­
mittee, the Governor and the Chairman of the Board
of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and the
Receiver of the United Railways Company of St. Louis,
and in that capacity is still associated with me.
The recording of this tribute gives me much pleasure
and satisfaction.

N o E ntangling A lliances
taking office as Mayor, I felt that I should
not have business, social or other affiliations
which could compromise me, either with the
public or myself. It occurred to me that as an owner
of a block of stock of a large holding company, which
controlled the stock of several local public utility com­
panies, I was violating this conviction.
My thought was, what moral right have I, as Mayor,
to hold this interest. By retaining it I would be occupy­
ing a false position as to myself and to the city. There­
fore, as soon as possible, I disposed of my investment,
receiving approximately the peak terms, as the price
of the stock afterward declined, and it might be said
that virtue sometimes is more than its own reward.
It was well that I did separate myself from this
“ entangling alliance,” as the administration had several
important issues with the electric, gas and street rail­
way companies. We built lighting plants in the large
municipal institutions and threatened to build a gener­
ating plant for street lighting in order to obtain con­
tracts at much lower costs. And we had a struggle
with the street railway company over service.
In public office it is necessary for one to make every
provision to appear right, as well as actually to be




E piso d e s o f M y L ife

My holdings in the American Steel Foundry Com­
pany presented to me the very opposite condition.
Here was a situation in which my election to the
Mayoralty was detrimental to the stockholders. As its
president I had been active in framing its policy and
building up the company. When I moved to the City
Hall and took up my duties there, I was unable to give
the active supervision as formerly.
The American Steel Foundry Company occupied a
strong position in the industrial field, and its prospects
of development were exceptionally favorable. The
company enjoyed a monopoly in its ownership of the
“ green sand process” in steel casting, which had been
tested out in the courts. It was the pioneer in originat­
ing and proving this revolutionary method and was in
a place of leadership, with opportunities pointing to
almost limitless growth.
As I could not fairly or efficiently divide my time
between the city and the foundry’s general offices,
when an opportunity was presented in 1901 to sell the
plant to a new organization, I urged my associates to
make the sale, which we reluctantly did, and the new
corporation took the name of the American Steel
While I do not regret having accepted the honor and
responsibilities of Mayor, I have deplored the circum­
stances which prompted the sale of our steel properties.
I believe that my going to the City Hall thus caused
financial loss to my associates and myself. The monop­
oly which we exercised through the law-proved patent
was an asset of incalculable value. The sphere of the


E n ta n g lin g A llia n c e s


company’s operations was virtually boundless, and we
had an outlook unequaled by that of any similar steel
group in the country.
In being influenced by the event of my election to
sell our properties, we made a sacrifice.

N e w S t . L ouis B anquet
the old charter of the city the House of
Delegates was an important factor in the
legislative affairs of the municipal govern­
ment. With due respect to its members, it was well
known, taking them collectively, that they were not of
a homogeneous character.
The greatest compliment one can pay to another is
to invite him to dine at one’s home. When the number
to be invited is greater than the home will accommo­
date, the next place is the club.
Shortly after taking office in 1901, my first term, I
was particularly desirous of complimenting the mem­
bers of the House of Delegates and bringing them into
closer contact with me as Mayor in the administration
of the affairs of the city, and, also, in co-operation with
leading citizens, in doing all possible to make the
World’s Fair, to be held in 1904, a great success.
With this in view, I decided to give a banquet at the
Saint Louis Club, on Saturday evening, June eighth,
1901, at seven o’clock in the evening, to be known as
“ The New St. Louis” banquet.
Formal invitations were sent to members of the
Municipal Assembly and Board of Public Improve­
ments, and the presidents of social clubs and business
organizations, and representatives of the press.



N e w S t . L o u is B a n q u e t


The receipt of these invitations caused consternation
to some of the members of the House of Delegates, and
much perturbation as to what to wear, according to
the following from one of the daily newspapers:
“The question of the proper thing to wear at the
Mayor’s banquet at the St. Louis Club Saturday night
is agitating the minds of the members of the House of
Delegates considerably. Many and long have been the
discussions of the subject, and varied have been the
opinions expressed.
“ It has finally been decided by all the members of
the House to wear full evening dress.
“ All except the Hon. Snake Kinney, who declares he
never wore a dress suit in his life and don’t intend to
now. Other members who never had occasion to wear
full dress before, and, consequently, are not provided
with that style of apparel, have been hastening their
orders for them, and as a consequence there has been
a boom in the dress suit line of the tailoring business.
“ Hon. James H. Cronin says Snake Kinney has to
wear a dress suit or stay away from the banquet.
Kinney, thinking of the amount of wonder, admiration
and joking such apparel would provoke among his
Second Street Italian following, declares he will defend
his position to the last. It is said, notwithstanding,
that his order has been placed with the tailor.
“ The mystery of engineering a dress suit will have
its maiden appearance with more of the members of
the House than the Hon. Snake Kinney.
“ One of them describes the sudden burst of glory


E pisodes o f M y L ife

that is expected to dazzle the Mayor and other ban­
queters as follows:
“ Say, we’re going to be the real thing. We’ll be as
swell as any of the people at the banquet. Everyone
here from the House is going to wear full dress. A
whole lot of them had to have them made.
“ Everybody’ll wear a silk handkerchief hanging
from his vest pocket, and we’ll all have white neckties,
standup collars and patent leathers. No diamonds will
be allowed. We’ll all wear plug hats of the telescope
variety, and everybody’ll go in a carriage. We’ll show
the swells that the House of Delegates is a swell body
of men.
“Zachrist is getting a new dress suit, and he has
got a chest measurement of 52 inches. Jim Cronin’s
pretty big, and he only measures 48 inches about the
“ Snake Kinney’ll wear a dress suit and don’t you
forget it. We don’t care whether his dagoes jolly him
about it or not.”
The guests of the evening were:
Joseph L. Hornsby
Joseph Boyce
Charles E. Gibson
W. R. Hodges
August Hoffmann
William M. Horton
George D. Markham
James P. Newell
Louis Schnell
Jeremiah Sheehan
Joseph Spiegelhalter, Jr.
James H. Cronin
G. H. Oberbeck
Frank M. Stanze
John P. Sweeney
Thomas E. Kinney
Charles F. Denny

Henry Pfeffle
Charles Troll
Oliver F. Funsch
Otto F. Karbe
Edmond Koeln
Edward E. Murrell
John B. Williams
Andrew Gazzolo, Jr.
John J. Burke
James J. Howard
John H. Klute
Sam B. Stannard
Charles F. Kelly
J. J. Hannigan
John R. Fontana
Henry A. Faulkner
Thomas J. Buckley

N e w S t . L o u is B a n q u e t

C. A. Windmiller
James T. Brennan
Charles L. Geraghty
Paul C. Reiss
Hiram Phillips
Charles Varrelmann
Edward Flad
Henry Alt
F. L. Ridgely
Edward A. Hermann
James G. McConkey
B. Schnurmacher
Harry B. Hawes
David R. Francis
William H. Thompson
Howard Elliott
Murray Carleton
James Campbell
John Scullin
Charles W. Knapp


L. D. Dozier
A. L. Shapleigh
Breckinridge Jones
W. B. Stevens
R. J. Strauss
Cyrus F. Blanke
Charles Nagel
Joseph P. Whyte
John H. Dieckman
Nathan Frank
W. T. Haarstick
L. D. Kingsland
C. P. Walbridge
F. W. Lehmann
John A. Harrison
William M. Reedy
George S. Johns
John Schroers
William Druhe
John M. Hertel

I was toastmaster of the evening. The toasts were:
“New St. Louis from a Commercial Standpoint,” C. P. Wal­
bridge, President, Business Men’s League.
“New St. Louis from a City Council Standpoint,” J. L. Hornsby,
President, City Council.
“New St. Louis from a World’s Fair Standpoint,” D. R. Francis,
President, Louisiana Purchase Exposition.
“New St. Louis from a House of Delegates Standpoint,” James
H . Cronin, Speaker, House of Delegates.
“New St. Louis from a Newspaper Standpoint,” W . M . Reedy,
Editor, The Mirror.
“New St. Louis from a Metropolitan Police Standpoint,” H. B.
Hawes, President, Board of Police Commissioners.
“New St. Louis from a Social Standpoint,” Charles Nagel, Pres­
ident, University Club.
“New St. Louis from a Professional Standpoint,” B. Schnur­
macher, City Counselor.
“New St. Louis from an Educational Standpoint,” F . W . Leh­
mann, President, St. Louis Public Library.
“New St. Louis from a Manufacturing Standpoint,” L. ^D.
Kingsland, President, St. Louis Manufacturers’ Association.
“New St. Louis from a Merchants’ Exchange Standpoint,” W . T.
Haarstick, President, St. Louis Merchants’ Exchange.
“New St. Louis from a Board of Public Improvements Stand­
point,” Hiram Phillips, President, Board of Public Improve­

During the serving of the numerous courses the busi­
ness men discussed current topics with the Council-


E pisodes of M y L if e

men, Delegates and heads of departments, and all
seemed surprised to find that they had so much in
common. At the conclusion of the dinner, and after
the cigars had been passed, I arose and proposed a
toast “to the health of the President of the United
States and the Governor of Missouri.” The sentiment
aroused much enthusiasm and was drunk standing.
Then the orchestra played the national anthem, “Amer­
ica,” and the company joined in singing the hymn, all
remaining standing until the last note died away.
At the close of the singing I welcomed my guests,
and made the following statement as to the purpose of
the gathering:
“ The purpose of this gathering is not only for the
social pleasure that comes from assembling around the
festal board, but that the members of the Municipal
Assembly, of the administration and of the business,
professional and social interests should become better
acquainted, all for and in the interest of a New St.
“ Within two years we will have reached the cen­
tennial of the Louisiana Purchase consummated by
Thomas Jefferson. The one hundred years that have
almost passed since the acquiring of this territory by
the United States have shown most marvelous develop­
ment, in which the City of St. Louis has taken no small
part. Therefore, it is most fitting that the people of
this city should celebrate the one hundredth anniver­
sary of the purchase of the most fertile and productive
section of country on the globe.
“ The village, town and city of St. Louis has experi­

N e w S t . L o u is B a n q u e t


enced its ups and downs, its lights and shadows, espe­
cially the latter during the Civil War, which was the
cause of division among our people, from the effects
of which we were many years recovering.
“But now that the management has begun operation
on what I believe will be the greatest World’s Fair and
exhibition that will ever have been held, it behooves
the people of this city, through their public officers, to
place their municipal home in proper order, so that
the guests that come in our midst will be properly
received and impressed with the greatness and gran­
deur that St. Louis by virtue of its location, commerce
and population is deserving.
“It is my opinion that there is but one way to ac­
complish this end, and that is by co-operation. The
co-operation of business men; the co-operation of pro­
fessional men; the co-operation of all public officials;
the co-operation of all the people; the co-operation of
each interest with all other interests, and with that
spirit prevailing, coupled with industry and vigor,
there can be but one result, and that is ‘A New St.
“I will not dwell on the history of this city from the
periods when this locality changed from Spanish to
French and from French to American possession.
Many historians have treated that subject and their
works are numerous.
“ Of the past history of this city, what we are now
most interested in and affected by, was the adoption
of the City Charter in the year 1876, and under which
we are now governed.


E piso d es o f M y L if e

“ Since that period our growth, both in area and in
population, has been so great that our charter is totally
inadequate for present and future requirements, and
its speedy amendment is absolutely essential for our
“It is now a well-known story and well-known fact
that the condition of our public buildings and elee­
mosynary institutions is a disgrace to a well-governed
community. That our citizens suffer more discomfort
from poor and ill-kept thoroughfares than a people of
a metropolitan city should be willing to put up with.
There is much to be done, and it rests with those with­
in the sound of my voice to do it. Never before in the
history of the city have there been witnessed so many
of its citizens at one time devoting their time and
means to the public service. This was demonstrated
by the work of raising the enormous amount of $16,000,000 for the World’s Fair, and is now demonstrated
by that band of gallant and leading citizens in their
embarkation in the proper expenditure of this large
amount, which task will require the greatest executive
ability, and practically absorb all of their time.
“ This public spirit is also being shown by those en­
gaged on the Public Welfare Commission.
“While there are many citizens thus working for the
public good, permit me to add that there are also
others engaged in the public service—I refer to the
members of the Municipal Assembly—and when the
gates of the great World’s Fair are closed, I feel very
sure that they, also, will receive due credit for the suc­
cessful ending that is sure to come. And when our

N e w S t . L o u is B a n q u e t


visitors shall have taken their departure, then will we,
the people of St. Louis, be left with the result of their
united effort, namely, ‘a new and greater St. Louis’."
The responses were delivered in the rotation which
I indicated, and those of the first three speakers left
no doubt that the get-together feast for the New St.
Louis would be effectual and we could be confident of
zealous co-operation among the commercial, financial,
cultural and civic factors for both the success of the
World’s Fair and the building of a greater city. The
intermingling of men of influence in various activities
at the festive board was forming a sympathetic rela­
tionship for the common good.
As I admired the members of the House of Delegates
in their evening apparel, and repressed a smile over
the humorous stories which the newspapers had pub­
lished, I had no notion that one of their leaders had
obtained a “full dress” speech and was eagerly await­
ing his chance to deliver it in a “full dress” manner.
Nor had I a premonition that the honors of the eve­
ning would cluster about the massive person of the
Speaker of the House.
I had not anticipated that unintentional burlesque
would be interpolated into the formality of the occa­
sion, nor had I ever given a fleeting thought to the
theory that the fervor of civic patriotism and the feel­
ing of brotherhood could be propagated in grotesque
comedy. Yet, so it happened; and an uproarious inci­
dent, evolving as a surprise, promoted the New St.
Louis movement more realistically and happily than
anything else connected with the banquet.


E pisodes of M y L if e

After one of the speakers had declared, to cheers and
applause, that “a new spirit pervades St. Louis/' I
called on the radiant Honorable James H. Cronin,
Speaker of the House. Even when he made an almost
inaudible explanation that “ I ain’t had time to mem’rize my speech 'nd you’ll indulge me in readin’ it,” I
had no flash of the comedy impending.
Now, it happened that Jim had asked one of the
Circuit Judges, who was well known for his proclivity
to use poetry and sentiment in conversation and in
writing, to prepare a paper for him, and it proved to
be the outstanding address of the evening. Jim rose
for his response, producing a manuscript, from which
he read, as follows:
“ Mr. Chairman, Mr. Mayor and Gentlemen: While
listening to the oratory of the previous responses to
toasts, it seems to me that our noble city must soon
realize the classic myths of the birth of Venus and
Minerva, and before 1903 will spring into new life and
being, clad in the vestments of art and beauty, bask­
ing in the sunlight of a smokeless sky, and offering to
the feet of the sojourner from every clime, streets and
pavements which shall be dustless, broad, level, bord­
ered with foliage, interspersed with oases of verdure
and sprinkled, if not with attar of roses, certainly with
crystal water, whose fount is the Rockies, whose bed
is the majestic Missouri, and which shall come to our
beautiful city unpolluted by the drainage system of a
neighboring town on Lake Michigan.
“ But, gentlemen, to put these thoughts into concrete
reality, will require other efforts than the picturings

N e w S t . L o uis B a n q u e t


of fancy. It will mean work as well as enthusiasm,
and, above all, will mean such conduct of the various
departments of the city government as to inspire con­
fidence and trust in the men appointed by the people
to accomplish these ends. It will mean also a combined
purpose to hold up the hands of the new chief magis­
trate—our honored host—in his earnest battle with
mischievous forces for a clean and wholesome admin­
istration and a purified public service.
“ The House of Delegates, the Council and the Mayor
represent in an inverse order all the agencies of city
government. If these several departments shall awake
to the high duty imposed by their selection and shall
be true to the services required at their hands, the
St. Louis of the future will indeed put on the habili­
ments of health and hope, and will exhibit herself to
the gaze of the world resplendent in form and feature,
with her every artery of commerce pulsing under the
action and reaction of healthy trade. In order that
these ends may be accomplished, one of the first re­
quisites is the adoption of a just system of revenue, its
wise, economical and honest disbursement, for the sole
benefit of the city and its people.
“The new House of Delegates has not been remiss
in the performance of that part of this duty lying
within its sphere of action. The stage already reached
in the ordinances relating to charter amendments on
the subject of taxation demonstrates that the body
over which I have the honor to preside is aware that
the popular verdict, which changed its personnel and
political dominance, means that it would hereafter be


E pisodes o f M y L if e

in fact a new House of Delegates, created in sympathy
with the demand of a new auxiliary in the better ad­
ministration of public affairs, and that it has been
quick and eager to respond to the trust thus reposed.
“I think, Mr. Chairman, that I but interpret the
feeling which animates the present House of Delegates
when I pledge the people that it will not falter in the
path of duty, but with might and main and with cease­
less thought and care, will strive to achieve a record
impervious to attack, as well as a source of pride to
the people of this great city.
“I know the temper, spirit and high capacity of this
body. I can assure you that the faces of its members
are set like flint in the direction of right and for the
high and full performance of every public duty. They
have resolved that the ‘dead past shall bury its own
dead’, and turning from the morgue of misery and
misrule, that they will face the impending future with
the single aim to act well their part in the promotion
of a new life of progress and power for the splendid
city which is destined in two years to gather in her lap
for the eye of the world the wondrous riches of art and
nature revealed by a hundred years of western life,
since the genius of Jefferson annexed to the Republic
the imperial domain which has become the heart of its
civilization, its prosperity and power.
“ In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, on behalf of the new
House of Delegates, I give you and through you, the
good people of every shade of opinion who elected us,
this sentiment, that in the realization of a New St.
Louis, there shall be no party politics, but that all of

N e w S t . L o u is B a n q u e t


us, whether in private life or in the discharge of public
duty, with an eye single to the overshadowing public
need, shall strive with one heart and mind to make
our beloved city, not only materially rich, and struc­
turally beautiful, but peerless for its moral forces and
intellectual elevation and as the seat of the highest
forms of home and business life.”
The speech was a marvel. Commas and periods,
semicolons and interrogation points all looked alike to
Mr. Speaker Jim. He was partly excusable, however,
in that he had only a short time before made the ac­
quaintance of the typewritten address, which he read
off as fluently and with as much expression as a bailiff
reading a warrant.
During the course of his address James never took
his eyes from the paper in his hand. He stumbled
several times on words on which his press agent had
failed to coach him, but he managed to get in a few
half-articulate vowels and consonants to bridge the
gaps. And the guests yelled and roared. It could not
have been otherwise. The House of Delegates did the
yelling out of pure admiration for the fine rhetorical
flights of their chief and master. The gentlemen at the
speaker’s table, notedly Mr. Lehmann and Mr. Reedy,
doubled up and roared—when they could get their
The reading of the address caused much bantering
and hilarity among some of Jim’s contemporaries in
the House of Delegates. With grim determination, in
the face of this, he managed to finish, but, at the close,
he laid the manuscript on the table in front of him,


E pisodes o f M y L ife

leaned forward, and shaking his fist at his tormentors,
told them in rather forceful language, to which most
of them were accustomed, that if they thought they
could read the paper better than he had done, why,
d— them, let them come up to the table and do it.
This, of course, brought down the house; everybody
burst forth in laughter and applause, and it turned out
to be the feature of the evening, and, when Jim sat
down, there was no question as to the success of the
Shortly afterward Mr. Cronin and a number of his
admiring henchmen forsook the banquet hall and
sought the high-ball emporium downstairs.
“ Well, I got a better start than those other guys,
anyway,” said Speaker Jim. Several admiring per­
sons acknowledged that he was telling the truth; so
James didn’t bother the banqueters upstairs any more
during the evening. He had heard himself talk about
a New St. Louis. That was enough.

Boss R u le


offal and dead animal matter” gave
an inauspicious, if sensational, beginning to
my administration. Garbage is not a pleasing
subject to include in the narration of the episodes of
my official life. However, as the disposal of garbage
was of such importance to the sanitary condition of
the city, it was one of the problems that confronted
me, and it should not be omitted.
The reduction of garbage was in other than odor­
iferous and unsightly respects a foul one to tackle.
Mixed with the municipal problem, difficult enough of
itself, was the contaminating condition of boss rule in
politics. I shall not mention the names, and if any
reader of these episodes is sufficiently curious to want
to know who they were, with slight endeavor it can be
ascertained from the public records.
Political bosses are common to most big cities. St.
Louis was no exception. There were bosses whose sway
extended over the whole city, and minor bosses for
sections or wards. They seized opportunities to co­
operate in order to palm the guerdon of smart public
service. Party designations were mere phrases, as
bosses of both parties often acted together in elections
and in the pursuit and division of spoils.



E pisodes o f M y L ife

For many years the removal and reduction of the
city garbage, at an excessive cost, was monopolized and
in control of a domineering politician, in co-operation
with a combine of some of the members of the House
of Delegates. On November 14,1890, the city approved
a contract, expiring September 23, 1901, for the reduc­
tion of garbage, with the St. Louis Sanitary Company.
Garbage was loot. It was transmutable into mone­
tary profit by the alchemy of the bipartisan scheme for
extracting gain from anything and everything. On the
other hand, the political boss who took charge of the
city’s refuse maintained a voters’ vassalage in the force
which did the work. The laborers who handled the
garbage owed to their boss, in exchange for employ­
ment, the fullest and most absolute electoral fealty,
and the boss was a power at the polls.
In stirring up the garbage question, the vested inter­
ests of the political boss were jolted and his sway over
his henchmen was threatened. It was striking at one
of the deep roots of municipal corruption. It was at­
tacking the bipartisan plunder system. It was assert­
ing the rights of the city over the privileges of the
feudal political lord. I am convinced that few citizens,
if any, believed that the Mayor or a department execu­
tive would be so audacious as to take up this question
deliberately and with a purpose and method to settle it.
I was inaugurated on April 6, 1901. The time being
short before the expiration of the contract, I hastened
the transmission of a message to the Municipal Assem­
bly on April 16, 1901, the first paragraph of which I
quote: “ I deem it my duty at the earliest moment to


R u le


advise you that the contract now in force between
the City of St. Louis and the St. Louis Sanitary Com­
pany, for the reduction of garbage and offal, will ex­
pire on September 23, 1901. No delay should occur,
therefore, in the consideration and passage of an ap­
propriate ordinance authorizing the proper municipal
authorities to proceed with the letting of a new con­
tract. Delay on the part of the city may make com­
petition impossible and result in forcing the city to
pay a needlessly large amount for this service after
the expiration of the present contract.”
It had always been easy for the boss and his friends
to frustrate the city administration in making the
garbage contracts. The procedure was simple. Pro­
posed legislation was obstructed and delayed until the
city had no alternative and was forced to enter into
whatever sort of agreement the contractor imposed.
The boss had friends in the Council and House, form­
ing combines, the combine in each branch of the
Municipal Assembly functioning as a majority on
lucrative legislation or as a militant minority in block­
ing various measures. The combine, consisting of the
union of the boss-controlled votes in the Council and
House, was the bulwark of the boodle system. When­
ever the subject of a contract for the reduction or the
hauling of garbage had come up in the past, the com­
bine tactically prevented action, and the boss brought
the administration to his terms.
However, at this time there was no combine in the
Council, and the Council could be relied on to do what
was right. The strength of the opposition lay in the


E piso d e s of M y L if e

House, and it was ample to defeat legislation. The boss
had a contingent of earnest friends in the House. The
House was his.
The wording of the first paragraph of my first mes­
sage to the Municipal Assembly, must have sounded
like a challenge to the boss and the combine. So it was,
and so it was meant to be. The third sentence of the
introductory paragraph accentuated the explicitness
of the first. “ Delay on the part of the city,” it read,
“may make competition impossible and result in forc­
ing the city to pay a needlessly large amount for this
service after the expiration of the present contract.”
Between the date of my message, April 16, and the
expiration of the contract, September 23, there was an
interval of but approximately five months. The time
really might be shorter, as the Municipal Assembly
might adjourn, as usual, during the summer.
The Council caught the spirit of the situation and
its Committee on Sanitary Affairs immediately began
intensive study of the whole subject, submitting to the
Council a lengthy report on May 14, less than a month
after my message was read.
Mr. Jeremiah Sheehan, Chairman of the Committee,
on July 30, 1901, introduced a measure in the Council
providing for a new contract for garbage disposal. It
was apparent that the Municipal Assembly would have
no recess until the problem of garbage reduction was
acted upon; the Council would not agree to adjourn­
ment for the summer, and the impression created on
the citizenship by my message made it certain that the
public would support the Council.


R ule


A battle was on between the Council and the House.
A minority in the latter favored the administration’s
policy, but the House was, to all practical purposes,
under the complete domination of the political boss.
The House would obey his every dictum. On the other
hand, the Council was united and determined in the
object to overcome the boss and safeguard the inter­
ests of the municipality.
The boss and his House combine were on the de­
fensive. The issue of boss rule in connection with the
garbage question was clearly defined. The voters sensed
acutely that it was a struggle by the city, representing
them, against the boss and his myrmidons, in the pub­
lic service for good government and municipal inde­
pendence. Such a contest had not been waged since
boss rule and the combine had flourished.
The bill was received back by the Council from the
House on August 16, with amendments, and it was
moved that the Council should not concur in them.
The motion was carried. On August 20 the House
asked for appointment of a conference committee, and
the Council acceded to the request.
The bill was in satisfactory shape for decisive action,
but amending it and conferring about the modifications
would consume time, which was precious. By asking
for a conference through a committee the House
ostensibly showed a disposition to deal with the Coun­
cil, and, if the latter declined to nominate a special
committee, the House could pretend that the Council
was causing the delay, and there would be no legis­


E pisodes o f M y L if e

Speaker James H. Cronin of the House appointed
Messrs. John J. Burke, A. Gazzolo, Jr., and Henry A.
Faulkner to the committee, and Acting Vice-president
Boyce appointed Messrs. Sheehan, Markham and Louis
Schnell. On August 23 this joint committee reported
simply that it had “agreed to disagree.”
The House at once asked for another committee, and
Mr. Cronin appointed Messrs. Charles L. Geraghty,
Charles J. Denny and John R. Fontana. The Council
deferred action, but on August 27, Mr. Boyce appointed
August Hoffmann, Joseph Spiegelhalter, Jr., and Emil
A. Meysenburg.
By a tactical ruse the dilatory methods of the House
were exposed by a parliamentary maneuver when the
garbage bill reached the controversial stage. The com­
bine by clever duplicity was allowing many improve­
ment measures to lie dormant in committee pigeon­
holes. A reporter for the St. Louis Republic, Mr. J. N.
Fining, induced Mr. Paul C. Reiss, of the Twentyeighth Ward, a foe to the combine, to offer a resolu­
tion calling all these bills out of committee.
The combine grew tumultuous. Members jumped up
and denounced the resolution and berated Mr. Reiss.
An uproar prevailed. On motion of Speaker pro tem
John P. Sweeney, the resolution was tabled. Mr. Reiss
instantly offered a resolution calling the garbage bill
from committee, and pandemonium raged again. Mr.
Sweeney had this resolution also tabled. However, the
object was achieved and the hocus-pocus of the com­
bine exposed.
The joint conference committee effected a com­


R u le


promise on September 6, and the bill was passed by
the Council and House, and was approved by me on
September 17, but six days before the expiration of
the contract. The combine held out until virtually the
last minute, despite the public clamor for action, the
legislation requiring five months, for my message had
been transmitted to the Municipal Assembly on April
16 and Council Bill 71 became Ordinance 20476 on
September 17, 1901, by virtue of an emergency clause.
If the combine was audacious in delaying action in
the interest of the city and for the welfare of the com­
munity for six months, its defiance was chivalrous in
comparison with the vicious effrontery of the political
boss. Now that the municipality had no alternative,
having but six days to call for bids and no competitors
available, it had to enter into a new agreement with
the same concern. The terms exacted by the boss’s
company was $130,000 a year for three years, an
amount double the payment under the maturing con­
The boss had cause to congratulate himself with a
victory over the city government and righteous public
opinion. As long as he controlled a combine in either
branch of the Municipal Assembly, he could frustrate
any administration which might be conducting munici­
pal affairs. He could gratify himself with the opinion
that business government was a theory only and popu­
lar opinion a forceless sentiment.
Approximately sixteen months prior to the ending
of the new contract I addressed another special mes­
sage to the Municipal Assembly. The period of the

13 4

E piso d es o f M y L if e

agreement would conclude on November 14, 1904, and
my communication was dispatched to the assembly on
June 23, 1903.
No ordinance could be enacted unless the House co­
ordinated with the Council, and there was no reason
to hope that the combine would desert the boss. Seem­
ingly, the boss and his retainers had no fear of public
opinion, and aroused public opinion appeared then to
be the sole reliance of the administration. Boss rule
contaminated ward politics, and any change in the
House would be one of persons rather than of prin­
The same persons might not be re-elected, but the
combine, as was said at the time, would go on. City
government would be a travesty on honesty and de­
cency if the boss and combine could buy or sell its
benefits and services and prey on it generally for large
and trivial booty.

C hesley I sland
ONVINCED that no ordinance would be enacted

by the House of Delegates, unless it was in the
interest of the St. Louis Sanitary Company, I
retained a confidential agent to scout along the river
front, south of the city limits, to ascertain if a tract
of land could be acquired suitable for the dumping and
disposal of garbage. He reported there was an island
located on the Missouri side of the river, about twentytwo miles south of St. Louis and just north of Kimmswick, suitable for my purpose. It was called Chesley
Island, and it was for sale.
I inspected the island and this gave me the idea that
it could be used by the City for the disposal of the
garbage. An option payment of $500 on a contract to
buy Chesley Island for $5,000 was made by a real
estate agent. If there should be an emergency, as we
expected, our victory would have to come suddenly
as a surprise, and my ownership was not disclosed by
my agent or myself. I purposely concealed my pur­
chase and ownership of this island.
Negotiations were entered into with the company
having the hauling contract for it to sell to the city all
of its assets, real estate, personal property, wagons and
animals. In this I was successful, by offering a sum


E piso d es of M y L if e

greater than the property was worth. The purchase,
however, was a bargain at any price when co-ordinated with the plan I had in mind, of which the owners
of the hauling company (who were the same as the
owners of the reduction company) had no suspicion.
Otherwise the purchase could not have been accom­
Prior to the expiration of the garbage contract I
instructed the Harbor Commissioner to obtain some
barges. On the expiration of the contract instructions
were given to deliver the garbage to the barges, into
which it was dumped. The harbor boat towed the
barges to Chesley Island, where the garbage was un­
loaded and disposed of. The St. Louis Sanitary Com­
pany was out of business!
Chesley Island! St. Louis never had heard of Ches­
ley Island. The boss had never heard of Chesley Is­
land. The members of the combine and the boss’s
friends, agents and spies in the City Council and other
branches of the government had never heard of it.
Newspaper editors and civil engineers had to look it
up on the map. It was, in fact, but a few months previ­
ously that I had learned of the existence, and, fortu­
nately, the availability, of Chesley Island.
Now, what did I get out of all of this? First, the
satisfaction of knowing that the politician no longer
had a strangle hold on the people of St. Louis in the
matter of the disposal of their garbage. Second, ridi­
cule which was showered upon me by a partisan news­
paper, which to those who realized the benefit that
accrued to the city, was as odoriferous and offensive

C h e sle y Islan d


as the odor of the garbage had been before it had been
placed under control.
It seems to be quite appropriate that the extinction
of boss rule should be achieved in a controvery between
the city and the boss over the problem of garbage.
Feeding garbage to hogs appeared to be equally appro­
priate to the solution. A mirth-provoking irony set
off the climax. The boss and his combine could and
did hold the city government at bay for more than
four years, but their power was futile against a small
island inhabited by garbage-eating hogs. The humor
of the situation seemed to enhance the glory of the
Thereafter the House combine displayed its resent­
ment by opposing all legislation intended to settle the
garbage problem. The boss was in a critical situation,
instead of the city. Bills empowering the letting of a
contract, purchase of water-craft and outright acquisi­
tion by the city of Chesley Island were referred to the
Committee on Sanitary Affairs, which pigeon-holed
them. The administration looked upon this asperity
with a complaisance which doubtless seemed to the
boss and his henchmen as malign.
Members of the combine became amazingly anxious
as to hazards to the public health. Street Commis­
sioner Charles Varrelmann was asked, by resolution,
by what authority he was endangering the public
health by having garbage hauled in the neighborhood
of Chouteau avenue, Lombard street and Gratiot street,
and a similar question was put to President Hiram
Phillips of the Board of Public Improvements.


E pisodes o f M y L if e

The combine also became conscience-stricken over
the cost of the new garbage service, and by resolution
asked the City Auditor, Mr. Bernard Dierkes, for a
Mr. Varrelmann replied that he was acting under
instructions from the President of the Board of Public
Improvements. Mr. Dierkes submitted an itemized
The retort of President Phillips of the Board of
Public Improvements was curt. I feel impelled to quote
part of it:
“You inquire how long the alleged nuisance will be
there maintained. My reply is that I know of no nui­
sance maintained within the city limits.
“ Second, and by what authority it has been estab­
lished. As far as I know there has been no nuisance
“ Third, what fund is being used therefor. I know
of no fund being used for the purpose of maintaining
a nuisance.”
I should remark that this response was laconically
Chesley Island was probably more notorious in the
House of Delegates than it was famous in the Tenth
Ward, where the plant of the St. Louis Sanitary Com­
pany had been operated, and the delegates were curi­
ous to see it. They took a voyage on the harbor boat,
Mark Twain, and looked it over.
I cannot omit from this account of the subject
several statements which were attributed to the presi­
dent of the St. Louis Sanitary Company, as they are

C h e sl e y I slan d


decidedly suggestive in regard to business government.
The article was published on February 12, 1905.
“About two months ago (the president was quoted
as saying) I visited the Mayor and President of the
Board, and about two weeks ago paid another visit to
the Mayor, and upon all these occasions officially stated
that the St. Louis Sanitary Company was ready and
anxious to enter into a new contract with the city for
the disposal of garbage—not at the former figure of
$130,000 per annum, but at a price so much less than
$100,000 that no economies practiced or effected by the
city could possibly equal the saving that would be
The following is another interesting statement
ascribed to the president of the St. Louis Sanitary
Company, in the same article:
“ While I did not mention exact figures to his Honor
or the President of the Board, yet they could not fail
to draw the inference that the St. Louis Sanitary Com­
pany would be willing to undertake a new contract,
whether temporary or permanent, for a sum at least
$50,000 under the old figures.”
It is evident from these interviews that the city’s
use of Chesley Island for the disposal of its garbage,
brought about these proposals, but the outstanding
matter was the decisive smashing of boss rule.
In the following summer members of the House and
Board of Public Improvements and other city officials
were my guests on a merry excursion to Chesley Is­
land on the harbor boat “ Mark Twain.”


E pisodes o f M y L if e

I was asked amid the roystering of the company
what song I liked best. “ Rufus Brown,” I replied.
Stephen A. Martin, Secretary of the House, who had
a golden tenor voice, struck up the ditty. The PostDispatch, described the scene as follows:
“ Suddenly the Mayor jumped to his feet. He was
shouting to make himself heard.
“ ‘That’s not the way to sing the song/ he said. Til
lead you.*
“ The Mayor’s way of singing the song consisted in
stringing out the last word of each verse, which made
the song very ludicrous. He used both hands as batons
to get the effect. After the song the roisterers ap­
plauded with great delight and called for the song
again and again.
“ This made every one feel at home. From then on
all forgot the Mayor was there and looked on Mr. Wells
as simply a ‘good fellow.’
“ In fact, they even got disrespectful. Some one
started the ditty, and before he had got two words out
the whole crowd was singing:
“ ‘Old Bolla Wells is a good old soul,
‘Old Bolla Wells is a good old soul,
‘Old Bolla Wells is a good— OLD SOUL,
‘Yes, he is, and a pigskin whole.’ ”

On February 25, 1908, a new disposal contract was
awarded to the Standard Reduction & Chemical Com­
pany. This company was financed by several promi­
nent St. Louis business men, with Mr. Lawrence B.
Pierce at its head. The municipality had settled the
garbage problem, and I was still the owner of Chesley

C h e sle y Island


The awarding of the contract to the new concern,
one without questionable affiliation, settled the prob­
lem permanently. Boss rule in the City Hall was ended.
The struggle had gone on through approximately six
and one-half years of my incumbency. The achieve­
ment, however, was worth all the unpleasantness and
worry it had cost, and more.
Reflecting on the protracted fight, I am impressed
anew by the philosophy that a community can have
business government if it is ready to make the effort
and sacrifice to procure and preserve it. The practice
is to blame a public officer or an administration for
success or failure, especially in a muddle, without con­
sidering that the handicaps in municipal affairs make
business management harder to achieve in a civil
government than in a private corporation. There is
clashing opinion in the complexity of public affairs,
with impediments and restraints in laws and actual
When the voters elect a citizen to a responsible pub­
lic office, they resume interest in their own business
and domestic questions and forget about the city. The
community, I think, having imposed responsibility on
a public officer, owes him at least moral support. If,
as is said, municipal administration is a dismal disap­
pointment in the United States, one reason is that the
voters do not energize practical ideals with their active
and moral support.
Mayor F. H. Kreismann, who succeeded me, and City
Comptroller Benjamin J. Taussig thought that it would
be well for the city to acquire title to Chesley Island.


E piso d es o f M y L ife

Mr. Taussig called on me and stated that it would be
advantageous for the city to have possession of Chesley
Island in an emergency, and asked me if I would sell
the property. I informed him I would sell it to the city
at what it had cost me; and, inasmuch as I had not
charged any rental for its use, I should receive an addi­
tional amount to the extent of six per cent on the
amount invested, and the taxes which I had paid.
The deal was closed, the city becoming the owner
upon payment to me of seven thousand dollars, which
covered interest and carrying charges. After the
Kreismann administration took possession, I observed
that the newspaper, heretofore referred to, no longer
resorted to the odoriferous criticisms it had directed
to me. Another case of “ whose ox was gored.”
I have narrated the six-and-a-half year struggle be­
cause, it seems to me, this death-combat between boss
rule and the executive representative of the city gov­
ernment and the citizenship is a vital example of the
cost of business administration for the people. No
chronicle of municipal government would be complete
without the story of Chesley Island.

F irst A nn ual M essage
much had been said for and against me that I
was an enigma to the politicians and the people.
Progressive, efficient, economical administration
had been promised, and the politicians and citizens
wondered what it would be. The City Hall was the
focus of public interest.
The speech of politicians is considered by the voters
as a bewildering camouflage for the tricks of the pro­
fession, and curiosity prevailed among all as to the
exact meaning of the phrase, “a business Mayor.”
I wished, of course, to be plain and explicit with the
citizens and politicians. I wished to be clear in my
statements and to convey the impression that I meant
what I said and desired that my recommendations
should be carried out by the Municipal Assembly and
city departments.
Previous to my first annual message which accom­
panied the annual reports of the preceding administra­
tion, I had addressed the Municipal Assembly in four
special messages. The first, touching on the garbage
subject and by inference attacking “boss rule” and
“ combine legislation,” was so bold and revolutionary
that some politicians and many citizens might have
questioned its sincerity; however, the third, which



E piso d es o f M y L if e

recommended the appointment of three engineers to
study the water-supply problem, should have dispelled
any doubt in this regard. The second, recommending
greater fire protection in the eleemosynary institutions,
and the fourth, concurring with Comptroller Player in
his suggestion to abolish unprofitable city scales, were
undoubtedly understandable.
In my first annual message, on August 2, 1901, I
took up the most important subjects: Preparing the
appearance of the city for the World’s Fair; building
and reconstructing streets and sewers; amending the
City Charter; constructing new institutional buildings
and remodeling others; placing cables and wires in
conduits, so as to remove unsightly poles; requiring
compensation to the city for special privileges, and
public ownership of certain municipal facilities. As
my first annual message may be of interest, I am pre­
senting it in full, as follows:
“ In accordance with my duty under the city Charter,
I herewith submit to you for your consideration this,
my first annual message, together with the reports of
the heads of the various municipal departments for the
year 1900-1901.
“ It has become the established custom in the submis­
sion of messages of this character for the Mayor to
suggest to the Assembly such matters of immediate
local importance as seem to require remedial legisla­
tion. Following that custom, I beg to call the attention
of the Assembly to a few matters that seem to me to
be of more than passing interest at this time.
“ That a great World’s Fair is to be held in our midst

F ir st A n n u a l M e ssag e


in the year 1904 is now a certainty. It is intended that
this event, in celebration of the purchase of the Louisi­
ana Territory, of which territory St. Louis may well
claim to be the metropolis, shall surpass all previous
celebrations of a similar character. That it will do so
none familiar with the spirit and energy of the citi­
zens can doubt. But more must be done than merely
“ St. Louis, the scene of the celebration, must con­
stitute in herself the greatest of all the exhibits then
to be displayed. She should put herself in order. She
should prepare her gala attire and wear it from the
day the gates of the Fair are first opened. To do so,
much work must be done, but if taken up in earnest
and with proper feeling of the civic pride that should
actuate us all, it can be done.
“ Our streets should be improved and modernized so
as to present an attractive appearance to the stranger,
and remain after the Fair a source of pleasure, com­
fort and satisfaction to ourselves. Our sewer system,
upon which the health of the people so much depends,
must be enlarged and bettered. Our public buildings
to a large extent, must be remodeled. Unsightly poles
and wires still remaining above the surface must be
taken down.
“ Unfortunately, however, we are hampered in these
undertakings by a Charter, which, however well it was
devised at the time of its adoption, has proven insuffi­
cient for our present necessities. Our powers under it
are too restricted. Our municipal revenue is insuffi­
cient for the actual operations of our city government.


E pisodes of M y L if e

There will soon be submitted to the people of the city
certain Charter amendments, the object and purpose
of which are to relieve the situation and to enable us
to realize the accomplishment of our needs. As a mat­
ter of fact, the local government, under thf> State Con­
stitution, is entitled to greater sources of revenues
than, under the present Charter restrictions, it now
“ One of the purposes of the amendments is to re­
move such restrictions so as to enable the city to obtain
for its use that revenue which the Constitution author­
izes. The present income, even after the most rigid
economy in the conduct of the various departments of
municipal affairs, is barely sufficient to cover the neces­
sary operating expenses of those departments.
“ Under the prevailing system the general municipal
revenue is called upon to contribute to the reconstruc­
tion of our streets and to the building of all of our
public sewers. The revenue not being in the treasury,
such work necessarily had to cease. Also, our public
structures, particularly our eleemosynary institutions,
are compelled to remain inadequate and unsuitable for
the demands made upon them.
“ The proposed amendments are well calculated to
alleviate the situation. They have been prepared after
careful consideration and study of the needs of the
city, and they have been approved by a non-partisan
commission of our citizens. The cost of local improve­
ments has been so distributed as to work no hardship
upon the property benefited thereby, and yet to enable
the resumption of much-needed improvements.

F ir st A n n u a l M e ssag e


“ Should these amendments, when voted upon, be de­
feated, we remain as we are, and will exhibit ourselves
to the hundreds of thousands of guests, from this and
from every civilized land of the globe, whom we have
invited to come within our gates, in our present deplor­
able condition. On the other hand, the adoption of the
amendments will permit us to begin with systematic
energy to create the New St. Louis for the advent of
which we are all so eager. A proper local pride, and a
desire for the welfare of his city, will, I am sure, make
every good citizen, who gives these amendments his
careful study, favor their adoption.
“I deem it also proper to suggest to your honorable
body the advisability of requiring reasonable compen­
sation from all persons to whom may be given special
privileges or franchises involving the use of public
property, such as the occupancy of the streets, alleys
or other public places belonging to the city, either on,
above or below the surface. If a citizen should seek
from another the right to occupy for purposes of profit
his private property he would scarcely expect to secure
consent without being required to pay some fair re­
muneration therefor.
“ Of the public property we are mere trustees and
should demand and insist upon similar compensation
for its use, without making the demand so extreme as
to impede or obstruct public enterprises involving such
use. A similar system has been found to operate suc­
cessfully in at least one of our sister cities.
“ With much regret I was recently compelled, on
practical grounds, and not because of any opposition


E piso d es of M y L if e

to the principle involved, to return to the Assembly
without my approval two bills looking to the acquisi­
tion by the city of its own electric lighting plants. I
favor the policy of securing such utilities as are re­
quired by the city for its public work of all kinds, if
on no other ground than that of economy.
“ We should not only acquire our own plants for the
lighting of our public buildings but also for the light­
ing of our streets, the alleys, the parks and other public
places. We should also secure for the city its own plant
for the disposal of garbage and offal. The acquisition
of such plants may be rendered possible should the
Charter be amended and the necessary means be thus
“I have already referred to the fact that our streets,
even in the underground district in the heart of the
city, are still marred by the presence of electric wires
and poles. These are the property of the telegraph
companies which were not permitted to bury their
wires under the Keyes ordinance. Legislation should
be provided which will not only enable the companies
to do this, but which will make it compulsory upon
them to do so.
“ I need scarcely add that I advocate the exercise of
the most rigid economy in every department so that
the municipal income may be made to go to its utmost
extent in the renovation and restoration of our city.”

L ighting Contracts


I assumed the office of Mayor the prices
which the municipality paid for lighting
public buildings and streets and alleys im­
pressed me as being excessive. Investigation proved
that they were. I was not surprised, as public affairs
literally had been nobody’s business. The city govern­
ment had ceased to be a business institution. Special
interests had been favored by public servants, and the
rights of the municipal corporation and the welfare of
the people neglected.
The contract for lighting public buildings would ex­
pire on August 31,1901, and the contracts for lighting
streets, alleys and public places with electricity and
gas would terminate August 31, 1910. It had been the
custom as in the letting of the garbage contracts, to
wait until a short time before the agreements expired
before arranging to make new contracts, and the ad­
vantage had been with the contractors, who could,
therefore, exact virtually whatever terms they wished.
In the past there had been threats of riot against city
officials over the delay, terms and prices, but the popu­
lar clamor had had no apparent effect. The reply of a
high official to this clamor was, “Well, we’ve got a
moon yet, ain’t it?”



E pisodes of M y L ife

The new administration, having promised business
management, was desirous that important matters
should not be unduly delayed. In order to impress pos­
sible bidders with our policy, and let them know that
we expected to be ready for contingencies we indicated
that as a matter of economy the administration was
considering the building of public muncipal gas and
electric plants for illuminating buildings and streets
and alleys.
The Board of Public Improvements on May 17, 1901,
transmitted to the House of Delegates drafts of ordi­
nances for municipal plants for lighting the City Hall
and other downtown public buildings and the Insane
Asylum and neighboring groups. These were known
to be administration measures, and were evidence that
the city meant to control the lighting situation in all
respects. The bills were rushed through the House and
Much to my regret I was obliged to veto them. They
would not have become laws until ten days after the
expiration of the pending contracts and the board
might have been in a predicament. In returning the
bills to the Municipal Assembly, I stated in the ac­
companying message:
“I return these bills with much reluctance and re­
gret, for I am in hearty sympathy with the principle
upon which they are based. It is most desirable that
the city should acquire its own electric plant, not only
for the lighting of its public buildings, but also its
streets, alleys and public places. It is therefore a source
of much disappointment to me that in the discharge of

L ig h t in g C o n t r a c t s


my duty, for purely practical reasons I must withhold
my signature.”
In my annual message, tendered to the Municipal
Assembly on August 2, 1901, I alluded to the subject
again. After repeating my regret because of the neces­
sity of vetoing the two bills, I stated that “ I favor the
policy of securing such utilities as are required by the
city for its public work of all kinds, if on no other
ground than that of economy.” Continuing, I said:
“We should not only acquire our own plants for the
lighting of our buildings, but also for the lighting of
the streets, the alleys, parks and other public places.”
Although the failure of these bills necessitated the
city’s entering into another contract, the administra­
tion had not abandoned its plan. For many important
reasons it was necessary to produce effects which would
have a salutary bearing on the larger lighting prob­
lems which would arise in connection with street illu­
mination contracts, which would expire on August 3,
The Board of Public Improvements transmitted new
bills of the same kind to the Municipal Assembly on
August 18, 1902. They were signed by Speaker John
R. Fontana of the House on October 24, and by Presi­
dent Joseph L. Hornsby of the Council on October 31,
and signed by me in due course. The board thereafter
had the plants installed.
The president of the Union Electric Light & Power
Company addressed a communication to me early in
March, 1908, offering a considerable reduction in rates
for street and alley lighting, and suggesting the ap­


E p iso d e s o f M y L if e

pointment of a municipal board to regulate the tariffs.
Instead of the price of $89 per arc lamp per year,
equivalent to 5.5 cents per kilowatt, he offered that of
$67, equivalent to 3.5 cents per kilowatt. The decrease
would be approximately thirty-six per cent.
Estimates prepared by the city fixed the cost of a
municipal generating plant, complete, at $2,523,300.
Interest and amortization would average $219,625 per
annum. Evidently the utility company thought com­
petition would be staved off by fixing terms lower than
could be met by the city or a new competitor.
I should say, in justice to the president of the Union
Electric Company that he, like all other reputable busi­
ness men, wished to deal with the city according to
reputable convention and was glad to have the oppor­
tunity to assist in strengthening business administra­
tion. But his proposal could not be accepted, as we
would have to abide by the city charter requirements
and receive proposals and award the contract to the
lowest and best bidder.
On March 20, 1908, over two years before the ex­
piration of the contracts, The Republic quoted me in
an interview, as follows:
“ The city must not be at the mercy of the lighting
corporations,” said Mayor Wells yesterday. “ When
the present contracts expire on August 31, 1910, a new
service must begin, with the people and the munici­
pality in full control of the situation. The city will fix
the rates and specify the service for the companies,
and the companies shall not, under any circumstances,
dictate to the city.”

L ig h t in g C o n t r a c t s


I advocated in the same interview the institution of
a Public Utilities Commission. The House had opposed
legislation along this line, having sought representa­
tion in the board. I was quoted further in the same
article as follows:
“It is a matter of history in St. Louis that the cor­
porations have had the advantage of conditions and
have governed legislation to suit their own interests.
Other municipalities have had the same experience.
But I am determined to use all my influence and devote
virtually all my time, even to the end of my term of
office, to make St. Louis an exception, and, if my labors
and advocacy prevail, this city will be the master in
the making of the new lighting contracts.”
I cannot resist including here an excerpt from a
morning newspaper consistently antagonistic to me
throughout my administration. I present it in order to
draw attention to difficulties which hamper public offi­
cers in their work. Here follows part of the opening
paragraph of the editorial:
“ Mayor Wells is the last man in St. Louis, among
those who have been prominent in the official affairs
of the city, who would be selected by the people to
voice public sentiment or to conduct a fight against
any monopoly. The Mayor is not fitted by tempera­
ment, training or associations to represent the many
against the few. His natural affinity is with the few,
and well they know it. Men of the Wells type look
upon public sentiment as something to be turned to
the advantage of a coterie of well-selected managers
in the background.”


E pisodes of M y L ife

I make no comment on this utterance. Its cunning
motive is transparent. Similar attacks beset me in the
struggle with the political boss over the garbage prob­
April 24, 1908, bills were transmitted by the Board
of Public Improvements to the City Council to author­
ize the board to enter into contracts for lighting. One
bill provided for a franchise for any company which
might be awarded a public contract. These bills were
signed by President Hamilton A. Forman of the City
Council on October 9, 1908, and by Speaker Isaac Con­
ran of the House of Delegates on September 25. This
legislation intrenched the administration for timely
action on a problem to be determined in twenty-eight
We were able to bring the question of public lighting
to a satisfactory close on February 5, 1909. Bids were
then opened by the Board of Public Improvements for
electric and gas lighting for ten years from September
1, 1910. Had the proposals not coincided with our
ideas, we would have had a year and a half in which
to build municipal plants, if necessary.
The total saving for the ten years to begin on Sep­
tember 1,1910, under the new contracts, was estimated
at $1,589,133, or $158,913 a year. The electric con­
tracts were awarded to the Union Electric Light and
Power Company and the gas contract to the Sunlight
Illuminating Company of Pittsburgh.
The price for gas was reduced from $27 per lamp
per year to $22.50, a decrease of approximately seven­
teen per cent, and amounting in the ten years to a

L ig h t in g C o n t r a c t s


gross saving of $965,000. The price of arc street lights
was cut from $98 per lamp per year to $50, a reduc­
tion of approximately fifty per cent, and amounting in
the ten years to a saving of $566,000. The saving on
incandescent lights was $20,274, and on lighting build­
ings $27,559.

Clear , P ure, W holesome W ater
N outstanding problem confronting me at the
time I became Mayor was to decide upon a
method for the improvement of our municipal
water supply.
It would be difficult for the present generation to
understand or visualize the character of our water
supply prior to its clarification and purification, ac­
complished in March, 1904.
A glance at a tumbler of what at that time we in­
dulgently described as water was enough to give me
a gloomy vision of the municipal outlook. The contents
looked like a liquified pall. The clouds of a somber day
had been compressed, as it were, with stray soils of
many Northern, Eastern and Western States into a
muddy pack which was neither moisture or solid, and
this was our drink. We washed with it, we cooked with
it, and survived of it, and, in a sense, were proud of it.
We were proud of it because we had to be so. We
could not let the world believe that we were ashamed
of it. Our forefathers, shrewdly realizing that the ap­
pearance of the water was a reflection on the com­
munity, had invented the fiction that it was the health­
iest liquid obtainable, and this psychiatric ruse grew
into a great tradition. St. Louis water was as famous


C le a r , P u r e , W h o l e s o m e W at e r


universally as some of the health-spring products,
notwithstanding that the hue and consistency of it
contributed to the nation’s merriment through the
scintillations of stage-comedians and news-paper-humorists.
A story was told of a Kentucky Colonel who tasted
it. He had imbibed a number of potions of stimulants,
and by mistake the bartender had placed a small glass
of water before him. The colonel swallowed it without
looking at it, and the effect on his pneumogastric nerve
caused grimaces on his face. “ What was that I just
drank? Do you wish to poison me,” he asked.
Mark Twain, who frequently came to St. Louis in
the years he was a pilot, and who had once lived and
worked as a printer here, was more familiar with our
water than the Kentucky Colonel. It had some reputa­
tion as a plain “chaser.” The following was the ver­
dict of his experience and observations:
“ Every tumbler of it holds an acre of land in solu­
tion. I got this fact from the Bishop of the diocese.
If you will let your glass stand half an hour you can
separate the land from the water as easy as Genesis,
and then you will find them both good—the one to eat,
the other to drink. The land is very nourishing, the
water is thoroughly wholesome. The one appeases hun­
ger ; the other, thirst. But the natives do not take them
separately, but together, as nature mixed them. When
they find an inch of mud in the bottom of the glass,
they stir it up and take the draught as they would
gruel. It is difficult for a stranger to get used to this
batter, but once used he will prefer it to water. This is


E pisodes of M y L ife

really the case. It is good for steamboating and good
to drink, but it is worthless for all other purposes ex­
cept baptizing.”
Humor was to become a happy fact. It was, indeed,
by the system described in Genesis that we at length
succeeded in clarifying and purifying the water. But
I did not think of Genesis in relation to the water when
my official term began, although I felt that I would
need all the help that I could get from the Bible. A
public officer can only faintly see the sunburst as a
high-up glow at the end of his term; the interval re­
sembles the St. Louis water which we had in 1901.
Every time that I looked at water, or at the clouds,
or at smoke, I had a profound sense of responsibility
and duty concerning the joint-product of the Missis­
sippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers and their confluent
streams and of the soils, minerals and vegetation of
ten or twelve States. The St. Louis water was the
earths of about a dozen commonwealths in solution in
the waters of three rivers.
I realized the necessity of St. Louis having clear,
pure, wholesome water. The World’s Fair was to be
held in 1904 and St. Louis would have millions of
guests from all parts of the world, and it would be in­
decorous of us to offer them this supposedly healthy
water, which, through the eyes, was sickening to the
uninitiated's palate.
“ Yes,” I thought, “ one of the first and most im­
portant duties of this administration is to supply clear
water. It must be supplied to the public prior to the
World’s Fair. I don’t know exactly how we shall do

C l e a r , P u re , W h o l e s o m e W at e r


it, but there is no doubt that we shall. If I can find
no other way I’ll treat it with alum.”
At the time there were strong advocates of two dif­
ferent methods, either of which it was thought would
prove beneficial. One plan was the construction of a
filtration plant. The other plan was the so-called
Meramec scheme, which involved the impounding of
water at the headwaters of the Meramec River and
conducting it through pipes or conduits to the city of
St. Louis. The installation of either plan would involve
a large expenditure.
The matter was of such importance I deemed it ad­
visable to transmit to the Municipal Assembly a special
The Water Commissioner at that time was one
of many citizens who had been hoping for clear water,
giving much thought to the subject. He enjoyed and
merited much esteem as a citizen and engineer, and
he was an efficient public officer. He was committed
to the general plan of filtration and I had scarcely
taken up my duties when he called on me and urged
its adoption. He, too, was looking forward to the
World’s Fair and the throngs of visitors, and wished
to serve them clear water. He believed that filtration
was the best known method.
But I did not have the same confidence in filtration
that he did. I believed that it would not be suited to
our large water supply requirements and the chemical
idiosyncrasies of the Mississippi River water. I was
reluctant to assent to filtration before inquiring into
the methods used in other cities. The Board of Public


E p iso d e s o f M y L if e

Improvements leaned favorably towards filtration, and
it was probable that the board would take the initia­
tive for this process and ask the Municipal Assembly
for an appropriation.
Satisfied that it would be a mistake to decide on
filtration, I studied out means to postpone action by the
Board or the Water Commissioner, and hit on the idea
of appointing a commission of nationally noted hy­
draulic engineers to make a comprehensive study and
submit conclusions and recommendations to the city.
While the hydraulic engineers were investigating pre­
paratory to making a report, action would be deferred.
On May 24, 1901, I addressed the following message
to both houses of the Municipal Assembly:
“ The question of supplying the city with pure water
is of the utmost importance, and one in which I be­
lieve all citizens are deeply interested.
“ To accomplish this it will entail the expenditure of
several millions of dollars.
“ Inasmuch as this matter is now before the Board
of Public Improvements for its consideration and
action, in my opinion, before proceeding further, we
should have the advice of the very best hydraulic engi­
neers that this country can produce. A mistake would
cost the city many million dollars.
“ Therefore, I suggest that power be granted for the
appointment of a commission of three expert hydraulic
engineers, whose duties shall be to carefully examine
the present water plant of the city, and to thoroughly
investigate and submit report of estimation and recom­
mendation as to the most feasible manner of providing

Clear, P ure, W h o leso m e W ater


the city with an adequate supply of clear and whole­
some water.
“ I inclose herewith a copy of what I deem to be a
bill appropriate to carry out my recommendation.”
Many members of the Municipal Assembly used
water sparingly for libation, it being an occasional sub­
stitute for other forms of refreshment; nevertheless,
they regarded water as a public necessity, and pre­
ferred to get it clear and wholesome. The bill was
signed by President Joseph L. Hornsby of the City
Council and Speaker James H. Cronin of the House of
Delegates on June 21, less than a month after it had
been introduced.
In conformity with the foregoing, on July 25, 1901,
I appointed the following hydraulic engineers: Benezzette Williams, George Y. Wisner and Allen Hazen.
The report of the Commission of Hydraulic Engi­
neers was submitted on February 12, 1902. Two mem­
bers of the commission recommended the Meramec
scheme and the other member the filtration plan.
During the interval prior to the receipt of the final
report of the engineers, I made inquiries as to the
feasibility of the two methods—namely, filtration and
the use of a water supply from the headwaters of the
Meramec. As a result of these inquiries I was not at
all reconciled to the adoption of either method.
I was convinced that filtration of the volume of
water required would not be practicable without first
precipitating a large percentage of the solid matter
contained in the raw water.
As to the Meramec scheme, it would be necessary to


E piso d es o f M y L if e

construct at the source a reservoir, or lake, for the
impounding of the water obtained direct from springs
and from surface flow resulting from rainfall. The
water obtained from springs would probably be pure,
but that obtained from the surface, on account of sur­
face impurities, would be contaminated.
The report of the commission was held in abeyance
until April, 1903, when I appointed Mr. Ben C. Adkins
water commissioner, together with other members of
the Board of Public Improvements.
Anticipating the opening of the Louisiana Purchase
Exposition, the question of supplying clear water was
vital. Part of the beautification plans of the exposi­
tion grounds consisted of cascades and lagoons, and the
spectacle of cascades and lagoons of muddy water was
With this in mind, before appointing Mr. Adkins
water commissioner, I had a definite promise from him,
that, if no other method could be devised, he would,
as an emergency measure, before the opening of the
Exposition, use sulphate of aluminum for clarifying
the water. I felt secure in this, for the reason that
several cities were using alum for the clarification of
water. Fortunately, we did not have to resort to its
use, which, because of advertising agitation at the time
regarding the use of alum in baking powder, might
have created a public distrust of our entire water
Neither the Municipal Assembly nor the Board of
Public Improvements would take any decisive step un­
til the engineers reported their findings. I had plenty

Clear , P ure, W ho leso m e W ater


of time, therefore, to carry on an investigation on my
own account. As a matter of fact, the problem of
clarifying water had not been worked out satisfactor­
ily by any large city, except where the water was taken
from a clear source, and I believed that it would be
necessary for St. Louis to launch out on a new line.
The experience of any specific city could not be a
conclusive indication for St. Louis. The St. Louis water
is a mingling of the “ sand and ash-like formation" of
the Missouri, the sand and loam, with lime and vege­
table stain, of the upper Mississippi, and the fine,
sticky mud of the Illinois. The water from the Illinois
is the hardest to treat, and that from the Missouri the
easiest, while that of the upper Mississippi is almost
as easy to treat as the Missouri, except as to the vege­
table stains and taints caused by the chemical action
of thawing snow and ice in the North in the early
Filtration had the most proponents. This was due
largely to the fact that small filters were used in
houses, offices, stores and factories. The apparati were
of all sorts, shapes and sizes, and all were more or less
efficient within limited availability. An opinion pre­
vailed generally that filtration, giving relative satis­
faction in the home and elsewhere, could be used on a
large scale.
A plausible idea was advanced by some, who were
very earnest in their desire to obtain clear water, of
using immense sand filters at the Chain of Rocks sta­
tion. However, it was obvious that filter installation
capable of meeting the requirements of a metropolitan


E piso d es o f M y L if e

and growing population would be a colossal expense
to the city, and, moreover, the scheme might be a
The probability of disappointment with filtration
had, fortunately, been shown by previous experience
in St. Louis. James P. Kirkwood, an eminent hydraulic
engineer, was sent to Europe in 1866 by St. Louis to
study filtration plants. He made a thorough investiga­
tion. As a result of his report, published in 1869, fil­
tration plants were built in many of the smaller Amer­
ican cities and were operated with good results. When
the St. Louis works at Bissell’s Point were finished in
1871, attempts were made to filter the water supply.
But it was found that filtration would not fit in with
local conditions.
Another proposal, one which had come up many
times in the past, was to build new works at some
point on the Missouri River. It was a fixed opinion
among engineers that St. Louis would some day have
to change the source of supply to the Missouri, as it
has today. Fundamentally, there were two advantages
in favor of the Missouri River. This water was easier
to treat by almost any process; and the supply could
be brought to St. Louis by gravitation, which would
reduce the pumping expense and eliminate other costs.
But this project was beyond the city's capital resources
in 1901, and it was everybody’s wish to have clear
water for the World’s Fair.
Another and more striking suggestion which had
often been made was to obtain the water from the
capacious Meramec Springs in the Ozark Mountains.

C l e a r , P ure, W h o l e so m e W a t e r


This enterprise would have entailed stupendous im­
pounding in the upland valleys. A group of capitalists
submitted a plan to me, a very comprehensive and
alluring plan. They had had engineers measure the
flow of the springs and prepare investment and cost
estimates in great detail. The syndicate was willing
to furnish the capital and sell the water to the city or
the consumers.
Public opinion was strongly opposed to private
ownership of the water-supply system; in fact, a
charter amendment was subsequently adopted prohib­
iting the passing of the system from municipal control.
The city could not venture into the undertaking, as
an outlay of $30,000,000 or more exceeded its capital
Apparently, gravitating the water from the Mera­
mec heights would have eliminated pumping costs alto­
gether and in the long run would have produced other
important economies. On the other hand, while the
water would be clear, it would not be pure and would
have to be chemically treated; and there was no abso­
lute certainty as to the continuous, ample capacity of
the springs. The element of hazard of several kinds
indicated that the Meramec plan was not feasible.
Every sound reason brought us back, at that time,
to the Mississippi River. Any process which we would
adopt would necessarily be experimental until its effi­
cacy and suitability were demonstrated. Experiment
should be made at the existing plant.
I submitted the reports of the hydraulic engineers
to both houses of the Municipal Assembly on February

16 6

E p iso d es o f M y L if e

12, 1902. The engineers had done their work thor­
oughly and well. The reports were voluminous. Mr.
Williams and Mr. Wisner recommended the Meramec
plan, and Mr. Hazen a filtration plant at the Chain of
One day Mr. Robert Ranken called on me in my office
and explained what he was doing with the weir system
on a small scale in the waterworks in Independence,
Missouri. This was practically a settling system. The
water was skimmed off the surface over weirs. I took
the photographs and drawings and looked into the idea.
I still had alum in mind as a last resort, if we could
not find a better process, and it seemed that we prob­
ably could get satisfactory results with a combination
of weirs and the alum treatment.
I did not dare to reveal my plan to any one, as at
the time public opinion was virulent against alum as
a consequence of a heated controversy over its use in
food preparations. Had it become known that my pur­
pose was to treat the water with alum, there would
have been a tumult against me. I was afraid to dis­
close the secret even to my intimate friends.
President David R. Francis, of the World’s Fair,
called on me in my office and explained that he and
the directors of the exposition were much concerned
about the water supply. The main spectacle of the
World’s Fair was to be cascades at the summit of Art
Hill, tumbling down masonry courses to the valley, and
there forming lagoons, which would become an inte­
gral part of the landscape and of the architectural ar­
rangement. It would not be satisfactory or picturesque

C le ar, P ure, W h o le so m e W ater


to attempt this grand display with Mississippi water
as it was; and the settling of the substance contained
in the water would rapidly fill up the lagoons.
“ Don’t worry, Dave,” I confided. “ St. Louis will
have clear water by May, 1904, when the World’s Fair
“ I’m glad to have your word for it, Rolla,” he re­
plied, “ but tell me how.”
I thought that he, under the circumstances, was en­
titled to the information, yet I reflected that he would
feel that the directors of the exposition were also en­
titled to have it, and would tell them, and naturally
some of them would repeat it outside. I decided that
I could not risk taking even him into my confidence.
“ I will not tell you how, Dave. Just take my word
for it. I have a plan, and you may assure your col­
leagues that we shall supply clear water by May, 1904.”
He returned in a few days and stated that the direc­
tors, whije delighted to have my oral assurance, were
not satisfied and desired definite information. I had
to declare to him again that I could not divulge my
plan, but was sure that it could and would be carried
The daily requirement for the grand, main picture
in the architectural scheme of the World’s Fair was
20,000,000 gallons of water. The panorama, as de­
signed and executed, consisted of three cascades, two
great fountains, a grand basin and radiating lagoons.
It is no wonder that President Francis and his col­
leagues were troubled over the dark-brown water.
They installed a filtration plant at a cost of $30,000 to


E piso d es of M y L ife

$40,000, but it was not used, as I was able to fulfill
my word.
Mr. Ben C. Adkins, whom I appointed Water Com­
missioner in April, 1903, had been connected with the
water department for many years, and had a high
standing as an engineer, and he had the happy faculty
of being able to co-operate with the Municipal As­
As far as the weir system was concerned, there was
no question as to its usefulness, either with alum or
another chemical. But it would not suffice alone.
Settling the water and skimming off the surface would
not be effectual without a coagulant. The solid matter
would have to be precipitated.
I happened one day to read an article in a magazine
describing the use of lime and iron (ferrous sulphate)
for clarifying and purifying water. Now, I had always
understood that iron was a tonic used medicinally, and
if they could use a tonic for the clarification and puri­
fication of our drinking water, it certainly would be
desirable. I afterwards learned that this coagulant of
lime and iron was successfully used at Lorain, Ohio,
and Quincy, Illinois, in the treatment of the water
supply of these cities, and I instructed the water com­
missioner to make personal investigation of the matter,
with the view of adopting this method in the treatment
of our water supply.
Early in 1903 a consulting engineer of the American
Steel & Wire Company called at my office, bringing
with him a pamphlet issued by his company, telling of
the results obtained in water purification by the use

Clear, P ure, W ho leso m e W ater


of ferrous sulphate, or iron, with lime, as a coagulant
by which foreign substances were separated from
water. He told of what had been accomplished in
Quincy, Illinois. The American Steel & Wire Company
was interested for the reason that ferrous sulphate
was one of their by-products for which there was little
The Water Commissioner instructed his assistant to
accompany the representative of the American Steel
& Wire Company to the Chain of Rocks, in order to
ascertain the nature of the raw water, for the purpose
of advising him whether or not in his opinion the
coagulant of lime and ferrous sulphate that he de­
scribed as being used at Quincy, Illinois, would be ef­
fective in the clarification and purification of the water
supply of St. Louis.
This investigation proved satisfactory, and the
Water Commissioner and I determined to adopt this
method of purifying and clarifying the water.
We were ready in August, 1903, to adopt the use of
milk of lime and ferrous sulphate as a coagulant.
Then came the experimentation for the purpose of de­
termining the quantity of the coagulant to be used
commensurate with the ever-varying nature of the raw
water to be treated. This was solved by the engineers
and laboratory staff at the Chain of Rocks, assisted by
chemists from the American Steel and Wire Company.
A crude plant costing, as I recall, not over ten thou­
sand dollars for the building and machinery, was used
in the preparation of the sulphate of iron and lime in
converting it into a liquid for use as a coagulant.

1 70

E piso d es op M y L if e

Astonishing results were obtained in the clarification
and purification of the water by the almost instanta­
neous precipitation of the solid and foreign substances
which carried with them the impurities, leaving a clear
and wholesome water. Most vital of all the benefits of
clear, pure, wholesome water was and is, that it is
sanitary. We must bear in mind that the water is
pure and wholesome, as well as clear. Many mortal
diseases are due to germs in the raw water which are
precipitated by the coagulant. A conspicuous decline
in the variety and number of diseases and in the num­
ber of deaths from them resulted immediately after
the new system was inaugurated.
Health protection must be computed as the chief ad­
vantage of the healthy water. The prevention of dis­
ease and saving of energy and life are amazing. The
financial economies were as astounding in their way,
just as were the results in general efficiency.
It was plain to us early in November, 1903, that
the lime and sulphate of iron would serve our purpose.
We cancelled the arrangements to install alum treat­
ment devices at the Chain of Rocks. The brochure
published by the American Steel & Wire Company,
“ Water Purification for Cities and Towns through the
Use of Sulphate of Iron” added to the practical knowl­
edge of the subject.
On March 21, 1904, the lime and iron process was
used for the first time and St. Louis had clear, pure
water, at last, and upon the opening of the gates of
the Louisiana Purchase World’s Exposition, we all
breathed a sigh of relief.

C le a r , P u r e , W h o l e s o m e W a t e r


The foregoing is the story of how St. Louis got clear,
pure, wholesome water.
Inasmuch as there prevailed an erroneous impres­
sion among some of our citizens as to whom credit was
due for the clarification and purification of our water
supply, I retained Mr. Walter B. Stevens to make a
research of the records of the St. Louis Water Depart­
ment, in order to ascertain the facts, and based upon
the records, a detailed narrative of the perfection of
the system is contained in the book, “Water Purifica­
tion at St. Louis,” written by Mr. Stevens and pub­
lished in 1911, which contains a foreword signed by
myself, describing the instigation and the connection
I officially had with the clarification and purification
of the St. Louis water supply by the use of a coagulant,
the last paragraph of which reads as follows:
“ No one individual is entitled to credit for the great
benefit that has thus accrued to the people of the City
of St. Louis. The solving of this problem, covering
a period of experimentation and construction from
April, 1903, to March, 1909, was through the direct
instruction and supervision of Mr. Ben C. Adkins,
water commissioner, and Mr. Edward E. Wall, as­
sistant water commissioner.”
Many millions of dollars, perhaps as much as $30,000,000, which would have been used for improve­
ments or new works, were saved by the very small
investment in the purification process.
The efficiency of productive service in the plant was
increased seventy per cent, and the pumping capacity
was increased 100 per cent by new turbine pumps,


E p iso d e s o f M y L if e

costing $55,000, which replaced the huge reciprocal
pumps which had cost $300,000.
As the clarified water was clear and pure, it was all
water, and consumers used less of it than of the muddy
water; that is, more water was used by the public than
formerly, but without increasing the average consump­
tion—which means that the pure, clear water itself
was more efficient than the semi-solid water.
Civil engineers had computed that the works at the
Chain of Rocks would be too small for the larger city
by 1910; but the combination of benefits just recited
enabled the municipality to postpone the construction
of new works for twenty years.
On March 21, 1904, we had the satisfaction of pro­
viding pure and wholesome water for the use of the
people of the City of St. Louis, and in lieu of the
unsightly discolored water, we had the gratification of
providing clear and wholesome water for use of the
people from all over the United States and the world
at large who would be the guests of the Louisiana Pur­
chase Exposition, which was to open April 30, 1904.
Just prior to my retirement as Mayor, at the con­
clusion of my second term, the fifth anniversary of the
installation of the lime-and-iron process was celebrated
with some formality. The perfected coagulating plant,
built according to designs prepared by Water Com­
missioner Adkins, was completed at a cost of only
$100,000, and was inspected by officers of the city
administration and invited citizens.
The party made the trip to and from the Chain of
Rocks in the harbor boat, “ Erastus Wells.” Among the

C lear, P ure, W h o leso m e W ater


guests were Charles W. Knapp, Alonzo C. Church,
James E. Smith, W. F. Saunders, George M. Wright,
Murray Carleton, R. D. Smith, Eugene Benoist, Alex­
ander B. Pierce, Oscar L. Whitelaw, F. W. Lehmann,
Dr. H. Wheeler Bond, Dr. D. S. H. Smith, Judge Mat­
thew G. Reynolds, Judge Daniel G. Taylor, Homer P.
Knapp, Edward F. Goltra, Robert Moore, Walter Dryden, Allen P. Richardson, J. D. Dana, J. A. J. Schulz,
L. D. Lawnin, and my sons, Erastus and Lloyd Wells.
In later years filtration beds were installed in con­
junction with the coagulating method, for the purpose
of stabilizing the quality of the water and giving it a
sparkling effect.
The St. Louis water clarification and purification
plan was a signal triumph. In the eyes of the water­
works experts of the world, a triumph of science.

S m a ll P arks and P laygrounds
development of the play system during my
(I ^ incumbency as Mayor was a source of great
pleasure and gratification. The rich and .the
poor, municipal executives and the ward and precinct
politicians worked together in harmony with the object
of making St. Louis a happier and healthier place in
which to live, and a better city, too, for the sports and
diversions which would entice the young and the old
from demoralizing idleness and bad company.
Everything connected with the welfare of the people
comes within the purview of municipal administration.
I cannot think of anything more vital to health and
contentment or to civic pride and public spirit than
conveniences for enjoyment. Playgrounds are as im­
portant as dispensaries and hospitals; in some respects
they are among the most beneficial privileges which
the city can provide.
Through energetic co-operation between the city
administration and civic associations, notedly the Civic
Improvement League and Wednesday Club, St. Louis
perfected in a comparatively short time a public system
of organized and ad libitum play which was not sur­
passed anywhere, if, indeed, it was equaled. Our city
was among the first in this advancement. Neighbor­

S m a l l Pa r k s an d P laygrounds


hood playgrounds, small parks, open-air swimming
pools and inclosed baths were built in the most densely
populated districts, recreational facilities were in­
stalled in the large parks, and the park area was
greatly increased.
Never before, I believe, had the wealthy men and
women mingled with the less fortunate residents of
the over-populated downtown sections, or shown such
conscientious interest in the latter’s recreational needs.
Nor had there ever before been such a friendly and
appreciative disposition on the part of the citizens of
the congested districts towards those basking in better
Park Commissioner Franklin L. Ridgely accentuated
the need of small parks in his annual report of April
8, 1901. I cannot refrain from quoting his appeal at
some length.
“ The question of small parks and playgrounds,” he
said, “ should engage the serious attention of our citi­
zens. In the section of the city occupied by the tene­
ment house class, a district fully four miles long by
two miles wide, with over 250,000 people crowded into
it, we have but one small park, Carr Square, in which
we can give only about one hundred yards for the
benefit of the children.”
The foregoing exposed our neglect as a community.
Explaining the benefits of small parks and play­
grounds, he said further:
“ The value of small parks and public playgrounds
to inhabitants of the immediate vicinity, who use them
daily, has been the subject of much study. The matter

1 76

E piso d e s o f M y L if e

was thoroughly investigated by a special committee in
New York City, appointed under Mayor Strong, from
whose report we quote: ‘With common accord the pre­
cinct captains attribute the existence of juvenile
rowdyism and turbulence to the lack of better play­
grounds than the street. The juvenile population, re­
ports the captain of the Thirteenth Precinct, has been
of late growing worse. The reason is plain—increas­
ing population and want of better playgrounds’.”
“ Children play in the streets amid their dangers,
and break lamps and windows because no other pro­
vision is made for them. Thus they can play only in
defiance of the law, and later defy the laws of their
country in worse ways.
“ On the other hand, when small parks have been
established, the change in the character of the popula­
tion is marked. The captain of the Twelfth New York
Precinct says: ‘The Hook Gang is gone. It has disap­
peared since the establishment of Corlears Park.’ The
Sixth Precinct (N. Y.) police captain reports that since
the establishment of Mulberry Park ‘the whole neigh­
borhood had changed’.”
Our next Park Commissioner, Mr. Robert Aull,
urged the establishment of a pretentious Zoo.
“ I desire to recommend,” he stated in his annual
report in April, 1905, “ the establishment of a first class
zoological garden, to be placed about the natural am­
phitheater, surrounding the bird cage. There is no
park feature so instructive, entertaining and delight­
ful, that can be placed within the confine of this (For­
est) park.”

S m a l l P a r k s a n d P layg ro un ds


Mr. Philip C. Scanlan, our next Park Commissioner,
was the first to install sports facilities in the large
parks and convert them into playgrounds. He opened
tennis courts, baseball grounds and other accommoda­
tions in O’Fallon and Forest Parks, and the innovation
proved to be so popular that the facilities soon had to
be increased, and there always was a waiting list of
Mr. Scanlan also gave and took progressive co-oper­
ation with the Civic Improvement League and Wednes­
day Club and other associations. During his tenure the
playgrounds organization was brought to perfection,
and as a result of this co-operation practically the
whole citizenship used the big and small parks and the
playgrounds for exercise and pastime, as well as recre­
ation. In fact, Mr. Scanlan took down the “Keep off
the Grass” warnings.
Mr. Scanlan was a member of one of St. Louis’ old
families. He had a warm, genial personality and was
keenly interested in making the pleasure resorts more
useful and attractive. He was equally liked and es­
teemed in the downtown tenement localities and the
fashionable clubs. He had no caste prejudices. I am
happy to say that he realized the utmost possible out
of the exceptional opportunity, and his service deserves
to be cherished with honor.
The vacation playgrounds idea was first taken up in
earnest by the Wednesday Club, whose committee con­
ducted playgrounds in the yards, basement and kinder­
garten of Shields School, during July and August,
1900. The Wednesday Club in 1901 organized the


E piso d es o f M y L if e

Vacation Playgrounds Committee of St. Louis and
Suburbs after assembling representatives of the wo­
men’s clubs of the St. Louis metropolitan district. In
that summer playgrounds were conducted in the yards
of the Shields and Pestalozzi schools and in the Isabel
Crow kindergarten. The number of playgrounds was
increased gradually and the organization functioned
until January, 1906, as the Vacation Playground As­
The Civic League through its Open-air Playground
Committee conducted three open-air playgrounds in
1902. One, the Mullanphy, was at Tenth and Mullanphy Streets; another, the La Salle, at Sixth and La
Salle Streets, and the third, the Fowler, at Sixth and
Rutger Streets. Mr. and Mrs. John Fowler financed
the latter.
The rapid progress which the playground movement
attained is indicated by the following invitation to the
City Council and House of Delegates from Vice-Presi­
dent 0. L. Whitelaw (who was another altruist), and
Secretary Earl Layman of the Civic Improvement
League on July 23, 1903:
“ The Open-air Playgrounds Committee of the Civic
Improvement League has now in operation six free
public playgrounds for the use of the children of St.
Louis, located as follows: Seventh Street and Russell
Avenue, Eighth and Rutger Streets, Ashley and Collins
Streets, Tenth and Mullanphy Streets, Tenth and Carr
Streets, Sixth and La Salle Streets.
“ We desire very much that the Council and House
should investigate the work we are doing in this direc­

S m a l l P a r k s a n d P layg ro un ds


tion, and we would greatly appreciate it if you would
appoint a special committee to do this, or a committee
of the whole. If you find it within your power to ap­
point such a committee, we feel that it would be very
profitable for them to attend the open-air band con­
cert which is to be given at the playground located at
the corner of Tenth and Mullanphy streets, Monday
evening at 7 o’clock, July 27. This will be a splendid
opportunity for your committee to see the importance
of providing some such places of amusement for the
people living in these crowded communities. At these
concerts there are usually from 2,000 to 3,000 parents
and children present.
“ Trusting it will be possible for you to appoint the
above committee, and assuring you of our hearty co­
operation in all public matters,” and so on.
The two branches of the Municipal Assembly
promptly voted to accept the invitation and manifest
special approval of the committee’s work by full at­
tendance at the concert. The legislators were pleased
at the demonstration. All the time was vacation time
on the playgrounds for children of the neighborhoods,
and the concerts and other entertainments emptied
every abode into the parks for community festivals.

P ublic B ath s

n ^

initial legislation for public bath houses was
ordinance 20820, approved October 3, 1902,
setting aside $30,000 from the Harbor and
Wharf Fund for the purchase of sites and the construc­
tion and equipment of the buildings. Mr. Joseph P.
Whyte, Harbor and Wharf Commissioner, had in­
creased the surplus in his department, which was selfsustaining, and suggested that a large part might well
be diverted to direct public use.
Mr. Whyte was zealously imbued with the idea of
uniting public service with progressive business ad­
ministration. Successful as a realtor, and enjoying
prominence and influence among all classes of citizens
in all parts of the city, he was a strong force in the
administration. His ideals were constructive and his
judgment sound. He made an outstanding record, first
as License Collector, and next as Harbor and Wharf
Commissioner. He brought about far-reaching reform
and increased the revenue considerably while in charge
of the License Department, and, as head of the Harbor
and Wharf Department he reclaimed a large and valu­
able area of riverfront land for the city.
The city joined with the Civic Improvement League
by ordinance 21541, approved August 19, 1904, by

P u b l ic B a t h s


leasing the Mullanphy playgrounds and taking over
control and operation under the Public Bath Commis­
sion. The city bought the equipment from the League.
This was the first active venture of the city into the
playgrounds movement; it was epochal, as it relieved
private enterprise of the detail of management, fore­
cast the ultimate solution of the ownership and conduct
of recreation facilities, and left the League free to
confine its efforts to constructive plans.
Although Park Commissioner Scanlan, like his pre­
decessor, advocated the establishment of an enlarged
zoological garden, and increased the variety of animals
in the menagerie, this project was held in abeyance
until matters of more immediate importance were set­
tled. It may be said that a start in this direction was
made by the purchase of the World’s Fair bird cage
from the United States Government in 1905. Ordi­
nance 22020, approved April 6, 1906, appropriated
$3500 with which to complete the transaction.
The city in 1903, by ordinance 21170, approved July
20, provided for the supplying of water free to the
playgrounds conducted by the Civic Improvement
League, and in 1904, by ordinance 21541, approved
August 19, relieved the League of the financial burden
connected with the Mullanphy playgrounds by leasing
the land. However, the League retained the manage­
Another important step was taken in 1904 when I
was authorized by ordinance 21391, approved Febru­
ary 23, to appoint the Public Baths Commission. I
appointed members of the Open-air Playgrounds Com­


E piso d es of M y L if e

mittee and Public Baths Committee of the Civic Im­
provement League. The construction of bath-houses
had been retarded by inability among those interested
to agree on sites and also by the focusing of attention
by the city administration on extraordinary work, in­
cluding preparation for the World’s Fair and the erec­
tion and improvement of hospital buildings. The ordi­
nance provided for the building of two bath-houses.
This was key-legislation, as it effectuated a more inti­
mate relationship between the municipality and publicspirited citizens identified with the civic-betterment
Members of the House of Delegates watched the
bath-house and playgrounds plans eagerly. Many reso­
lutions were offered by Delegates urging haste with
the projects; those representing downtown wards espe­
cially were concerned, and doubtless the popularity of
the playgrounds led them to see that bath-houses and
swimming pools would please their constituents.
The House on January 9, 1906, by resolution asked
for information from the Public Baths Commission,
and a reply, dated January 12, three days later, was
read in the House on January 16. The chairman of
the Public Baths Commission in 1906 was Mr. Gerard
Swope, now and for many years president of the Gen­
eral Electric Company. Mr. Swope in 1906 was district
sales manager of his company with headquarters at
St. Louis, his native city; but he found time even then
to take active interest in public affairs and humanitar­
ian problems. In his report he said that the two sites
for two bath-houses had been purchased and he had

P u b l ic B a t h s


consulted with the Board of Public Improvements as
to construction of the buildings, and I note that he
advised the assembly to revise four old ordinances and
consolidate operations plainly under one body, namely,
the Public Baths Commission. This advice, too, was
The city proceeded farther by next purchasing the
Mullanphy Playgrounds. By ordinance 22379, ap­
proved April 5, 1906, $16,000 was appropriated with
which to buy the parcels from Joseph Maxwell and the
Mullanphy Emigrant Relief Fund. The city also
bought the equipment from the Civic Improvement
Now we were treating playgrounds, as well as public
baths, the same as small parks. Previous experience
by the Civic Improvement League and the city had
proved city ownership and control, with municipal
financing of operation, to be the most practical ar­
rangement, with, however, the counsel and assistance
of prominent citizens. The Public Baths Commission
was the latter agency.
Much headway was made in 1906. An open-air
swimming tank in Mullanphy Playgrounds was pro­
vided for in ordinance 22380, approved April 5. Money
was appropriated in April for playgrounds in St. Louis
Place, Gamble Place, Carr Square and Carnegie Park.
The first small park acquired in many years was at
Glasgow and LefSngwell Avenues, North Market and
Magazine Streets, and was named Yeatman Square.
The Municipal Assembly set aside $40,000 by ordi­
nance 22418, approved June 29, for this purpose. The


E piso d es o f M y L if e

Missouri Historical Society was authorized by ordi­
nance 22593, approved October 12, to build and con­
duct a public museum in Forest Park. The Municipal
Assembly directed Park Commissioner Aull and the
Public Baths Commission by ordinance 22541, ap­
proved July 13, to submit a report and recommenda­
tions for sites for small parks, the bond issue voted on
June 12 having allotted $670,000 for the purchase of
parks, in addition to $500,000 for Kingshighway
The chairman of the Public Baths Commission at
this time was Mr. Ernest John Russell, and the other
members were Messrs. Dwight F. Davis, Fred G. Zeibig and Eugene S. Wilson.
The commission’s comprehensive report reflected the
ability and enthusiasm of the members. It is printed
in full in the journals of the Municipal Assembly for
1906-07, and is well worth reading. Connecting health
and crime with parks and playgrounds, these gentle­
men consulted police and health authorities, and
backed up their recommendations for locations for new
parks with strong evidence. The report is obtainable
by any one who wishes to read it. I am submitting only
the following excerpt in order to show how the com­
mission studied the subject:
“ We find that the Eastern District (east of Jeffer­
son Avenue), with 48 per cent of the total population,
has but 6.9 per cent of the total park area; the Central
District (between Jefferson and Grand Avenues), with
21.4 per cent of the population, has but 8.3 per cent
of the park area, while the Western District, with but

P u b l ic B a t h s


30.3 per cent of the population, has 84.7 per cent of
the total park area. In other words, in the Western
District there is one acre of park area to every 96.5
persons; in the Central District one acre of park area
to every 701.2 persons, while in the Eastern District
there is but one acre of park area to every 1,871 per­
sons. Thus, where there is the greatest need for park
space, there is the greatest lack of it.”
The consummation of six years of constructive ex­
perimentation by the Civic Improvement League, Wed­
nesday Club and other private associations and the city
administration was a system which was admired and
emulated by other cities, and, I think, became the
standard of organized public play for the whole nation.
Ordinance 22869, approved March 11, 1907, realized
the evolution.
The appointment of the Public Recreations Commis­
sion by the Mayor was authorized by this ordinance,
and I chose the membership of the commission from
those private citizens who had been conspicuous in the
playgrounds, small parks, public bath and swimming
pool activities of the Civic Improvement League. Park
Commissioner Scanlan was chairman ex officio. Mr.
E. J. Russell was vice-chairman, and the other mem­
bers were Eugene S. Wilson, Fred G. Zeibig and J.
Clark Streett.
The ordinance provided that “the management,
direction and care of all public playgrounds, public
baths and public recreation buildings now existing or
hereafter established or erected, in the City of St.
Louis, shall be vested in a commission of five mem­


E piso d es of M y L if e

bers.” The commission was empowered to appoint a
secretary, who would be general superintendent, a
director of athletics and a director for each play­
ground, and other employes.
The commission appointed as secretary Miss Char­
lotte Rumbold, who already had had several years of
experience and success in the work in St. Louis. She
brought rare understanding and ambition to her posi­
tion, with the result that all St. Louis soon was playminded.
The commission on May 23, 1907, recommended to
me the sites for five small parks and playgrounds, as
approved by the bond issue. Ordinances were enacted
and the parks purchased.
The parks which the administration acquired during
the two terms cost $1,433,356.23 and added 151.80
acres to the city’s park system. These additions were:
1903, by donation, Page Avenue Place, .96 acre; 1904,
Rose Hill Place, by donation, .22 acre; 1906, Yeatman
Square, 3.43 acres, $40,000; 1908, Columbus Square,
2.16 acres, $236,641; 1908, De Soto Place, 1.64 acres,
$35,290; 1908, Fairground Park, 128.94 acres, $700,000; 1908, French Market Place, by donation, .29 acre;
1908, Pontiac Square, 1.93 acres, $94,956.32; 1908,
Riverside Park, 5.67 acres, $110,422.50; 1908, Utah
Place, by donation, 2.10 acres; 1909, Courthouse
Square, by donation, .50 acre; 1909, Mullanphy Square,
1.92 acres, $45,366.41; 1909, Rock Springs Triangle,
by donation, .10 acre; and 1909, Soulard Place, 1.94
acres, $170,680. These were in addition to the new
parks and park extensions connected with the Kings-

P u b l ic B a t h s


highway Boulevard development. For sites and build­
ings for parks, bath-houses, pools and improvements
we diverted $362,686.79 from municipal revenue.
The attendance at the playgrounds in 1908-9 totaled
471,941. The average attendance daily during the
vacation season was 6,798, and the average daily cost
per child only one and nine-tenths cents. I do not need
to ask you whether this public recreation service was
worth less than two cents a day cost per child. The
total attendance at the public baths in the same season
was 150,815.
The establishment of the Public Recreation Commis­
sion, effectuating co-operation between the city and
private leadership, and the opening of all parks to play
and pastime, and the purchase and equipment of small
parks, playgrounds, baths and pools, created a system
which evolved into a high standard. The parks are not
only for the birds and worms, but primarily for men,
women and children, and not only for optical delight,
but especially for use for health, happiness and the
fostering of a lively public spirit.

The C a m p a ig n



the municipal and state campaign in the
Fall of 1902, there were frequent statements
made, editorially and otherwise, to the effect
that I was not giving Mr. Joseph W. Folk, Circuit At­
torney, the support that his effective work as Circuit
Attorney justified in bringing to task the wrong-doing
of certain office-holders who had been elected and ap­
pointed to office prior to the time at which I was elected
Mayor. These statements were untrue. As a matter
of fact, I took every opportunity to co-operate with
the Circuit Attorney.
On one occasion Mr. Folk called at my office and
stated that the appropriation allowed him for the ex­
penses of his department was insufficient and that he
wanted financial help. I gave him one thousand dollars
which I appropriated from the Mayor’s contingent
Later, Mr. Folk again called on me and said that he
was still very much handicapped; that he could not
go on with his important work without additional
financial assistance. I questioned him as to just what
he wanted, and for what purpose. Thereupon he made
a penciled memorandum, putting down: so much for
special juries, so much for additional counsel that he


u rin g

T h e C a m p a i g n of 1902


needed, so much for secret service, and other items I
do not now recall, making a total of fifteen thousand
dollars. After Mr. Folk handed the memorandum to
me, I told him that he could consider that he had the
money; that I would guarantee that amount.
It was summer time and many of my friends were
out of the city. However, I sent telegrams to a num­
ber of my personal friends, informing them of the
stress Mr. Folk was in and stated that I personally
was willing to contribute five hundred dollars, and
would like them to do the same. In the course of time
I obtained contributions for the full amount of fifteen
thousand dollars.
Mr. Folk was informed that the amount had been
contributed, and, from time to time, he would send
one of his assistants to my office to draw on the fund.
It is quite evident that I was under no obligation to
thus financially support, from private sources, Mr.
Folk's efforts, but I realized that the work he was do­
ing was in the interests of good government, and for
that reason I was willing to give what help I could
as a private citizen as well as in my official capacity
as Mayor of St. Louis.
Newspaper comment which was of a partisan politi­
cal nature, had for its purpose the creation of the im­
pression that there was political opposition to Mr. Folk
on the part of Mr. Hawes and myself, which was not
Mr. Folk held aloof from this campaign, whereas I
gave my support to the Democratic ticket early in the
campaign, making it emphatically clear that my in­


E piso d es of M y L if e

dorsement and aid did not apply to any gangster or any
friend or ally of gangsters running for office. For
some reason, Mr. Folk could not see his way to dis­
criminate similarly, opposing the objectionable and
backing up the worthy candidates.
The contrast between my assertiveness and Mr.
Folk’s restraint was intensified by my commendation
of Mr. Folk in my speeches and my contention that the
election of clean and competent candidates was neces­
sary to ease and strengthen his work. I felt that I
could not refuse my active support to capable men be­
cause there were a few contaminated nominees; it was
just, I felt, to urge their election; and, in the interest
of good government, it was right to repudiate the un­
desirable office-seekers. The newspapers at the time
gave the names of men on my own party’s ticket whom
I publicly rejected as undesirable.
I will quote from The Republic of October 29, 1902,
a part of my speech at a Democratic mass meeting in
the Bohemian Gymnasium, at Ninth Street and Allen
Avenue, in order to throw light on this campaign.
“ There is only one thing pending—good government
and ‘New St. Louis.’
“ The Democratic City Convention has selected can­
didates who stand firmly for the progress that has been
accomplished by my assistants in the City Hall and for
the great work done by Circuit Attorney Folk.
Whether the platform is a good one, I leave to the
people to decide.
“ I am of the opinion that citizens will do a serious
wrong if they fail to re-elect officials like License Col-



T h e C am p aign of 1902


lector Clifford and Coroner Funkhouser. As to the
Democratic and Republican candidates for Sheriff, no
citizen with the best interests of the city at heart would
hesitate to chose the former, Mr. Joseph F. Dickmann.
“It is imperative that the Democratic nominees for
the Circuit Court should be elected. The three candi­
dates have clean records, no affiliations, personal or
otherwise. If elected, they will be free to do exactly
what they by law are expected to do. They are un­
trammeled. We cannot afford to run the risk of mak­
ing Mr. Folk’s work more arduous.”
The preceding excerpt suffices. I include the follow­
ing extract to indicate how certain candidates were
excepted from my endorsement:
“ In fact, I have no hesitancy in stating publicly that
the entire local Democratic ticket, with the exception
of a few candidates for Justice and Constable, is so
much better than any other ticket as to leave no oppor­
tunity for comparison. The Democratic ticket better
represents public opinion and requirements than does
the Republican ticket.”
The citizens inferred that Mr. Folk and I were not
in accord, and the newspapers which supported the
ticket opposing ours took advantage of every oppor­
tunity to say so, as they aimed to split the ranks of the
Democratic party.
Another thing which propagated dissatisfaction and
did cause some dissension among leaders active in the
reform and good government cause was the high-flung
rhetoric and calumnious inferences employed by a
magazine writer in describing the work of Mr. Folk.


E piso d e s o f M y L if e

The language of this writer conveyed the impression
that Mr. Folk was getting results “ alone and unaided”
and that the citizenship was “ contented” with graft
and was without honest and capable leadership. The
writer of the article, “ The Shamelessness of St. Louis,”
approached me requesting an expression of my re­
action to his article, and I declined, telling him that
his charge was of such a broad nature it was unjust,
and I would have no communication with him whatever
on the subject.
This campaign, like the campaign of the Fall of
1900, at which time Mr. Folk was elected Circuit At­
torney, and the campaign of the Spring of 1901, at
which I was elected Mayor; and the campaign of 1902,
just referred to, resulted in success, largely due to the
energetic and intelligent leadership of Mr. Harry B.
Hawes, President of the Jefferson Club. The Demo­
cratic ticket was carried in 1900 by a majority of
6,490; in the Spring of 1901 by a plurality of 10,031;
in the Fall of 1902 by a majority of 14,397.
On November 26, 1902, I tendered to Mr. Hawes,
President of the Jefferson Club, a dinner at the St.
Louis Club, at which the guests were the successful
candidates and a few representative citizens. Mr. Folk
sent his regrets, which caused newspaper comment,
again emphasizing the impression that there were dif­
ferences between us.

Street Car Service and R apid T ransit
he underlying principle that public service is
the primary objective of a public service grant
had become dormant in St. Louis. Regulation
of public utilities by the city or state had not been
attempted, and we undertook to establish a system of
municipal control over operation and fares, and to as­
sert generally the power of the municipality as the
agent of the citizens.
The winter of 1901 and 1902 was severe. The oper­
ation of the street railway was unsatisfactory. The
roadbed and equipment was poor. Cars ran irregu­
larly, and, at times, at excessive rate of speed. Great
dissatisfaction resulted on the part of patrons. Riders
waxed indignant.
Several protesting delegations called on me in the
City Hall, bitterly complaining that frequently, large
numbers of persons were left standing at the street
intersections in the shivering cold as cars rapidly
passed them by without stopping. Often stones were
hurled by angry citizens at the cars speeding by. The
spokesmen were vehement in denouncing the service,
making threats of a nature which alarmed me.
To personally inform myself as to whether the com­
plaints were justified, several times in the evening, at



E piso d es o f M y L if e

the peak of the traffic movement, I visited some of the
street corners and intersections, and closely observed
the service and watched the waiting, indignant groups,
and saw for myself that there were good grounds for
the popular uproar.
I felt that some action should be taken in order to
prevent an outbreak by car-riders, damage to property
and injury to persons, and to bring about normal and
satisfactory service. Therefore, on January 3, 1902, I
addressed a message to the Municipal Assembly, call­
ing attention to the inadequate service and recommend­
ing that something should be done which would lead to
effective control and regulation of the operation of the
street cars.
Bills were introduced in the Municipal Assembly
and a Joint Committee asked for the services of Mr.
William F. Woerner, Associate City Counselor, who in
the course of time familiarized himself with the ex­
isting street railway ordinances and drafted a compre­
hensive bill for the consideration of the Committee, for
general street railway regulation.
A joint committee of the two branches of the assem­
bly, assisted by the Legal Department, brought about
the compiling of two proposed ordinances, one calling
for the amendment or repeal of existing ordinances
relating to the method of the operating of the cars and
providing for a new general ordinance for that pur­
pose. The other bill provided for a mill tax.
The “ mill tax ordinance,” as it was called, Ordinance
21087, approved March 25, 1903, repealed the old ordi­
nance which provided for a twenty-five dollar a year

S tr e e t C a r S ervice a n d R a p id T r a n s i t


tax per car, and imposed a tax of one mill on each cash
When the proposed legislation reached the juncture
of conference by the committees of the Council and
House, I was invited to appear at the meeting, and, I
suppose, based on experience which I had had many
years previously in the management of street car lines,
I was asked for suggestions as to the provisions which
should be included in the bill.
At this joint conference I suggested the mill tax. I
had two objects in view as a sequence of it. I thought
that the tax would foster a kind of comity between the
railways and the city by creating a situation equivalent
somewhat to a partnership.
I stated to the joint committee that, unless a third
ordinance was enacted, the general regulation ordi­
nance proposed would not be worth the paper on which
it was written. When asked to explain, I said that the
aforesaid ordinance provided for the general regula­
tion of the street railway service, and it was of such
scope and detail that it would be impossible for the
Police Department to supervise and enforce it.
I suggested that a third ordinance should be enacted,
providing for a city department to be known as “the
street railway regulating department,” which, I
thought, would not involve the annual expenditure of
a large sum of money. I held that unless the super­
vision of the service was centered and the responsi­
bility of effectual supervision definitely placed in a de­
partment of this character, the attempted regulation
would be an inconsequential makeshift.


E pisodes o f M y L ife

The Municipal Assembly enacted the general regula­
tion and mill tax bills into laws, there being no appar­
ent opposition to these measures; but, when it came to
action on the third bill, the necessity of which I had
emphasized, it failed of enactment in the House, and
consequently the regulatory ordinance was ineffective.
The mill tax ordinance was a subject of long litiga­
tion, the contention being by those representing the
railroad company that it was not constitutional. The
higher courts, however, finally decided that in this they
were wrong.
It has been my conviction that the resistance of the
Railway Company to the mill tax ordinance made it
more difficult to harmonize the interests of the railway
operators and the patrons of the street cars.
After the city had won the mill tax suit in the United
States Supreme Court, the United Railways, successor
of the St. Louis Transit Company, brought suit in the
lower courts. The company alleged in an injunction
petition that the tax would amount to not less than
$200,000 per year. They strove to postpone payment,
and did succeed in delaying collection of the tax by the
city, but at length had to make settlement.
When St. Louis was a town—a bustling town, I
operated a mule, and horse, and steam-power lines,
and after it grew into a great city, I was receiver for
the consolidated street railway system, run by elec­
tricity, which installed motor-busses as feeders. It was
my fortune, also, as Mayor, to be enabled to consider
mass transit from the viewpoint of the municipality
and the public.

S tr e et C ar S ervice a n d R a p id T r a n s i t


Supposedly, when the question of street railway ser­
vice came up, I should, in the opinion of the corpora­
tion’s officers and directors, and according to the sur­
mise of some of the people, be partial to the street
railway system, having once owned and managed one.
Therefore, my first message to the Municipal Assem­
bly, denouncing the service, and urging municipal
action for relief, was, I believe, unexpected.
While serving as Mayor I had some hope of develop­
ing a plan by which St. Louis would obtain rapid
transit. The conditions were not propitious, and my
anticipations were curbed; yet I perceived a chance to
make a start and tried several times to create an ad­
vantageous opportunity. The policy and service of the
corporation had angered the people, and they would
have supported a practical scheme for betterment. The
longing for rapid transit was as vigorous as the antip­
athy towards the corporation was vindictive.
Rapid transit in mass transportation is not prac­
ticable on the street surface. Among transit authori­
ties there cannot possibly be any difference of opinion
as to this conclusion. The conveyances used in mass
transit are large and ponderous, and they carry heavy,
living loads. To attempt rapid transit on the street
surface with such vehicles, in the combination of
weight, bulk and speed, is a hazard which would not be
justified by any other consideration.
The automobile has revolutionized transportation in
the past twenty-five years. Practically every family
has a pleasure car (or whatever it is) and every busi­
ness concern one to several trucks, and congestion has


E p iso d es o f M y L if e

become a serious problem. In the period of 1901-09 we
were still in the buggy and wagon, horse and mule era.
The fact holds with greater emphasis today that
super-speed in mass transit is not attainable with
safety on the street surface.
The idea which I had in mind was a subway in the
central district. There would be one subway northand-south, say from Cass Avenue to Chouteau Avenue,
and another from Third Street or the river to Jefferson
Avenue or Grand Avenue. Building the underground
tunnels would be expensive, as the boring would be
through solid rock, and, on account of the topographi­
cal undulations or billows, at considerable depth; how­
ever, the municipality probably could have financed the
two trunk lines in the area of traffic congestion and
by this means realized rapid transit. Another prac­
ticable idea was to change the Suburban Railway Sys­
tem, which controlled a private right-of-way from
Vandeventer Avenue to Florissant, into an open or
shallow, covered subway. Several other surface lines
admitted of changes for speed with safety.
At that time had the city been encouraged to carry
out the project of acquiring the Eads Bridge for high­
way purposes, the tunnel would have been the nucleus
of a subway system. But the “free bridge” pandemo­
nium and folly frustrated our effort.
The House of Delegates, as I have said, foiled our
efforts to create the office of street railway supervisor,
and the House combine blocked our plan to establish
a public utilities commission. But just a few days
prior to the expiration of my second and last term as

S t r e e t C a r S ervice a n d R ap id T r a n s i t


Mayor, the controversy with the street railways was
brought to the head, through the enactment of Ordi­
nance No. 24196, approved February 24, 1909, creat­
ing a Public Service Commission.
On March 12, 1909, I appointed the St. Louis Public
Service Commission, consisting of Mr. Joseph L.
Hornsby, former President of the City Council; Mr.
James E. Allison, a civil engineer of standing, and Mr.
James A. Waterworth, a prominent fire-insurance ex­
ecutive. This was the first commission of the kind in
Missouri, I believe, and the first attempt in Missouri
to supervise and regulate utilities.
It may or may not have been significant that on
March 13, 1909, the day after I submitted these ap­
pointments to the City Council, bills were introduced
in the Senate and House in Jefferson City to create a
state public service commission, which were enacted
into a law, and, consequently the City Public Service
Commission had no opportunity to function.

B anquet to th e P resident of the
L ouisiana P urchase E xposition
of us who are cognizant of the preliminary
steps taken in connection with the Louisiana
Purchase Exposition, popularly known as the
St. Louis World’s Fair, will remember the tour that
President David R. Francis made throughout Europe
for the purpose of interesting and inducing the various
governments to participate in the exposition. He had
personal interviews with monarchs, governors, diplo­
mats and prominent men of all the foreign countries.
Anticipating his return, and with the view of ex­
pressing appreciation, I conceived the idea of person­
ally tendering him a banquet, at which, literally speak­
ing, all the people of St. Louis would be present
through a representation from every cross-section of
every civic and community interest.
This banquet was held in the dining room of the
Saint Louis Club. The banquet chamber was like the
fantastic picture of a glorious dream. Like jewels in­
serted in panels of American smilax fourteen hundred
colored lights studded the ceiling. A solid bank of
American Beauty roses reposed on the table. There
was a lake of clear water in the center of the snowy


h o se

B a n q u e t to P r e s id e n t of E x p o s it io n


A bas-relief of President Francis in incandescent
lights glowed radiantly at the far end of the hall, and
in figures of fire the magic numeral, 1904, designating
the World’s Fair, gleamed before the eyes of the speak­
ers. The World’s Fair colors were draped from the
Ninety-two guests were invited to the banquet. As
official delegates they represented all spiritual, social,
economic, civic, financial, commercial, labor and cul­
tural interests and activities. Thus, the whole com­
munity was represented.
The speakers were the Rev. S. J. Niccolls, pastor
of the Second Presbyterian Church; Judge Daniel G.
Taylor; former Mayor Cyrus P. Walbridge; Frederick
W. Lehmann; Joseph A. Graham, managing editor of
The Republic; Chancellor W. S. Chaplin, of Washing­
ton University, and myself.
Dr. Niccolls struck the keynote when he said: “ When
a solitary American can go to Europe and arrange
appointments with royalty, buttonhole kings, tell them
what he wants and get what he wants, there is nothing
that cannot be accomplished by him. And this man is
now back again to conquer his fellow-citizens.”
It was then my pleasure to introduce the guest of
“ If I ever had any regret for having been honored
with the responsible duties pertaining to the position
of chief executive, such feeling will have vanished
when I consider the privilege thus accorded me in be­
ing surrounded by the distinguished and representative
citizens present. You, gentlemen, have been selected


E piso d es o f M y L if e

as my guests tonight for the reason that you represent
all that is progressive and essential in the formation
and maintenance of this city, of which we are all so
“ Through you, as the official representatives of the
social, commercial, educational and other organizations
of this city, I consider the entire community is now
represented within this limited space.
“ Round this festal board will be found captains of
our great commercial growth and manufacturing in­
“ Leaders of our splendid educational institutions are
present, whose efforts and the results obtained in the
training of the rising generation are second to none in
these United States, the fruits of which will be of bene­
fit for generations to come.
“ The social organizations evidenced this evening re­
mind us that for cordiality and hospitality the people
of this city stand pre-eminent.
“ Our judiciary are here, and nowhere in this broad
land can we find their superior in wisdom. Then for­
tunate, indeed, are we, for ‘justice without wisdom is
“A deputy of that vast army of labor is with us—
the standard-bearer of the skilful mechanic; the men
of brawn and muscle, who constitute an integral part
of the wheels of commerce and progress.
“ The clergy, our governors of society and defenders
from evil, have honored us with their presence.
“ Then comes the journalist, the herald of a noisy
world, who on the shortest stretch can stir up more

B a n q u e t to P r e s id e n t o f E x p o s it io n


dust for good or evil—generally good—than the speed­
iest thoroughbred that ever won a race.
“ Members of the medical profession must not be for­
gotten, for, sooner or later, they will not forget us.
These kindly gentlemen who so aptly brought us into
contact with this vale of woe, and, in due time, will so
skilfully assist us out of it.
“ Others here assembled occupy important civic and
official positions, of whom this community may justly
be proud.
“ Certainly, it is a great pleasure and honor for me
to call you my guests.
“ This is by no means an ordinary festival which has
brought us together at this time, but an occasion of
national, state and municipal significance.
“ An achievement has just been accomplished which
has attracted the admiration of the people of the Con­
tinent of Europe, as well as of America, and in its
accomplishment immense benefit will accrue to the City
of St. Louis in its effort to provide for the education
and entertainment of the people of all nations, through
the greatest universal exposition that will ever have
been held.
“ You are all familiar with the story of how an illus­
trious citizen of this city, in an incredibly short space
of time, made a tour of England, Germany, France,
Belgium and Spain, and there attracted the earnest
attention of the rulers of those nations to the City of
St. Louis and to the importance of the world's exposi­
tion which will be here inaugurated in the year 1904.


E piso d es o f M y L if e

“ The hero of this achievement is our guest of honor
this evening, that loyal citizen, that man of brain and
energy, the President of the Louisiana Purchase Ex­
position, the Honorable David R. Francis.
“ I am proud to call him my friend, and to extend to
him a most cordial personal, as well as official, wel­
come on his safe return from the successful journey
just brought to an end. I congratulate the people of
St. Louis for having in their number that foremost
citizen, whom I now introduce—David R. Francis.”
The testimonial stood out among tributes which had
been tendered to illustrious citizens. It appeared to
mark the apotheosis of St. Louis. The New St. Louis
was in being. The banquet took place on March 23,
1903, significantly exactly a week prior to the dedica­
tion of the World’s Fair, which was opened the follow­
ing year, 1904.

L oyal Supporters in the A dministration
HE four years for which I had been drafted into
public service were drawing to a close. Much
of a public nature and of a private social char­
acter had enveloped me.
During these years I had my trials and disappoint­
ments in not being able to carry out many of the public
needs which I considered important; nevertheless, I
believe much had been accomplished which could prop­
erly be placed on the credit side of “good government.”
Looking back to these four years’ experience in the
City Hall, I realize I had the co-operation and encour­
agement of the members of the City Council under the
presidency of Joseph L. Hornsby, and the loyalty of
most of the heads of the municipal departments; and
not only their loyalty, but also their assistance in the
efficient and conscientious manner in which the affairs
of the government were conducted; and I believe no
municipal administration of the City of St. Louis ever
experienced such intelligent teamwork.
After twenty-seven years I hesitate to mention
names; nevertheless, I shall refer to some of those who
were with me, and if by chance I omit any, and they
should ever read these lines, I want them to know that
it was a fault of the head and not of the heart.



E p iso d e s o f M y L if e

The Legal Department, for instance. How could it
have been possible for anyone in my position to have
been better safeguarded through the legal guidance
and counsel that I had through my association with
Mr. Charles W. Bates?
All of us are familiar with the Mill Tax. Mr. Bates
advised the Municipal Committee having before them
the bill providing for the mill tax that the measure
would be constitutional. Many able lawyers of the city,
together with the able counselors of the United Rail­
ways Company, differed with him. However, after
several years of litigation the matter finally reached
the highest court, and Mr. Bates was sustained.
Mr. Bates had as Associate City Counselors during
his term of office, Mr. William F. Woerner, Mr. Ben­
jamin H. Charles, Mr. Charles P. Williams, Mr. James
G. McConkey and Mr. A. H. Roudebush. The record
of the Legal Department is splendid evidence of their
efficiency and integrity.
The first two years of my term I had the support
and guidance of a very able lawyer appointed by my
predecessor as City Counselor, Mr. Benjamin Schnumacher, whose co-operation I greatly appreciated. As­
sociated with Mr. Schnumacher was my old friend, Mr.
Charles Claflin Allen.
The Comptroller’s Department is one of the most im­
portant in the City Government. Mr. James Y. Player
filled the position during the eight years I was Mayor,
and it would have been difficult to have found a man
better adapted for the position.
The Treasurer’s Office was the province of my

L o y a l S upporters i n t h e A d m in is t r a t io n


friend, Mr. James M. Franciscus. His daily courteous
visits to the Mayor’s office were a source of much pleas­
ure to me. The records of his office show that in the
eight years that he was Treasurer an enormous sum
of money was handled without any mishap whatsoever.
Mr. James Hagerman, Collector of Revenue; Mr.
John J. O’Brien, Assessor of Revenue; Mr. Bernard
Dierkes, Auditor, all had excellent records for effi­
ciency and ability.
I must not overlook Mr. P. R. FitzGibbon, City
Register. Early in his term there was a misunder­
standing between us, but it was adjusted, and I became
very fond of Mr. FitzGibbon.
Mr. Hiram Phillips, President of the Board of Public
Improvements, was the head of a very important de­
partment, which he handled intelligently and in thor­
ough co-operation with me.
Mr. Ben C. Adkins, Water Commissioner, of whom
I have already spoken, and to whom the people of the
city of St. Louis, for all time, should be grateful for
his part in solving the water problem by a coagulant
process, producing pure water at a minimum cost.
Other members of the Board of Public Improve­
ments were: Messrs. Charles Varrelmann, Street Com­
missioner; F. W. Valliant, Sewer Commissioner, and
afterward Street Commissioner upon the resignation
of Mr. Varrelmann; Harry R. Fardwell, Sewer Com­
missioner; Joseph P. Whyte, Harbor Commissioner;
Franklin L. Ridgely, Park Commissioner, and his suc­
cessor, Robert Aull.
Later, Mr. Philip C. Scanlan became Park Commis­


E piso d es o f M y L if e

sioner, and under his administration many innovations
were made in the use of the various parks for recrea­
tional purposes. Mr. Valliant resigned as Street Com­
missioner and I was fortunate in being able to appoint
Mr. James C. Travilla to that position.
Others associated with me during these four years
were, Mr. P. J. Clifford, License Collector; Charles E.
Swingley, Chief of the Fire Department, whose ap­
pointment caused some opposition, but it was of a
political nature, and the continuation of his services
I knew would give general satisfaction throughout the
city. Also Mr. James A. Smith, Building Commis­
sioner, who conducted his department most capably.
The eleemosynary institutions were fortunate, in­
deed, in having most competent men in charge. Dr.
E. C. Runge, and, later, Dr. H. S. Atkins, Superin­
tendent of the Insane Asylum; Dr. John Young Brown,
Superintendent of the City Hospital; Dr. Oscar H.
Elbrecht, Superintendent of the Female Hospital; Mr.
William Anderson, Superintendent of the Poor House;
Dr. H. Wheeler Bond, Health Commissioner; Dr. C. A.
Snodgrass, City Bacteriologist. Caspar Wolf, City
Jailer, who was succeeded by Sergeant James Dawson,
who for two years had been appointed by the Police
Department to serve in the Mayor’s office. Mr. McConkey and Sergeant Dawson were responsible for
bringing about radical changes in the matter of the
handling of charity cases. After Mr. Dawson’s ap­
pointment to the position of City Jailer, Sergeant Seth
Singleton was assigned to the office of the Mayor.

T h e C it y B e a u t if u l
■"fHE New St. L ouis” was the keynote of my adII ^
ministration. For some time prior to my in“
cumbency as Mayor, beautification and im­
provement of the city had been neglected by the

Obviously, it was imperative to bring about a radi­
cal change in the point of view as to city government.
The administration would have to be converted into a
business institution with practical civic ideals. It
would be necessary to have the co-operation of the
heads of the departments, and, also, to be on as ami­
cable terms as possible with the two branches of the
Municipal Assembly.
The department executives and legislators were
brought together at a banquet I gave in the St. Louis
Club. The event took place on June 8, 1901. The city
administration came into personal contact with com­
munity leadership, and all were inspired by the theme
of the New St. Louis, as I have heretofore related.
Charter provisions were insurmountable obstruc­
tions to public work, which I specifically called atten­
tion to in my first annual message to the Municipal
Assembly under date of August 2, 1901. Had we not,
through economy in operating, accumulated a surplus


E piso d es o f M y L if e

in the municipal revenue fund which was diverted to
capital purposes and investments in order to begin the
New St. Louis movement, St. Louis might have been a
disappointing exhibit to the World’s Fair guests from
all parts of the world.
We had inherited from the previous administration
a municipal fund deficit of $120,000. Fortunate it
was, indeed, that we had in the Comptroller, Mr. James
Y. Player, and in the President of the Board of Asses­
sors, Mr. John J. O’Brien, two resourceful, though con­
servative, officers. I could scarcely overestimate the
value of their advice and assistance. Mr. O’Brien and
his associates revised the assessments of the entire
city by an equitable readjustment based on real
changes in property values, lowering numerous ap­
praisements and raising others, so that in the ultimate
there was a reasonable increase in the grand total of
assessments. This produced additional revenue for us.
Mr. Player reconstructed the finances of the city, elim­
inated waste and extravagance and regulated income
and disbursements so as to produce great efficiency.
Mr. O’Brien was esteemed and popular, and made
an enviable record as chief of the assessment depart­
Mr. Player made an enviable record, which, I be­
lieve, never will be excelled.
To procure the financial wherewithal and obtain the
authority to do work of any sort, even of the regular
kind, is a devious, halting and annoying task in the
public corporation. The private concern may decide
quickly as to what it will do, and get the requisite

T h e C i t y B e a u t if u l


money almost as quickly; but in the public institution
procedure is specified by law, and all outlined routine
must be gone through most meticulously. Time is a
retarding factor, but the city charter was a prohibi­
tive one.
We should have to provide a considerable volume of
capital for investment in public improvements by the
issuance of bonds, but we found it would be necessary
to amend the charter.
The restrictions contained in the organic law were
such that we were forced to depend on the municipal
revenue savings we might be able to accumulate in
order to go on with betterments. In the eight years of
my administration almost $5,000,000 was appropriated
and used from the municipal revenue savings and ap­
plied to improvements of an investment nature, im­
provements which ordinarily would have necessitated
a bond issue.
Upon assuming the office, it was my first obligation
to inspect the eleemosynary institutions, in which were
housed the city’s insane, sick and poor. The inmates
were the community’s wards; St. Louis had accepted
a definite responsibility for its unfortunates. There
was a moral obligation which it could not escape.
These visits troubled me as to what should be done
for our charges. The best efforts of the superintendents
could not make the buildings clean, healthy or safe.
Any day a fire might result in the death of hundreds
or thousands of persons unable to take care of them­
selves, or an epidemic might spread among them.


E p iso d es o f M y L if e

The first thing that the administration did was to
make an appropriation for stationing an extra fireman
in each institution. Next, we carried on repairs and
improvements, and still later constructed additions to
the institutions, and in a comparatively short time we
had done the best possible for the health, safety and
comfort of the inmates. With the funds available we
had the buildings in a condition which would be satis­
factory until adequate capital for more new buildings
might be procured through the sale of bonds.
In a special message I suggested the authorization
of the appointment of a Public Welfare Commission to
make a disinterested investigation and recommenda­
tions as to improvements. The Council and the House
at once adopted a resolution empowering me to form
this body. We had taken adequate emergency precau­
tions, but new, larger and more suitable buildings
would be needed, and to carry out the reconstruction
scheme we should require both capital and carefully
elaborated plans.
Concerning preparations for the World’s Fair and
the future St. Louis, improvements and alterations
which would enhance the appearance of the city and
furnish conveniences necessitated by the coming of
millions of visitors to the Exposition, were of a press­
ing nature, yet the public work which would represent
permanent betterment and embellishment was almost
equally important, and should be planned by practical
experts, not only to meet current needs, but to corre­
spond to requirements apparent in the probabilities
relative to the growth of our city.

T h e C i t y B e a u t if u l


The immediate necessity was to reconstruct the prin­
cipal thoroughfares in the downtown shopping district
and out to Forest Park and the World’s Fair. It would
be economical and judicious to build sewers in advance
of street reconstruction wherever possible, and, in gen­
eral, do and have done all underground work ahead
of the surface work. The public utilities, therefore,
were requested to lay conduits, tracks and so on in co­
ordination with sewer construction and in advance of
street building.
An initial project was to establish a vehicle avenue
from the shopping center and Union Station to Grand
Avenue and reconstruct Lindell Boulevard, thereby
establishing a through thoroughfare, free of street
cars, from the Mississippi River virtually past Union
Station to Forest Park and the World’s Fair and on
to the western city limits. We chose Chestnut Street
in the downtown area.
By negotiation with the street railway company the
car tracks were removed from Chestnut Street, and the
street repaved with asphalt. We projected Chestnut
Street as a downtown arm of a central east-to-west
boulevard. An attempt was made to lay out a wide
parkway with Chestnut Street as the nucleus, but the
voters, seemingly, through misunderstanding as to as­
sessment costs, failed to approve it.
Lindell Boulevard was and always had been an ex­
clusive residential street, constructed as a Telford
pavement, namely, gravel, and never was a satisfactory
driveway for the reason that when it was dry it was
dusty, and when it was wet it was muddy. Property


E piso d e s o f M y L if e

owners resisted the expense of converting this Telford
pavement into a hard-surfaced roadway, which would
have eliminated both the dust and the mud; it was
highly desirable that it should be a driveway of the
first class, over which the visitors to the World’s Fair
would ride in order to reach the Exposition grounds.
The opposition was vociferous, and the public hear­
ing held by the Board of Public Improvements largely
attended and stormy. As I lived on Lindell Boulevard,
I felt, as a property owner, as well as an official, I
should be present at the hearing. In the heat of the
opposition to the improvement I declared emphatically
that Lindell Boulevard had to be reconstructed, and
that any property owner living on the principal thor­
oughfare of the city who could not afford to pay the
slight cost for such necessary improvement, was living
there, in my judgment, under false pretenses and
should move to another street. This did not please my
neighbors, yet, it settled the controversy; not only as
far as Lindell Boulevard was concerned, but also as to
other thoroughfares which it was deemed desirable to
Permit me to insert an aside comment as to street
improvements. When we began to order and make
them, property owners as a rule protested. However,
after the improvements were made, they were satisfied,
and property owners on parallel streets indicated a
desire for modern paving. After a time there was a
strong demand for better streets.
A predicament arose in connection with the strip of
Lindell Boulevard between Kingshighway and Skinker

T h e C i t y B e a u t if u l


Road. This was considered a park road, and being a
continuation of Lindell Boulevard as far as Skinker
Road, I felt it to be necessary, owing to the increasing
traffic, that the roadway should be considerably wid­
ened. To do this required the taking of a strip of
ground off of the north line of Forest Park, from
Kingshighway to Skinker Road. This was brought
about against the protests of some of the owners of
property facing the roadway.
The plans for Lindell Boulevard and Chestnut Street
were carried out. We attempted to have the Wabash
Railroad tracks depressed sufficiently to eliminate the
grade crossing at Union and De Baliviere Avenues.
To do this would simply require the extension of the
encroachment of the Wabash Railroad for a short dis­
tance further into Forest Park, paralleling Lindell
Boulevard, which would not have been objectionable
because it would have been in a cut and, therefore,
A conference was held with representatives of the
railroads and the Catlin tract property owners and an
agreement satisfactory to all concerned was reached.
The Rock Island decided to close its yards and to use
the tracks of the Wabash, and the Wabash to lower its
tracks below grade. Vigorous objection to the subway
in Forest Park (notwithstanding the tracks were then
in the park) frustrated the arrangements to depress
the tracks, and the Wabash built a temporary elevation
to eliminate the grade crossing at thoroughfares which
would be congested during the World’s Fair. After
thirty years these changes have been brought about.

Development of City P lan
proceeded speedily and resolutely with
street improvements which were regarded
as desirable, and as far as deemed advis­
able went on with sewer improvements. Overhead
wires and cables were placed underground. Although
there were only two years for preparation and it was
necessary to draw heavily on municipal revenue, we
succeeded in putting St. Louis into presentable shape
for the World’s Fair.
The plan for the civic center, comprising the munici­
pal buildings, was then originated. So was the plan
for the groupings of new eleemosynary institutions. So
was the plan for a splendid and imposing parkway and
boulevard system with Kingshighway Boulevard and
Lindell Boulevard as the nucleus. Negotiations with
the World’s Fair management led to artistic permanent
improvements which made Forest Park more attrac­
tive and interesting and more useful as a recreation
The transmission of a special message to the Munici­
pal Assembly on January 7, 1902, deploring the unfit­
ness of public buildings, especially the eleemosynary
institutions, resulted in the appointment of a Public
Buildings Commission, consisting of Mr. John Law­


D e v e l o p m e n t of C i t y P l a n


rence Mauran, Mr. William S. Eames and Mr. Albert
B. Groves. These gentlemen gave their services with­
out remuneration from the city. Other architects co­
operated with them, as is indicated in a letter received
from Mr. Mauran, Secretary of the St. Louis Chapter
of the American Institute of Architects, reading as
“ At a meeting held this day the said Executive Com­
mittee voted to recommend to the St. Louis Chapter,
American Institute of Architects, that it shall by ballot
appoint at its next regular meeting a committee of six
members, more or less, to represent the chapter, and
further, to recommend that the services of this com­
mittee be placed at your disposal or at the disposal of
the Public Welfare Commission, without compensation,
to assist in formulating the recommendations which
you have suggested this body to draw up for the guid­
ance of the Assembly.
“ We should be pleased to receive any suggestions
from you regarding the number of the committee or
with respect to any other details should the above
scheme meet with your approval.”
For the proposed civic center the commission sub­
mitted two plans. That known as No. 2 being sub­
stantially produced at present.
Plan No. 1 pictured a municipal court from Eleventh
Street to Thirteenth and from Chestnut Street to
Spruce, with Twelfth Street as the axis.
Plan No. 2 envisioned a municipal court extending
from Olive Street to Clark Avenue and from Twelfth
Street to Fifteenth Street, with a public parkway run­


E p iso d e s o f M y L ife

ning from the Central Public Library to Clark Avenue.
It is this general idea which is at present in the course
of formation.
The members of the Public Library Board, Messrs.
John F. Lee, Morris Glaser, William Maffitt, Dwight
F. Davis, F. W. Lehmann, George 0. Carpenter, O’Neill
Ryan, Edward L. Preetorius and William K. Bixby,
asked Mr. Andrew Carnegie, who was contributing
funds to cities and towns all over the United States
for the construction of libraries, to favor St. Louis
with his philanthropy. Mr. Carnegie offered to tender
the board $1,500,000 for the building on condition that
the board would provide the site.
The ground occupied by the St. Louis Exposition
and Music Hall covering the block from Olive Street
to Locust and Thirteenth to Fourteenth was owned by
the city, having been a public park; and inasmuch as
the exposition had served the purposes for which it
had been maintained, by ordinance the square was
designated as the site of the Central Public Library.
This edifice would form the architectural picture at the
north end of the civic center or municipal court.
Before my term concluded the United States Post
Office Department began building the new post office
at Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets and Clark Ave­
nue, with the thought of later enlarging it on Market
Street, from Seventeenth to Eighteenth Street.
Had the Municipal Assembly given intelligent con­
sideration to the necessity for terminal improvements,
as recommended by the Municipal Bridge and Ter­
minals Commission, no doubt the Terminal Railroad

Reception Room of the Mayor’s Suite, City Hall


D e v e lo p m e n t of C it y P l a n


Association would have acquired the ground for the
Union Station plaza and transferred it to the City for
public use.
The Public Buildings Commission went thoroughly
into the state of the eleemosynary institutions and
evolved plans for grouping them in accordance with
factors of usefulness and economy.
Improvements in accordance with the city plan, in­
cluding the civic center, institutional groups, and park
and boulevard development, which we outlined, are
still going forward at the present time.
The City Hall was unfinished and had to be dressed
for the World’s Fair. The Mayor’s suite was decorated
artistically. The completion of the City Hall proceeded
virtually without interruption and a celebration marked
the finish on November 4, 1904. An appropriation of
$218,525.93 from municipal revenue was necessary to
complete the work.
At that time there was no bridge connection between
the northern and southern part of the city crossing the
Mill Creek Valley west of Grand Avenue. The two
sections of the city west of Grand Avenue were liter­
ally isolated, for the reason that the only connections
were one or two dangerous grade crossings, particu­
larly the one at Kingshighway.
Anticipating the opening of the World’s Fair, an
appropriation of about forty thousand dollars was
utilized for constructing a temporary wooden bridge at
the Kingshighway crossing of the railroad tracks. This
enabled the people living in the southern part of the
city to reach the Exposition in comfort and safety.


E p iso d e s o p M y L if e

A permanent bridge replaced the temporary bridge
when the Kingshighway Boulevard project was under
Kingshighway Boulevard presented an excellent op­
portunity to form a circular parkway of the boulevard
type. The subject was brought to the attention of the
Municipal Assembly on June 3, 1902, in the following
special message:
“ With a view of constructing a boulevard and pleas­
ure drive which will be most appropriately located, and
believing that unless an effort is made within the near
future to accomplish this result, that owing to the
rapid settlement of our city the opportunity will be
lost, I recommend to your honorable body that you
authorize the appointment of a commission of three
citizens, which shall be known as the Kingshighway
Boulevard Commission, whose duty it shall be to act
in conjunction with the honorable Street and Park
Commissioners, in devising means and suggesting to
the honorable Board of Public Improvements a plan
for the permanent improvement of Kingshighway
throughout its entire length, thereby paving the way
for the ultimate improvement of said Kingshighway,
which will not only provide an attractive boulevard
and pleasure drive, but will be a continuous connection
between Carondelet, Forest, O’Fallon Parks and the
“ It cannot be expected, neither is it the intention,
that such improvement can be consummated within a
short period, but having a well defined plan for the
improvement of the boulevard in its entirety, such

D e v e l o p m e n t of C i t y P l a n


improvement can be brought about in sections, as time
and means will justify, so that ultimately the entire
boulevard will be completed in such a manner as will
be uniform in design and attractiveness.
“Believing that we have in our midst citizens amply
qualified to serve on such a commission, and that such
interest will be aroused as to justify such service with­
out compensation, I recommend that no salaries be
The recommendation that no compensation should
be paid would not and could not be construed as an im­
position on engineers competent to perform the work.
Rather, it was a compliment to those who might be
chosen. Every citizen is under obligations of patriot­
ism to his city; he owes his gratitude to the municipal­
ity and community for opportunities of success and
The Municipal Assembly again promptly rose to the
occasion. I appointed Messrs. George B. Leighton, who
was prominent in the Civic League, John D. Davis, and
Julius Pitzman, who had a national reputation as a
civil and landscape engineer. Park Commissioner
Frank L. Ridgely and Street Commissioner Charles
Varrelmann were ex-officio members. The commission
employed George E. Kessler as landscape engineer.
Mr. Kessler also had a national reputation, which was
magnified by his work for the Kingshighway Boule­
vard Commission and the World’s Fair. A more gifted
and efficient personnel could not have been assembled.
The commission worked thoroughly and expedi­
tiously, and as it carried on its studies and investiga­


E piso d es op M y L if e

tions it produced constructive results. Necessarily de­
lay ensued, brought about by litigation growing out
of the condemnation of property; but, now, after a
period of almost thirty years, it is pleasing to realize
that the project started in 1902 is almost completed.
Owing to the rapid growth of the city during this
period and the increasing value of property, if the
project had been delayed, it is barely possible the boule­
vard would not have been constructed on account of
the excessive cost.
The matured plans not only described a boulevard­
parkway from Carondelet Park to O’Fallon Park, but
a drive along the northern heights overlooking the
Mississippi River to the enchanting Chain of Rocks
Park of the Water Department. The plan as worked
out also contemplated a boulevard extension from
Carondelet Park to the river. The picturesque viaduct
across the railroad tracks at Manchester Avenue was
a paramount feature of the concept.
The Municipal Assembly was apparently impressed
with the work of the commission for it rushed through
every bill which the commission sponsored.
The aesthetic and utilitarian strategy of the whole
plan was explained in the following language in the
commission’s report:
“ The city of St. Louis, in general, lies in the shape
of an ellipse, the river being the eastern boundary and
the city limits the western. All the parks lie east of
the western city limits; Kingshighway is but a little
west of the north and south axis. A study of the map
shows the important ways of communication leading

Alcove and Wall Panel in Reception Room of Mayor's Suite, City Hall


D e v e l o p m e n t of C i t y P l a n


from the city's center to Kingshighway. Beginning on
the north, Broadway, in general parallels the river;
then the Natural Bridge Road, then Cass and Easton
Avenues, and Lindell Boulevard westward, Gravois
Road to the southwest, and, again, south, Broadway,
in general parallels the river. The proposed park­
way crosses all these avenues of communication, and,
in connection with Grand Avenue, which is now being
rapidly improved, ties together the heretofore com­
paratively isolated districts."
The commission also drew attention in its observa­
tions to an idea, which, perhaps, we have all too much
ignored. We might, in the selection of names for
streets and titles for buildings and embellishments,
choose those which are of significance in connection
with the history, growth and progress of our city.
The commission suggested, “ Here is an opportunity
to make a structure to fittingly commemorate the his­
tory of St. Louis. Kingshighway was itself the old
colonial road which divided the domain of the king
from that of the municipality. How fitting it is at this
time to beautify this old road, and to place on the
bridge statues and embellishments suggestive of our
early history! We might have something commemora­
tive of Marquette and Joliet, the first white men who
reached the Mississippi River in 1680 under orders
from La Salle; and of St. Ange de Bellerive, who com­
manded Fort Chartres; then again of Tah-Hrin-Sca,
the great chief of the Osages, one of the few Indians
who lived in this country of whom we know anything;
and again, of Piernas, the first Spanish governor.”


E piso d e s o p M y L if e

Charter requirements caused delay in submitting to
the people for approval the authority to issue bonds
with which to provide funds for the various projects,
which held back much of the public work until ap­
proximately the conclusion of my second term.
However, our administration had the gratification
of beginning the work and completing much of it.
Also, the satisfaction of inculcating in the community
the ideals for the beautification and betterment of St.
Louis and in formulating the plans for the civic center
and the groupings of public buildings and for boule­
vards and parkways and other improvements, and
bringing about the effective co-operation between the
city administration, influential and disinterested civic
leadership and the voting citizenship. Nothing, indeed,
is impossible to a community which has this combina­
tion of effort.
On January 25, 1902, the Civic Improvement League
was organized with the object of promoting practical
civic ideals, and for two decades it was a constructive
force for civic betterment.
I note the following influential men and women
among the organizers: George B. Leighton, Henry T.
Kent, E. L. Adreon, Charles Claflin Allen, James B.
Bright, Julius Pitzman, Robert H. Bringhurst, G. F.
A. Brueggeman, George O. Carpenter, Miss Ella Coch­
ran, Pierre Chouteau, the Rev. Father James T. Coffey,
C. C. Crone, Fred F. Crunden, Mrs. W. E. Fischel, Miss
Florence Hayward, W. B. Ittner, John Lawrence
Mauran, Mrs. Louis M. McCall, Isaac M. Morton, D. C.
Nugent, Mrs. E. M. Pattison, William Marion Reedy,

D e v e l o p m e n t o f C it y P l a n


J. H. Roth, E. C. Rowse, Dr. Edward C. Runge,
Richard Singer, Professor L. Louis Soldan, E. J.
Spencer, William Trelease, Oscar L. Whitelaw, Mrs.
W. E. Ware, A. A. B. Woerheide and Mrs. George 0.

T he M ayoralty an d the W orld' s F air
of my predecessors, and there were
twenty-nine from William Carr Lane to and
including Henry Ziegenhein, had the unusual
and pleasing opportunity of variety of interest and
activity which I, as Mayor, enjoyed as a result of the
preparation for and holding of the World’s Fair. Out­
standing men and women from all parts of the world
visited St. Louis, and it was the duty of the municipal­
ity’s chief executive to extend to each and all the
formal welcome and informal hospitality of the city.
Representatives of our states and of foreign govern­
ments began to arrive in St. Louis as early as 1902.
They came to familiarize themselves with conditions
and regulations relating to exhibits. After President
Francis made his spectacular dash through Europe, the
influx of visitors from abroad increased. Many visi­
tors, both foreign and local, were entertained at my
The citizens of St. Louis voted $5,000,000 by a bond
issue as a municipal gift to the Louisiana Purchase
Exposition and individually subscribed approximately
$5,000,000. Impressed by the public spirit thus mani­
fested, Congress appropriated $5,000,000 to the World’s



T h e M a y o r a l t y a n d t h e W orld ’ s F air


The Business Men’s League tendered a banquet to
the members of the National Commission in the Plant­
ers’ Hotel, April 23, 1901. Among the distinguished
speakers were Honorable Thomas H. Carter of Mon­
tana, Honorable John M. Thurston of Nebraska and
Honorable William Lindsay of Kentucky, three mem­
bers of the commission; Congressman James A. Tawney of Minnesota, Congressman John B. Corliss of
Michigan, and Congressman Joseph G. Cannon of Illi­
nois, chairman of the Committee on Appropriations.
The National Commission was appointed by Presi­
dent William McKinley. It was as a committee both
honorary and active.
The banquet was a brilliant affair. The occasion
offered me, as one of the speakers, an opportunity to
promote co-operation among the World’s Fair manage­
ment, the municipal administration and the citizenship
for the success of the Exposition and the advancement
of St. Louis.
The World’s Fair, besides being an expositional in­
stitution, had official contacts with our national govern­
ment, with the commonwealths which had buildings or
exhibits, and with the foreign governments which par­
ticipated. Each country and state had a social depart­
ment, our national government had two social depart­
ments in the National Commission and the Board of
Lady Managers, and the Exposition Company had a
social department.
In anticipation of the great event, the municipal ad­
ministration made every effort to put its house in
order, under, what some of my friends were good


E piso d es o f M y L if e

enough to say, the leadership of our “ World’s Fair
Mayor.” Necessarily, one of the principal exhibits
would be the city itself. The Exposition, to achieve a
civic success, should benefit St. Louis in two important
respects, that is, by causing general progress in the
building of the New St. Louis and by enabling the city
to show to advantage. Of course, the municipality it­
self had to realize these objectives with the good will
and co-operation of the community.
As I have elsewhere indicated in these reminiscent
Episodes, the most important preparation necessary
was the water supply. Many new thoroughfares had
been provided. The public service corporations did
their part by furnishing ample light, heat, communica­
tion facilities and street car transportation. The peo­
ple of St. Louis, the management of the Exposition and
the city administration had every reason to feel grati­
fied. The spirit of co-operation on the part of all of
our citizens, and subsequently their cordiality as hosts
to the multitude of strangers who attended was in­
The St. Louis World’s Fair, in its incomparable and
indescribable splendor and magnitude, was one of the
greatest expositions ever held. It left an indelible im­
pression of rare beauty and human triumph. The
agreeable feeling and entrancing picture lingered with
every one as lasting treasures of a delightful and
profitable experience.
The Louisiana Purchase Exposition commemorated
the purchase of the expansive, rich and fertile terri­
tory of Louisiana, by President Thomas Jefferson from

T h e M a y o r a l t y a n d t h e W orld ’ s F a ir


Napoleon in 1803. It was, in fact, a celebration of the
advancement of mankind in the intervening century.
From first to last the Exposition Company had 118
directors. The wealth, influence, ability, energy and
civic pride of the community was represented in the
organization. Officers and directors were imbued with
the confidence that nothing was impossible, and every­
thing that was done was begun and concluded with
this thought.
The Exposition Company itself expended $16,747,815
on construction and $1,287,660 on the rental of build­
ings and grounds outside of Forest Park. The palaces
and other buildings erected by the company cost
$7,405,629; the buildings of foreign nations, $1,585,955; state and territorial buildings, $1,269,076; Philip­
pine buildings and structures, $613,418; Washington
University buildings, leased by the exposition com­
pany, $1,378,000; exhibit and other buildings, $415,715,
and concession buildings and structures, $3,919,425.
Sixty-two foreign nations and colonies participated at
a cost of $8,134,500, while the expenditures for par­
ticipation by forty-four states and six territories
totaled $9,346,677. The revenue of $32,159,788 in­
cluded the United States Government appropriation of
$5,000,000, proceeds from the sale of City of St. Louis
bonds $5,000,000, and proceeds from the sale of capital
stock, $4,924,313.
It has been estimated that there were $50,000,000
expended for all purposes in the holding of the Exposi­
tion. The records show the total attendance to have
been 12,804,616, to which should be added 7,261,921 of


E piso d e s o f M y L if e

free admissions, making a total attendance of 20,066,537.
The area of the Exposition grounds was 1,271.76
I don’t believe that any of us who participated, offi­
cially or as visitors, can now visualize the magnitude
and beauty of the grounds, buildings and exhibits. The
grand, central spectacle of huge cascades tumbling
down the slope of Art Hill from the fountains in front
of the Palace of Fine Arts and Colonnade of States into
broad lagoons, was an unforgettable thing of transcen­
dent beauty.
The marvelous exhibits! The wonders and amuse­
ments of The Pike! The grandeur of the general cere­
monies, with their military pomp and bands of music!
The many formal receptions and entertainments of the
foreign and state commissioners in their respective
I was a member of the Board of Directors of the
Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company, and a mem­
ber of the Executive Committee. As Mayor I was ex­
pected to attend most of the formal functions, and gen­
erally had a part in every program. Both at my home
and elsewhere I endeavored to do my share of enter­
The World’s Fair was, in many respects, the divid­
ing line between the Old St. Louis and the New St.
Louis. A new economic order was developing, and the
modes of business and living were changing.
Among the permanent memorials left standing in
Forest Park are the Art Museum, the Spirit of St.


Festival Hall and Central Cascade
Louisiana Purchase Exposition, 190k


T h e M a y o r a l t y a n d t h e W orld ’ s F a ir


Louis monument on Art Hill, the Pavilion, the Jeffer­
son Memorial, the Lagoons and several monuments.
However, great as these memorials are, they are trivial
in comparison with the large and permanent benefits
which the Exposition bestowed on St. Louis.

R estoration of F orest P ar k
he city allowed the exposition organization to
use the western half of Forest Park by ordi­
nance 20412, approved May 16, 1901, and it
was not until November, 1908, that the last of the 688
acres of this property was returned formally to the city.
Notwithstanding my faith in the triumph of the
World’s Fair, and the fact that I was a member of the
Board of Directors and the Executive Committee, de­
spite my personal friendship for its officers and direc­
tors, and my earnest desire to co-operate in every way
with the great fair, our city administration felt obliged
as trustee for the citizenship to deal with the World’s
Fair on strictly business principles. In particular, we
held that we could not conscientiously leave the ques­
tion of the restoration of Forest Park after the close
of the exposition to chance or altered circumstances.
This policy brought about a protracted controversy be­
tween the municipal administration and the World’s
Fair management.
The psychological phase might be an important ele­
ment after the termination of the World’s Fair. It
would be quite natural that there would be a lapse of
energy as a recession from the intense work of four
or five years of extraordinary mental and physical


R e s t o r a t io n of F orest P a r k


strain, and as a sequence there might be indifference
or delay concerning the restoration of Forest Park.
Should this apathy—a natural and anticipatory state—
prevail, the cost and labor of reconditioning and beau­
tifying the western half of the park would devolve on
the city. In view of this an adequate bond from the
Exposition Company for the restoration of the site oc­
cupied by the Exposition was essential.
The park-site ordinance specified a bond of $100,000,
preparatory to the use of the park and the restoration,
but conferred authority on the Board of Public Im­
provements to increase it. The Board empowered Park
Commissioner Ridgely to employ an expert to make an
investigation of possible damage to the park. Mr.
Samuel Parsons, Jr., engineer and landscape architect
of the park system of Greater New York, was engaged.
He estimated the cost of restoring Forest Park to
satisfactory usable condition at $650,000. Mr. Ridgely
then had Mr. R. H. Warder, of Lincoln Park, Chicago,
another eminent authority on parks, check up the situ­
ation, and Mr. Warder said “ I find it (Mr. Parson’s
report) agrees with the notes I made on the ground
last September.”
On March 10, 1903, Harbor and Wharf Commis­
sioner Joseph P. Whyte offered a resolution to the
Board to increase the bond to $650,000, which was
unanimously adopted. A month later the board, again
by resolution of Mr. Whyte, transferred to me the re­
sponsibility of having the bond increased from $100,000 to $650,000.
The bonds which the World’s Fair corporation sub­


E p iso d e s o f M y L if e

mitted to me were as good as debentures of a quasi­
public institution generally are, and I refused to accept
them, insisting on security, which, if necessary, would
be collectible.
At one stage of the negotiations an incipient clamor
arose to obtain a court injunction and close the World’s
Fair. The management of the Fair had proffered, in
lieu of a bond, a share of the gate receipts after ac­
counts with the Federal Government had been settled.
After I had rejected several bonds and the gate-receipts idea, the Exposition management submitted
bonds which, in my opinion, were acceptable. A bond
of $450,000 secured by a mortgage on the Palace of
Fine Arts, which cost approximately $1,000,000, and
the original bond of $100,000 was continued in force,
and a new bond was guaranteed personally by eight
World’s Fair Directors. The board and I approved this
arrangement, and, on July 29, 1904, it was approved
by the Council.
At the close of the World’s Fair the corporation
entered into a contract with a wrecking company to
clear away the buildings and debris, and selected Mr.
George E. Kessler, chief of the Department of Land­
scape of the World’s Fair, to plan and direct the work
of restoration.
Mr. Kessler was the ideal man for the position. His
national reputation was such as would impel him to
produce artistic results. He had won deserved renown
by his efforts in connection with the park and boule­
vard system in Kansas City, and his previous fame
was magnified and brightened by the exquisite effects

R e s t o r a t io n of F o rest P a r k


which he produced in the St. Louis World’s Fair. It
would be a matter of pride with Mr. Kessler to make
Forest Park, in the restoration, as beautiful as money
and facilities would permit.
He carried on the work of restoration behind the
wrecking, but the latter lagged along for years, due
to the dilatory work of the wrecking company. Mr.
Kessler was not able, therefore, to complete his work
until November, 1908, four years after the close of
the World’s Fair. He improved the appearance and
serviceability of the western half of the park in the
restoration, leaving it better than it had been. The
directors of the Exposition approved his final report
on November 13, 1908, and the Board of Public Im­
provements accepted it in the same month.
Trees and shrubs to the number of 75,000 (25,000
trees and 50,000 shrubs) were planted, sewage and
drainage pipes used during the Exposition were left in
place; durable, paved roads were built; two hundred
acres of meadows were grassed; and a chain of five
lakes constructed, with a wooded island and connect­
ing lagoons, forming a waterway one and one-half
miles in length. The direct cost approximated $345,000; however, as some of the improvements had re­
mained from the Exposition, the value of the work was
estimated at $500,000.
A difference of opinion came up over the tearing up
of underground drainage pipes and a bridge structure,
and I requested the World’s Fair management to com­
pensate for this deficiency by constructing the Shelter
Pavilion, at a cost of $40,000. It occupies a site in


E piso d e s o p M y L if e

front of the spot where the Missouri State Palace
stood, and from its altitudinous station on the brow of
the high hill a captivating panorama of lakes, lagoons,
drives and forest unfolds, with a glimpse of one of the
finest parts of the city in the distance.
The Exposition corporation more than fulfilled its
contract with the city. The restoration work proper
cost approximately $550,000.
The Federal Government was induced to release a
refund of money to which it was entitled, on condition
that it be utilized in the erection of a statue in memory
of Thomas Jefferson, which is now in the building
located at the entrance to Forest Park at De Baliviere
Avenue, and known as the Jefferson Memorial. The
building is used by the Missouri Historical Society.
The monument was erected at a cost of about $200,000.
The Palace of Fine Arts, which, with the two wings,
cost approximately $1,000,000, was presented to the
city, and subsequently the statue of St. Louis the Cru­
sader was cast into bronze and given to the city; in its
commanding location on the summit of Art Hill it re­
mains as a lasting inspiration of our conquering civic
I have never been well disposed towards the en­
croachment of buildings in public parks, unless they
were homogeneous utilities. The shelter pavilion is
strictly of this character; it is an indispensable con­
venience. I might have objected to the locating of the
Museum of Fine Arts in the interior of Forest Park
had the subject come before me as an initial proposi­
tion. The Art Museum in Central Park in New York

R e s t o r a t io n of F orest P a r k


City, for example, would be detrimental to the park
were it within the grounds; then the roads would be
congested with the vehicles of visitors not seeking the
pleasure of the park, but in the works of art; however,
as the building is at the edge of the park, there can be
no serious objection to the encroachment.
The St. Louis Art Palace was a permanent edifice
already standing, and I could not object to keeping it.
I am merely stating an opinion, and not criticizing.
I believe that buildings, as a rule, should not encroach
on park area, which is set aside for park purposes. I
did not object to the construction of the Jefferson
Memorial at De Baliviere Avenue, as it would not in­
fringe on park space; it would serve important public
uses as a museum, and provide an ornate and majestic

A Second Ca ll to th e M ayoralty
four years service I gave every evidence that
I had no desire to build up a political machine or
organization for future political preferment. In
the matter of patronage, or appointments, my only
object was, so far as I was able, to select those best
fitted for the duties to be performed. Such policy, of
course, was not popular with the rank and file of the
party workers, and would necessarily have a bearing
if I concluded to stand for a second term.
At the end of the year 1904,1 gave out the following
“ It sounds, perhaps, a little premature to make such
an announcement but owing to the fact that there has
been some use of my name as a possible candidate for
the mayoralty, I feel that I should like to start the
New Year with my position in the matter well under­
“ I will not be a candidate for re-election, nor will I
permit my name to be so proposed.
“ My personal affairs, which I reluctantly left to take
the office, now demand my attention. I did not seek
the office at the outset, and now that I have contributed
my share to the administration of our city government,
I feel that I may again retire to private life.


n my

A S e c o n d C a l l to t h e M a y o r a l t y


“ I have never been a politician, so it is not to be
understood that I am retiring from politics.
“ When I lay aside the cares of the office in April, I
shall do so with the deepest sense of appreciation of
the fact that upon me was conferred the honor of be­
ing the ‘World’s Fair Mayor/
“ The honor, however, has not been without its draw­
backs. You have no idea what suspense I have lived in
for the past twelve months lest some frightful calamity
should strike the city or the Fair and turn the fete into
a tragedy.
“ I think it should be a matter for self-congratulation
for every St. Louisan to look back on 1904 as the year
unsullied by setbacks or disaster. One Iroquois fire
with thousands of visitors in our midst would have
more than neutralized the advantages we have and
will reap from the Fair.
“Visitors have seen our city and have enjoyed our
climate. Nothing has gone abroad except that which
will redound to our credit.”
Without going into particulars, I found it necessary
to reconsider this position; this enforced consideration
was largely based upon a petition, which was circulated
while I was in New York City, bearing the signatures
of more than four hundred citizens, of all parties and
rank, requesting that I should stand for re-election.
The petition read as follows:
“ Without any intimate knowledge of the testimonials
which have been placed before the representative men
of St. Louis, Mayor Wells will arrive in St. Louis as
the choice of the Democratic party for renomination.


E p iso d es o f M y L if e

When Mayor Wells departed for New York he declined
to be considered a candidate for renomination. His
friends believe that under the pressure brought by the
following tribute of the business men of St. Louis he
will reconsider.
“ To the Honorable Rolla Wells, Mayor of the City of
St. Louis:
“ Sir:—We have read with profound regret the an­
nouncement that you will not be a candidate for reelection to the office of Mayor. Four years ago, at the
solicitation of the party, you accepted the nomination,
notwithstanding that it involved the sacrifice of your
private affairs, and conducted the campaign to a suc­
cessful issue against an able adversary supported by
the united resources of a party which for many years
dominated the city.
“ Your platform was a lofty one. You promised
nothing but good government. What you promised you
and your associates have done your utmost to fulfill.
Much good has been actually accomplished. The air we
breathe, the water we drink, the conditions in which
we live, have been distinctly improved under your ad­
ministration. Many miles of streets have been recon­
structed, and those already made have been kept clean
and maintained in a better condition than ever before.
“ The city’s permanent plants have been enlarged and
perfected. The Poorhouse has been improved, the City
Hall has been completed; an emergency hospital has
been acquired; nearly half a million has been expended
in the completion of the City Hospital; public bath­
houses have been established; an open-air playground

A S e c o n d C a l l to t h e M a y o r a l t y


has been acquired for public use; the city’s sewer and
water systems have been extended and the water rates
have been reduced; the city has undertaken the reduc­
tion of its garbage and thereby effected a saving of
$200 a day; a very large reduction has been made in
the public debt; the public revenues have been honestly
collected and increased; a former deficit has been wiped
out and an income adequate to the public necessities
has been provided.
“Above all, the moral tone of every department of
the city has been elevated. Bribery and corruption
have ceased. Graft is no longer profitable.
“ That other reforms have not been accomplished is
due to the limitations imposed upon your power by law
and to the defects and deficiencies of our Charter. If
you have not rehabilitated all city institutions and car­
ried into effect all the various schemes of municipal
betterment which have been proposed it is because the
time and means at your disposal have been limited.
“ You have labored zealously for the public welfare.
During a year of extraordinary responsibilities you
have upheld the dignity of the city upon many con­
spicuous occasions, and have never hesitated to lavish
your private means in order to maintain the high repu­
tation of your fellow-citizens for hospitality.
“We believe that your work is not yet finished. A
proposal is now before the people for an increase of
nearly eight millions of dollars in the public debt in
order that necessary public work may be accomplished.
Great areas of the city must be drained; a proper sys­
tem of boulevards connecting the public parks should


E piso d es o f M y L if e

be provided; a new court-house is indispensable for
the proper administration of justice; the jail is obso­
lete and unsanitary; every eleemosynary institution re­
quires enlargement and betterment—the laws must be
“ To accomplish these great reforms without waste
and fraud requires the exercise of sound judgment and
the greatest vigilance on the part of the Mayor. You
have become familiar with public affairs and with pub­
lic servants. We rely upon your experience, judgment
and integrity. No one else is so well qualified to carry
out the various schemes which have been inaugurated.
“ In view of the foregoing considerations, we earn­
estly request you to reconsider your determination and
to allow your name to go before the Democratic Con­
Under date of February 19, 1905, a reply was made
to the foregoing letter:
“ To Messrs. Adams, Barroll, Bakewell and Others:
Gentlemen—At your request I have reconsidered my
determination not to again be a candidate for office,
and now inform you and all others concerned that I
will accept renomination if the judgment of the party
regards it as useful to the cause of good government.
“I had hoped to be able to retire at the end of my
term of office, but I fully realize that much remains to
be accomplished.
“ The flattering terms in which you have expressed
your communication assure me of the confidence of
many of my fellow-citizens whom I most highly es­
teem, and, if I am permitted to do so, I will resume the

A S e c o n d C a l l to t h e M a y o r a l t y


responsibilities of office in the hope that I may accom­
plish reforms which are indispensable to the public
“If I am renominated and elected I pledge myself
to practice such economy in the expenditure of public
funds as is consistent with the public welfare.
“ To do what lies within my power to continue the
betterment of the various city institutions and to pro­
vide adequate public buildings.
“ To continue our policy of municipal ownership so
far as is consistent with economy.
“ To carry into effect the contract for the restoration
of Forest Park.
“ To enlarge and extend the park system in such a
manner as shall provide needed recreation grounds for
the poorer classes and a proper system of connecting
“ To abolish grade crossings and relieve the conges­
tion of the present terminal situation by providing for
the public use necessary facilities for commerce under
such safeguards as the public may require.
“ To maintain and increase the present efficiency of
the various city departments and establish among pub­
lic employees a high moral tone, so that the welfare
of the city shall be paramount to all other considera­
“ The city has a splendid destiny and must now con­
front the problems involved in its future greatness.
“Because I believe in that greatness and earnestly
desire to promote the city’s welfare, I am willing to
accept the responsibilities of re-election.”

Comm ittee of O ne T housand
fte r I had accepted the call which the com­
mittee had so kindly pressed on me, a biparti­
san Committee of One Thousand was formed
to promote my re-election. The following is the com­
mittee’s proclamation to the citizenship, together with
the caption with which the newspapers of the city an­
nounced it:
“Business Men Organize a Committee of 1,000 to Aid
Good Government.”
“ Enthusiastic Pledges of Support Given to the Cause
of Mayor Wells in Representative Gathering at Mer­
cantile Club—Representatives of the Best Commer­
cial and Professional Life of St. Louis Promise to Work
for the Democratic Nominees.
“ Text of Address to Voters of St. Louis, adopted by
Citizens’ Meeting March 21, 1905:
“ The approaching municipal election is of vital im­
portance to the people of our city, and it is the duty
of our citizens to elect such persons to control the next
municipal government as will best promote the future
welfare and prosperity of the city and its citizens.
Such being our profound belief, we, as citizen voters
of St. Louis do hereby associate ourselves for the pend­
ing campaign for the purpose of bringing about the


C o m m it t e e of O n e T h o u s a n d


election of the splendid ticket headed by Mayor Rolla
Wells, and to that end cordially and earnestly invite
the co-operation of our fellow-citizens of all political
“ There are three tickets in the field from which the
next municipal government must be chosen, and of
them, the Wells ticket, is, in our opinion, highly pref­
erable to either of the others.
“Mayor Wells and his associates are just closing a
most successful administration, in striking contrast
with that of his immediate predecessor, which was four
years ago overthrown by an indignant, outraged and
long-suffering people.
“ We approve and commend the administration of
Mayor Wells and his associates. They have put an end
to boodling, and exterminated the scandals and foul
crimes which so long disgraced and retarded the prog­
ress of the city. By impartial and zealous enforcement
of the revenue laws they have increased the income of
the city and enabled it to discharge with increased effi­
ciency its public responsibilities.
“ They have improved the condition of every city
institution. They have completed the City Hall, en­
larged the hospitals, provided public bath-houses and
playgrounds; reconstructed many miles of streets, ex­
tended the sewer system, established a municipal light­
ing plant, acquired and put in operation a plant for the
removal of garbage, which saves to the city nearly
$100,000 a year and removes just grounds of offense to
many deserving citizens.
“ They have clarified and purified the city water and


E piso d es of M y L if e

thereby promoted public health and comfort. They
have kept the streets clean and in repair, and enforced
the laws governing the emission of smoke. They have
eliminated graft in the police courts and increased the
city’s revenue by just fines honestly collected for viola­
tion of its ordinances.
“ They have reduced the city’s debt by advantageous
purchase of its bonds, and availed themselves of proper
opportunities to renew its obligations upon terms more
favorable than were ever before realized. They have
practiced such economy in the conduct of the city de­
partments as was consistent with efficiency. For these
reasons they deserve well of the people.
“ Mayor Wells’ present candidacy originated in an
urgent call, most complimentary and honorable, from
a multitude of our fellow-citizens that he become a
candidate to succeed himself, to which, after much re­
flection, and not without personal sacrifice, he re­
“ He was triumphantly chosen to lead the ticket at
one of the largest primaries ever held in our city by
any political party, where every one of his political
faith was given free opportunity to vote.
“ Nominations by primaries are provided for by the
statutes of the state, which were enacted at the behest

C o m m it t e e of O n e T h o u s a n d


of both political parties, and furnish the fairest means
of getting a direct expression from the individual
voters as to their choice. The fact that Mr. Wells and
his associates were thus nominated in conformity to
the will of the individual voters speaks well for them,
and it would doubtless have been more satisfactory to
the members of other parties had they been permitted
to record their choice through a direct primary.
“ Not only are we for Wells for Mayor because of his
faithfulness in the past and our confidence in him for
the future, but we believe that his defeat at this time
would be harmful to our city and citizens and their
truest and best interests.
“ We, therefore, request our fellow-citizens sharing
the above views as to the duty of the hour to join with
us in calling a mass meeting, and that all of our fel­
low-citizens be invited to attend, and that Honorable
Rolla Wells be requested to address the meeting upon
the issues of the campaign.”
As a large number of my fellow-citizens, allied with
both political parties, paid me, in these proceedings, an
extraordinary honor, I am restricting my treatment of
the subject to the documents which were interchanged
and the facts as they developed. Naturally, I could not
help being moved by this demonstration of apprecia­
tion of my public service.
Permit me to state in passing that this movement
exemplified one of the few means of perpetuating busi­
ness government or encouraging capable and responsi­
ble citizens to run for public office. Representative citi­
zens must give their active support to every effort for


E p iso d es o f M y L if e

business government; otherwise, professional politi­
cians and favor-seekers, who prefer loose administra­
tion, will defeat the nominee. The serious-minded and
patriotic office-holder deserves and needs the backing
of all voters who desire business government.
Mr. David R. Francis was chairman of the meeting,
the theme of which was “a record of achievement.”
The committee on permanent organization comprised
H. N. Davis, James Hagerman, E. F. Goltra, T. K.
Skinker and Harry B. Hawes.
Mr. James E. Smith was chosen as permanent chair­
man, and Messrs. C. H. Huttig, N. W. McLeod, Wil­
liam H. Druhe, D. R. Calhoun and J. J. Pauley, vice
chairmen; David R. Francis, secretary and G. Herbert
Walker, treasurer.
The resolutions committee embraced Frederick N.
Judson, James Hagerman and John M. Wood.
Conspicuous among the speakers of the evening were
Gov. Francis, Edward S. Robert, Charles W. Knapp,
Judge Frank M. Kleiber, F. W. Lehmann, F. N. Jud­
son, Julius Lesser, James Hagerman, James E. Smith,
C. H. Huttig, Harry B. Hawes, William H. Druhe and
J. J. Pauley.
After a spirited campaign, with numerous meetings
and speeches, which it is not necessary to set forth, I
was re-elected on April 4, 1905, by a plurality of 1,428.
I thought that I would have a greater support from
the voters of the city of St. Louis. But, inasmuch as
I had the antagonism and opposition of the political
bosses of both parties, the result was as favorable as,
under the circumstances, could be expected.

C o m m it t e e of O n e T h o u s a n d


On April 11, 1905, the customary inaugural cere­
monies were held. After administration of the oath of
office, I delivered the following inaugural address:
“ You have met pursuant to the organic laws of the
city to carry into effect the action of the citizens at
the polls on April 4, by assuming, with me, the duties
of our respective offices.
“I have again been chosen to the honorable and re­
sponsible office of Mayor of the City of St. Louis.
“ I appreciate the renewed confidence on the part of
the people of this city, which has again called me into
their service.
“Four years ago, with timidity as to my capacity
and ability, I entered on the discharge of my official
“ I cannot disguise the diffidence with which I am
again about to undertake my official obligations.
“ Our civic pride and enthusiasm in the growth and
future prosperity of our city must not dwarf our
activity or watchfulness in protecting its interests.
“We should be encouraged in the belief that all good
citizens are most desirous of providing and maintain­
ing a good municipal government, and will, therefore,
render assistance and co-operation with a creditable
“ Four years ago I promised a course of action hav­
ing in view the city’s welfare in preference to party
interest, and I kept my word. The experience of four
years has, I believe, demonstrated that such policy is
for the city’s best interest.
“ On such basis I propose to continue the manage­


E p iso d es o f M y L if e

ment of my office, and in this and all other matters
pertaining to the benefit of St. Louis, I request, gentle­
men of the Municipal Assembly, your co-operation.
“ The administration of a municipal corporation is
a business, not a political, problem. We have no na­
tional or state issues to solve. Our mission in official
life should be to so conduct our respective departments
as will best serve the interests of all citizens.
“ You are placed here as the representatives of all
of the people, empowered to create and amend laws
that will be of benefit to the community. You should
be liberal in your views, having always in mind the
fostering of enterprise now with us, and the encour­
agement of that which is expected to come. It is the
duty of all citizens to obey all laws. Corporations must
observe their legal limitations and obligations.
“ It has been my endeavor in the past, as it will be
in the future, to command the respect and confidence
of the heads of the departments, making them feel that
they are responsible for the proper conduct of same,
and upholding them at all times when conscientiously
engaged in the performance of their duty.
“ That I have succeeded in this policy, at least to a
certain extent, I believe, is evidenced by the efficient
manner with which most of the departments of the
city government have been administered.
“ This is clearly shown by the public records cover­
ing the past four years, and which, I hope, will be
improved upon during this administration.
“ Among the many duties of the Mayor is the ap­
pointment and approval of the appointments of most

C o m m it t e e of O n e T h o u s a n d


of the city officials and employees. To a certain extent
this is burdensome, owing to a lack of personal knowl­
edge as to the fitness of applicants. Many labor under
the misapprehension that public office holding is a mere
sinecure, and indulge in representations and recom­
mendations often made inconsiderately and without
any just sense of responsibility.
“ Members of the Municipal Assembly have no
authority to dictate as to patronage. Your familiarity,
however, with municipal requirements, should add
weight to such recommendations as you may choose to
“ I regret that partisan strife and misrepresentations
during the recent campaign misled many concerning
the necessity of the bond issue intended for needed
public improvements. I recommend to the Assembly
that some action be taken, having for its object the
education of the people as to the desirability of a bond
issue and the obtaining of their consent to the issuance
of the bonds.
“ Malicious and unwarranted criticism has lately
been publicly promulgated throughout this country
relative to the quality of our water supply, resulting
in uneasiness to some, and possible injury to our busi­
ness industries. This is an outrage which should not
be tolerated, and warrants the emphatic protest of
every true citizen. However, from competent author­
ity, I am able to deny the slander and to inform you
that the City of St. Louis is provided with a clear and
wholesome water.
“ We have in our midst an element continually en­


E p iso d es o f M y L if e

deavoring to control public affairs in the furtherance
of its interests and to the detriment of the City. This
element is most vicious, and should meet with the con­
demnation of all citizens. It will be my endeavor to
exterminate this corrupt influence, and in this I call
upon you gentlemen, members of the Municipal As­
sembly, to assist me.
“ With a firm reliance upon the wisdom of the Omni­
potent to maintain and direct me in the path of duty
which I am appointed to pursue, I take upon myself
the solemn obligation to perform, to the best of my
ability, the official tasks imposed upon me.”

T he “ A rbitrary ” and R ail F acilities
early days of the trading post called St.
Louis, the only vehicles in use were the wooden
French carts, without tires. They had straight
hickory shafts, to which a horse was attached, with
two horses in the lead. They could carry a large quan­
tity of furs, merchandise and wood. The horses of the
period were ponies in size, resembling a mustang, but
of great endurance. They did not require much care
and there was little need of special forage crops to
feed them.
Then came the “prairie schooner,” drawn by horses,
mules or oxen. Pack horses and mules were also in
The only method of crossing the Mississippi River
was with canoes and barges propelled with oars.
On August 2, 1817, the first steamboat, the “Pike,”
arrived at St. Louis. It marked a new epoch in the
history of St. Louis. The steam ferry-boats then sup­
planted the canoes and barges in crossing the river.
In July, 1851, ground was broken for the commence­
ment of the building of the Pacific Railroad. The fol­
lowing year, 1852, saw the beginning of the Ohio &
Mississippi Railroad, the Terre Haute & Alton, and
the Alton & Sangamon line. The Pacific Railroad had




E piso d e s o f M y L if e

its terminal in St. Louis; the terminals of the others
were in East St. Louis. Thus our splendid present-day
railroad system, in size the second in the United States,
was inaugurated.
Prior to 1870 there were no bridges in the vicinity
of St. Louis connecting the west and east sides of the
Mississippi River. The transportation of live stock,
vehicles and passengers was solely by ferry boats; and
from the boats to the stations of the various railroads
terminating in East St. Louis. Passengers were con­
veyed to and from hotels and residences and other
places by omnibus, by way of the ferry. Westbound
passengers and freight from East St. Louis to St. Louis
were taken care of in a similar manner. St. Louis was
the terminus of traffic west of the Mississippi, and East
St. Louis of traffic east of the Mississippi; the river
separated them, and there was no crossing over it for
trains or vehicles.
This, compared with the facilities existing at the
present time, was crude, tedious and expensive. With
great rejoicing, the day of relief came on May 23, 1874,
when the Eads Bridge and tunnel were completed and
opened to travel and traffic. The first train, consisting
of three passenger coaches, was run across the struc­
ture on June 9, in the same year. A mammoth public
celebration of the linking of Missouri and Illinois was
held on July 4, 1874. The double-track tunnel in down­
town St. Louis was finished on June 24, 1874. The
union passenger station used by the railroads was
located on Poplar Street, between Ninth and Twelfth.
The Terminal Railroad Association was formed in

T h e “ A r b it r a r y ” a n d R a i l F a c il it ie s


1889, and ultimately practically all the railroads hav­
ing terminals in St. Louis and East St. Louis became
joint-owners of it. A union terminal was thus pro­
vided, operated to the advantage and economy of re­
ceivers and shippers of freight on both sides of the
The Terminal Association never has been operated
for direct profit to its proprietors; all of its earnings
have been and are applied to the betterment of its
operation and the enlargement of its plant commen­
surate with the growth of the city.
Personally, I never have, directly or indirectly, had
any monetary interest in the Terminal Association.
At intervals I have been a large receiver and shipper
of freight over its lines, and, as such, and as the result
of my thorough investigation of the subject, in my
official capacity as Mayor of St. Louis for eight years,
it is my conviction that the Terminal Association is
and has been the greatest commercial asset possessed
by the business interests and people of St. Louis. No
other city has its equal.
At the beginning of my second term as Mayor I
directed attention to the needs of commerce. We had
started forward in making St. Louis a more beautiful
and agreeable city and a healthier place to live in, and
the administration’s next endeavor was to recommend
the enactment of such ordinances as would be advis­
able to improve and increase the facilities towards
making St. Louis a more advantageous center in which
to do business in all lines.
The “ bridge arbitrary,” as it was called, was a detri­


E p iso d es o f M y L if e

mental handicap to trade. The inadequacy of railroad
terminal facilities was also a drawback, especially in­
side the city.
The economic advantages enjoyed through geo­
graphical location were neutralized by artificial ob­
structions in freight rates and in transportation defi­
ciencies. Reputed to be one of the greatest markets in
the world, located approximately in the center of the
United States, its commercial growth was retarded by
these basic handicaps.
For their own benefit rival trade centers spread
damaging reports regarding these artificial shackles.
The notoriety which St. Louis received concerning
charges against freight by the “ bridge arbitrary” and
impediments to traffic by “terminal delays” diverted
some commerce to strong competitors. There had for
years been a clamor from the business interests and
the people against these injustices, but no advance had
been made towards rectifying them and enabling St.
Louis to utilize existing advantages freely and fully.
No work which the administration might undertake
could be more important, I was convinced, than that
of attempting to remove the “ bridge arbitrary” and
obtain the terminal conveniences which our commerce
needed. It seemed to me, were the subjects presented
carefully and properly to the high railroad executives,
that they would recognize the merit of our case and
would be impelled in fairness to accede to our requests.
The problem was, in the finality, theirs as much as
ours; and, if we would submit our evidence and argu­
ment to them so that they would realize the mutuality

T h e “ A r b it r a r y ” a n d R a il F a c il it ie s


of either benefit or detriment, we must succeed in
eliminating the “ bridge arbitrary” and developing the
railroad facilities.
Technically, in railroad parlance, an “arbitrary” is
a specific charge contained in a freight rate as an off­
set to a fixed charge against a capital investment or
unalterable operating cost. Railroad traffic officers re­
ceive from the fiscal officers an item as to a fixed charge
applicable against a bridge or other structure or facil­
ity, and this item is used as an arbitrary cost-factor in
computing rates. It is a fixed or arbitrary cost-charge
inserted in a rate.
However, in the St. Louis instance the “bridge arbi­
trary” was not strictly or wholly an arbitrary. It was
an extra assessment or differential which the rail car­
riers applied to St. Louis freight moving to or from
points east of the Mississippi River. St. Louis was the
place of origin or destination of traffic east of the
Mississippi River, but there happened to be a river bar­
ricading the city’s eastern frontier.
Prior to the construction of the Eads Bridge, the
railroads operating in the region east of the Mississippi
River had terminated on the Illinois side. They built
their stations, depots and yards on the Illinois side.
They quoted their rates to and from stations on the
Illinois side, and East St. Louis, not St. Louis, was
the freight-rate point. Freight was billed to and from
East St. Louis, and the St. Louis shippers and re­
ceivers of freight had to pay for the haul, by wagon
and ferry across the Mississippi.
After the Eads Bridge was opened the practice was


E pisodes of M y L ife

continued. The Eastern railroads compelled the West­
ern railroads to bear the bridge charge, in this in­
stance a genuine arbitrary, on freight interchanged
here, instead of inter-adjusting it. Thus the Western
carriers also based their connecting rates on East St.
Louis. Even after the formation of the Terminal Rail­
road Association and the construction and operation of
joint terminals under the union system, East St. Louis
was retained as the basing or rate point on Eastern
shipments to and from St. Louis and on Eastern-West­
ern interchange traffic. East St. Louis was on the rail­
road map, but, as far as the territory east of the
Mississippi River was concerned, St. Louis was not.
With a splendid terminal system which included two
bridges across the Mississippi River, St. Louis shippers
and receivers of freight had to pay a charge estimated
at four cents per hundred pounds, on the average, for
the rail or wagon haul across the river; else, as the
alternative, they had to truck or cart the freight them­
selves to or from the railroad depots in Illinois at their
own expense. The Eastern railroads could have ab­
sorbed the “bridge arbitrary” on the long haul, or split
it with receivers and shippers at destinations and
origins, but they persisted in declining to do either,
declaring that, if they did so, rates would be disturbed
on through traffic interchanged with Western carriers
and tariffs would be unsettled at many Mississippi
river crossings.
After considering the matter, I concluded to invite
the Municipal Assembly to join in appointing a munici­
pal commission to make a thorough investigation and

T h e “ A r b it r a r y ” a n d R a i l F a c il it ie s


then confer with responsible executives of the rail­
roads. Our plan was to negotiate by conference.
Mr. William A. Block, a member of the House of
Delegates, on January 25, 1905, introduced in the
House a bill authorizing me to appoint this commis­
sion and providing an appropriation to enable the com­
mission to function. The bill, which became city ordi­
nance 22026, was signed by President Joseph L.
Hornsby of the City Council and Speaker Andrew
Gazzolo, Jr., of the House of Delegates on March 31,
1905, and was approved on April 8,1905.
The ordinance stipulated that the Mayor and Presi­
dent of the Board of Public Improvements should be
members of the body, which was named the Municipal
Bridge and Terminals Commission, and I was author­
ized to appoint seven members, who should be neither
city officials nor officials of the railroads. The law
specified that the members should be “elected with spe­
cial reference to the knowledge of the subjects referred
to this commission, and to their reputation for intelli­
gence and impartiality.” Further, it provided that one
member should be chosen from the roll of the Business
Men’s League, another from the roster of the Mer­
chants’ Exchange, and another from the ranks of the
St. Louis Manufacturers’ Association. The Mayor was
designated as chairman, and all the commissioners
were to volunteer their service, receiving no compensa­
tion. As to procedure, the commission was given ample
latitude and authority, and the ordinance appropriated
$25,000 for the work.
On April 25, 1905, I appointed Messrs. Robert H.


E pisodes of M y L ife

Whitelaw, Hugh McKittrick, Richard W. Shapleigh,
Joseph D. Bascom, Elias Michael, Redmond S. Colnon
and Homer P. Knapp. Mr. Michael declined to serve
and I appointed Mr. C. W. S. Cobb in his stead. The
commission elected Mr. Whitelaw vice-chairman. Sub­
sequently, Messrs. Robert Moore and Albert T. Per­
kins were engaged as technical advisers. Mr. Andrew
J. O’Reilly, president of the Board of Public Improve­
ments, and myself, as Mayor, were the other members.
Mr. Moore was well known as a civil engineer. Col.
Perkins was a transportation engineer, and had had
long and practical experience in railroading. These
two advisers were especially qualified, as was after­
wards proven, to make field studies and investigations,
and guide the board with trustworthy counsel.
The high character of the personnel inspired the
business interests, the public and the railroad exec­
utives with confidence. That the probity and self­
disinterestedness of the individual members should
convey a favorable impression was necessary. The prej­
udice, pro and con, regarding the “bridge arbitrary”
on freight, the “ bridge toll” on passenger and vehicle
traffic over Eads Bridge, and the Terminal Railroad
monopoly was great.
The judicial tone of the ordinance itself was calcu­
lated to temper the malignant feeling. I quote two
paragraphs describing the duty of the commission to
illustrate this:
“ 1st. To investigate and determine the nature and
extent of the hindrances to the commerce of St. Louis,
whether as regards delay or inconvenience in the

T h e “ A r b it r a r y ” a n d R a il F a c il it ie s


methods of shipping or billing freight, or in any other
“2nd. After the commission shall have determined
what hindrances and disadvantages to St. Louis com­
merce do in fact exist, then the commission shall
further determine what must be done to correct said
existing hindrances to the commerce of St. Louis. The
commission shall determine and announce what por­
tion of the necessary remedial action shall be under­
taken by the City of St. Louis as a municipality, and
what portion by the citizens thereof, or by associations
of citizens, to the end that all the people of St. Louis
may know the facts as they exist, and, being convinced
as to the best way to remedy the situation, may all
unite their efforts to accomplish practical relief.”
The movement was begun on business lines and with
no pre-judgment.
The commission acted without delay. The first meet­
ing was held in the Mayor’s office, May 1, 1905. In
the early meetings it was decided not to employ a rate
expert, but to deal directly with the executives of the
carriers. The commission, upon my insistence, decided
that the conferences should be executive, my object in
this being to encourage free interchange of opinion and
to forestall irresponsible agitation. The commission
decided against bringing up the subjects of freight
rates and transportation service and facilities together,
so that there would be no chance, even remote, of a
“trading” proposal; we would first settle the questions
pertaining to rate and similar hindrances and after
that take up the matter of terminal service and facili­


E pisodes op M y L ife

ties. These precautions, I am certain, simplified and
expedited the commission’s labors.
After conferring with Mr. W. S. McChesney, Jr.,
president of the Terminal Railroad Association, and
becoming familiar with the relationships existing be­
tween and among the railroads, the commission held a
conference with the traffic officers of the Western rail­
roads on September 28. These officers explained that,
inasmuch as a reduction or modification of Eastern
rates was involved, it would be advisable for the com­
mission to discuss the subject with representatives of
the Eastern lines.
The negotiations of the commission had but just
begun when the idea of constructing a “free” munici­
pal bridge was brought up in the Municipal Assembly.
A public hearing was conducted jointly by the Ways
and Means Committees of the Council and House. The
commission took cognizance of the hearing by arrang­
ing to have three members present. Propaganda for
the building of a municipal crossing over the Mississ­
ippi River had been started a year previously. This
subject was to be a cause of trouble later on, and
brewed a storm in the final year of my last term.
However, I allude to it only casually here, as I consider
it separately and at length in another chapter.
Our procedure was noticed by the executives of the
railroads. We had a meeting with those representing
the Eastern lines on October 18, and the issue was
brought quickly to a head. Capt. C. J. Crammer, vicepresident of the New York Central Lines, said that his
colleagues of the Eastern roads had talked the subject

T h e “ A r b it r a r y ” a n d R a i l F a c il it ie s


over at their April session in Chicago, and had ap­
pointed a special committee to obtain information and
prepare for dealing with our commission. Mr. Joseph
Wood, vice-president of the Vandalia line, a part of
the Pennsylvania System, had been named chairman.
When Mr. Whitelaw, vice-chairman of our Municipal
Bridge and Terminals Commission, called upon him
for a statement Captain Crammer said:
“ Mr. Mayor and gentlemen, I was in hopes that, be­
ing a new factor in this business, you gentlemen would
be able to get all the information you desired from the
parties directly connected with this work for a good
many years, which I cannot. I will say, however, that
this question was brought up at a little meeting held
in Chicago in April, at which time and place the mat­
ter of the whole terminal proposition at St. Louis, and
how it affected St. Louis as a city, was pretty thor­
oughly discussed; and at that time there was a com­
mittee of the traffic people appointed who represent
initial Eastern lines of St. Louis for the purpose of
conferring from time to time with the committee of
the Terminal Association direct, with the hope and ex­
pectation that this joint committee would be ready at
any time to confer with the committee from St. Louis,
composed of merchants and business men.
“But it developed at the meeting in question there
were a great many difficulties in the way. The propo­
sition at the April meeting came up, not as to the ab­
sorption of the terminal charges at St. Louis by the
Eastern roads, but as to recognizing St. Louis as a
city, meaning by that to create some method of through


E pisodes of M y L ife

rates whereby a bill of lading that was issued at points
in the East could be used to St. Louis, the same as to
East St. Louis, or vice versa.
“ There were a good many of us who thought there
was absolutely no defense for not putting the railroads
in that position and not recognizing St. Louis in that
manner. The result of the conference was that every
gentleman there said this could be done. I myself have
never seen a traffic proposition that could not be
worked out, and worked out on the theory of where
there is a will there is generally found a way. Apply­
ing it to St. Louis, that particular matter could be
worked out, and be an easy proposition.”
The declaration by Capt. Crammer gave us tangible
encouragement. In effect, he had said that the East­
ern traffic executives had considered the subject vir­
tually simultaneously with our launching of our nego­
tiations ; for I had appointed the commission in April,
and therefore, in the same month, the representatives
of the Eastern carriers, upon learning of our plan, had
decided among themselves that it would be unfair on
their part to decline to establish St. Louis as a freightrate basing-point. Already, according to his assertion,
proper committees had been selected by the railroads
concerned, and with the understanding that the prob­
lem was to be settled to the satisfaction of St. Louis.
It was shown by these developments that objectives
which could not be won by rancorous agitation and in­
discriminate propaganda could be realized by business­
like conference. Already enough had been achieved to
justify our policy and plan.

T h e “ A r b itr a r y ” a n d R a i l F a c il it ie s


The joint session of October 18 led to a basis of co­
operative understanding between us and the carriers’
representatives, not only by frank discussion of facts
and conditions on which to rest our requests in ensuing
conferences, but also by blunt references to the bitter
animus of the community towards the railroads.
The railroad representatives maintained that there
was difference of opinion in St. Louis itself over most
of the questions at issue as to rates and service, and
they expected our commission to harmonize conflicting
views and aims and to submit to them a specific pro­
posal. To this point I replied: “ This commission could
not consult every crank in the City of St. Louis as to
what would be satisfactory to him in connection with
this terminal question. When you ask us to delay action
and try to get our people together and agree upon some
plan to recommend to you, you are asking something
this commission cannot do, and you may as well under­
stand it now as any other time. We have been abused
by the press, and others, because we would not hold
open sessions to hear what would be said. In this we
feel we have acted wisely in protecting you and our­
selves from insult and irrelevant arguments, thus in­
terfering with an orderly and intelligent discussion of
the arbitrary problem, which I am sure we are all de­
sirous of solving to our mutual satisfaction.”
It became apparent before this session adjourned
that we had not only gained directly in an informal
way the determination of the Eastern lines to list St.
Louis as a rate-basing point, but, in addition, that some
progress was being made in the direction of rate-ad-


E pisodes o f M y L if e

justments for formulating the proportionate percent­
age St. Louis would bear in the general Eastern rate
“If we once knew the proposition,” said Capt. Cram­
mer, “ we could take it up in detail and tell what, in
our judgment, can, and what cannot, be done. We will
then join with those people in a joint recommendation
to the powers higher than us, so that this whole ques­
tion can be settled.
“I may say further—and I believe that I simply
voice the sentiment that is with us in all our meetings
on this and other questions—that there is not a repre­
sentative of any railroad, East and West, in St. Louis,
but will work body and soul to perfect and correct this
trouble of which you speak.
“ Recollect that when you get into the question of
absorbing terminals, there will have to be a line drawn
somewhere on what business that terminal will be ab­
With the preceding topics of rates, and divisions and
adjustments, the committee considered bridge and
terminal needs, probable discontinuance of the ferries,
and substantially, in a generic way, all details bearing
on the local rate and transportation situation. In fact,
at this conference was laid the groundwork of subse­
quent developments.
The commission, as I have said, was of the convic­
tion that the two questions, that of rates and the other
of service, should not be considered together, but
separately. I purposely emphasize this decision. The
commission reached this determination with the object

T h e “ A r b it r a r y ” a n d R a i l F a c il it ie s


both of preventing complications which might imperil
the outcome and of obviating a suggestion of barter of
one benefit for another. We made it clear to the rail­
road officials that we were resolved to settle the rate
subject before taking up that pertaining to facilities.
Why was it that the commission had advanced far
in six months towards removal of an obstruction which
had injured St. Louis* trade and prestige for fifty
years? Because, in the main, I think, we had enlisted
the confidence and good will of the railroad executives.
Moreover, in beginning and conducting the conference
relations, the commission had demonstrated to the
representatives of the carriers that the dealings would
be fair, reasonable and courteous.
Railroad officers voluntarily said at the meeting on
November 10, that they had been impressed by the
commission’s attitude in the October session, and they
believed that the “arbitrary” question would have been
adjusted twenty years previously had it been treated
in the way it was then being negotiated. They added
that they meant to work out the whole matter with the
commission to a satisfactory conclusion.
At the conference on November 10, the carriers’
officers submitted a proposal in which they volunteered
to publish tariffs immediately with St. Louis named as
a rate-base point and reducing the differentials as be­
tween St. Louis and East St. Louis. The commission
tendered a reply the same day in writing, declaring
that it was “unanimously of the opinion that the only
true and lasting solution of this question is the total
abolition of the bridge arbitrary and the making of


E pisodes of M y L ife

rates to and from St. Louis the same as from East
St. Louis.”
The first definite understanding between the Eastern
railroads and the commission was a partial adjust­
ment describing the character of a comprehensive,
permanent settlement to be made later. There were
intricacies applicable to rates and genuine bridge arbitraries at other stations along the Mississippi River,
which, due to serious practical considerations in trans­
portation affairs, obliged the Eastern lines to progress
by degrees to total abrogation of the arbitrary.
A momentous understanding between the Eastern
lines and the commission was approved by both part­
ies on November 13, 1905, less than seven months after
the commission was organized. It stipulated that
tariffs would be published affecting St. Louis and terri­
tory lying beyond a radius of one hundred miles east
of St. Louis, that is, to and from stations in Trunk
Line and Central Freight Associations’ territories, and
that these tariffs established St. Louis as a rate-basing
point. “ St. Louis was, at last, put on the railroad
The understanding further provided that “as a basis
for constructing through rates between St. Louis and
the defined territory,” there would, for the present, be
specified differentials over the East St. Louis rate.
Further, it was declared to be the intention of the car­
riers to publish through rates for the territory lying
within the 100-mile radius. The adjustment reduced
the differentials or “arbitraries” fifty to sixty per cent.
Incidentally, I should remark that the distinction be­

T h e “ A r b it r a r y ” a n d R a il F a c il it ie s


tween the 100-mile radius and the territory beyond
rested on actual conditions. The distinction, therefore,
was not exceptional. The zone within the radius of one
hundred miles is the district of the short-haul, in which
there is a difference in rates between stations based on
distance. The region outside the 100-mile radius is the
territory of the long-haul; and there it is possible to
equalize rates or charges in the larger revenue derived
from transportation service.
The commission reported promptly, November 15,
two days later, to the Municipal Assembly in these
words: “It is the unanimous opinion of your commis­
sion that to insist at this time upon the absolute aboli­
tion of all charges for crossing the river would en­
danger the admitted advantages which this city now
possesses over all competitive markets for the trade of
the West, Northwest and Southwest.”
“ This plan of the railway people,” continued the
commission in its report to the Municipal Assembly,
“practically abolishes the arbitrary except as between
the railroads themselves, because the small portion re­
maining will be included in the through rates to and
from this city and all points. The two classes on which
the old charge actually remains, even though included
in the through rates, is made up for the most part of
high-priced goods, many of which are not handled in
carloads, on which there is not and probably never
will be any competition with East St. Louis, and on
which we now enjoy the greatest differentials against
cities where actual competition exists.
“On all other classes the reduction is very marked


E pisodes of M y L if e

and important because of the vast amount of carload
shipments involved and on which the actual charge re­
maining does not equal the switching charge imposed
in practically every other great railroad center.”
The direct, actual saving to receivers and shippers
of freight was estimated broadly at $800,000 per year.
Reductions in bridge tolls on bituminous coal amounted
to more than $160,000 per year. The total annual sav­
ing to rail patrons accomplished by this rate adjust­
ment was equivalent to $960,000. Later concessions by
the railroads increased the shippers’ annual saving to
$2,000,000, not including the saving from a reduction
of one-third in the coal rates. Nevertheless, these finan­
cial results, great as they were, were regarded as of
secondary importance, as the following excerpt from
the commission’s report elucidates:
“ The through bill of lading to and from St. Louis
is by far the most valuable concession. It puts St.
Louis on the railroad map, and, more than all, it con­
tinues the responsibility of the railroad companies for
the safety of our merchandise until it is actually under
the protection of our own fire and police departments,
instead of, as now, leaving it to another state, where,
in cases of loss caused by fire or riot, recovery of dam­
ages by the St. Louis owner would be impossible.”
Although we considered the settlement fundamental,
we realized that it was not yet complete. On the other
hand, we had no doubt that it would be made complete
as soon as the railroads could work out related prob­
lems affecting other stations. By way of explanation
I may state briefly that the rate structure of the rail­

T h e “ A r b it r a r y ” a n d R a i l F a c il it ie s


roads was based on the rate between New York and
Chicago. To be a practical standard in constructing
and applying rates, the New York-Chicago rate was
fixed definitely at 100 per cent, and rates for all other
stations in the Trunk Line and Central Freight terri­
tories were percentages of that. Thus, the East St.
Louis rate was 116 per cent.
In general, all rates in the region “ broke” or finished
off at natural boundaries, such as the Mississippi River.
Obviously, certain details linked with existing rates at
many stations, especially Mississippi River crossings
and important market centers, had to be worked out
quietly by the railroads themselves before the settle­
ment could be full and complete. We did eventually
effectuate a full and complete settlement.
Experts agreed the rates on coal belonged in a com­
modity class by themselves. Furthermore, exclusively
coal-carrying railroads participated in this transpor­
tation, besides the lines engaged in general transporta­
tion. The rates from the Illinois mines were subject
to sanction or dictation by the Illinois State Railroad
Commission, which could destroy the equitableness of
a new rate to St. Louis by lowering the rates to sta­
tions located within Illinois. The territory within the
100-mile radius was also under the jurisdiction of the
Illinois commission. Rates on general traffic within the
100-mile radius were logically constructed on the mile­
age basis, and, in regard to coal, the rates were built up
with consideration for several idiosyncrasies, compris­
ing, among other factors, those of location, destination,
distance, special service, and gross tonnage.


E pisodes of M y L ife

Little more remained for the commission to do in
connection with rates. Time would be a vital element
in divesting St. Louis of the last vestige of the “bridge
arbitrary.” The commission had to wait until prepara­
tions by the railroads were finished. In principle the
“arbitrary” was abolished; St. Louis was on the map
as a rate-basing point; rates and differentials had been
reduced. Wonderful, indeed, were the benefits which
the commission had realized for St. Louis commerce,
and, as a consequence, the general public. The com­
mission decided to let the remnant of the rate question
alone for a while and allow time to simplify the final
From the beginning the Municipal Bridge and Ter­
minals Commission had two objectives in mind. The
one was the rate settlement; the other, terminal facili­
ties. In connection with these objectives the commis­
sion had two others. These were to produce benefits
for St. Louis and the carriers. I then felt, and still
do feel, that the welfare of St. Louis is interlinked with
that of the railroads, as the railroad’s is with that of
St. Louis. Consequently, I believed, as I yet do, that
if the railroads were unjust to St. Louis, and therefore
to themselves, in the matter of rates, St. Louis was un­
fair to the railroads, and therefore to itself, in prevent­
ing the railroads from enlarging and improving their
individual and union transportation facilities.
I may as well state frankly that I do not look upon
the terminal monopoly in St. Louis as a disadvantage.
The monopoly is regulated by the Interstate Commerce
Commission and the state commissions of Missouri and

T h e “ A r b it r a r y ” a n d H a il F a c il it ie s


Illinois. Within the city limits the municipality of St.
Louis exercises some control over it, particularly in the
nature of special legislation. It is also amenable to
public sentiment and the opinion of the business inter­
ests. The terminal monopoly is an unequaled conveni­
ence and economy, which, functioning and growing
according to the mutuality of interest which I have de­
scribed, is an advantage to the railroads and St. Louis.
St. Louis cannot accumulate its advantage as long as
acrimony prevails. When the spirit of mutual consider­
ateness and interest enters into terminal problems, ra­
tional conviction will change the chaos of malevolence
into a state of constructive benefit.
The Terminal Railroad Association, organized in
1889, was, in fact, the association of the railroads of
the St. Louis District in Missouri and Illinois, in the
ownership and operation of joint freight and passenger
terminals. Each carrier had its own terminus and
freight depot and yards, but all the carriers shared in
common in the use of the union facilities. The union
system operated to the advantage and economy of re­
ceivers and shippers of freight on both sides of the
Mississippi River, as well as each and all of the rail­
The superiority of the union terminal system for
economy and service has been recognized by other large
centers in recent years, several of which have under­
taken to duplicate the St. Louis system in so far as
consistent with their local conditions. To reap the full
advantage of the system it is necessary to displace
animosity and self-interest with reason and civic


E pisodes o f M y L if e

patriotism. The capacity and usefulness and efficiency
of the terminal system are, or should be, it might be
said, equal to the understanding harmony in which the
community and railroads co-operate.
The commission had in mind the development of the
transportation facilities as the next stage of progress
after the rate settlement, and I informed the railroad
representatives: “ You have given us what we wanted;
now, what can we do for you? What facilities do you
require in order to improve the service and produce
economy? Now that you have complied with the
wishes of the business interests and the people, com­
mon good-will should support efforts towards terminal
enlargement and betterment.”
The same method which was followed in solving the
rate problem we concluded to pursue regarding desired
improvements. We decided that we should co-operate
with the railroads in a comprehensive investigation.
Resolved to lose no time, we engaged Mr. Robert Moore
and Mr. Albert T. Perkins as consulting engineers and
technical advisers. These two experts made a thorough
study of the physical situation as to present and future
requirements, in conjunction with engineering and
transportation experts of the railroads and civil engi­
neers representing the City of St. Louis.
The scheme for terminal improvements of all sorts
which the commission submitted to the Municipal As­
sembly was the most colossal plan which any city had
had an opportunity to consider. Messrs. Moore and
Perkins, in preparing it, had looked with trained eyes
to efficient, adequate, speedy and economical transpor­

T h e “ A r b it r a r y ” a n d R a il F a c il it ie s


tation service, and had provided for the co-ordination
of union and individual railroad facilities and improve­
The plan proposed central freight depots, of im­
mense size, at the busiest places, and auxiliary depots
in scattered industrial and mercantile localities. It pro­
posed railroad yards and team tracks on the same idea.
A mammoth, central depot would be built on the levee
south of the Eads Bridge. The projected improvements
and enlargements were to be diversified over the
Greater St. Louis District. I need not go into further
detail, but respectfully suggest that those who may be
particularly interested in the subject, with the view to
any further improvements of the terminals, consult the
report of Messrs. Moore and Perkins, which is on file
at the City Hall and the Public Library. The scope of
the scheme could not be appreciated without studying
the recommendations and charts.
Messrs. Moore and Perkins based the whole concept
on a careful investigation of the trend of the prevail­
ing traffic currents and of industrial development; and
they likewise took into account the probabilities of
growth in ensuing years. It was a thoroughly prac­
tical scheme, and it was a calamity that through the
influence of the “ Free Bridge” agitators, cranks and
others, the members of the Municipal Assembly were
influenced not to enact into law the necessary ordi­
nances to permit the execution of the plan.
The commission was an exceptionally capable body,
and its efficiency was attributable to the individual
character and ability of the personnel. Few, if any,


E pisodes of M y L ife

business institutions have as strong a personnel in
executive direction as this commission had, nor is it
possible for private concerns to avail themselves al­
ways of such skill and foresight as were possessed by
its technical advisers, for the men who accomplished
this task were civic patriots, recognized leaders in mer­
cantile and industrial enterprises, who were engaged
in working for the common good and had undertaken
a gigantic task as a labor of love.
The three leading business associations—the Busi­
ness Men’s League, Merchants’ Exchange and Missouri
Manufacturers’ Association—ratified the commission’s
achievements by testifying their appreciation with a
joint banquet. Otherwise, the community did not evi­
dence adequate appraisement of the results, or grateful
regard for the commission’s service, to which, I be­
lieve, the commission was entitled.
With so trustworthy and competent an organization
as the commission was, and in the light of the great
victory it had won in the rate and traffic matters, there
existed a rare opportunity to capitalize the city’s ad­
vantages by the development of its transportation
facilities. But the commission met with rebuffs in­
stead of encouragement from the Municipal Assembly,
and its enthusiasm gradually waned before opposition
from places and persons from which co-operation, at
least, was to be expected.
If the collapse of enterprises with which the city is
identified is analyzed, we would find it to be, in most
instances, the immediate consequence of undisciplined
and unconscionable self-interest. To have and to hold

T h e “ A r b it r a r y ” a n d R a il F a c il it ie s


business administration of a municipality it is impera­
tive that there should be a civic leadership vigorously
supporting the municipal organization against the
worst of all public enemies, the traitor, who, in selfinterest, corrupts the government as he preys on it,
and defames conscientious public servants.
This was the philosophy which was forced on the
members of the commission. They had hoped to equip
St. Louis with the world’s model transportation sys­
tem, comprising ample facilities designed especially to
meet local needs of the present and future. The city,
in preventing construction of such a system, broke
faith with the railroads; but, which was still more
reprehensible, it was false to the business interests and
the whole citizenship. St. Louis could have had the
greatest terminal system in the world, entailing enor­
mous financial expenditures by the railroads in land
and buildings, merely by the enactment of ordinances.
My successor, Mr. F. H. Kreismann, perceived the
advantages to St. Louis inherent in the opportunity,
and prevailed on the commission to remain in exist­
ence. But the commission tired of obstruction and
antagonism, and in March, 1910, the members ten­
dered their resignations, which Mayor Kreismann re­
luctantly accepted.
While I have made these comments in a spirit of re­
gret over the failure of magnificent plans, it has not
been with a sense of resentment. I see that our ter­
minal problem is not solved yet, after the lapse of
twenty-five years, and I hope that my observations
may some time hereafter have constructive influence.

A Costly F olly — T he “ F ree” B ridge
outset of this Episode I wish to make the
i —ll following statement:
•A J** I was never opposed to a free bridge to be
utilized as a thoroughfare for pedestrians, trolley cars
and other vehicles, but I was opposed to the erection
of a municipal free bridge for steam railway purposes,
and I am proud to have opposed this movement. It is,
and probably always will be, notorious as a huge and
expensive travesty on common sense and a perversion
of civic patriotism and business government.
Much agitation was vociferously indulged in by
several sectional organizations and real estate opera­
tors for the erection of this so-called “free” bridge.
One is constrained to speculate why the leadership of
this agitation did not constitute shippers and receivers
of freight.
First, I would direct attention to an excerpt from a
lengthy letter of December 4, 1905, written by Dr.
William Taussig, a citizen of high standing, who had
been associated with the Terminal Railroad Associa­
tion for many years, but who had retired from active
connection with the Terminal Association, in reply to
a letter to him by Mr. H. N. Davis, a member of the
City Council, asking for practical information as to
the proposed “free” bridge:


t the

A C o s t l y F o l l y — T h e “ F r e e ” B ridge


“Another unknown factor is the cost of approaches
and land damages. The forced purchase or condemna­
tion of land is always a feast for real estate agents,
and the city may expect no mercy from them or their
This free bridge agitation began in my first term as
Mayor. It continued into my second term.
Perhaps I should express admiration of the delusive
ingeniousness of the bridge promoters in persuading
the voters that a railroad bridge could be “free” and
eradicate traffic hindrances and costs which already
had been eradicated, and that they were patriotic civic
warriors encountering in a death-struggle the com­
munity's cruelest oppressors. But I cannot at this late
date bring myself to respect them, for, whatever credit
they might be entitled to as conjurors, is offset, in my
conviction, by their obnoxious tactics and the baleful
consequences of their campaign.
A few of the leaders doubtless were honest in the
opinion that a bridge costing many millions of dollars
and to be operated with additional money taken from
the taxpayers could be “ free.” I gladly concede that a
few, though mistaken and misled, were sincere.
On January 13, 1905, Mr. William A. Block sub­
mitted a resolution in the House of Delegates by adop­
tion of which the lower branch of the Municipal As­
sembly asked City Counselor Bates whether the city
could, under its charter, finance, build and operate a
railroad and highway bridge. A week later Mr. Bates
in a comprehensive opinion explained that the charter
would have to be amended in order to provide the


E pisodes of M y L ife

municipality with ample power. Mr. Block on Janu­
ary 25, 1905, introduced in the House a bill for the
creation of the Municipal Bridge and Terminals Com­
mission which has been referred to in a previous
The purported object of the “free” bridge and the
commission was to abolish the bridge arbitrary. The
resolution and the bill contemplated the same ends, but
by fundamentally different means. As I indicated else­
where, the commission actually had abolished the arbi­
trary and generally settled the whole rate and traffic
problem to the satisfaction of the business interests be­
fore the “ free” bridge movement got up full steam.
The failure of the St. Louis Merchants’ Bridge enter­
prise was an object-lesson in proof that the construc­
tion of a bridge and terminal system could not solve
the rate and terminal problem of St. Louis. Publicspirited citizens had built the Merchants’ Bridge and
elevated railway along the levee for the explicit pur­
pose of destroying the existing bridge and terminal
monopoly and abolishing the bridge arbitrary. The
properties stood idle and unused for years and finally
were sold to the Terminal Railroad Association at
great loss to the investors. This example contained all
the adverse indications which should have warned the
city and voters to avoid the “free” bridge hazard.
Cincinnati had built a bridge and railroad in order
to break down a railroad monopoly in the South, and
that city felt greatly relieved at length in being able
to lease the properties to the Southern Railway. The
fact stands that Cincinnati failed of result, as the St.

A C o s t l y F o l l y — T h e “ F r e e ” B ridge


Louis investors had; but the City of St. Louis was
averse to being guided by this experience.
There were innumerable evidences of a substantial
nature that a large outlay of taxpayers" capital in a
“free” bridge could not produce a bridge which would
be “free” or a condition which could change the rate
or terminal situation.
Assuming that the railroads had “free” use of a
municipal bridge, they still would charge for the ser­
vice entailed by operation and the expenses of main­
tenance and depreciation of motive power and equip­
ment. Even were the “free” state actually realized,
there would remain extra service and extra cost above
the East St. Louis rate.
Another condition really existing was that a bridge
minus a terminal system would be no more than a
river-crossing facility. It would be only a connecting
link between terminals on the St. Louis and the East
side of the Mississippi.
Moreover, the through rate was not determined by
local bridges or facilities, but by relative traffic condi­
tions between the Atlantic sea-board and Mississippi
River, affecting every crossing along the Mississippi
River. Lastly, the equitableness of rates was not deter­
minable by ordinance or facilities, but by the decision
of the Interstate Commerce Commission.
All of these facts and more were brought out in the
controversy. I allude to them merely to describe the
situation more or less graphically. But facts were per­
verted, knowledge, practice and experience scorned,
and reason had no chance against rancor and duplicity.


E pisodes of M y L ife

Members of the Municipal Bridge and Terminals
Commission were receivers and shippers of freight,
who were familiar with rates and service, and who
understood thoroughly what St. Louis commerce re­
quired both as to rates and facilities. They conferred
with the executive and traffic officers of the carriers
which owned the Terminal Railroad Association, and
the commission did solve the rate problems and devel­
oped a great plan for solving the local transportation
The “free” bridge leaders were not receivers or ship­
pers of freight, and could not have been practically
informed on the intricacies of rates and transportation,
although they did acclaim themselves to be experts and
professed to know all that could be known (or more)
of these subjects. In order to convince the voters of
their own honesty and unselfishness, they imputed per­
fidy to the members of the Municipal Bridge and Ter­
minals Commission. Instead of treating with the
executive and traffic officers of the railroads, the “free”
leaders pummeled them with derogatory charges and
insinuations. These leaders organized a riotous pack
for purposes of agitation. Thus they inflamed the
voters into a stampede.
Perhaps, I should not be so explicit and candid in
describing the situation. Yet, if we are to learn re­
formative lessons from the obstructions to business
administration, it is necessary to look into those pil­
laging escapades which now and then flare up in con­
servative groups, in which, conformable to normal
expectation, they never should appear. There are at

A C o s t l y F o l l y — T h e “ F r e e ” B ridge


least two environmental phases of city government:
one is in the City Hall, the other on the outside.
Citizens find it hard to grasp municipal problems
which are complex or technical, and they often are un­
wittingly deceived. They are obliged to rely on the
word of men in whose integrity and judgment they
trust in rendering their verdicts on many issues. This
is why unselfish and loyal leadership is so vital to busi­
ness administration, and why it is a grave civic offense
to mislead the people.
The “free” bridge promoters destroyed the confi­
dence of the public in the community’s reputable lead­
ership. For years there had been a hue and cry against
the bridge arbitrary and terminal monopoly, against
the neglect of St. Louis shipping interests by the car­
riers, and against the breach of faith of which the
Terminal Railroad and other lines were accused, in
connection with privileges granted by the city. A re­
vengeful feeling had grown up against the bridge arbi­
trary, which was attributed to the terminal monopoly,
and had been a public issue for years. The voters were
ready to believe that some kind, any kind, of a munici­
pal undertaking would remedy everything, and to re­
gard every one who denounced the arbitrary, the ter­
minal monopoly and the railroads as a patriot, without
inquiring into his motives.
Before the end of the year 1905 the railroads had
agreed with the Municipal Bridge and Terminals Com­
mission to publish tariffs establishing St. Louis as a
percentage rate-base point. On April 19, 1907, the
bridge arbitrary was wiped out completely. Funda­


E pisodes of M y L if e

mentally, the whole rate matter was settled perma­
nently. The arbitrary was abolished and St. Louis was
on the railroad map. Therefore, before the “free”
bridge movement gained momentum the rate problems
had been definitely and satisfactorily settled, and there
was no bridge arbitrary.
Can it be admitted that the proponents of the “free”
bridge were unaware that the “bridge arbitrary” had
been abolished and the rate problems settled? All re­
ceivers and shippers of freight were cognizant of the
rate adjustments and were using them to convenience
and profit. The newspapers had published details of
the adjustments, and the three principal commercial
associations—the Business Men’s League, Missouri
Manufacturers’ Association and Merchants’ Exchange
—had celebrated the great victory for St. Louis com­
merce. If the “free” bridge promoters did know of
these facts, their behavior is difficult to explain.
The “free” bridge promoters and their satellites pro­
claimed that the railroads had duped St. Louis, and the
Municipal Bridge and Terminals Commission, they in­
sinuated, was in a conspiracy with the railroads
against the shippers and the people. They belittled the
results achieved by the commission. “If, however,”
they contended, but not so deferentially, “the arbitrary
really has been abolished, the terminal monopoly has
not; so, let’s build a ‘free’ bridge and kill the monster
that is throttling St. Louis.” (I can never think of the
“free” bridge hippodrome without resentment. It is
shocking that the word “free” is so beguiling!)
In the comprehensive report of Messrs. Moore and

A C o s t l y F o l l y — T h e “ F r e e ” B ridge


Perkins, on July 6, 1906, in treating of the terminal
situation, and, particularly, that relating to bridge
facilities across the river, they pointed out the desir­
ability of the railroads constructing a four-track can­
tilever bridge, solely for steam railway purposes, to
be located at the foot of Poplar Street, thus giving a
direct entrance and exit into and from the city, and so
elevated as would make an advantageous connection
with Mill Creek Valley.
In connection with this recommendation I quote a
letter under date of November 11, 1905, addressed to
me by Mr. William S. McChesney, Jr., reading as fol­
“As president and general manager of the Terminal
Railroad Association of St. Louis, I will recommend to
the Board of Directors of that company, leasing to the
City of St. Louis the upper roadway of the Eads Bridge
upon fair and reasonable terms.”
This proposition coupled with the recommendation
of Messrs. Moore and Perkins that a cantilever steam
railway bridge be located at the foot of Poplar Street,
caused me to advocate that steps be taken to enter into
negotiations with the Terminal Association to the ef­
fect that the proceeds of the three million five hundred
thousand dollars of bonds to be used in the construc­
tion of a bridge, be the nucleus of a contract to be
entered into with the Terminal Association for them to
erect the suggested Poplar Street bridge, and, in turn,
the city to acquire an indefinite lease to the Eads
Bridge, both the upper and lower highways, and the
Eads tunnel.


E pisodes of M y L ife

The consummation of an agreement of such char­
acter would then have provided the City of St. Louis
with two roadways across the river, to be utilized for
pedestrians, vehicles and trolley cars, all of which could
be operated in conjunction with the tunnel, and the
tunnel thereby made useful for underground purposes,
relieving the surface traffic congestion.
If this suggestion and plan had been adopted, it
would not be difficult to visualize, after the passage of
twenty-five years, the great benefit that would have
But, unfortunately, the public mind, influenced by the
“free” bridge agitators, local associations and many of
the newspapers, was so acute and unreasonable, that
the suggestion I put forward met with no encourage­
ment or support from the community, and brought
upon me the charge that I was an agent of the Ter­
minal Association.

“No Bridge — No Bonds”
inaugural address contained the fol­
lowing: “ Our eleemosynary institutions and
public buildings must be reconstructed and
made suitable for the purposes for which they are in­
tended.” To accomplish this a Charter amendment was
required, authorizing an increase in the total bonded
indebtedness of the city. This consumed considerable
time, but, ultimately, was adopted.
By the adoption of this amendment the city was in
position to use the proceeds of about $11,200,000
through the sale of its bonds, all of which was needed
for eleemosynary institutions, other public buildings,
bridges and viaducts within the city limits, the Kings­
highway Boulevard project, public parks and public
The first proposal was lost in the election, and it was
the unanimous opinion of the most reliable observers
that the defeat of the great and necessary projects was
due to the “free” bridge cyclone. It was apparent that
the administration would be prevented from fulfilling
the community’s duty to the sick, insane, maimed, poor
and other unfortunates, who were wards of the munici­
pality, unless arrangements were made to construct a
“free” bridge.


y first


E pisodes of M y L if e

When the submission to the voters of another bondissue proposal was considered, the agitators brazenly
declared that it would be wrecked should it not contain
a “ free” bridge item. “ No bridge, no bonds!” was their
ultimatum. They asserted in effect: “ No bridge, no
Through their clamor and influence the agitators
succeeded in diverting $3,500,000 of this money to be
used for a “ free” bridge. The slogan, “ No bridge, no
bonds,” was a contemptible suggestion, coupled with a
dastardly thought. They, in the interest of their bridge
project, were ready, as they had threatened, to stop the
city from using the proceeds of the bonds so as prop­
erly to take care of its sick, its poor, its insane, its
thousands of helpless public charges.
The bond-issue proposal was approved at an election
held on June 12, 1906, and it set aside $3,500,000 for a
“free” bridge.
I felt that it was my duty as Mayor to oppose the
“ free” bridge folly. I stated my position specifically in
a message to the City Council on April 3, 1906, upon
returning the bond-issue ordinance with my approval.
I took this action before the proposal was submitted to
the voters. I incorporate this message herein as fol­
“ In the formal expression ‘approval’ of the aforesaid
ordinance as a whole, I regret that I have not the
authority to eliminate that portion of Proposition One
relating to the construction and maintenance of a mu­
nicipal bridge for public use by railroads, which I re­
gard with disfavor. Propositions Two to Nine, inclu­

“ No

B ridge —


B ond s”


sive, however, pertaining to the much-needed better­
ment of our eleemosynary institutions, and other public
improvements, are of such importance as to cause me
to unite with your honorable body in the adoption of
your bill.
“ The motive which actuates me to oppose that sec­
tion of the ordinance providing for a municipal railroad
bridge is a profound conviction that the bonds proposed
to be issued in aid of a railroad bridge, free or other­
wise, will not and cannot accomplish the purpose for
which they are desired.
“ The leaders of the free bridge movement have con­
tended that the erection of a free bridge would result,
first, in a through bill of lading; second, in the aboli­
tion of the bridge arbitrary; in the construction and
operation of West Side terminals in lieu of those now
located on the East Side.
“If the people of St. Louis will consider for a mo­
ment, they will realize that no public argument has yet
been made that will verify the foregoing assertion. No
expert in intricate railway operation has been pre­
sented who will give his opinion that a free bridge will
accomplish what has been claimed. It is my opinion
that the extraordinary bridge campaign that the peo­
ple of the city have thus far been subjected to has been
of a supposititious character.
“ Through the conscientious labor of the Municipal
Bridge and Terminals Commission, that for which our
shipping interests have so long been contending has
been attained—namely, a through bill of lading, mak­
ing St. Louis a basing point. In addition thereto, a


E pisodes of M y L if e

material reduction in the terminal arbitrary has been
made, amounting to a saving of about $800,000 an­
“It is the opinion of those versed in railway tariffs
that the effect of making St. Louis a basing point will,
at no distant day, result in the abolition of a discrimi­
nating terminal arbitrary.
“ As to the third contention that a free bridge will
result in the removal of the East Side terminals to the
West Side, those who are competent to judge, maintain
that the proposed free wagon bridge, in combination
with a railroad bridge, will be additional inducement
to the railroads now terminating in East St. Louis to
remain where they are.
“ If the City of St. Louis constructs and operates one
or twenty or more bridges, they would be worthless
without terminals and railroads to utilize them.
“ The two bridges now in use at this point are not
operated within thirty per cent of their carrying capac­
ity ; then, why should taxpayers be called upon to pro­
vide an additional one, when it is apparent to all well
versed in the subject of tariff that by so doing the
arbitrary will not be affected?
“ The public mind has been inflamed by the frequent
statements that those interested in the present ter­
minals of St. Louis are opposed to the free bridge
movement. My opportunity for information, by reason
of the work of the Terminals Commission, has been
extensive, and I believe such statements are not
founded on facts. It is reasonable to suppose that the
railroad interests centering here would be most pleased

“ No

B rid ge —


B on d s”


for the City of St. Louis to furnish means of railroad
transportation across our river, to which they, without
cost or labor, would most surely fall heir.
“A discriminating terminal arbitrary is, in my opin­
ion, an unjust burden upon the commerce of this city;
nothing herein contained should be construed, in any
manner, to commit me to oppose any proper and effec­
tive measure calculated to abolish it. I oppose a Mu­
nicipal Railroad Bridge, because I think it will be in­
“ It is proposed to construct with the proceeds of said
bonds a railroad bridge (in whole or in part), which
shall be either free or toll. If it is to be a toll bridge,
the burden complained of will not be avoided. If it is
to be free, it will be free to the railroad corporations,
who are already well equipped and amply able to pro­
vide for the future. Certainly it will not be free to the
taxpayer of this city, called upon to construct and
maintain a bridge, the maintenance of which can be
conservatively estimated as follows:
Minimum Annual Fixed Charges Beyond $500,000.
“1. Interest charges annually on $3,500,000 3 V
z per
cent bonds................................................................. $122,500.00
“2. Sinking fund charge in accordance with require­
ments of the constitution........................................ 175,000.00
“3. For the annual cost of maintenance and opera­
tion, in conformity with the cost under corporation
control....................................................................... 183,000.00
Making a total of.................................................... $480,500.00

“ It should be noticed also in this connection that the
municipal bridge would be private property in Illinois
after it passes the middle of the stream in the Miss­
issippi River, as that is the boundary line between the


E pisodes o f M y L ife

territory in Missouri and that in Illinois. Such being
the case, the eastern portion of the bridge and the ap­
proaches would be held by the City of St. Louis in the
State of Illinois, if, under the laws of Illinois, it can
acquire, own, maintain and operate such property there
as would a private concern. Such property would be
subject to taxation and subject to all the laws of the
State of Illinois and the municipality within whose
borders said portion of the bridge might be.
“ St. Louis, in so far as litigation should grow out of
the ownership or operation or maintenance of the east­
ern portion of the bridge and the eastern terminus
would be forced to go into the courts of Illinois.
“If the bridge is to be built as a municipal bridge,
then it ought to be built, maintained and operated un­
der some kind of joint arrangement under the laws of
both the State of Illinois and the State of Missouri,
enacted to that end, so as to make it a public bridge
“ Of course, under any arrangement that could be
made by the State of Missouri and the State of Illinois,
the bridge would still be subject to the laws of the
United States in so far as it affected the navigability
of the Mississippi River, and in so far as interstate
commerce is carried on over the same.
“A free wagon bridge would be of little, or no value,
unless located at a point accessible to the business
center of the City of East St. Louis. It is conceded by
those who have studied the question that a free wagon
bridge connecting the City of St. Louis with the City
of East St. Louis would be of greater benefit to the

“ No

B rid ge —


B on d s”


latter than to the former, yet no suggestion has been
forthcoming, or offer made, that the City of East St.
Louis be required to provide its just proportion of the
cost of its construction and operation.
“ I oppose the investment of public moneys in any
private enterprise. Public funds should not be used in
aid of private corporations. The burden of taxes is
already heavy and I can perceive no sufficient reason
for increasing that burden in order that railroad cor­
porations may be the chief beneficiaries. I believe we
should use the whole power of the city to encourage
private enterprises by proper grants of municipal
franchises, but I am also of the opinion that public
revenue should be used for public purposes. I feel sure
a large percentage of our good citizens who have dis­
interestedly advocated the free bridge movement, will,
upon careful investigation, agree that the proposed in­
vestment of $3,500,000 justifies mature and deliberate
“I concur in the feeling of a number of the members
of your honorable body who believe that we are not
justified in issuing bonds for the construction of a rail­
road bridge, yet have been constrained to approve such
measure, solely with the view of giving the people of
the City of St. Louis, through exercise of their suf­
frage, the opportunity to indicate their desire.”
The “free” bridge offensive was void of the sub­
stance of respectable common sense. It must be re­
viewed mainly as boisterous ballyhoo. What the propa­
ganda lacked in judgment, knowledge, experience and
civic patriotism, it made up in fulmination, energy and


E pisodes op M y L if e

dramatics; and the voters, believing that a “free”
bridge was the thoroughfare to emancipation, sanc­
tioned the proposal.
Summing up what has happened to the taxpayers
and business interests of St. Louis, I am informed, as
of July 13, 1931, that the total cost, including interest,
of the “free” bridge amounted to $13,427,362.35. Also,
that an agreement, after lengthy negotiations, has been
entered into between the City of St. Louis and the
Terminal Railroad Association by which the city will
get the use of the upper roadway of the Eads Bridge
for vehicular, street-cars and pedestrian purposes, and
the Terminal Association will, in turn, have the use
of the “ free” bridge for railway purposes upon the
payment to the city of a monetary advance of $3,250,000, at an interest rate of five per cent per annum,
being the estimated cost of five approaches to adapt
the bridge to general railroad use.
In the foregoing figures depreciation has not been
computed, which is estimated at two per cent per an­
num on the superstructure and one per cent per annum
on the substructure.
The Terminal Association has contracted for itself
and its proprietary lines to use the “ free” bridge to
the extent of $500,000 per year at the regular tariff
fixed by city ordinance, until the account with the city
for funds advanced by the Terminal Railroad is bal­
anced. That is, the Terminal Railroad advanced to the
city $3,250,000 for completing the bridge and con­
tracted to use the bridge for $500,000 a year, by which,
in about six and one-half years, this account would be

“ No

B ridge —


B onds”


balanced. Thereafter, all service over the bridge will
be subject to tolls, or arbitraries, stipulated in the city
ordinance—$1 per freight car, $1.50 per passenger car,
and $2 per locomotive.
To reckon the net loss of the “free” bridge folly, all
factors should first be included in the gross. Let us
say that the only gain accrued to business was through
the use of the highway section of the bridge. This gain
cannot be estimated. All other items represent loss.
From every regular business viewpoint, even the high­
way was a loss in connection with the enormous capital
with which the bridge was drenched and the heavy
maintenance costs. The gain was out of proportion to
the costs.
On May 30, 1930, Mr. M. H. Doyne, the city con­
sulting engineer, estimated the annual carrying cost of
the “free” bridge at $920,708.
It is estimated that about thirty per cent of the
revenue from tolls or arbitraries which the city will
get annually from the railroads, in accordance with the
agreement with the Terminal Association, will be ab­
sorbed in maintenance cost of the bridge, approaches
and appurtenances.
The following tables give some idea of the cost and
financial loss to the City of St. Louis through the
“free” bridge folly:



April 1, 1908 ........$ 500,000 4%
Oct. 1, 1908 ............ 3,000,000 4%
Oct. 15, 1915 .......... 2,750,000 4.5%
Oct. 1, 1927 ............ 1,500,000 4%


Redeemed Outstanding
$ 500,000



E pisodes op M y L ife

Interest Paid on Bonded Debt.
$ 4,957,674.00
Cost of Construction..........
Survey Northeast Approach
Taxes on East Side Property.. . .
Construction of Southern Ap­
proach ......................................... 1,500,000.00
Signal Lights.................................
Interlocking Plant.........................
Maintenance Charges, 1920-29, In165,000.00
Total Expenditures (including interest)


The monetary loss to the St. Louis taxpayers to date
was $13,427,362, which was capital outlay, plus inter­
est, and sundry costs and expenses. In building ap­
proaches at least $3,500,000 will be added to the invest­
ment, if we may so call it, before it can be used by the
We thus compute the cost of the “ free” bridge to the
taxpayers at $17,000,000 plus; and the records of the
city’s fiscal officers show that the plus over $16,677,362.35 (comprising the $13,427,362.35 above stated and
the $3,250,000 for approaches and other necessary im­
provements) has been considerable so far. Time is an­
other plus element to be figured in the loss—the time
between 1909, when construction was begun, or be­
tween 1906, when the bonds were voted, and 1933, when
the railroads probably will begin to use the bridge—
virtually a quarter of a century.
The loss due to inability of use and occupancy was
incalculable. The loss to merchants and the public as
a consequence of the twenty-five-year delay in opening
the Eads Bridge as a free public thoroughfare cannot
be overlooked; nor the stimulation that this central

“ No

B ridge —


B onds”


highway would have had on downtown property and
improvement on downtown business.
St. Louis could have had a great four-track railroad
bridge, properly located, more than twenty years ago,
built by the railroads at a cost of $9,000,000. About
twenty-five years ago it could have opened Eads Bridge
as a free public highway. Any time in the past quarter
of a century St. Louis could have had the Eads Bridge
tunnel as the nucleus of a rapid-transit subway.
There is circumstantial irony in the “free” bridge
ballyhoo. The structure was to have abolished the
bridge arbitrary, to have been “free,” and to have
destroyed the terminal monopoly. By the contract be­
tween the city and the Terminal Association it is to be
used by the terminal monopoly, it is not to be “free”
to the railroads; and the charges for railroad use, as
specified by ordinance, are tantamount to restoration
by the municipality of an arbitrary.
Far worse, in many respects, than all the enumerated
and other obvious losses is that loss incurred by delay
(but I still hope, not the prevention) of terminal im­
provement and expansion. The plans prepared by the
Municipal Bridge and Terminals Commission for the
greatest terminal system in the world—to be con­
structed by the railroads at their expense—were cast
aside. The Municipal Assembly and its successor, the
Board of Aldermen, restrained development of ter­
minal facilities. I trust, however, that it is not too late
for the city again to take up this question.
If the “ free” bridge is not an extravaganza and a
monument to folly, what is it?

St . L ouis’ M unicipal R enaissance
Louisiana Purchase Exposition primarily
was proposed as a fitting one-hundredth anni­
versary celebration of the acquisition of the
Louisiana Territory. It would naturally create a quick­
ening civic spirit. The theme of the movement was the
New St. Louis.
The plague of municipal corruption had been im­
planted so long as to be a recognized convention. Pub­
lic officers and jobs belonged to the bosses of political
machines which were operated under partisan names.
The existing conditions had grown up in base politics
and vitiating private ambition. A few citizens were
probably as much to blame as the professional spoils­
men in politics, for the givers were as predatory and
demoralizing as were the receivers of booty.
Such was the nature of spoils government in St.
Louis. But there came a revulsion of feeling and popu­
lar sentiment awaited leadership for a cleanup. Promi­
nent citizens desired to restore the policy of justice
and probity in the City Hall and institute efficient and
progressive administration.
I have pictured conditions broadly, yet, I believe, not
extravagantly. The daily press used deals, names,
amounts and dates frankly and revealed actualities in

S t . L o u is ’ M u n ic ip a l R e n a i s s a n c e


everyday terms, and this was about the most convinc­
ing way in which the papers could impress the citizens
with perfidy in government. The unvarnished truth
was bad enough.
The bosses of the party machines had been looking
about for a stalk-horse for each ticket so that their
organizations would seem respectable to the voters.
The successful nominee would get the honor connected
with the principal executive office, but with the old
gang attached to it. At the same time a group of lead­
ing citizens of both parties was trying to agree in the
selection of a nominee who would defy the bosses, pro­
vide a business administration and build the New St.
I was, I understood, a compromise choice. Several
others had been mentioned. When the “Solar Walkers,”
“Silk Stockings” or “ High Hats,” as they were called,
could not come together on any of the others proposed,
the several factions accepted me; and I accepted their
complimentary proposal.
In passing I may say that I am now more familiar
with municipal administration than I was then. After
eight years of turmoil I should be. However, I have
no regret, as I believe that the administration in these
two terms wrought the desired fundamental change
from corrupt misrule to progressive, efficient direction
for the people.
The conversion of actual government from spoliation
to public welfare and service, marked an advance of
more than local interest and import. Friends of my
colleagues and myself would appreciate the narration


E pisodes of M y L ife

of my experiences in the “reform movement” from
kindly partiality, but I am urged to the opinion that
it might have value now or in the future for civic
officials and the voters, for guidance based on facts and
A score of problems demanded solution. Primarily,
the viewpoint of city officials and employes had to be
rectified, so that the policy of the administration would
rest on the city’s interests and the public welfare. The
conventions and practices blending with boss rule, spe­
cial privilege and profiteering, had to be repudiated,
and new standards set up instead. Extensive public
improvements had to be finished in preparation for the
World’s Fair in 1904. In general, we were compelled
to turn the chaos of turpitude and misrule into a state
of order and progress.
St. Louis, like every other city in the United States,
had reached a crisis, and this crisis was to be utilized
as an opportunity for advantage.
Every tangible achievement produced tangible bene­
fit and every intangible result obtained led to material
improvement; betterment and progress were realized
synchronously, and, looking backwards, I would not
presume to compare the relative superiority as between
the visible and invisible evidences of advancement.
Yet, I might add that I am confident that every sin­
cere effort was of substantial good, notwithstanding
that it developed into nothing more than just an at­
tempt. I wish to imply that every officer and employee
shared with the administration in creating the New St.
Louis and even every repulse or defeat contributed,

S t . L o u is ’ M u n ic ip a l R e n a i s s a n c e


with every success, to the ultimate triumph of prac­
tical, reasonable, just, progressive and efficient govern­
ment—for the city and for the people.
The annual report of James Y. Player, Comptroller,
included in the Mayor’s last Message and Accompany­
ing Documents, 1908-1909, shows a comparison of the
eight years of my administration with the previous
eight years, and concludes as follows:
“At the close of eight consecutive years of service
as Comptroller the hope is entertained that the man­
agement of the department will prove of some real and
lasting benefit to the community at large. Unceasing
endeavor has been made by everyone in the depart­
ment with that end in view.
“ Credit is neither taken or desired for any part of
the work which may appear meritorious—except in so
far as might redound to the honor of the administra­
tion of which the department was a part.
“ Nor are any apologies offered, for best efforts were
invariably directed to perfecting every detail of the
work in recognition of the requirements of the oath of
office and in sincere appreciation of the honor con­
ferred by election to the office.
“ To members of the Municipal Assembly, executive
officials, heads of departments and my assistants, and
the clerical force in my department—and most par­
ticularly to the Chief Executive of the City and the
City Counselor and his assistants—who have rendered
me valuable aid on many occasions, grateful acknowl­
edgement is here made of my obligations.”


E pisodes o f M y L ife

W hat

th e

R ecords S h o w !

St. Louis expended out of current municipal revenue
receipts, for new public work and other public purposes
for the periods shown:

April1893 April1901
April1901 March1909
Completion New City Hall................$1,035,731.91 $ 218,525.93
Erection New City Hospital............
New Public Sewers...........................
City’s Share of Cost of Making
Streets, District Sewers, etc.........
Erection of New Engine Houses and
Purchase of Lots...........................
New Street Bridges and Culverts...
New Buildings, etc., Eleemosynary
and Correctional Institutions___
Purchase of Sites for Bath-houses
and Swimming Pools and Erection
of Buildings Thereon......................
Purchase of Sites for Parks, Perma­
nent Improvements Therein and
Other Public Purposes..................
Erection of Police Stations and Pur­
chase of Lots...................................

Street Department......................... $
Sewer Department.........................
Police Department...........................
Fire Department.............................
Health Department.........................
Lighting Department.....................
Parks, Playgrounds, Etc................




$ 8,448,350.00

Total Disbursements....................... $26,070,813.00


Not one dollar of this money spent the last seven
years came from bond issues. Every cent came from
municipal revenue.

T he E nd Crowns the W ork
my eight years of close associa­
tion with the principal and state officials of the
City of St. Louis, I felt that it would be becom­
ing for me to tender them a reception in my residence
at 4228 Lindell Boulevard, which I did the evening of
April 2, 1909. It was an official family gathering. All
departments of the city administration and all state
offices with municipal connections were represented.
Members of the City Council, House of Delegates,
Board of Public Improvements, Board of Education,
Board of Police Commissioners, and so on, were pres­
ent in their respective official bodies, as were the judges
of the courts. The assemblage numbered about 200.
The Industrial School Band, consisting of twenty-one
boys of the Industrial School, which was one of the
most interesting innovations of my tenure, furnished
the music, and the lads were a feature of the event.
My guests included both Republicans and Democrats.
Politics was not discussed on this occasion, yet I would
not deny that the friendly enemies did much good-natured bantering.
I shall always remember with pleasure one incident
of this farewell reception. It was the presentation of
tokens to the boys who comprised the Industrial School
o n t e m p la tin g



E pisodes of M y L if e

Band. I wished especially to inspire them with per­
sonal and civic ideals and ambitions, and I thought it
would be a proper ending to my public service, prac­
tically my last act as Mayor, to single out the next
generation with my attention. There is something par­
ticularly sad, it seems to me, in the situation of chil­
dren without vital ties of affection or fair opportuni­
ties or prospects. I hope that the small thoughtfulness
to these lads instilled happy expectations in the future
of each boy.
I had purchased a small watch for each of the
twenty-one boys. His name was engraved in it, and
the legend “ From Rolla Wells, Mayor of St. Louis,
April 2, 1909.” Before distributing the presents I as­
sembled the little fellows and addressed them briefly.
“Boys, always remember that this watch is from the
Mayor of St. Louis, even after you have forgotten me.
Always remember that he wanted you to grow up to
be industrious and honest citizens.”
The smallest boy, Anthony Bickner, I had to lift up
so that the pleased spectators might see him.
That reception, which was an official family party,
closed my service as Mayor. I had formed a strong
attachment of regard for these men who had co-oper­
ated with me. It was with regret that I had to termi­
nate this official relationship. Some of these men I
would meet again at intervals of time; some I would
never see again. But I would remember each of them
with the kindliest feelings as long as I lived. They
went back to their work in public office, leaving me—
again at home.


T h ir d Ca l l

middle of January, 1909, the Democratic City
Central Committee authorized a special committee
to call on me, for the purpose of asking me to
stand for a third-term renomination. The matter was
held in abeyance; in the meantime, I was asked by a
number of influential citizens, Republicans and Demo­
crats, to be a candidate for renomination. However,
after careful consideration I reached the conclusion
that I could not consent.
I could not subdue the reluctance which deterred me
from continuing in public office. Bearing responsibility
was a pleasure to me, as it is to everybody who aims
to do work of consequence. Naturally, I rejoiced in
the respect and praise which friends and strangers be­
stowed on me, and I had due appreciation of the honors
conferred on me by my fellow-citizens; the achieve­
ments for the public welfare which had been realized
were, as they still are, a source of great satisfaction
and just pride, and I hold the conviction that in this
record of eight years of management of our city, I pass
on to my descendents a priceless legacy. But the dis­
agreeable aspects of the situation, petty though they
were singly, filled me with aversion.
It must not be inferred that I regretted contributing




E pisodes op M y L ife

eight years of effort to the community’s service, or
that I was displeased with results, or that there was
the least malevolence in my apathy. On the contrary,
I was glad, and still am, of having had an opportunity
to serve the public, and cherish gratitude towards those
friends, colleagues and acquaintances who shared in
the administration, and to the voters who honored and
supported me.
Responsibility is, as it should be, a concomitant of
the honor attached to the highest municipal position.
Without the responsibility the honor would be a gra­
tuity. One trained to conscientious and assiduous em­
ployment could have but one objective,—that of deserv­
ing the good will and trust of the citizenship by the
performance of duty. He would look upon the honor
of the office as a pledge of credit from the community
and feel bound by every principle of private and public
character to fulfill it faithfully. Personal sacrifice and
some unpleasantries he would include in the general
responsibility as normal contingencies, and would bear
On the other hand, I never could become reconciled
to the partisan misrepresentation and detraction with
which the politicians and their organs attacked the
public official in order to discredit him with the citi­
zenry and frustrate his endeavors for the common
Conceding that party rivalry is conducive to good
government, and, therefore, should be encouraged, I
cannot admit that such rivalry is in any way privileged
to descend to the license of unjust, defamatory and

A T h ir d C a l l


destructive intrigue. The aim of the party system
should be to achieve constructive administration, and,
if this end is not served, there must be something
wrong in partisan organization and practice. The
rivalry should be in producing the most efficient
government practically possible, and not in maliciously
reviling public officials or obstructing measures of
benefit to the city and public merely for party ad­
Abhorrence of such irresponsible and destructive
political tactics inculcated in me a growing antipathy
for public office and prompted me to decline a renomi­
Constructive criticism I deemed to be desirable and
profitable. It is, or should be, progressive in result.
The element of patriotism is in it, and it is a fair
weapon of combat in partisan competition. Especially
in municipal affairs it is important that the political
organizations should direct their activities to the at­
tainment and preservation of good government. Were
the opposing parties to adopt a policy of constructive
campaigning, in and between elections, it would be
easier for them to induce the ablest citizens to run for
Men of experience and means are reluctant to im­
peril their reputations in a turmoil of calumny and
abuse, and experience the humiliation of unfair cen­
sure and personal indignity.
I do not propose, at this stage in my life, to write
a dissertation on city government. I content myself
with leaving two thoughts with the citizenry. First,


E pisodes of M y L ife

the better citizens should not look with contempt on
ward and precinct politics or on minor offices, but
should take part in civic affairs at the source of good
government or misrule. Second, the custom of traduc­
ing faithful officials and wrecking progressive meas­
ures should be changed to a fair and constructive
policy, and, instead of “playing” politics and self-inter­
est, we should look to the welfare of the people and to
the efficient management of the city.
It is a fact, as often has been said, that every com­
munity can have the character of municipal govern­
ment which it determines to have.
I did not think of mine as a “ reform administra­
tion.” My colleagues and I were to run the city as a
business concern and to build the New St. Louis.
Previous wrongs and mistakes were of the past, and
were dead issues. Our interest was in the present and
the future. There was good in the municipality, as
well as bad, as there is in human nature, and we came
into power not as Pharisees, but as business men hav­
ing the same inspirations and desires as the masses,
whose agents and servants we were.
I appreciated the indorsement which the voters gave
to my efforts by re-electing me. I also appreciated
their sanctioning of bond issues and ratification of
policies and measures. I today observe projects origi­
nated in my administration now being carried out, and
indications are that the progress will continue.
Many friends and acquaintances have asked me
whether I had any regret for my public service as
Mayor of St. Louis, and whether the honor of the office

A T h ir d C a l l


and the results of the labors compensate for the per­
sonal sacrifices.
My answer is brief and explicit. I am happy for my
experience in the City Hall and the satisfaction which
I cherish for both the labors and results of my public
Every citizen, I believe, is in debt to the community.
He is one person among many, and his property or
interest but one among many; and he and his posses­
sions and opportunities are benefitted by the totality
of divers advantages and conveniences provided by the
community. Every citizen owes to the community such
public service as he can afford to contribute as his
share, and I stress the obligation of each citizen to
contribute what he can to the public welfare.

Kind W ords A r e R e q u ita l f o r C riticism

in public office should demolish any

one’s vanity and shake any one’s self-assurance.
He soon finds that it is impossible for him to
accomplish all that he desires; indeed, some of his
favorite plans are shattered. He learns that nothing is
easier than to make enemies, and that animosity and
criticism are as certain as “death and taxes.” He can­
not fail to see that it would be wiser to be right, than
not, for by so being he would at least please himself.
When one does obtain reward from public service in
expressions of commendation and manifestations of
esteem, he feels that he is requited for the griefs of
antagonism and disparagement, and realizes that the
office-holder is not excluded from the influence of the
law of justice and has some moral rights left, though
he may have no human rights. In particular, he har­
bors an exceptionally warm and deep sentiment of
gratitude towards those who confirm him in his satis­
faction that his best in motive and work is recognized
and appreciated by others.
Frankly, during my two terms as Mayor of St. Louis
and since my retirement from public office, I have had
no regret over anything that I said or did. I followed
my conscience and judgment, I had, and still have, the

K in d W ords A re R e q u it a l fo r C r it ic is m


conviction that I consistently and always did my best.
This was and is my own opinion. What did others
I confess that I did wish appreciation of my work
and achievements, although I can honestly say that I
had no desire for personal laudation. I wished others
to signify that my work had been well done and that
it had contributed to the advancement of St. Louis and
the welfare of the people. I wished evidence that I had
earned the respect and regard of my fellow-citizens.
My wishes were realized in the superlative degree
soon after I had concluded my second term as Mayor,
and I can truly say that my gratitude to friends and
supporters for the good opinion which they attested is
inexpressible and enduring. Their demonstration of
esteem exceeded my highest expectation, and assured
me during these latter years with satisfaction with my
This testimonial was tendered me at a banquet in
the Southern Hotel, Wednesday evening, April 14,
1909, by nearly 500 leading citizens. I like to think of
that gathering as the voice of the people, which it was,
for it comprised gentlemen of all religious and political
professions, and all the economic and social variations.
It was an assemblage representative of the whole citi­
zenship, and, I take it, evidenced public opinion.
I was profoundly moved by the tribute, and as long
as I live shall remember it happily, with the most
grateful sentiments to all who took part in it.
My story has consisted in the main of what I said
and did. Now, I take pleasure in leaving a record of


E pisodes o f M y L if e

what others said concerning my official efforts, by in­
cluding in full in the following pages the contents of
the souvenir brochure which my fellow-citizens issued
for that memorable testimonial banquet, to which was
attached the autograph signatures of the hosts.








cM e NU

C A N A P E (M A L O S S O L ) C A V I A R




Sauterne (SCI. 3.)





Philip Norris

Mo«t & Cbandon
Yeuve Clicquot








J h e S e n t im e n t s




M r . J A M E S E. S M I TH

I N V O C A T I O N ................................................................................ R E V . S A M U E L J . N lC C O L L S . D. D .





S T S ....................................................................T H E C H A I R M A N

................................................................... H O N . D. R. F R A N C I S


W E . T H E FO RM E R M A Y O R S ................................................................................. H O N . C. P . W A L B R I D G E



th e



c it iz e n s

Re s p o n


th e

m ost



reveren d

H O N . F. H . K R E I S M A N N . M A Y O R OF ST. LO U IS

Jo h n j . g l e n n o n , a r c h b is h o p o f s t

* a p p r e c ia t io n of good g o v e r n m e n t







m r

Lo u i s

. f . w . Le h m a n n

Hon . r olla w e lls





















G E M S FROM " T H E R E D M I L L ”




E x c e r p t s f r o m " u p in t h e a i r ”










G r a n d am er ica n







...................................................... G O U N O D



" B A D ’ NER M A D L ’ N”













............................................................................................... H E R B E R T


..................................................................................p o e p p i n g

" G R A N D ST . L O U I S ”







f a n t a s ie



" S T . L O U I S TO T H E F R O N T ”




" S T . LO U IS S O N G O F V I C T O R Y ”



• 'F A U S T ”

" H A I L . ST . L O U I S ”

















" B A T T L E H Y M N O F ST. L O U I S ”









b en d ix


Dedicated to the Business M en’s League o f S t. Louis
and all Lo ya l Cltlieas

Music by A . G. ROBYN

Words by J. E. SM ITH

1. Hail,








Lou - is,












Cit - y








City that we all love best;

In our love and faith To thee;

May thy honor ever stand

May we all together stand

As a beacon in our land.

May we all with heart and hand

Hail St. Louis, Hail to thee.

Ever toil and strive for thee

City of Prosperity.

Oity of Our destiny.




chil - dren,

Stalwart City of the West

May we all united be


(Air—The Son of a Gambolier)

Oh, hear our song of victory,
St. Louis we acclaim—
A beautiful metropolis
Of swiftly growing fame—
Upon the Mississippi,
Which flows before her gates—
She’s the market and the gateway to
The South and Western States.

The market and the gateway to
The South and Western States—
She’ ll have the deepened waterway
To make the lowest rates.
The city of the future,
For all the South and West—
We’ re the singers of the city
That we serve and love the best.


We’ re gathered here to raise the cry,
“ St. Louis to the front 1”
To volunteer to fight for her
And bear the battle’ s brunt—
To wear the city’s colors,
And under them increase
Her power and dominion through
Her victories of peace.


To wear the city’ s colors
And glorify her name—
To sing her song of destiny
And magnify her fame—
The city of the future
For all the South and West—
We’ re the singers of the city
That we serve and love the best.

We’re here to rouse the spirit
That can win a city’s fights—
To feel the thrill and power
Of a city that unites—
To pledge our love and service,
Our brains and loyalty,
To the making of St. Louis
All she can and ought to be.
To pledge our love and service
To the opportunity—
To making our St. Louis
All she can and ought to be—
The city of the future,
For all the South and West—
We’ re the singers of the city
That we serve and love the best.


(Aii— Upidec.)

We meet to-night five hundred strong—
To the front—to the front!
New St. Louis is our song,
To the front we go.
Brick by brick and stone by stone.
Street by street the city’s grown—

Day by day she goes ahead—
To the front—to the front I
Year by year her fame is spread—
To the front we go.


To the front we fight our way—
Ever on—ever on !
Civic spirit wins the day,
Ever on we go.
Strong and tireless to oppose
Sloth and greed, our greatest foes-

For the great conquest—
A watchful, patriotic band
Who ever and united stand.


Shout the city’s battle cry—
To the front—to the front 1
Wave her conquering banners highTo the front we go.

St. Louis shall be first in trade
In the South—in the W est!
Let us battle undismayed


Firm and loyal day by day—
To the front—to the front!
For St. Louis, U. S. A.,
To the front we go.

(Air—So Long, Mary)

Can you tell the strongest town whose name is. on the map?
That’s Saint Louis.
The town that when she does a thing, she does it with a snap—
Great Saint Louis*
Of all the cities in our glorious land,
She’ s the greatest that was ever planned,
For her glory we will ever stand— we’ ll stand for dear Saint Louis.

Grand Saint Louis—you’ re the only place for me.
Dear Saint Louis—all our love is held for thee.
If your “ knockers” do assail you—when they do,
We’ ll ne’ er fail you—we’ ll be ever staunch and true.

Which is the town of all the towns that has enduring fame?
That’s Saint Louis.
You cannot keep her out for she is always in the game—
Great Saint Louis.
Splendid city of the mighty West,
Always standing every crucial test,
For her we will always do our best—our best for grand Saint Louis*



(Air—Marching Through Georgia.)

Shout the name St. Louis, men, and rally round her flag.
Quicken with her battle cry whatever step may drag,
Ring her martial challenges from every hill and crag,
While we go marching to victory.



A fighting host we stand!
With sword and shield in hand!

We'll make the new St. Louis queen and mistress of the land.
While we go marching to victory.

Rally round the cold in heart and warm them to the fight,
Hold the city's colors high and waving in their sight,
And fill them with the thrill of war with armor flashing bright,
While we go marching to victory.

Blow the ringing bugle, men, and follow with a cheer.
Close the ranks and press ahead, the victory is near,
And great St. Louis is to stand alone—without a peer—
While we go marching to victory.




(Ail— John Brown'* Body.)

Dig deep water from St* Louis to the sea,
Dig deep water for the coming victory,
Give St. Louis to her greater destiny,
As we go marching on.

Glory, glory to St. Louis,
Glory, glory to St. Louis,
Glory, glory to St. Louis,
As we go marching on.

Fourteen feet will bring St. Louis to the fore,
Fourteen feet will be her glory evermore,
Fourteen feet will take her wares the oceans o’er,
As we go marching on.

Old St. Louis closed he.' era with the Fair,
New St. Louis lifts her towers high in air,
New St. Louis with her fame gone everywhere,
As we go marching on.


Forward, leaders, in the city's work and weal,
Show our courage and the mettle of our steel,
All together, with our shoulders to the wheel,
As we go marching on.


C o m m it t e e s
W. K. B I X B Y



C. H . H U T T I G


S. M. K E N N A R D


W . H. L E E


A. L. S H A P L E I G H

O. L. W H I T E L A W

C. P. W A L B R I D G E

W. H. L E E





A. A. A L L E N

W. J . K I N S E L L A



D. R. C A L H O U N

B. M C K E E N

C. S. C L A R K E


A M E D E E B. C O L E

G E O . W. P A R K E R

F R A N K P. C R U N D E N


D W I G H T F. D A V I S

E. E. S C H A R F F

L . D. D O Z IE R

W . D. S I M M O N S

G E O . L. E D W A R D S



L. T . T U N E


F E S T U S J. W A D E

C. H. H O W A R D

W . B. W E L L S

C. H . H U T T I G

J . A. W A T E R W O R T H

C H A S . F. J O Y

R O B E R T H. W H I T E L A W

O. L. W H I T E L A W


H . N. D A V I S

D. C. N U G E N T

E D W A R D F. G O L T R A

H. W. P E T E R S

N O R R I S B. G R E G G

E D . L. P R E E T O R I U S


J A M E S E. S M I T H

J . A. L E W I S

W A L T E R B. S T E V E N S
W. F. S A U N D E R S


1 9 0 1 -1 9 0 9
Water purified
New City Hospital built
First Public Bath House
First Playground opened
The City Hall completed
FivePlaygrounds conducted
Seventy miles of Alleys paved
Home ofDetention established
Water Rates reduced 25 per cent
TuberculosisCommission created
TwoBranchDispensaries provided
CityForestryDepartment organized
PublicBuildingsCommission named
AMunicipalTestingLaboratory built
PublicRecreationCommission created
Nine new Parks of 150 acres acquired
Public Service Commission established
Tonnage Tax on Steamboats abolished
Smoke Abatement Department organized
Board of Examiners of Plumbers selected
Gty divided into seven Sanitary Districts
Expended upon Public Works, $3,844,920
Quarantine and Smallpox Hospital rebuilt
Commission of Hydraulic Engineers created
Two hundred and five miles of Streets paved
Six Engine Houses added at cost of $273,354
Emergency Hospital purchased at cost of $50,417
King’s Highway Boulevard Commission appointed
Juvenile Court and Probation System inaugurated
Diphtheria Antitoxin supplied those unable to buy
Plans prepared for first section of Des Peres Sewer
Steel Hull Harbor Boat acquired at cost of $69,000
Work House placed on almost self-supporting basis
Assessed Valuation of Realty increased $98,785,520
One hundred and fifty miles of Sewers constructed
House of Refuge transformed into Industrial School
Office of City Bacteriologist and Pathologist created
Quarantine Launch substituted for Ambulance Service
Contract for Gas Lighting effected at saving of $957,363
King's Highway Boulevard, nineteen miles long, laid out
Fire Department Companies increased by additional men
Contract for Electric Lighting made at saving of $615,040
Betterments provided at Waterworks at cost of $5,500,000
Board of Control, St. Louis Museum of Fine Arts, appointed
Twenty-five School Buildings provided at cost of $3,719,547
Two Public Bath Houses Built; sites secured for three more
Assessed Valuation of Personal Property more than doubled
Interest saved on Bond Purchases before Maturity, $546,680
Three Branch Libraries completed and two under construction
Additions to Insane Asylum under Construction to cost $546,680
Improvements at Insane Asylum cut down death rate 50 per cent
Appropriated for Public Works in course of Construction, $859,771
About $2,000,000 saved annually to business by Terminal Commission
Four new Buildings added to Poor House and Old Buildings remodeled
Sanitary Inspection of Groceries, Meat Shops, Bakeries and Restaurants



O u r G uest


Th e H o s t s

A d am s, C .
A ram s,

E lm e r


r o o k m ir e ,

J as. H .

B rock, J. E . .
B row n, A


B row n , D r. Joh n Y ou n o


E. L.




D a v is . D w ig h t F.

A llen, J u d o s Ch arles C la fu n

B row n,

A l l e n , F r e d e r ic W .

B row n, P a u l

A llen, G

B rta n , P. T a tlo r



A. A.
J. E.

A lle n ,

l t h e im e r ,

Am es, H




W .


D a v is . Sam ’ l C.
D e la fie ld , W a lla c e
D ev oy , E d w a rd

J. L.


B u r lin g a m e ,

S em ple

B u sch , A u g. A.


D ic k s o n , J o s e p h , J b .

Donk. E. C.
C a lh o u n , G o u v e r n e u r
C a m p b e ll, E d w a r d T ,

D u ra n t, G eo. F.



B a r c la y , S h e p p a rd
B a r r o ll, J oseph R .

C arroll, J. H .

B ascom , J . D .

C a rter, L.

B a ssfo b d , H o m e r

C arter, T . W .

B a te s, C h as.
B a ttle ,


C a u lfie ld , H e n r t S.

W. G.


Chapm an,

B s n o is t, E . H .

C h o u te a u , P ie r r e

B e n o is t, L e e

C h r is tie , H .

B en t, C. C.

E van s.


C lark , C

h as.

B lackw ell, A. M.


C. S.

B l a ir , A

C la r d t , M a r tin L.


lew ett,

W. F.

C h u rch , A lo n z o C.


C la r k , C.



E van s, D .


B ix b t , W . K .



E n d ers, Wm.

B ir o e , J u l iu s C .


E h le rm a n n , C h a s.
E in s te in ,


C h a r le s , B e n j. H .


Gsosoe L.

E d w a rd s, B .
E d w a rd s,

C a tlin , D a n ie l

B e ll, N ich o la s M.
B e n n e tt. T om

D yer. E zra H u n t



C a tlin , E p h ro n


A. W.

D o z ie r , L . D .

C a r le to n , M u rra y
Carr, P

B a te s, C h a r le s W .

D o u g la s . A le x a n d e r
D o u g la s .

C a p e n , Sam . D .
C a r le to n ,


B a lla r d , Jam es


D odd. S.


D a o n s lu W ilu a m
B a k e w e ll, P a u l


D oan, G eo.

An derso n, L . E.
A n d erson , C h a rle s


D a v is . J o h n D .



D a v is , J o h n T .
D a v is , H .

J. M.

B u ic x ,

A l l is o n ,


D a le y , C.

D a v id s o n . A . J .

A d k in s , B e k C .


C la r k s o n ,

J n o . S.


P a lm e r

C liffo r d . A lfr e d

S cott H .

H. R.

F a r d w e lu
F aust, E


dw ard


ergu so n .


e r r is s .

F orrest

J u d g e F r a n k l in

F il l s t , C h au n c ey I.


B l o c k , H. L.
B lo d g e tt, W . H .

C h itte n d e n , W .

B oehnken, E. H.

C o c h r a n , A . <J.

F in la y , A n d re w

B o llm a n , O t t o

C o le , A m edee B.

F is h

C obb, C.

B on d, H . W h e e le r ,

M. D.


F il l e t . J o h n D .


C o llin s , T h om as

B ond, Judge H e n rt W .






Dr . W . E.

F is h e s , J u d g e D

a n ie l



it z s im m o n s ,



C o n n e tt, W m. C.


ly n n ,

C ook, Isaac T.

Ford, J am es L.

Boyce, J ohn P .

C o r k e r y , J oh n F.

F o rste r, D r. O . E.

Bo td , T . B .

C oT T R n »L , G e o . H .

F r a n c is , D a v id


F ra n cis , D .


J r.

B ran ch , L aw ren ce O .

C o y l e , P. W .
C r a w fo r d , H a n fo r d

B r in x w ir t h , L o u is

C r a w fo r d ,

B oog h er, H ow a rd

C o m p to n , W ilu a m

B o o o h e r , D r . J. L e la n d

C o n r a d e s , E d w in

B oogh er, L a w ren ce
B ow m an, D r.


B o y le , W ilb u r




C u en d et, E u g en e

F. H.
B r o c k m a n , F. W

C p .u n d e n , F r a n k

B r o o k in g s , R o b t . S.


L acey

B r in s m a d e , H o b a r t
B r it t o n ,



A rth ur J.

dw ard



. J.

F r a n cis , J. D . P e r r t
F r a n c is , T . H .
F r a n c is , T a l t o n T .
F ra n c is c u s , Jam es

C c p p ls s , S a m u e l

F ra n k , N a th a n

C u rby, C. E.

F u lle r t o n . S. H .



F it z g e r a l d , J o h n



Jh e H o s t s
G. W.

G a lb r e a th ,

Iv e s, H


a u e t

M c C u llo c h , R o b t.


G a lle n k a m p , C h a s.
G a ie n n ie , F r a n k
G ardn er,

W m. A.
F. D.



G ardn er,

ie r r e

G arrells, G . W .
G a r r is o n , D



u gu st

G ir a l d in , W

Goddard, W


. A.


, M ost R




a n ie l


. J. J.


F ie l d

dw ard

McCo* kbt,

Jam es G.

M c D o n a ld ,



J o h n s. G e o . S.

M cG rew , G eo. S.

J oh n son , C. P o r t e r
J oh n ston , R o b e r t

M c K e e n , B e n j.

J on es, N orm an C.

M cL e o d , N e ls o n

Jon es, R o b t. M cK .

M c M illa n , C . H .

J on es, B r e ck in rid o b

M c M illa n , N . A .

J ou rd an , M orton

M c N a ir , L il b u r n G .

M c K it t r ic k , H u g h


J o t , C h a r le s

M cP h e e te rs, T .

F. N.
J a m e s W.

J u dson ,

M a ffitt,

Jum p,

M a g ill,



W m.
E. E.
E dw.

G oodall, J ohn R .

M a llin c k r o d t ,

Gratz, B

e n j a m in

M a u ra n , J n o . L aw ren ce

Gr a t, W




M a x w e ll,




G r e o q , N o r r is B .

K ea rn et. John

G r ix s e d ie c k , J o s.

K e h o e , C h r is t o p h e r

M id d le to n , C . H .

K e n n a r d , Sam . M .

M id d le t o n ,J . A .

K en t, H e n rt T.

M ille r , H e n r t

G r im m , J u d g e H


Grossm an, E . M .
Groves, A





a il e


J r.




ausch ulte,






K le in , J a cob

M organ ,

K n a p p , H o m e r P.
K n i g h t , H a r r t F.

M o r r il l , C . H .


W . C.

M o r r is ,

M udd, Dr . H . G.



N ic c o lls , D r . S. J.

K r o tz e n b e r o e r , C.

il l ia m

N ic o la u s , H e n r t


N i c h o l ls , C h a r le s C.

Harrt B.

H a te s, Jos.
H a ts,

L a k e , F r e d e r ic k



M organ, G eo. H.

W . J.

W. G.
L a c k l a n d , C. K.


M in n is ,

, G oodm an

K r e is m a n n , H o n .




in g

in s e l l a ,

G ilm a n

K ota n t, M.

H a m m er, F . V .
H aslam , L e w



M ille r ,


M ilte n b e r g e b , M. B.

K n ap p, C h a rle s

, C.

I Ia le t, T h os.

M eter, T hko.



K e te s , S.

H a o e r m a n , J a m es, J r .

M e lu e r, K . D .

, Ed.

K e re n s , R . C.

Gut , W m. E.


,W . K .



G r e o o , C e c il D .

N ic k e r s o n , J oh n

L a ck et,

, L tm an T .

F r a n k P.

H eb a rd , A lfr e d
H e n n in g s , T h o s .



L a m b ert,




N ix o n ,



N oll, H . M.


Nolker, W



. H.

H id d e n , E d w a r d

L ee, John F.

N o rvell, Saunders

H i l l , E w in g

L ehm ann, F. W .


H ill, W a lk e r

L e m p , W m . J ., J r .

H ilt o n , A le x a n d e r

L e w is , J .

H itc h c o c k , J u d g e G e o . C.

L e w i s , R o b ’t . D .

O ’ B r ie n , J o h n J.

H o d o d o n , W illia m

L i o n b e r g e r , I. H.
L i t t l e , W . C.
L o v e , , E d w . K.

Orr, E

H odges, W . R.
H o lm a n , C h a r l e s L .
H o lm e s , J e s s e H .
H o ffm a n , G e o .
H o k n sb t, J . L .

L e w is , J o s e p h

D . C.


. S.

O tto, Carl

P a n t a le o n i, G .
P ark er, G eorge W .


W . S.
J o h n H.

M cC h esn et;

H ow a rd , C la r e n c e H .

M c C lu n e t, J o h n

H u ttio , C. H .

M c C lu n e t,




H o u q h , W a r w ic k


N ie d r in g h a u s , T h o s. K .



L an gen b ero,
L ee,

N ie m a n n , G u s t a v e


P ark er, H. L.
P e r k in s , A . T .
J r .,

P e r r t, J.


Th e H o s t s
P e r r t , L e w is

E. H.

S im m o n s .

P errt,

G eo . W .

P eters,

H. W.

S im m o n s , G e o r g e W .

P ie r c e * F. R.

S k in k e r ,

P ie r c e , L a w h e n ce B .

S m it h , L u t h e r E .

P it z m a n , J u l i u s

S m it h ,

P ilc h e r , J o h n E .

S m it h , J a m e s E .


P la t e r , Jam es

T. K.


S m it h , R

T. C .

V an C leave. J. W .

S. H .

S m it h , J a t H

P o t t e r , H e n r t S.
P o w e ll.


S pen cer, D r. H .

P r ie s t, H e n r y S a m u e l

S pen cer, E u gen e
S t a n a r d , W. K.


S teed m a n , G e o r g e F.
R a m s e y , J. p .

S te ig e r s , W m . C.

R a n d o lp h , T om

S te v e n s, W a lt e r

R a n k in , D a v id , J r .

S tew a rt,

R a w n , I. G .

S tic k n e t, W m .


R ic h m o n d , M . G .
R ob ert,





S td c, C h a r le s
S to c k , P h iu p

F. L.
E. S .

R H.
S t r e e t t , J. C l a r k
S t r e e t t , J. D .
S u l l i v a n , A. W .
S w e e t , A. E .
S to ck to n ,

R o b e rts , Joh n C.
R ob tn , A . G .

H. G.
R o t h , G e o . A.
R o u d e b u s h , A. H.
R c r , F r a n k A.
R o l e , A. O.
R olfes,

R u tle d g e , T h om as

S w in g le t, C h a r le s E .


R t a n , J u d g e Q ’ N b ii,l

an set,


a u s s ig ,




T a u s s ig ,

S a n d erson , H . S.

T a u s s ig , J a m e s

W . F.




S a le , J u d g e M o s e s N .
S au n ders,


T a t lo r , J u d g e D a n ie l G .


8 a ters, H e n rt

T a t lo r ,I s a a c

S c a n la n , P h ilip C .

T a t lo r , W a lte r C.

S c a r r it t , C h a r le s H .

T e rrt, A lb e r t T.

ScHARrr, E d w a r d E . ~

T h a tch er, A rth u r

S c h la flt , A u g u st

T hom as, J oh n R

S cb & oerr, J oh n

T h om son , W m . H .

S co tt, H e n rt C.

T h om pson , C o llin s

S cu lu n , Joh n
S r n t e r , C h as.

T hom pson, W m .

in k l e ,

J. Q .




a l b r id g e ,

F estus



G. H.



J. S.



C. P .

J u l iu s S .

W a l s h , J u l i u s S ., J r .
W a te r w o rth , J.



M. F.

W ea r, Joh n H o lu d a t
W e n n e k e r , C h as. F .
W e lls , E ra s tu s
W e lls , L lo t d


W e lls , W .


L o u is *




etm ore,


e r t h e im e r ,



Sam . H .





h it a k e r ,


h it e l a w

, R


h it e l a w

, C h as. W .
, O scar L .


M. C.

h o s.

J. J.



dw ards


h it e l a w


h it t e m o r e ,


h tte,


ie g a n d ,



il s o n ,



il l ia m s ,


it t e ,

T iffa n t, G eo.
T if f a n y , D

S h a p le io h , R


W .


S h oen b ero, M.
S b o r t , P.
Shulx*, J. A. J.
S im m o n s , E . C .

vi l l a ,

Trot, W

F . C h u r c h il l



Jr .

C harles P.

O tto H .


W itte , F .

W o e rn e r, Wm. F.
W o o d w a rd , W a lt e r


W rig h t, G . M.

r ig h t ,



tm an,

F rank

h os.





J am es C.







E- J.
W . P. H.












J os. P.

T ilt o n , E . D .


S r a p liiq h , A . L .
S h e p le t ,J .



S p e n c e r , S e ld b n P .

R ich a rd s , O li v e r



P r e e to riu s , E d w a rd L.

R id q e lt,

G» E.

U o e lu

S im m o n s , W . D .

Z e ib ig , F r e d . G .



Th e A d d r e s s e s

The praiyer before the dinner was said by Rev. Samuel J. Niccolls, Pastor of the
Second Presbyterian Church, as follows:
“Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, Thou art the Giver of all our blessings.
We thank Thee for the unfailing bounty of Thy good and wise providence, by
which Thou art ministering to our needs, and dost fill our lives with gladness.
Grant unto us now Thy blessing, as we are assembled in this fellowship, and enable
us, whatsoever we do, whether we eat or drink, to do all to Thy glory. Thou dost
raise up and qualify men to fulfill Thy purposes, to serve their fellowmen, and to
witness in behalf of truth, righteousness and justice. We thank Thee for these,
Thy richer gifts. We pray Thee to let Thy blessing rest upon the man whom wd
would honor this evening, in recognition of his faithful and self-sacrificing services
as the chief magistrate of our city. May he have the reward which Thou hast
promised to those who rule in justice and righteousness. We pray Thee, also, to
bless all those who exercise authority over us in civil rule, enabling them, by Thy
Spirit, to do justice, love, mercy and to walk humbly before Thee.
“ We thank Thee, also, for the spirit of brotherly love and mutual confidence
which now prevails among us, for an awakened interest in the public welfare, and
for the growing sense of civic righteousness. Grant, we pray Thee, that our
breaking bread together this evening may be as a sacramental seal of a covenant
with ourselves and Thee, to devote our energies more fully to the public welfare,
and to the promotion of all things that will make our city better, purer and
stronger in righteousness. Let Thy favor rest upon Thy servants here present and
upon our whole city, we humbly ask, in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
Christ, Amen.”


After the dinner, the Chairman, Mr. James E. Smith, responded as follows to
the sentiment,

Txx nur (Sursl, frrnn His -Hosts.
“ G e n t l e m e n anb> F e l l o w St. L o u i s a n s — I consider it a great privilege to take
part in this splendid ovation given by our citizens as an evidence of their appreciation
o f the efficient and conscientious service rendered them by one (>f the best public
officials who has ever Served as Mayor of any American city.

"I have always endeavored to display a proper feeling of pride in the city of
my adoption, but, as I look over this large non-partisan assemblage, which represents
the best element of S t Louis citizenship, I am more than ever proud of dear old
St Louis and her people, for it shows conclusively that their hearts are in the right
place and that they are eager to show a proper appreciation of the notable achieve­
ments of a public official who for the past eight years has faithfully performed the
duties of the position he has held, and who during every moment of his term of
service has regarded his office as a public trust
“ One can not speak with veracity of the administration of Mr. Wells—and its
accomplishments—except in terms of praise and, knowing him as I believe I do, I
realize that it will be uncomfortable for him to be compelled to listen to the com­
mendations of those who, in referring to his valuable services to our city, must
necessarily do so in words of high approval, but he can console himself with the
reflection that it is more pleasant for one to hear the plaudits of his people than to
bear their reproaches.
"This unusual gathering seems to me to be hopefully significant I believe it
.not only means that our people appreciate honest and conscientious effort on the
part of those who perform our public work, but that it also shows that a spirit of
civic patriotism is awakened in our people and that in future they will demand
wholesome and honest conditions in our civic life.
4‘lt seems to me to mean also that they intend to demand capable and honest
administration from all of our city officials and that they expect from our people—
as a whole—their earnest and unselfish co-operation in the development' of the
material interests of our city as a basis for the advancement of things higher than
the material.
“ This great public testimonial is not only a proper recognition of the honorable
service rendered by Mr. Wells—but it should serve as an object lesson to our
young men in the way of teaching them not only that honesty is always the best
policy, but also that the faithful performance of public work brings its sure reward
to those who accomplish it.


“ In this day and age many men seek public positions from many motives.
“ Mr. Wells did not seek the office which he has held. At the time when he
was first urged to undertake its important duties he hesitated about the acceptance
of the great responsibility which the office imposed.
“ Bearing an honored name, he was heading the life of ease and comfort which a
gentleman of his means and quiet tastes would naturally seek. He shrank from
the publicity which attends the life of a high public official.
“The office offered him none of the incentives which prompt most men to
seek such positions.
“ Being a man of wealth, he did not need the compensation which the 'position
“Not seeking political preferment, he did not want the office to use as a means
of future advancement.
“ It was only after the''continued and urgent appeals of his friends, who saw in
him the qualifications needed to raise the standards in the administration of our
public affairs—which were at that time shamefully low—that he reluctantly con­
sented—and then only from a patriotic sense of duty—to take up the onerous
burdens which he has borne so patiently and faithfully for the past eight years, and,
heedless of the unfair, unwarranted and malignant criticisms that have been made
against him, he has with an unfaltering fidelity performed the duties of his position
—always doing what he thought was right and never yielding to the importunities
of those who endeavored to swerve him from the high path of duty which he had
resolved to follow.
“ It is to the credit of Mr. Wells that his critics have been largely of the class
who were not in sympathy with his efforts to give the city a clean and honest
administration of its affairs.
“And so we can truthfully say of him that we love him all the more for the
enemies he has made.
“ Mr. Wells went into his office with the full confidence of those who knew
him best, but, better still, he retires from the office—after two full terms of service—
commanding the respect and admiration of all of our people who believe in civic
uprightness and who have the real interests of our city at heart.
“ But, better still than even all of this, he holds secure that priceless possession—
the greatest a man can ever gain—his self-respect.
"He has followed the lofty ideals so well expressed by the poet:
“ ‘He raised his base on that one solid joy
Which conscience gives and nothing can destroy.’ ”


The Chairman, in introducing Mr. Francis* said:
“Taking part in this testimonial and among those who will address us this
evening are two prominent citizens of opposite political faith, both of whom have
filled with great credit to themselves and with the commendation of our people
the same high position from which our honored guest has just retired.
“They are here not as partisans, but as citizens to pay tribute to their fellowcitizen who has so ably and so honorably fulfilled thfc- duties of his office, and
none know better than they of the difficulties which he has encountered in the
work which he has so successfully accomplished.
“The first of these gentlemen is a distinguished citizen, who, in the various high
positions he has held, has brought great credit to himself, his city, his State and his
“This gentleman will address you on the subject,
and I now have the pleasure of presenting to you the Honorable David R. Francis.”
Mr. Francis spoke as follows:
“ M r . C h a i r m a n a n d G e n t l e m e n —Eight consecutive years are a long period for
a man to hold a public office, and when they are taken out between the two-score and
three-score milestones, they come from the prime of his manhood. To devote such
a cycle to the faithful, persistent, laborious discharge of a public trust requires will
power, self-denial and singleness of purpose; to do so without fear or favor, in the
face of malignant and unjust criticism and at the sacrifice of personal interest and com­
fort, demonstrates unquestionable courage and sincere patriotism. Fortunate indeed
is the-city that has such an official; felicitations are due the citizens whose affairs arc
so administered. St. Louis is the city; the official is the guest of the occasion. We
are met here tonight to give expression to our gratitude and to say ‘Well done’
to Rolla Wells. The highest official in a community has an influence more farreaching than his prerogative, a power more extended than the ordinances define,
if his character commands respect and his motives are sincere and his aims
unselfish. Such a man is not in authority by statutory enactment alone; he is also
a guardian of the people’s rights by patriotic instinct and a leader of men by
inherent right. The standards of official conduct established by the head of a
government permeate the atmosphere in which his appointees live and move. For
eight years past the people of St. Louis have felt that the executive branch of their
city government was honestly and safely administered; those who. may have
differed with its head as to the wisdom of his policies have never dared to question
his integrity or doubt the earnestness of his efforts to promote the city’s welfare.


Unawed by popular clamor, tenacious of his convictions, unswerved by political
ambition, his idea of duty has been to obey the will of the people, whose trust he
held. Approaching all public questions without prejudice, never swerved by pride
of opinion, he has never arrived at conclusions without due deliberation. But when
a policy has been once adopted it has been followed with fearless determination.
He has ever appealed to the intellects rather than to the hearts of his constituents.
Interested in the welfare of all classes he has recognized the rights of all, and
been ever-mindful of the claims of every section and every interest It is difficult
to over-estimate the value of such a public servant It is not surprising, therefore,
that on the rounding out of two terms of office of four years each there should
be such a demonstration of approval as this. The desire that Rolla Wells should
serve for another term as Mayor of St. Louis was deep-rooted and general, nor
was it confined to any political party. His administration had not been partisan
in any sense, his first effort having been at all times to serve the whole people
rather than any portion thereof. Although his declaration to terminate his service
as Mayor with the expiration of eight years’ work was announced several years
ago, as the time of the election rolled around and the people came to feel and
appreciate his work, their demand for a continuation of service was so earnest
that it could be quieted by nothing other than his own emphatic statement to the
effect that a continuation of the responsibilities and labors he had experienced for
eight years would be a tax on his health and strength too great for him to bear.
“The service he has given the city should endear him to every lover of good
municipal government His fearless and conscientious discharge of duty should
be a model for those who succeed him. His achievements and the Work of the
excellent officials associated with him have been of great material benefit to the
city, and have added dignity and potentiality to the office of Mayor of St. Louis.
No nobler monument can a man build for himself than to perform diligently and
honestly the work that comes to him to do, and when the choice of his fellows
places him in a position of authority and responsibility, the more difficult is the
task and the greater should be the credit. The period through which the adminis­
tration of Rolla Wells as Mayor of S t Louis has extended has been one of the
most important in the history of the city. Through the trying ordeal of financial
panics the credit of the municipality has been admirably sustained. The material
improvements required to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population have
been effected without embarrassment and at reasonable cost.- If his administration
had no other distinguishing feature, the clarifying of the water which for so many
years had been a menace to the public health and a detriment from every stand­
point, should merit the gratitude and plaudits o f a long-suffering community.
“The-civic pride of the people which prompted them to commemorate the
centennial of a great estent in. the history of this city and section, not only received
encouragement from the administration over which he presided, but a helpful
support without which it could not have attained its objects. The thousands of
visitors .who entered our gates during the World’s Fkir of 1904 were much


impressed by the general appearance of the city itself, as well as by the Exposition
which they came to see. If our streets had not been in proper condition and our
water supply had not been purified, no exhibition of the best products of the hand
and the mind of man could have offset or eradicated the bad impression made by
a city uncleaned and unequipped for the reception and entertainment of its guests.
But the record of good works is too long for recounting on such an occasion
as this.
“The subject assigned me of ‘The Mayor and the City,’ when that Mayor is
Rolla Wells and that city is St Louis, is so replete with accomplishments andreminiscences, is so inspiring of respect and affection, is so suggestive of earnest
effort and wonderful development, that I can not disassociate them. Nor shall I
attempt to do so. In the years to come the beneficial results of his administration
will be gratefully remembered and the increasing growth of St Louis will attest
the wisdom with which he has laid the foundation thereof. May his lines fall
in pleasant places, and may the city for whose betterment he has so earnestly
labored realize the promise it now gives of still more splendid greatness. Although
retiring from public office his love of St Louis is in no sense diminished. Here
he was born; here was he reared. Here he took unto himself the wife who has
been a helpmate indeed. Here his children were born; here were formed the
associations of his childhood and his youth. Here his interests are. Here are the
friendships of his manhood and here his dead are buried. Wherever he may
wander after laying down the cares of office we are confident that his heart will
ever turn with longing to-the scenes of his struggles and his triumphs.
“Public opinion is fickle, and has at times •driven into exile patriots whom
subsequently it recalled and honored. Even the Greeks tired of hearing Aristides
called ‘The Just.’ Justice to a faithful public servant may at times be slow, but
it always comes around with time. More than once has due credit been given after
death to sons who during life were not appreciated. Possibly the sober second
thought of one's contemporaries may not place a proper estimate on true worth,
but history and subsequent generations seldom fail to do justice to the deserving.
Fortunate indeed is he, Mr. Mayor, who at the end of eight years of service, after
being attacked by those who think their interests have not been protected and by
partisan opponents, is the recipient of such a manifestation of approval by a large
community as that tendered you this evening. We appreciate your worth and are
proud to tender this tribute.
“Much remains to be done for St Louis. Rolla Wells’ experience fits him for
effective work as well as for wise counsel. We are sure no one will cherish a
greater pride in the continued growth of St Louis, no one will respond with greater
alacrity to the call she will make on her sons, and no citizen will enjoy in a greater
degree the hearty wishes of the people of St Louis for happiness, prosperity and
long life, than does our retiring Mayor,. Rolla Wells.


The Chairman then introduced Mr. Walbridge as follows:
“ G e n t l e m e n —You will note that we are long on Mayors this evening, although
most of them may be called ‘exodusters.’ It seems to me, however, your Honor, that
the X ’s have a shade the best of it, in that' they have justly earned th<*ir honorable
titles and have their troubles—like, the tails of little Bo Peep’s sheep—'safely behind

“One of these ex-Mayors, after retiring from the high position of Mayor, which
he filled with great credit alike to himself and his city, returned to business life,
and for the past twelve years he has been at the head of one of the largest
business concerns in our city.
“ He has also taken an active part in working for the general business interests
o f our city, having for six years served as President of the Business Men’s League,
giving much of his time and effort to the upbuilding of that most useful and
effective organization, which has done so much for St. Louis.
“Although this gentleman differs in his political views from our honored guest,
he is here as a broad-gauged, public-spirited citizen to take part in this demonstra­
tion of the appreciation shown by our citizens of the clean and capable adminis­
tration of our municipal affairs under our retiring chief executive.
“ The text of his address is,
Gentlemen, I now have the honor o f presenting to you the Hon. Ex-Mayor Wal­
Mr. Walbridge spoke as follows:
“ Mb. C h a i r m a n a n d G e n t l e m e n —I am glad to speak on this occasion as a
representative of the Ancient and Honorable Order of Former Mayors.
"We are proud of our Order and glad to have had the experience which made
us eligible to membership. Unlike most Orders, we never solicit additions to our
number. We have no membership blanks; we have no examining committee.
Membership is attained only by serving an apprenticeship o f four years; an
apprenticeship which calls for the most arduous labors, constant- watchfulness,
unswerving loyalty and ever-readiness to fight for both body and soul. If the
apprentice comes through the trials alive, he is a member of our Order Ipso Jure.


“Our membership is cosmopolitan. We are of all kinds. We differ from one
another even as the angels are said to differ in Paradise. I shall not attempt to
point out the differences or comment upon them Suffice it to say in the words
of the sage:
“ ‘There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it does not become any of us
To speak ill of the rest of us.’
“ In one thing, however, we former Mayors are perfectly agreed. We are a
unit in extending a most cordial welcome to him who has served a double apprentice­
ship of eight years and has come through without a stain upon his honor or a
flaw in his record of fidelity, who has not once attempted to do aught but serve
his city without prejudice and without fear. However much men may differ as to
the correctness of his policies, there is not one to question the correctness of his
motives. We welcome Rolla Wells because he will bring to our Order dignity,
loyalty and true worth. We former Mayors thank you, one and all, for this
demonstration of confidence and esteem for our new member. We sincerely hope
that for many years to come St Louis may have the benefit of his ripe experience
and his wise counsel.
“But human nature never lingers long with the setting sun. The beauties of
the western sky soon fade away and we turn our faces eastward for a new day
of activity and opportunity. So we former Mayors turn to the rising sun and
greet him who has but now ushered in a new municipal day, with all its activities, its
opportunities, its hazards, its disappointments and its victories. We salute Fred­
erick Kreismann and from our hearts bid him God speed. We bespeak for him
the loyal co-operation of all good citizens. We bespeak for him your patience,
but not your indulgence. We bespeak for him your kindly criticism when you
believe him wrong, and your courageous support when you believe him right
If he receives this from you, his administration will be so clean, so progressive
and ?o sound that when viewed in retrospect, all shall say, ‘Truly, it is good.’ ”


The Chairman, in introducing the Mayor, said:
“Joining in this tribute to our honored guest we have our newly-elected chief
executive, who, in assuming his duties, has declared his intention of devoting his
energies to the upbuilding of .our city and working for the best interests of all
of our people.
“ I am sure there is not a man in this room who will not pledge his hearty
support to him as long as he pursues the policies he has outlined, and the best
wish I can offer him—and this I most heartily do—is to express the hope that at
the end of his term of service he may have as secure a place in the hearts and
affections of our people as is: now held by his worthy predecessor.
“ I take great pleasure in introducing to-you our new Mayor, Mr. Frederick
H. Kreismann, who will speak upon
Mayor Kreismann spoke as follows:
T o a s t m a s t e r a n d G e n t l e m e n —It is indeed pleasing to join you in paying
this tribute of respect to the retiring chief executive of this city, and in this manner
manifest our appreciation of his worth as an official and citizen.
“ No greater reward can come to one than to know that his efforts in behalf
of his fellows are appreciated.
"The responsibilities of the office which he has surrendered and which I have
assumed can not be over-estimated, and in a proper discharge of them rests the
progress and development of our city.
“ The duties of Mayor are manifold and laborious. To him are confided vast
and vital powers, and to discharge them so that the greatest good may follow
should be his highest aim.
“ No sinister or selfish purpose should ever influence him.
“ No personal gain should be sought, attained or desired.
“ He should consecrate his efforts to the general welfare.
“ He should be animated by a high sense, of duty, and no motive should ever
govern his conduct save a sincere desire to do everything within his power to
advance the public good.
“ He should proceed along lines calculated to bring about the best results
attainable. Not only may vast business interests be effected by his course, but the
happiness and prosperity of those less favored are inseparably connected with his
official conduct
“ He should be clean of heart and patriotic of purpose, wielding an influence
that will mould into better citizenship all classes of men.
“ He should ever bear in mind that he is the servant of all the people, to whom
they have committed, for a limited lime, the performance of certain duties and the
exercise of certain powers, and only by a sane and patriotic discharge of them
can he hope to enjoy the confidence and a continuance o f the favor of the people.
“ Sir, I congratulate you upon the merited esteem in which you are held by your
fellow citizens, and I join with them in wishing you unbounded happiness in the
years that lie before you, which I earnestly trust may be many and each rimmed
with a silver lining.”
“M r.


The Chairman then introduced Archbishop Glennon as follows:
“ G e n t l e m e n —We are honored tonight by the presence of a distinguished
prelate, who, since his residence in our city, has at all times shown a broad interest
in our city’s welfare, and has given his encouragement to every movement whose
object has been the betterment of our city and its people.

“He is greatly beloved by those of his own religious faith, and he is highly
honored and revered by all of our people who have had the good fortune to bebrought under the influence of his charming personality.
“ He has been selected to address you this evening on the subject of
and I now have the honor and the very great pleasure of presenting to you the
Most Reverend John J. Glennon, Archbishop of St Louis.”
Archbishop Glennon spoke as follows:
“ M r . C h a i r m a n a n d G e n t l e m e n —The privilege is usually accorded an afterdinner speaker to talk according to his fancy, rather than to the subject allotted him,
and he generally exercises his prerogative by getting as far from the subject as
he can, and including pretty near everything else. I am sure the privilege ought
to be extended me this evening, since the purpose of our .meeting is not to upset
our nervous system by a worrying discussion of abstruse problems, or grave
principles of municipal ethics, but rather as citizens of St. Louis to pay, by our
presence and our words, a tribute of respect to and admiration for the honored
guest whom we surround this evening.

“All the more reason might I allege for the privilege, since I believe that most
of you are beginning to weary of this subject set opposite my name—Civic Reform.
It is an old subject—in the sense that we have had civic reform in fact—if not in
name, from the very beginning. They have been digging tablets from ruins of
Babylon and the valley of the Nile, in whose hieroglyphics we can find the cryptic
laws made by the civil reform rulers who flourished there three thousand years
ago. The cities of Greece and Italy record as the law of their thousand years of
life and growth the efforts made by faction after faction and ruler after ruler to
reform the work done by other factions and other rulers.
“Sometimes the reformers were successful and sometimes they got killed.
Socrates had to drain the poison cup. Hildebrand died in exile, and we may
mention, though in an entirely different strain, and only with bowed heads, that
the world’s greatest reformer—the World’s Redeemer, was nailed to a cross close
by the city that He loved.


Sometimes, again, the reformers were too successful. A few hundred years
ago they thought that the sacred bond of matrimony needed reform, and their
reformation of it has given us the divorce court. A century and a half ago they
thought that France needed reformation, and so, for Christianity they set up the
worship of Reason, and the place of Christ amid the flaming cherubim of the
sanctuary was usurped by a demi-mondaine, while the misrule of the Bourbons went
by the way of murder and pillage to the horrors of the ‘Reign of Terror.’
“ Of course, the idea of ‘civic reform’ before the minds of most people today
is that which became necessary because of the municipal mismanagement of modem
times, and noticeably, let us say, here in America. Why in free America, with its
representative form of government, municipal depravity should exist would appear
a mystery, and at first sight tells against a government based on democratic principles.
Yet the explanation is not difficult. Our cities grew quickly. St. Louis may be a
hundred years old as mere time would have it; she is really a city from the time
the World’s Fair project was started. The growing city has much to give—fran­
chises, concessions, contracts, offices; and where there is much to give, there are
always a sufficient number of people anxious to take, and are quite careless in
what methods they employ in the taking, the temptation is too great. Then, in a
new, rapidly growing city, the people are new to one another—the boldest conse­
quently get the quickest results; while the better people side-step from their civic
responsibility of fighting the devil with his own weapons, and retire to the more
peaceful pursuit of building up their own fortunes and their own homes.
“ Some of the new people released from tyranny in other countries see in the
liberty accorded them here a release from all law, and think such institutions as
the police force and the criminal court natural enemies of theirs, to be resisted to
the death.
“These causes produce confusion, then distrust, then collusion, then unfair
concessions and privileges, until finally we reach the deplorable condition some
American cities have found themselves in. And hence arose the civic reformer,
and the many reform movements of the last few years, all urged on by the sight
o f the accumulated wrong-doing—the buying, bribing, bartering and trading in
the open day. Some of these movements have been successful; all are successful
in proportion to their right to be successful. For, after all, the heart of the people
is sound, the vast percentage of the common people are honest, and when a move­
ment making for .honest reform was placed before them, they- responded in no
uncertain terms, that justice should be done and right prevail, though all the
penitentiaries in the country would have to be filled as a consequence. You will
note that I say a reform movement—making for honesty and square dealing should
always be in the hands of men who are themselves honest; men who have that
reputation and in consequence have the confidence of their fellow-citizens—men
who have no ulterior motives in the work, but simply the solemn sense of duty,
impelling them to work for their city and their homes. If they are not such,
then the cause they advocate—a sacred cause—becomes merely a cloak for their


hypocrisy, and the sad spectacle is presented of people being betrayed in the house
of their friends. The most hopeless condition that a city could fall into is when
its reformers would themselves need reformation.
“The old city of Cologne needed a cleansing, so they invited the river that
flows by to perform the cleansing. The poet facetiously adds:
“ ‘But prithee tell, ye powers divine,
Who’ll henceforth wash the river Rhine ?
The reformer that needs to be reformed is the fin-de-siecle o f modern municipal
“Mr. Chairman, we have had as Mayor of the city of St Louis for the last
eight years a .man who did not preach from the house-tops the cause of civic
reform; n o; he did not preach it from the city’s house-tops, but he practiced it at the
City Halt We felt safe in our homes, because we knew that the watchman there
guarded our rights, and that any hour of these long years we could answer for
our city to .friend or enemy, ‘All is well.’ His honesty—who has ever doubted it?
He had the same face, the same answer, the same law for the millionaire that
flattered, the labor agitator who threatened or the Salvation Army captain who
prayed. He performed his duty as he understood it, heedless of criticism, some­
times bitter and generally unjust, heedless of the applause or condemnation of
the passing crowd. It is for this we honor him, that he could be a civil reformer
without being a demagogue; that he could be honest without telling everybody about
it But honesty is not the only virtue for mayoralty’s decoration. A Mayor has
to think for and work for the welfare of all the people. He may not have to consult
their spiritual well-being, but all that concerns their moral and material welfare
should be near to him. The protection of property, the promotion of industry, the
guarding the city’s resources and the proper expenditure thereof; finally, the
setting of the city before the country and the world as a good place to come to,
a good place to live in,, all these are within the sphere of the Mayor’s duty; to
him we look for their inauguration' and accomplishment.
“And when we turn to the Honorable Rolla Wells for answer as to how these
things have been done, his eight years of office speak out in no uncertain terms.
He has fought the good fight. An honest man he was elected Mayor, an honest
man he retires. For the long years and the bitter struggles there comes now the
recompense, small, inadequate, but still the best (because the heartiest) that we
can offer, namely, that to you, Mr. Wells, we citizens of St Louis offer our
gratitude, esteem and unchanging devotion. May your years be many and your cup
of joy be always full.


The Chairman, in introducing Mr. Lehmann, said:
“ G e n t l e m e n —We all, I am sure, appreciate highly good government. I some­
times think that we do not always express our appreciation as we should. Much has
been said tonight in appreciation of the good government St. Louis har had for the
past eight years, arid all of it has been well said.
“And now, that this expression may be concentrated into a final word, let me
introduce, to speak to the sentiment,
one who has been long recognized in this community as combining in himself
the virtues of ideal citizenship,. sagacity and distinguished legal ability, one upon
whom the longues of fire have descended, the President of the American Bar
Association, Frederick W. Lehmann.”
Mr. Lehmann spoke as follows:
“M r. C h a i r m a n a n d G e n t l e m e n —It is said that republics are ungrateful, and
if it be true, it means that the people are ungrateful, and those who serve them must
miss the highest reward that can come to man in this life. Genuine loyalty and
sincere devotion to duty can not be compensated in gold. Heart must answer to
heart and crown honest endeavor with the benediction, ‘Well done, thou good and
faithful servant’
“Is the reproach brought against the people a just one? Is there no incentive
to public service save the material advantages of public position? This meeting
is an answer to the question. We have gathered here from every walk of life,
representing every party and every creed, in tribute of respeect to one whose term
o f office is ended, to make glad acknowledgment that throughout eight years of
arduous public labor his performance has measured full with every promise he
has made and up to the highest standards of official duty.
“ Public service is beset with difficulties. It deals with problems complex in
their nature, in which everybody is interested and concerning which everybody
has an opinion. Public duty often antagonizes private interests and conflicts with
personal ambitions. The opinion which is disregarded sees no wisdom in the
course that is pursued. The man whose selfish purpose has been thwarted is swift
to impute to others his own baseness of motive. But in every field of contest
there are blows to take as well as blows to give, and there is no time for plaudits
until the battle is over.
“The Mayor of St. Louis has great responsibilities, greater than he can fully
discharge. He is the official head of the city and is brought into relation with all
its functions and affairs, but he is not the repository of all its powers. He is held
to chief accountability while his authority is divided. None the less the prestige
of his office makes his example always persuasive and sometimes compulsive.
Much may therefore be demanded of him, everything indeed in the way of public


spirit and moral tone. The appointments he makes will determine .in turn the
character of the appointments made by his appointees. By his manner of discharg­
ing the immediate duties of his office, the performance of duty in every related
department of the city government will be affected.
“Of present approval he can not make sure. Every appointment means many
disappointments. However he may perform any function of his office, there are
those interested to have it differently performed. And disappointment is always
loud of tongue. The man of faint heart is moved by the clamor of the aggrieved,
unconscious of the approval that is masked in silence, and leaving his duty seeks
the favor which can not long be held if it is not worthily won.
“ Public opinion, when it has definitely expressed itself, according to its own
prescribed forms, is to be obeyed, but it must itself set the example of obedience
to the laws it has imposed. Every man owes to his fellowman the exercise of
his own judgment and the guidance of his own conscience. Only the collective
result of honest, independent, individual convictions can make a public opinion
worthy of respect If one man may yield his convictions in advance to what he
believes the majority may desire, any other man may do the same, and so make
possible a public opinion which is not the real opinion of any. Rendering obedience
to the existing law and order, it remains the duty of every citizen to strive to
make that law and order what he believes it should be, and here the individual
conscience is supreme. For every formative and reformative purpose every man
must assert himself. And wherever he may be placed, whether in public post or
in private station, when his judgment is invoked, he must give his judgment and
not his conjecture of what the judgment of others may be. He may take counsel
of many, he may seek for information on every side, but at the last his action
must express the conviction of his own soul.
“Rolla Wells did not commend himself to the people by any arts of popularity.
Reserved in his manners, and, to the seeming of some, even austere, plain in his
speech almost to bluntness, firm in his convictions to the point of stubbornness, the
charge of demagogy against him would be the extreme of irony. He brought to
his high office common sense, common. honesty and uncommon courage. He
answered to the man in the .mind of Sir Henry Wotton when he wrote:
“ ‘How happy is he born and taught
That serveth not another’s will,,
Whose armor is his honest thought
And simple truth his utmost skill.’
“ No din of clamor could disturb his confidence and no pressure of partisan
powers could break the strength of his purpose; the subtle influences of friendship
were unavailing against his clear insight and corruption never ventured to try the
texture of his integrity.
“His sole, sufficient talent for administration was his character, and character
is the final solvent of every political problem. The genius of statecraft may
exhaust itself in devising constitutions and charters, but all will fail if the men


who administer them fail in the measure of their manhood. ‘The whole art of
politics consists in being honest.’ Higher tribute was never paid to any man than
was paid to Theodore Roosevelt by the unfriendly critic, who said, ‘I would rather
trust the President’s conscience than his judgment.’ When you can trust a man’s
conscience, you may well take some chances as to his judgment
“In the quiet, reserved gentleman who occupied the chair of chief magistrate
of the city the people came to recognize one who followed only the lead of the
kindly light which is heaven sent for man’s direction, who would not flatter them
for their favor, and whose respect for them was so sincere that he would go their
way only so far as he believed it to be right. And they have reciprocated that
respect as it deserved. He has risen steadily in their esteem, not like the feather
which lifts with every breeze and falls with every calm, but by the upward gravita­
tion of moral power, and now discharged of his stewardship he returns to private
life, attended by that- popularity which never walks before a man, which travels
only in the track of his well-doing and which flees his presence if he but looks
back to see if it is following. -Not his own party and his own section of the city,
but every party and every section of the city, now when the trumpery honors of
place have fallen from him, unite to clothe him with the enduring honor of the
good name that is the meed and the merit of duty well done. The gentleman who
takes his place graces the occasion with his presence and participation, and it is a
token of cheer for his own future that he had the finer grace and the manly,
generous justice, in the very thickest of his contest for office, to express his cordial
appreciation of the administration to which he was to succeed. ‘The king is dead,
long live the king!’
“ ‘The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their
bones.’ I do ndt believe it. The forces of evil, if they gathered strength with the
passing of the years, would prevail against every effort for their undoing. But
it is the good which is of enduring life and of perpetual influence.
“ ‘Only the ashes of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.’
“ The administration of Rolla Wells is closed and has passed into history,
but it remains for him and for his children and for their children, for his friends
and for all his fellow-citizens a wholesome memory and a beneficent example.”

The ftosEttlalixm.
Pausing, and turning towards Mr. Wells, Mr. Lehmann continued:
“ Mr. Wells, your friends have not been willing to let this occasion pass without
a sign-manual to attest it, and in their name and behalf I present you with this
token of their affection, this memorial of their pride in your conduct and their
confidence in.your character. May your days be long in the land and may they be
filled with usefulness to the end.”




Salver of the Silver Service


As Mr. Lehmann concluded his address a beautifully wrought chest behind
the speaker’s table, was opened, showing a silver service, upon the tray of which
was this inscription:
“ Presented to Rolla Wells by citizens of St. Louis, April 14th, 1909, in grateful
recognition of his distinguished services as Mayor of the city from 1901 to 1909.”
At the close of Mr. Lehmann’s remarks, the Chairman arose and spoke to Mr.
Wells as follows:
“Mr. Wells, it is now my pleasant task to present to you this beautiful souvenir
book, which has been bound especially for you; and which contains the complete
menu and program of this banquet, and, in addition, the autographs of all who are
present. I am sure you will treasure it as a memento of this happy occasion, and
I hope through many years to come that you may enjoy its possession.”
This book, without the addresses, was then presented to Mr. Wells, but in order
that he might have a complete record of the occasion, it was afterwards decided
to add to the book the addresses made by all of the speakers of the evening, in the
order in which they were delivered.

Mr. Wells spoke as follows:
“Mr. C h a i r m a n a n d G e n t l e m e n —It is not easy to do justice to the feeling
which I now experience after this cordial and hearty reception.
“I am greatly indebted to you, Mr. Chairman, and to the speakers of the
evening for the kind manner in which you have spoken, and I appreciate the
hospitable manner in which you have all welcomed me.
“Resulting from the complimentary expressions I feel it would be advisable
for me to retire from the banquet hall for a moment for the purpose of seeking
an introduction to myself.
“A hostess said to a gentleman guest, ‘Are you thoroughly enjoying your
glories and victories?’ He replied, ‘Well, I feel like the man who lost his wife
and said, ‘it was verra dull but verra peaceful,’ and I have reached the conclusion
that peace is an acquired taste.’
“ Since leaving the public service I also find it ‘verra dull but verra peaceful,’
and that peace is an acquired taste. Twice I have been highly honored by the
people of St. Louis through my election as the executive of the city. During the
past eight years a great advance has been made in St. Louis towards a greater,
and, I believe, a better city, and it was my good fortune to have been called upon
to serve during such a period.


“As Mayor it was at all times my endeavor to be a fair arbiter of all
public and quasi-public matters. It was my ambition, through personal and official
conduct and acts, to create a greater respect for the public service, and if in this
I have at least partially succeeded, then I have not lived my official life in vain.
“ It is not for me to assume credit for any improvement that may have been
accomplished in the management of public affairs, but in the spirit of justifiable
commendation, I desire to pay tribute to the conscientious and industrious chiefs
o f the municipal departments for the able manner they have administered the
duties of their respective offices, and to them credit is rightly due.
“A proper control and management of the municipal government involves the
protection of our homes, our families, and those dependent upon us, and in such
spirit every citizen should feel interested.
“ I wish my successor, while in the discharge of his official duties, every success,
and offer him all assistance that may be in my power.
“ I desire to express my appreciation to all here assembled for the compliment
conferred In making me the guest of this occasion, and tender my thanks for the
generous token you have bestowed Upon me. I shall hand it down to my children,
feeling that its? possession, coupled with the motive of its tender, will prove an
asset that will make them better men and women.
“ In conclusion, I am sure you will indulge me in a little personal sentimentalism.
Forty years or more ago, within three blocks from where we are now seated, there
stood an old church, and in that church was conducted a Sunday-school, where,
under the guidance of .my mother, I received my childhood training—a mother
whose unselfish life, whose trust in God and uncompromising integrity, have ever
been my inspiration and standard. The mother o f long ago whose influence I still
feel within, me, and my good wife, whose steadfast character has ever upheld me,
has been my strength and guide during the eight years of my official life. If I
have succeeded In doing good to my fellowmen, then the memory of the one, and
the presence of the other, should share in the great honor you have this night
conferred upon me.”


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T he B usiness M en ’ s L eague


N 1893 one hundred leading citizens of St. Louis
organized what was known as the Business Men’s
League of St. Louis, its successor being the St.
Louis Chamber of Commerce.
The purpose of the organization was for the ad­
vancement of the interests of the citizens as a whole
and the promotion of that which would be of the great­
est good to the greatest number.
January 18, 1911, I was elected president of the or­
ganization, the former presidents having been Messrs.
S. M. Kennard, John C. Wilkinson, C. P. Walbridge,
James E. Smith and Walker Hill.
The three administrations preceding and the two
years of my incumbency—a period of eleven years—
the League had the services of an efficient secretary
and general manager, Mr. William Flewellyn Saunders.
The following officers of the League were my asso­
ciates: Mr. Elias Michael, First Vice-President; Mr.
Joseph R. Barroll, Second Vice-President; Mr. John E.
Pilcher, Third Vice-President; Mr. Sam D. Capen,
Fourth Vice-President; Mr. R. H. Stockton, Fifth VicePresident; Mr. J. A. Lewis, Treasurer.
Under the leadership of Mr. Barroll, Chairman of
the Membership Committee, there was a large increase
in the membership.


E pisodes of M y L ife

At this time there were a number of local civic and
business organizations throughout the city. During my
administration as Mayor of St. Louis, I found the
management of some of these organizations irritating
and misleading in the interest of certain public meas­
ures. On one occasion, at a public meeting, I went so
far as to denounce them as being pernicious. Of course
this caused public comment and resentment on the part
of the officers of the organizations to which I had re­
On January 30, 1912, the League gave a dinner,
having for its particular object a conference with these
local commercial and civic organizations. In connection
therewith, and having in mind my experience as
Mayor, above referred to, it may be of interest—pos­
sibly resulting in some good—if I now quote in part
the remarks I made at this conference dinner.
“ It is pleasing to take part in the enthusiasm of the
evening. I do not believe it can be due to the liquid
refreshments, because all we have imbibed is beer, and
good old lager contains only three per cent of alcohol.
It must, therefore, result from the congeniality of the
toastmaster, and the eloquence of the gentlemen who
have preceded me.
“ The toastmaster was good enough to refer to me as
an ex-Mayor of St. Louis, and the President of the
Business Men’s League.
“ It is true that I have served eight years in public
office, and have just completed one year in a quasi­
public service, both at considerable personal and finan­
cial sacrifice.

T h e B u s in e s s M e n ' s L ea g u e


“A few days ago I was called upon to serve a second
term as president of the Business Men’s League of St.
Louis. Why do I consent?
“ First, because I believe it is the duty of every citi­
zen—time and means permitting—to give at least a
portion of his time to public matters.
“ Second, it is a great honor to be the executive of
an organization of the character of the League, its
membership consisting of over nine hundred active,
influential citizens of this city.
“ The purposes of the League are general in their
character. It is one of the most influential business
organizations in this country. I am convinced that it
is of immense value to the commercial and business
interests of St. Louis, thereby resulting in direct, or
indirect, benefit to every citizen. I ask, therefore, that
the people of St. Louis give it their co-operation and
“ This is mostly a gathering of representatives of
associations organized primarily for sectional and spe­
cial business advancement. I believe in local and spe­
cial organizations, when confined to local and special
work. When conducted on unselfish and impartial lines
they are conducive to great good. Everyone is justified
in fighting for his own, but in a community of inter­
ests, the benefit of the whole is entitled to the first con­
sideration. I ask of you, therefore, when it comes to
matters of general importance, that you co-operate
with the Business Men’s League, the commercial voice
of St. Louis.
“ We have been called together at this festive board


E pisodes op M y L ife

for the purpose of getting acquainted. If getting ac­
quainted means that the people of St. Louis are pre­
pared, among themselves, in an effective and orderly
manner, to remedy any defects that may exist in our
municipality, and not resort to sensational and inflam­
matory exaggeration promulgated to the world, making
it appear that conditions are really worse than they
are, then, for one, I want to get acquainted.
“If getting acquainted means that we will at all
times strive for intelligent and accurate information
on matters that concern the good of the community,
keeping in mind a wholesome live-and-let-live policy,
and reaching an honest and unselfish verdict, then,
again, I want to get acquainted.
“ If getting acquainted means that we will utilize our
best endeavor in inducing honest and capable men to
accept the responsibility of public office, if we will re­
frain from unjust criticism and unwarranted discour­
agement of those who are conscientiously trying to
administer the affairs of the municipal government,
once more, I want to get acquainted.
“If getting acquainted signifies that we are prepared
to serve notice to the world at large that St. Louis is
one of the best cities in America; that its geographi­
cal and commercial situation and equipment is unsur­
passed ; that it has attained a great power and growth,
and in the near future will become still greater, then
I want to take each of you by the hand, and have each
of you take me by the hand, and exclaim in unison,
‘We are acquainted !*M

T he F ederal R eserve B a n k of S t . L ouis
outbreak of war in Europe on August 4,
1914, participated in later by this country,
proved that the enactment of the Federal Re­
serve Act, December 23, 1913, was timely. Undoubt­
edly it prevented great financial distress among the
people of the United States, and was an important
factor in the final victory.
The Federal Reserve Act provided for an organiza­
tion committee consisting of the Secretary of the
Treasury, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Comp­
troller of the Currency. This committee made an
extensive tour of investigation throughout the country,
taking testimony regarding available locations for the
Federal Reserve banks.
I learned of the contemplated visit to St. Louis of
Secretary of the Treasury, William G. McAdoo, and
Secretary of Agriculture, David F. Houston, for the
purpose of holding hearings as to the desirability of
locating one of the banks in St. Louis. Because of my
personal acquaintance with both of these gentlemen,
and being desirous that they should look with favor on
St. Louis as a location for one of the Federal Reserve
Banks, I invited them to be the guests of honor at a
dinner at my home, to meet some of our prominent



E pisodes o f M y L ife

bankers and citizens. The invitation was accepted, and
the guests were: Messrs. Robert S. Brookings, James
Campbell, Murray Carleton, H. N. Davis, John D.
Davis, D. R. Francis, E. F. Goltra, Walker Hill, Breck­
inridge Jones, Robert McKittrick Jones, William H.
Lee, James G. McConkey, N. W. McLeod, Charles
Nagel, Tom Randolph, A. L. Shapleigh, James E.
Smith, J. Clark Streett, J. C. Van Riper, Festus J.
Wade, Julius S. Walsh, F. O. Watts, Erastus Wells,
Lloyd P. Wells, Thomas H. West, Edwards Whitaker
and A. 0. Wilson.
This dinner occurred on January 21,1914. Secretary
McAdoo and Secretary Houston addressed the gather­
ing and responses were made, setting out the advant­
age of St. Louis as a financial center and as a desirable
location for a Federal Reserve Bank.
After public hearings, the organization committee
of the Federal Reserve Board selected the city of St.
Louis as a location for one of the twelve reserve banks,
the district to be known as “ District Number Eight.”
At this time I had no expectancy or desire to have
any official connection with the Reserve System. I,
therefore, was surprised to receive, on September 15,
1914, the following telegram from David F. Houston,
Secretary of Agriculture:
“Am authorized to inquire if you will accept the
Chairmanship of the Board of Directors of the
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, acting as a
Federal Reserve Agent. Details of compensation
not yet settled. Opportunity to render a tremen­
dous public service. Urgent that these banks start
out right. Earnestly hope that you can accept and
serve at least until things are in good working
order, if not permanently. Others of your type are
being drafted for service. Will not interfere with

T h e F e d e r a l R e se rv e B a n k o f S t . L o u is


your duties as National Treasurer. Do not decline.
If in doubt, can’t you come here and discuss it?
You might canvass matter with a few men in con­

The following day I made acknowledgment of the
telegram, thanking Mr. Houston for the tender, but
declining the offer.
On September 19, 1914,1 received the following tele­
gram from William G. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treas­
“Greatly regret to learn that you will not con­
sider chairmanship we have tendered you and hope
you may reconsider. If you won’t, then kindly con­
sult with Brookings, Watts and any others you
think advisable and wire me promptly your sugges­
tions for this place. Kindest regards.”

Thinking over the matter, it occurred to me that Mr.
William McChesney Martin would be a desirable candi­
date for the position. I knew Mr. Martin, associate
trust officer of the Mississippi Valley Trust Company,
who had for some time previous been acting as secre­
tary of the Fiduciary Committee of the Trust Com­
pany, of which I was a member. His capable handling
of the affairs of the committee had favorably impressed
On Sunday morning, September 20, 1914, I tele­
phoned Mr. Martin, requesting him to come to my
home, which he did, and during the interview I asked
him if he would like to be the Chairman of the Board
and Federal Reserve Agent of the Federal Reserve
Bank of St. Louis. He expressed his pleasure for being
so considered. I asked him if he would be able to go
to Washington with me the following day, and he said


E pisodes o f M y L if e

he could do so. I then sent the following telegram to
Mr. McAdoo:
“In compliance with your telegram last evening
I will be in Washington Tuesday afternoon next,
accompanied by a gentleman whom we feel to be
admirably suited for the position under considera­
tion. If our visit not well timed, please advise
promptly, as we leave on noon train tomorrow.”

Mr. Martin and I arrived in Washington at noon
Tuesday, and immediately called on the Secretary, Mr.
McAdoo, and had a conference with him in connection
with the position of chairman, which ultimately re­
sulted in Mr. Martin’s appointment.
Having in this manner disposed of the question of
my active participation in the management of the
Federal Reserve Bank, I was, again, surprised to re­
ceive the following telegram from Mr. McAdoo, dated
October 27, 1914:
“In view of great importance opening Federal
Reserve Bank, St. Louis, November sixteenth, and
difficulties securing satisfactory Governor up to
date, will you not consider taking governorship
temporarily if offered to you? You will render
great public service by so doing. I do not think it
will burden you heavily, and it will not be neces­
sary for you to give up any of your business inter­
ests or investments. Sincerely hope you will do
this. Have telegraphed to Watts and Martin.”

The Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank
were holding a meeting in St. Louis at the time, and
at an adjourned meeting the following day, October
28th, a committee of the Board called on me, stating
that they were desirous of having me accept the posi­
tion of Governor of the bank, and, after expressing my
willingness to accept, I was duly elected Governor.
Associated with me at the opening of the St. Louis
Federal Reserve Bank were:



NOVEMBER I + , 1 9 I 4 .


T h e F e d e r a l R e se r v e B a n k o f S t . L ou is


William McChesney Martin, Chairman of the Board
and Federal Reserve Agent.
Walter W. Smith, Deputy Chairman and Deputy Fed­
eral Reserve Agent.
Members of the Board of Directors:
Class A—Walker Hill, St. Louis, Mo.
F. 0. Watts, St. Louis, Mo.
Oscar Fenley, Louisville, Ky.
Class B—Murray Carleton, St. Louis, Mo.
W. B. Plunkett, Little Rock, Ark.
Leroy Percy, Greenville, Miss.
Class C—William McChesney Martin, St. Louis, Mo.
Walter W. Smith, St. Louis, Mo.
John W. Boehne, Evansville, Ind.
The Board appointed Mr. James G. McConkey as
Secretary and General Counsel.
On December 8, 1914, the Board elected me a mem­
ber of the Advisory Council from District No. 8, the
other members being: Daniel G. Wing, President, First
National Bank, Boston, Mass., representing District
No. 1; J. P. Morgan, J. P. Morgan & Co., New York,
representing District No. 2; L. L. Rue, President,
Philadelphia National Bank, Philadelphia, represent­
ing District No. 3; W. S. Rowe, President, First Na­
tional Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio, Director, Federal Re­
serve Bank of Cleveland, representing District No. 4;
George J. Seay, Governor, Federal Reserve Bank of
Richmond, Va., representing District No. 5; Charles
A. Lyerly, President, First National Bank, Chatta­
nooga, Tenn., representing District No. 6; James B.


E pisodes op M y L ife

Forgan, President, First National Bank, Chicago, 111.,
representing District No. 7; C. T. Jaffray, 1st VicePresident, First National Bank, Minneapolis, Minn.,
representing District No. 9; E. F. Swinney, President,
First National Bank, Kansas City, Mo., representing
District No. 10; J. Howard Ardrey, Cashier, City Na­
tional Bank, Dallas, Texas, representing District No.
11; Archibald Kains, Governor, Federal Reserve Bank,
San Francisco, Cal., representing District No. 12.
During my term of office as Governor, and in later
years as Chairman of the Board, the following gentle­
men served as members of the Board of Directors, in
addition to those who were members of the Board of
Directors at the time of the inauguration of the bank:
Mr. David C. Biggs, St. Louis; Mr. T. C. Tupper, St.
Louis; Mr. Sam A. Ziegler, Albion, 111.; Mr. C. P. J.
Mooney, Memphis, Tenn.; Mr. J. C. Utterback, Padu­
cah, Ky.; Mr. John C. Lonsdale, St. Louis; Mr. John
C. Martin, Salem, 111.; Mr. Paul Dillard, Memphis,
Tenn.; Mr. Max B. Nahm, Bowling Green, Ky.; Mr.
J. W. Harris, St. Louis.
A narration in detail of the operation of the bank
would be too tedious a story; moreover, it is of public
record. However, I will mention the emergency or­
ganization which was created at the outbreak of the
war for the sale of Liberty bonds.
This organization was made up of hundreds of
patriotic and earnest workers throughout the district
—too many for me to name. As Governor of the bank
I was general chairman of the organization, and I
called to my assistance Mr. William R. Compton, to be

F ed eral R e se r v e Board


a s h in g t o n

December 23, 1918

My diar Governor W ells!
The Board ia in receipt o f a copy of your le t t e r
of December 16th to the Chairman o f the Board o f D irectors o f
the Federal Reserve Bank o f St« Louis, in which you in s is t that
action be taken upon your resignation as Governor o f the Federal
Reserve Bank, which wa9 held up at the request of your d irecto rs.
Now that the war i s over, the Board re a liz e s that i t
no righ t to ask you longer to make the personal s a c r ific e s
which your continuance in the p o sitio n would involve, and i t
desires to express i t s high appreciation o f the fa i t h f u l and
e ffic ie n t services which you have rendered.

The Federal Reserve

system sustains a d is tin c t lo ss in your retirem ent, ard you know
without my t e lli n g you, that you have the cordial good wishes and
warm friendship o f each


every member o f the Board.


T h e F e d e r a l R e se r v e B a n k o f S t . L o u is


actively in charge. The people of the Federal Reserve
District No. 8 cheerfully met their obligations to the
country, as is shown by the following statement:
First Liberty Loan:
Quota.....................................................................$ 80,000,000.00
Subscriptions........................................................ 86,141,350.00
Allotment ............................................................. 65,469,600.00
Second Liberty Loan:
Subscriptions....................................................... 184,280,750.00
Allotment ............................................................. 150,169,250.00
Third Liberty Loan:
Subscriptions........................................................ 199,835,900.00
Allotment ............................................................. 199,835,900.00
Fourth Liberty Loan:
Subscriptions........................................................ 295,329,750.00
Allotment ............................................................. 295,329,750.00
Total Quota..............................................................$590,000,000.00
Total Allotment ...................................................... 710,804,500.00
Excess....................................................................... $120,804,500.00
Sales of Thrift Stamps and War Savings Stamps
made by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
during 1918 ..........................................................$ 26,768,619.17
Sales made through the United States Post Office
at St. Louis..........................................................
Total sales 1918 Issue............................................ $ 34,865,732.60

Having served as Governor for more than four
years, and being desirous of no longer continuing, I
asked to be relieved of the responsibilities, and tend­
ered my resignation in May, 1918, but I was not re­
lieved of my duties until the following January, 1919,
when my resignation was accepted.
On February 5, 1919, Mr. David C. Biggs, a Class
B director, was elected Governor of the bank to fill the
vacancy caused by my resignation.
On April 5, 1919,1 was elected a Class B director of


E pisodes op M y L ife

the Board of Directors, and served continuously as
such until January 23, 1929.
I retained my official connection with the Federal
Reserve Bank of St. Louis, as a director and a member
of the Executive Committee, during the receivership
of the United Railways of St. Louis, which lasted for
a period of eight years and eight months.
On November 30, 1928, Mr. David C. Biggs, Gover­
nor of the bank, resigned as Governor, and Mr. Wil­
liam McChesney Martin resigned as Chairman of the
Board and Federal Reserve Agent, and was elected
Governor to fill the position made vacant by the resig­
nation of Governor Biggs.
The members of the Board of Directors of the bank
urged upon me the acceptance of the appointment as
Chairman of the Board and Federal Reserve Agent,
and, recognizing my reluctance to accept the position,
some of the members took up the matter with the
Federal Reserve Board in Washington, urging my ap­
pointment. This resulted in a member of the Federal
Reserve Board coming to St. Louis, and, on behalf of
the members of his Board, tendering me the position.
I informed this gentleman that I expected shortly
to make a West Indies cruise, to be absent about a
month, and, in addition, I was already booked for a
world cruise of about three months’ duration, starting
in January, 1930, and suggested to him that under the
circumstances it would be well for me to decline the
offer. He informed me that the matter could be ar­
ranged, and, on January 23, 1929, I was appointed a
Class C director and Chairman of the Board and Fed-


May 9, 1950.

O F F iC E O F G O V E R N O R

Dear Hr. Wells:
Your formal resignation as Chairman of tlie Board
of Directors and Federal Reserve Agent, and as a Class
C director of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, ten­
dered in your letters of January 17 and I!ay 6, was pre­
sented to the Federal Reserve Board at its meeting today
and accepted as of the latter date with much regret.
In severing your official connection with the
Federal Reserve System, please be assured that you carry
with you the very best wishes of every member of the Fed­
eral Reserve Board, all of whom have a deep appreciation
of the excellent services you have rendered to the Feder­
al Reserve Bank of St. Louis and to th&~System generally
during the period you have been connected! with it.
Trusting that your interest IM tlJs welfare of
the System will keep you in close touch with its progress
in the future, and that you will feel free at all times
to make any suggestions you may have) r^fgarding it, I an

R. A. Y'

f'-r. Rolla Wells,
c/o Federal Reserve Bank,
St. Louis, Mo.


T h e F e d e r a l R e se r v e B a n k o f S t . L o u is


eral Reserve Agent, and assumed the duties of the
Mr. Clarence M. Stewart was the Assistant Federal
Reserve Agent, and was most helpful to me in every­
As the time drew near for me to start on the world
cruise, which would necessitate my being away for
three months, or longer, the realization of what it
would mean for me to carry with me the responsibility
of the position, prompted me before leaving to send my
resignation to the Board in Washington.
No action was taken until my return, as stated in
a letter from Mr. R. A. Young, Governor of the Fed­
eral Reserve Board in Washington, under date of May
9, 1930.
My years of association with the Federal Reserve
Bank of St. Louis were very pleasant, and I greatly
appreciate the cordial relationship I experienced with
all of the officers, members of the Board of Directors,
and the employees of the bank.

R eceiver for U nited R ailw ays Co.
it is quite a coincidence that I should have
been drafted, April 12, 1919, to take the manage­
ment of a street railway system of huge propor­
tions as compared with the railway of which I was in
charge at the beginning of my business career, more
than forty years before.
In the afternoon of April 11th, 1919, I received a
visit from Mr. Charles W. Bates, a prominent lawyer,
an old and trusted friend, who had served as City
Counselor the last six years of my administration as
Mayor; he informed me during the call that he had
information that in all probability a receivership for
the United Railways would be asked for the following
morning and that he believed I could have the appoint­
ment as Receiver. I was not inclined to assume a re­
sponsibility of such magnitude, and after careful con­
sideration, I so informed Mr. Bates.
That same evening while at my home I received a
telephone call from Mr. Breckinridge Jones, President
of the Mississippi Valley Trust Company, asking if he
could see me, as he had a matter of considerable im­
portance to discuss. I told him I would be happy to
receive him, and in a short time he came to my home.
He also gave me the information that the United Rail­


th in k

R eceiver for U n it e d R a i l w a y s C o .


ways Company would go into receivership the follow­
ing morning and that he thought I could obtain the
appointment as Receiver.
I told Mr. Jones I had had a conversation that after­
noon with Mr. Charles W. Bates on the same matter,
in which he also informed me that in his judgment I
could have the appointment of Receiver of the United
Railways Company, but that I had discouraged him
with the statement that I did not care to seek the posi­
tion, and I told Mr. Jones also I did not care to con­
sider the proposition. Mr. Jones left, and as far as I
was concerned the matter had been finally determined.
About nine o’clock the next morning, Saturday, April
12, word was brought to me that Judge D. P. Dyer,
Judge of the Federal Court of the Eastern District of
Missouri, was in my library and desired to see me. I
greeted the Judge, whom I had not seen for some time,
and he brusquely informed me that he wanted me to
accept the receivership of the United Railways Com­
pany. I told him that intimations of that character
had been made to me the day before and that I had
carefully considered the question and had reached the
conclusion that I did not wish to assume the responsi­
bility involved. It is unnecessary to relate all of our
conversation. The time was passing and the Judge
became impatient at my refusal. He stood up, took out
his watch, said that it was necessary for him to open
the court at ten o’clock; that he just had time to reach
there, and that he did not propose to listen to my re­
fusal any longer; that he would leave immediately and,
on the opening of the court, he would make the an­


E pisodes of M y L if e

nouncement that he would appoint me sole receiver,
without bond, of the United Railways Company and its
subsidiary companies—namely, the Missouri Electric
Railroad Company, the Florissant Construction and
Real Estate Company, and the Merchants’ Express
The appointment was so complimentary and unprec­
edented, I could not refuse. Judge Dyer opened court
at ten o’clock that day and made the announcement,
as he said he would.
The court adjourned shortly after the announcement.
I was summoned to appear in the office of the Clerk
of the Court. I reported immediately. Judge Dyer
and a group of lawyers who were interested in the
United Railways Company were present. The Judge
administered the oath of office. As I looked around
among the lawyers present, I was impressed with the
feeling that the announcement of my appointment was
a great surprise, and possibly a shock to some of them.
The receivership extended over a period of eight and
one-half years.
As the result of the consolidation of all of the street
railways of the City of St. Louis, the United Railways
Company had a monopoly of street car transportation,
operating 1,699 cars over 462.58 miles of track, includ­
ing its subsidiary, the Missouri Electric Railroad Com­
pany, and numbering 5,605 officers and employes. The
capital stock was made up of $20,000,000.00 of pre­
ferred stock; $25,000,000.00 of common stock, and
$52,590,000.00 of bonded indebtedness.
It was a great satisfaction to me when Judge Dyer

R eceiver for U n it e d R a i l w a y s C o .


appointed my old associate, Mr. Charles W. Bates, as
General Counsel for the Receiver. Mr. Bates retained
Mr. T. E. Francis as General Attorney, and he re­
mained with him during the receivership. I desire to
commend Mr. Francis for the loyal and efficient man­
ner in which he managed the very important depart­
ment under him, and to express my appreciation of his
advice and counsel and hearty co-operation.
I gave the receivership my undivided attention, pro­
ceeded cautiously, and not until July 7, 1919, did I
make any changes in the personnel of the manage­
ment; at that time the President and the General
Manager of the Company resigned; also the General
Superintendent. I then appointed Colonel Albert T.
Perkins Manager for the Receiver, and Mr. H. O.
Butler General Superintendent. The operating staff
was as follows:
Treasurer for the Receiver.................................W. R. Moynihan
Assistant Treasurer.................................................. F. G. Gannon
Assistant to the Manager.......................................R. J. Lockwood
General Claim Agent.................................................. C. B. Hardin
Auditor........................................................................... J. D. Evans
Master Mechanic............................................................M. O’Brien
General Traffic Agent.........................................B. W. Frauenthal
Engineer of Way & Structures...............................C. L. Hawkins
Purchasing Agent.................................................. James J. Roche
Superintendent of Power.......................................... W. E. Bryan
Superintendent of Line Department....................... J. E. Burgess
Superintendent of Buildings.......................................M. Arhelger
Transfer Department................................................ R. B. Lindsay
Roadmaster of City Lines.........................................William Finn
Roadmaster of County Lines...................................J. Y. Johnson
Superintendent of Employment............................... J. D. Crafton
Print Shop Foreman.............................................. J. J. Muschamp
Superintendent of Time Tables................................. Frank Betts
Chief Surgeon...................................................... Dr. R. F. Hyland
Chemist......................................................................... R. E. Barlow

I was most fortunate in being favored with the ser­
vices of Colonel Perkins, and great credit is due him


E pisodes op M y L if e

for the rehabilitation of the property and the complete
regeneration of the morale of the employes.
If I attempted to go into the details of the receiver­
ship, this article would be entirely too lengthy, and,
therefore, I summarize the result of our operations by
quoting from my final report to Judge C. B. Faris,
who, on October 10, 1919, succeeded Judge Dyer, and
I take this opportunity of expressing my sincere ap­
preciation of our cordial relationship and the helpful
manner in which Judge Faris guided me in the re­
The summary of this final report is as follows:
1. Funded Debt and Notes Payable reduced from $55,010,042.24
To .......................................................................... $52,590,000.00
A decrease of........................................................ $ 2,420,042.22
2. Paid on interest-bearing obligations.................. $21,336,642.45
And in addition, for amortization of discount,
etc........................................................................ $ 605,981.66
3. Paid in direct taxes, (including regular and
complete payment of the Mill Tax, but not
including paving of city streets, etc., and the
carrying free of police and firemen)............$14,890,901.29
4. For paving, (including new paving along
205.77 miles of track in the City of St.
Louis, of which 159.46 miles were paved with
dressed granite blocks and the remainder
with miscellaneous materials)....................... $ 4,142,345.51
Of this amount $3,441,332.16 was for maintenance and re­
placement and $701,013.35 for new paving chargeable to
capital account.
5. Number of miles of track reconstructed or built new, 207.79
6. Much new private right-of-way acquired.
7. Many new operating buildings, shop buildings, terminal facil­
ities, bridges and miscellaneous facilities constructed; and a
large mileage of right-of-way fenced and protected from tres­
8. Seven entirely new power houses, with automatic equipment
of latest type, constructed, and extensive improvements made
to older power houses. 1,377 miles of new cable, trolley wire

R eceiver for U n it e d R a i l w a y s C o .


and other wire installed; 9,850 new poles erected and 123,000
copper rail bonds installed.
New and more favorable power contracts negotiated.
9. More than 300 entirely new cars built. Some 63 cars rebuilt
outright, substantially as new cars; 753 additional cars radi­
cally remodeled; and elaborate changes and improvements
made on all other cars.
10. Extensive track changes and reroutings carried out to bring
the service in line with present needs; and schedules im­
11. Great improvement in the morale and character of the per­
sonnel and organization, which placed the operation of the
property on a new basis.
Activities of the Employes’ Mutual Benefit Association ex­
tended to the great advantage of all concerned, and the
membership increased from 3,310 at the beginning of the
receivership to 5,430 at the end of the receivership, nearly
all eligible employes belonging.
Depositors in the United Railways Savings and Loan Asso­
ciation increased from 2,263 at the beginning of the receiver­
ship to 6,215 at the end of the receivership; during the
period 2,115 loans made by the association to employes for
building or purchasing of homes; total amount of loans
made being $5,804,705.00—an average of $2,745.00 per loan
— of which loans $1,895,856.00 had been paid off. The assets
of the United Railways Savings and Loan Association made
the remarkable increase from $592,855.39 to $4,534,284.21;
and $208,537.89 was added to the reserve.
12. Traffic was developed and protected as far as possible by
the Receiver against the great growth of bus and jitney
competition and that of private automobiles; and under the
traffic department, the print shop conditions were improved;
many leases were made of otherwise unused property, and
without cost to the Receiver; many combination waiting
rooms and refreshment stands, for the convenience of the
public, were erected and operated at most of the important
13. Elaborate valuation proceedings were carried out at a cost
of $259,867.90, and appeals from what the Receiver deemed
to be unfairly low tentative valuations by the Public Service
Commission prepared. Rate cases and other extensive legal
proceedings were carried on before the Public Service Com­
mission and the courts.
14. A safety department, with a safety director, was established,
co-operating with the operating force with remarkable re­
sults in accident saving.


Cond en sed

E pisodes o f M y L if e

C o n s o l id a t e d

I ncom e

E xpen se


Statem ent

Rolla Wells, Receiver, United Railways Company of St. Louis.
For the Period from April 12, 1919, to November 30, 1927.
O p e r a t in g R e v e n u e

Revenue from Transportation.................................$165,576,066.15
Revenue from Other Railway Operations............
Gross Operating Revenue.......................................$167,267,673.27
O p e r a t in g E x p e n s e s


C harges

Current Operating Expenses:
Way and Structures............................................ $
Equipment ............................................................
Power ....................................................................
Transportation Expense.......................................
Traffic Expense......................................................
Injuries and Damages Reserve...........................
General and Miscellaneous.................................
Depreciation Reserves...........................................



Total Operating Expenses, Depreciation and
Taxes..................................................................... $142,776,489.54
Income from Operation...........................................$ 24,491,183.73
Non-Operating Income.............................................
Gross Income.............................................................. $ 26,269,524.25
Interest and Miscellaneous Charges..................... 23,909,087.26
Net Profit from Railway Operations......................$
Net Rental Income from Bus Equipment..............


Net Profit for the Period.......................................$ 2,366,835.13

In bringing this account of my receivership to an
end, I quote the last two paragraphs of my final report
to the court:
“It is an interesting and gratifying fact that, in spite
of the large number of and varied interests concerned,
no question has been raised in Court as to any action
taken by the Receiver, and no order of the Court has



W e W isK a
Happy and ^ - - - r -----

< fjrW i

New Ycs.r to the
United Railways FomilV^J
Rolla We Us, Receiver
A J.Perktns
M ffjrfe-i Mr for the Receiver.

A Memento of the Receivership of the United Railways Company
of St. Louis


R eceiver for U n it e d R a i l w a y s C o .


been overturned throughout the eight and one-half
years of the receivership.
“In conclusion, I commend to the Court, the owners
of the property and the traveling public, the efficiency
and untiring energy of Colonel Albert T. Perkins,
Manager for the Receiver; Charles W. Bates, Counsel
for the Receiver; Thomas E. Francis, General Attor­
ney, and their co-workers, which made the foregoing

P r in c e H e n r y



P r u ssia

N February, 1902, much interest was created by
the announcement that Prince Henry of Prussia,
brother of Emperor William, would visit the
United States. The itinerary arranged by the Depart­
ment of State in Washington did not contemplate a
visit to St. Louis. Communicating with Washington,
we succeeded in having St. Louis included, which pro­
vided that the Prince and his party would arrive in the
city at seven o’clock in the morning, March 1, 1902,
and allowed for a stay of four hours only, it being
necessary for the party to leave promptly in order to
meet the arrangements made for the reception of the
Prince in the city of Chicago.
As Mayor of the city, it was my duty to act as prin­
cipal host. I called in two or three of my friends, and
we hurriedly prepared a plan for the reception. It was
decided that I should appoint one hundred citizens to
act as a reception committee.
The program for the entertainment of the Prince
provided for a short tour through the eastern section
of the city, arriving at the Saint Louis Club, where a
breakfast would be served in the ball room of the club.
In the matter of the seating arrangements in the car­
riages, and at the breakfast table, the regulations

P r in c e H e n r y o f P r u s s ia


enacted by the Department of State in Washington
were strictly adhered to.
Police arrangements at the Union Station, at the
Saint Louis Club, and at the Wabash Railroad siding
in Forest Park, where the special train took its de­
parture, were most creditable.
The members of the Committee of One Hundred were
at the Union Station ready to act as the escort of the
visitors assigned to them on the arrival of the train.
It was arranged that I, as Chairman of the Recep­
tion Committee, and Dr. Rieloff, who was a special
German consul assigned to St. Louis anticipating the
World’s Fair, were to board the train upon its arrival.
When the train arrived we entered the observation end
of the private car and paid our respects to His Royal
Highness and those surrounding him. Prince Henry,
being attached to the German Navy, had assigned to
him Admiral Robley D. Evans of the United States
Navy as a special escort.
While we were in the observation car the following
incident occurred:
A few moments after the presentation, Admiral
Evans very brusquely addressed me in these words:
“Mr. Mayor, we are ready to proceed. His Royal High­
ness, Dr. Rieloff and I will occupy the first carriage.”
When I recovered from my surprise, I replied: “Is
that your plan, Admiral Evans?”
“Yes, sir,” he replied.
“ Well, Admiral, if that is your plan, I want to say
to you there will not be any first carriage,” I answered.
He asked me what I meant, and I replied: “ As


E pisodes of M y L ife

Mayor of the City of St. Louis, I will occupy the first
carriage or there will not be any first carriage.”
He stepped aside, and just then some one touched
me on the arm. I looked around, and a stranger, in a
stage whisper, said: “ You are right, Mr. Mayor!
Stick to it!”
I said nothing more, and, a few moments afterward,
the Admiral approached me and said: “Well, Mr.
Mayor, whatever your plans are is all right.” I re­
plied, “ Very well, then we will proceed,” and the party
then left the car and we were joined by the members
of the local reception committee and took our respective
places in the carriages.
Prince Henry was accompanied on his tour of the
United States by prominent naval officers and members
of the nobility. Several members of the party were
outstanding figures during the World War.
Mr. Adolphus Busch had kindly furnished me with
his landau, which was drawn by four horses. We fol­
lowed the prescribed route; everywhere Prince Henry
was met with enthusiasm.
Reaching the Saint Louis Club, we held a short re­
ception on the main floor, and next proceeded to the
ball room, where a table in the shape of a horseshoe
had been prepared, and we were seated at the places
The club building, the ball room, and the breakfast
table were appropriately decorated with the German
and American colors, and flowers.
As I sat at the table I was curious to identify the
gentleman who had spoken to me in the observation


Prince Henry and Mayor Wells in the Carriage Just A fter Leaving Union Station


P r in c e H e n r y o f P r u s s ia


car in connection with the Admiral Evans incident.
Consulting the seating diagram, I observed that it was
Dr. David Jayne Hill, Assistant Secretary of State.
I read a short address of welcome, which was in­
scribed on parchment. A silver receptacle had been
provided for it. This I presented to His Royal High­
ness as a souvenir of his visit. The following was the
“ Your Royal Highness: In behalf of the people of
St. Louis, I bid you a hearty welcome to their city.
“ It is our desire that your brief visit with us be as
agreeable to you as it will be to those who have the
honor of entertaining you, and that you will carry
back to the great country you represent pleasant recol­
lections of this city by the Father of Waters.
“ St. Louis has had changes of fortune and history
unusual to cities in this country. During the last hun­
dred years it has been under the dominion of three
flags, and has passed in peaceful transition from Span­
ish to French, and from French to American sover­
“ Situated upon the border land between the North
and the South, the East and the West, its people are
drawn from and are representative of every section of
the United States. Indeed, from every quarter of the
globe they have come, and especially may you meet
here in large numbers people of your own land and
speaking your own tongue.
“ From whatever section of this land they may have
come, from whatever land beyond our borders, they
come to-day with one accord to join in this welcome,


E pisodes of M y L if e

for in your visit to this country they see a manifesta­
tion and expression of the sincere friendship which
from the beginning has existed between Germany and
the United States.
“The freedom of the city is yours. Its hospitality
awaits you, and the sole regret of the occasion is that
hail must so soon be followed by farewell.”
The Prince made a favorable impression. His re­
sponse was heard, of course, with the closest attention.
His address was brief, yet in several respects signifi­
cant. I give it in full as follows:
“It is my sincere wish to thank you for the kind
words, as well as for the reception and welcome which
has been bestowed on us here in your beautiful city.
This is the most western point in my tour of the coun­
try, and I am very sorry, indeed, that I will not be able
to remain longer among you. But my time is very
limited and it is necessary for me to hasten on.
“ Now that I have been travelling over your country
and am about to depart on my return to the East, per­
haps what I had meant to say when I concluded the
tour might as well be said now.
“Everywhere I have met with the greatest hospital­
ity, and in all localities, in large cities and in small
places, I have found the warmest feeling to exist. I
desire to take advantage of this opportunity for thank­
ing all those I could not talk to or shake by the hand.
It has been quite impossible to meet all who have
called, for some have come in the middle of the night,
when it was not possible to get up to receive the wel­
come which they brought.

P r in c e H e n r y o f P r u s s ia


“ You know whose representative I am. You know
what my object has been in coming to this country
from Germany. This was fully explained in my address
in New York City, and I need not repeat it now. I
want to be understood as saying that Germany does
not woo the friendship of the United States (intimat­
ing that the strongest of friendships already existed
between the two countries), as we are always ready to
shake hands and exchange greetings with those across
the Atlantic. Germany is a nation of arms, always
ready to fight, but it is not a belligerent nation. My
sovereign wishes to maintain peace with all the world,
and intends to keep peace.
“ During my stay in the United States I have been
much impressed with the vastness of the country and
the largeness of its industries and commerce. Germany
desires to be a friend of the United States and my
visit here has caused my former impression to know
that certainly the United States is worth having as a
“ And now, permit me to again thank you for your
kindness to me and drink with me a toast to St. Louis
and her future prosperity.”
The visit of the brother of Kaiser Wilhelm II of
Germany to the United States was an outstanding
event. It was a frank bid of His Imperial Majesty for
the good will of the United States Government and its
Because Prince Henry was with me during most of
the time while he was in St. Louis, many friends have
asked me what he said, how he conducted himself and


E pisodes o f M y L if e

what impression he made on me. I have answered all
of them: “ He was what you don’t expect, but should
expect—a genial human being.”
Business called me to Philadelphia while the Prince
was still in the United States, and it chanced that he
was to be honored at a luncheon in the Union League
Club of that city. My friend, Dr. William B. Van Lennep, a Governor of the club, pressed me to attend.
Prior to the luncheon a reception was given him and
the members of the Union League Club greeted him in
passing. I took my place in the long line. Thinking
that he would not remember me I simply paid my re­
spects and started to pass on, whereupon, he delayed
me, and said, “Mr. Mayor, I wish to again express my
appreciation of the reception accorded me in St. Louis.”
I had a reminder of Prince Henry’s St. Louis visit
when in Berlin a few years later, where I had occa­
sion to transact some business with the American Am­
bassador, Dr. Hill.
Dr. Hill at the time of the Prince Henry car episode
was Assistant Secretary of State.
“ I remember you, Dr. Hill,” I said, in introducing
my subject, “but you probably don’t remember me.”
With a smile, he replied, “ Mr. Mayor, I shall never
forget you.”

A P ilgrim age t o M o n t ic e llo
vlTVkROBABLY one of the most unique and patriotic
||w/^ events ever undertaken by a political club was
inspired and executed by Mr. Harry B. Hawes,
president of the Jefferson Club of St. Louis, and others
actively associated with him. It was called “ A Pil­
grimage to the Tomb of Jefferson,” in the ancient
Jefferson estate at Monticello, Virginia.
It was far more than a pilgrimage. Our party rever­
ently deposited in the beautiful sylvan place where the
First American Commoner lived in his life and still
lives in his death, a permanent tribute to his great soul.
Congressman Jefferson Levy, owner of the Monticello
estate, in turn tendered to the Jefferson Club a precious
treasure of incomputable historical and sentimental
value—a chair used by Thomas Jefferson, perhaps the
chair in which he composed the modern Magna Charta,
the American Declaration of Independence.
A special train was chartered in which about 300
members of the Jefferson Club and a number of in­
vited guests made the journey. I was one of the num­
ber, and I have always considered my experience as
not only enjoyable, but beneficial, to the extent that it
placed me in close contact with the general run of socalled politicians, some of the higher and some of the


E pisodes o f M y L if e

lower order. The conduct of the latter during the jour­
ney, and at the ceremonies and banquet, was highly
The party was made up from all walks of life—
preachers and priests, saloonkeepers, artisans, lawyers,
doctors, merchants, bankers—we were in short, “all
sorts and conditions of men.”
The ceremonies in the sacred grounds of Monticello
were profoundly heart-moving. Congressman Levy,
owner of the estate, welcomed us with the fervor of a
devotee to Monticello. Jefferson, we felt, had a mind
as sublime as the mountain our feet then trod, and his
thoughts were as noble as those great trees, springing
from that soil, arched over our heads.
It was a place suited to contemplation, a tranquil,
a holy place. On this firm soil, with the blue of the
sky glowing through the thick foliage, one of time’s
most majestic thinkers had wrought out in reasoning
meditations the practicable ideals of the Declaration
of Independence and religious liberty. Here he had
visioned his project for a university for his common­
wealth, the University of Virginia. In this grand soli­
tude the structure which determined human rights in
the fulness of individual freedom and opportunity was
formed by the sensitive intelligence of Thomas Jeffer­
son. We were in the sanctuary of liberty and justice.
“I welcome you,” Mr. Levy said, “to the home of
Thomas Jefferson. Your visit honors the memory of
the greatest statesman and profoundest thinker of any
time or country. You will find Monticello as he left it
over seventy-five years ago. I hope all citizens of our


P ilg r im a g e t o M o n t i c e l l o


country will visit Monticello, for I am sure that it can­
not but help to inspire our people with a love for our
republican form of government.”
Our party of 300, accompanied by a large number
of Virginians, marched to the tomb of Jefferson and
perfected our homage. We placed there a new monu­
ment. The inscription read:
Citizen, Statesman, Patriot, the Greatest Advocate
of Human Liberty, opposing special privileges, he
loved and trusted the people. To commemorate his
purchase of Louisiana. Erected by the Jefferson
Club of St. Louis, Mo., on their pilgrimage, Octo­
ber 12, 1901, to express their devotion to his prin­

The shaft which formerly had marked the grave of
the Great Commoner, Virginia had given to Missouri.
It stood in the campus of the University of Missouri
at Columbia. The inscription on the shaft had been
written by Jefferson himself. That inscription read:
Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the
Declaration of Independence, of the statute of Vir­
ginia for religious freedom and father of the Uni­
versity of Virginia.

Mme. Carl Von Mayhoff, who was beautifully
gowned in white broadcloth, and who was the then
mistress of Monticello, stepped forward and drew aside
the great American Flag which veiled the monument.
Accompanying Mme. Mayhoff was Mme. Perez, daugh­
ter of the Mexican Ambassador to Washington.
The Jefferson Club Quartette, composed of M. J.
Gallagher, John Adams, Edward Westhus and D. S.
Casey, sang “America.” The scene was most impres­
sive. The quartette then paid its tribute to the mother-


E pisodes o f M y L if e

state with “In the Green Fields of Virginia” and
“ Carry Me Back to 01’ Virginny,” and captivated the
large audience.
The addresses were delivered from the front veranda
of Monticello. The pilgrims and other guests stood on
the lawn.
Mr. Hawes responded to Mr. Levy’s address of wel­
come. The address of acceptance was delivered by Gen.
Fitzhugh Lee, representing Governor Tyler of Vir­
ginia. Other speakers were Lieutenant-Governor John
A. Lee, Professor Henning W. Prentiss, author of the
inscription; former Governor William J. Stone, former
Congressman Charles F. Cochran, R. T. W. Duke of
Charlottesville, Frank M. Estes, and Congressman M.
E. Benton, who delivered the presentation address.
We were guests at a banquet in the evening in the
gymnasium of the University of Virginia. Addresses
were delivered by Mayor James A. Reed of Kansas
City, Frank H. Harris, Circuit Attorney Joseph W.
Folk, Judge George W. Morris, C. H. Fauntleroy, and
There was a particular appropriateness to our pil­
grimage and our tribute, as St. Louis was then ar­
ranging to commemorate Jefferson’s purchase of the
Louisiana Territory with a universal exposition or
World’s Fair. Had not the statesmanship of Jefferson
seized the opportunity and bought this vast region from
Napoleon, it is highly probable that the North Ameri­
can Continent would have been an aggregation of com­
peting governments, instead of a peaceful union of
friendly and co-operating states.


P ilg r im a g e t o M o n t i c e l l o


After eulogizing Jefferson in my address, I took a
new lesson from his philosophy of government. It
seems to me that this lesson is still of great importance.
“ This is not the time or place to eulogize St. Louis,”
I said, “or tell you the source of our present greatness
or future prospects. St. Louis is to-day, and will be for
the next two years, largely in the public eye. You will
probably hear more about it than any other American
“ It has undertaken to give, and I assure you that it
will faithfully carry out the undertaking, a World's
Fair, as the most fitting manner to celebrate the cen­
tennial of the Louisiana Purchase, which, measured by
its far-reaching results to this country, would, if all
else he did were wiped out, immortalize the name of
“We who are connected with the city government
feel that a herculean task is before us to put our
municipal house in order, so that we may properly
receive the strangers who will enter our gates.
“And this leads me to merely suggest, for I have not
time to elaborate, that, in my judgment, the most seri­
ous problem that confronts us to-day is the govern­
ment of our large cities.
“ Mr. Jefferson continually referred to the fact that
the strength of the Government lay in the agricultural
districts. He was exceedingly pessimistic about the
government of the large cities. If in his day the prob­
lem struck him as difficult, think of what it is now.
Then our urban population was four per cent of the
whole; in 1900 it was thirty-three per cent.

41 0

E pisodes o f M y L if e

“In our complicated modem civilization nothing can
be done without organization. It is likewise necessary
to have party organization, which I firmly believe in,
for we are impotent to accomplish much without it.
Those who give their time and means to public good
deserve well of their country and of their communities.
“ Party organization fails in its rightful mission
when it sacrifices principles in giving itself up to a
mad race for spoils, or, worse still, in using the machin­
ery of government to build up classes in obedience to
a commercial spirit moved, not by patriotic, but avari­
cious ends.
“It is well for us who are followers of Jefferson to
renew our allegiance to the principles he taught. He
was the great expounder of the doctrine of local selfgovernment. No one better than he taught the phil­
osophy of having the power in each community to
govern itself. The watchful eye of the taxpayer and
the voter is the best source of correcting abuses which
the community alone suffers. And it is well for us to
remember the standard he raised for official services.
You will recall his reply to a committee of merchants
from New Haven, that the test for appointment to
office should be Ts he honest? Is he capable? Is he
faithful to the Constitution?’
“If this standard should be required of those called
to the service of the general Government, where great
questions of public policy have to be worked out, it is
even more important to apply the test of honesty and
capability to those who must be the agents to admin­
ister municipal government, the success of which de­

A P il g r im a g e to M o n t ic e l l o


pends upon the adoption of correct business methods.
“ St. Louis is proverbial for its hospitality, but in
1904 among the millions who will come to our city from
every part of the country—I may say from every part
of the world—none will receive a more cordial wel­
come than those who will come to us from the home of
Thomas Jefferson.”
After the ceremony and speeches, Mr. Levy served
us a luncheon, and it was at the conclusion of this feast
in beloved Monticello that he presented to Mr. Hawes,
for the Jefferson Club, Jefferson’s writing chair. Ac­
cording to tradition, Jefferson wrote the Declaration
of Independence on the wide arm of this chair.
I remember this pilgrimage as one of the happiest
events in my life. Indeed, as Mr. Levy stated, it would
be well if every citizen of our Republic paid a visit to
the home of the first Commoner and the author of the
Declaration of Independence.

A T rib u te t o M ark T w ain
of the most pleasing experiences that I en­
joyed as Mayor was on the occasion when I
was host at a luncheon on the municipal harbor
boat to the Count and Countess de Rochambeau, and
their party, one of whom was a descendant of Lafay­
ette, during their visit to St. Louis in June, 1902.
Dr. Samuel M. Clemens, known the world over as
“Mark Twain,” was in the city and it was very much
of an additional pleasure to have him also as one of
the guests at the luncheon.
We had gone but a short distance from the wharf
when Mark Twain went to the pilot house and took
the steering wheel in a way that showed he had not
forgotten the method of handling a boat. Some of us
looking up from the lower deck saw him, clothed in
his white flannel suit, hat off, his bushy white hair
blowing in the breeze, an inspiring and picturesque
sight that will always be remembered.
My guests adjourned to the cabin for luncheon. Be­
ing the host of the occasion I seated the Countess de
Rochambeau on my right.
In the midst of the repast it occurred to me that I
had never heard of a river boat bearing the name of
“Mark Twain.” Mark Twain’s association with the


A T r ib u t e to M a r k T w a i n


Mississippi River was historical, therefore, it was diffi­
cult to conceive why there had not been a river craft
named for him. The harbor boat we were on was
named “ Elong G. Smith.” The inspiration to rechristen
the boat then and there came to me.
I turned to the Countess and asked her if she would
do me the favor, when I gave her the cue, to rise and
say these words: “I now rechristen this boat the ‘Mark
Twain’.” She replied she would be delighted to do so.
After expressing my pleasure in being the host of
such a distinguished party, I addressed a few remarks
to my guests, explaining that so far as I knew there
had not been a river craft named “ Mark Twain,” and
that I proposed, with authority or without it, to have
the boat we were then on rechristened.
Turning to the Countess, I said, “Will you now
kindly comply with my request?” Just then a waiter
was in the act of replenishing the Countess’s glass from
a bottle of champagne. She arose, took the bottle from
the waiter, and in the most lovely manner said, “ I
now rechristen this boat the ‘Mark Twain’,” and with
that, she tossed the bottle over her shoulder and it
crashed to the floor of the cabin.
The incident was entirely impromptu, and, there­
fore, a complete surprise to everyone present and the
cause of great delight to everyone.
When Mark Twain recovered from his surprise, it
can readily be appreciated with what a delightful and
characteristic manner he responded.
The foregoing incident appears in a biography of
Mark Twain which was published some years later,


E pisodes o f M y L if e

but the account is inaccurate. It happened just as I
have related.
On reaching my office in the City Hall the following
morning, I sent for the Harbor Commissioner and in­
structed him to ascertain from the Federal authorities
having jurisdiction over the river and harbor if it
would be permissible to change the name of the city
harbor boat. He got the necessary authorization,
whereupon painters were put to work painting out the
old name of “ Elong G. Smith” on the wheelhouse of
the boat and painting thereon the name “Mark Twain.”
This, so far as I have been able to ascertain, was the
first Mississippi River boat to be named “ Mark

A L o v in g C u p

Y connection with the old St. Louis Demo­
cratic Club had taught me by practical ex­
perience the value, in fact, the necessity, of
a partisan organization. Upon being nominated for
Mayor of St. Louis I was glad to have the support of
the Jefferson Club.
The Jefferson Club was a force in the community.
It is my opinion that a reform and good government
ticket would not and could not have been victorious at
the polls had not the Jefferson Club, or a like organiza­
tion, taken part in the campaign. Without this club,
or one similar to it, the public would have had no
organized institution around which to rally, and no
candidate or ticket would have had the adequate nu­
cleus of civic backing to hope for success against the
intrenched machine, under which municipal adminis­
tration had grown stale, corrupt and rapacious.
My accentuation of the efficacy of partisan organi­
zation is prompted by the charges of ballot-box stuff­
ing and suffrage crimes which the representatives of
the discredited City Hall machine had adduced both
before and after my election. As I have considered the
election in another article, I shall not discuss it here,
except to suggest the idea that the organization which


E pisodes o f M y L ife


was known as the Jefferson Club made reform and
good government possible.
It was a pleasure for me to take part in a ratifica­
tion meeting in the Jefferson Club on the evening of
November 13, 1902. Many members of the club at­
tended and cheered the speakers and public officials
who were present.
I was delighted with the ideas as to progressive,
economical and honest administration which President
Hawes and the other speakers left with the rank and
file. With such standards, I felt, the Democratic or­
ganization would continue to be a potent influence for
good in the community.
On behalf of the association, Mr. Hawes tendered
to me a silver loving cup with the following inscrip­
“You have been the fearless and outspoken
New St. Louis, from the Jefferson Club Associa­
tion, Harry B. Hawes, President, November 13,
“To show our appreciation of the virtue, honesty
and consistency which you possess in so high a de­
gree, and which, with your executive ability and
competency, make you the best Mayor St. Louis
ever had.
“You have been the fearless and outspoken
friend of this organization. We, its members,
pledge you, through this cup, our faithful and loyal
support in building the New St. Louis.”

Mr. Hawes in his presentation address remarked
that I had taken an active part in the recent campaign.
The Jefferson Club, he continued, had been formed in
order to destroy machine rule and bossism and to pro­
duce business administration. He declared that the
party in subsequent campaigns would have to stand on

JeffersonClubAssociationLoving Cup, November 13, 1901


A L o v in g C u p


the records of the candidates which it had elected.
Turning to the successful candidates, he remarked that
their presence showed that they were grateful for the
club’s support in the campaign and that they meant to
be loyal to the organization. These, I thought, were
good, constructive and patriotic thoughts, which should
imbue the membership with the proper ideals.
My response was brief, but pointed. I had caught a
severe cold while campaigning and could scarcely
speak, but I could not forego the opportunity to foster
party organization and adherence to progressive prin­
“ Every Democrat who is worthy of being a member
of this organization should be deeply proud of the fact.
I have the greatest admiration for people who have the
courage to go forward in a body and work for the
interest of their party, and I am indeed grateful to
have been placed in a position where I could actively
take part in such work as was done in the last cam­
“While you have paid me a great compliment for my
assistance, I feel that I do not fully deserve it, as what
I did was, I considered, no more than my duty. No one
having the best interests of the city at heart would
have done otherwise.”
A scarf pin was presented to Mr. Hawes; a rifle to
Judge F. M. Kleiber, chairman of the Ward Organiza­
tion Committee, and a rag doll and double-barrelled
shotgun to Mr. Ford Combs, secretary of the Ward
Organization Committee. The rag doll was supposed
to be a gift from the women’s auxiliary of the club.

41 8

E pisodes op M y L if e

After the members had enjoyed a laugh at Mr. Combs’
expense, former Governor William Joel Stone delivered
a speech in which he affirmed that the members of the
Jefferson Club “ felt just as sorry for the Republican
party as if it deserved sympathy.”
Indeed, I took satisfaction in my affiliation with the
Jefferson Club. If we are to have efficient government
in city, state and nation, it is necessary to maintain
strong, militant party organizations. It is necessary
that our wealthiest and most conspicuous citizens and
especially young men, should join these organizations
and mingle with their fellow-citizens. To belong to
these associations and be interested in them is the civic
duty of all voters. Civic opinion and ideals must be


M otorcade



he motorcar was a novelty in 1904. There were
few good highways in the United States, most
of them dirt or macadam and gravel construc­
tion, either muddy or dusty. The arrival of about
seventy automobiles in St. Louis from Boston, New
York and other cities situated between the Atlantic
Ocean and the Mississippi River, on August 11, of that
year, was an event of national import. Indeed, the
successful trip over rough and dangerous roads signi­
fied revolutionary progress in transportation and high­
way construction, and I think that it is not too much
to say that it marked the beginning of our modern
highway system.
The expedition was headed by Mr. Charles J. Glidden, of Boston, who was making a world tour by auto­
mobile. Before coming to St. Louis with this large
delegation of the American Automobile Association, he
had covered a distance of 16,200 miles in Europe.
The facility with which he traversed these lands was
remarkable, for he made the journeys totaling 16,200
miles in 136 days, an average of 119.11 miles per day,
over roads built for horse-drawn vehicles and in a
primitive type of self-powered car.
Who of the present time remembers the Napier auto-



E pisodes of M y L ife

mobile ? This was the automobile which he drove; and,
according to the record-card which he carried, its
wheels were rimmed with Dunlop tires, and these, too,
we of to-day would look upon as old-fashioned, as they
were of the solid, flat type.
The distance comprised in the run from Boston to
St. Louis was 1,477 miles, and it was made in fourteen
days, an average of 105.5 miles per day. Our roads
were not as smooth or durable as the European, many
of which had been constructed centuries ago and which
had been rebuilt over and over again during the chang­
ing years; taking into consideration the conditions
which then existed, the expedition of the Glidden party
was a noteworthy feat. Mr. Glidden himself had, on
arriving in St. Louis, completed 17,677 miles of the
Glidden World Tour, as it was called, in 150 days, an
average of 117.84 miles per day in Europe and the
United States.
The purpose of the Boston-St. Louis exploit was to
attract public attention to the automobile, which was
then a comparatively new machine, and also to exem­
plify the need of better State and county highways.
The few pilgrims who started out from Boston were
joined by others en route, and the delegation, repre­
senting the national automobile organization, which
honored me with a visit in my office in the City Hall,
presented to me letters from one state governor and
the mayors of nineteen cities.
Owing to the condition of the cross-country roads
and the sparseness of highway travel at that time,
agents of the American Automobile Association not


M o to r c a d e o f



only selected the route with much care, but also ar­
ranged every detail in advance. It is a commonplace
thing in this day for one to step into his own car in
his own garage in Boston and drive leisurely and com­
fortably to St. Louis in a few days, running over
smooth, hard roads and enjoying the best hotel and
other conveniences. But in 1904 the roads were bad,
the accommodations were inadequate, and the journey
was a hardship and hazardous.
The travelers had planned to arrive in St. Louis on
St. Louis Day at the World’s Fair and take a conspicu­
ous part in the special celebration arranged for that
occasion. They reached their destination on time, and
paid me their courtesy call at the Mayor’s office in the
City Hall. They were somewhat disappointed when I
told them that the St. Louis Day date had been
changed; however, the postponement of St. Louis Day
turned out to be fortunate, as the World’s Fair man­
agement promptly designated August 12 as Automobile
Day and honored these guests with a public fete.
The visitors were introduced by Mr. M. L. Downs,
a representative of the American Automobile Associa­
tion. In welcoming them I stressed the enterprise
which had spurred them to undertake the journey and
the hardihood which they showed in completing it. I
remarked we were glad that St. Louis Day had been
postponed, as on the morrow, August 12, the President
of the World’s Fair would turn the exposition over to
them. I had the great pleasure of presenting to them
the keys of the city.
The letter from Governor B. B. Odell of New York


E pisodes o f M y L ife

was read by Mr. J. L. Breeze, one of the tourists, and
tendered to me. Most of the gentlemen read their mes­
sages. The formal greetings were written by mayors
of the cities through which the tourists had passed.
Many of the documents were emblazoned with gold
seals, and I could not help being impressed by the dig­
nity of local government.
The guest from Bristol, Conn., read the greeting
from Mayor G. M. Hine of Poughkeepsie, N. Y. “ In
this age of progress,” wrote Mayor Hine, “ I cannot find
a more fitting method of conveying this city’s respects
to the Exposition City than by means of these most
modern couriers.” And the modern courier who read
these words and tendered me the missive was Mr. H.
A. Warner, eighty-three years old. Laughing, he de­
clared that he was as young as any of us, and had not
been fatigued by the trip, although he would have
preferred a sustained speed of something less than
twenty miles per hour. It was as remarkable for a
man of eighty-three to make that rough jaunt in an
automobile, as one of that age to have flown in this
day in one of the earliest airplanes.
Recalling statements in the addresses and letters
which were delivered to me on August 11, 1904, by
these tourists, I sense now, as a result of the common
use of the automobile and its great effect on transpor­
tation, as well as on the marvelous development of our
wonderful highway system, the prophetic element with
which this small meeting in my office was imbued. The
predictions which the gentlemen volunteered seemed
at that time, when the motorcar still was an innova-

T h ? famous 1 a fo j v o r k t o

St-Louis' roucz s t a r t s '.

S '










JULY 1st, 1904:
Austria .
Bavaria .
Belgium .
Bohemia .
England .
France .
Holland .
Italy . .
Scotland .
Spain . .
Sweden .





. 1540
. 1097
. 427





/ 1/

Day./^yyM ilcs.

Total Days.






‘Boston, Mass., U. S. A

Record Card of Charles J. Glidden




M o to r c a d e o f



tion, to be flights of the imagination; yet, in the brief
space of twenty-eight years they have been more than
“ This St. Louis tour,” said Mr. Augustus Post, of
Albany, N. Y., “has demonstrated that the automobile
can be relied upon to go through on time like the rail­
road train, and go where a railroad cannot. As the
railroads needed better roadbeds and heavier rails, so
the automobile now demands better roads. Likewise,
the automobile is the greatest factor in the movement
for good roads. I will not say that the automobile is
out of place in the city, but its greatest field is the
country. The time will come when not only we tour­
ists, but all the people, will come to St. Louis in auto­
mobiles and only heavy freight will be moved by rail.”
The well-known Mayor of Cleveland, Mr. Tom L.
Johnson, wrote: “ This tour means much. Possibly the
ultimate result will be the completion of a broad road­
way joining Cleveland to St. Louis, thus bringing us
into closer relations and marking an era when trans­
portation for automobiles and horses will be largely in
the hands of the individual driver.”
The letter of Mayor William C. Crolius, of Joliet,
111., pictured the progress of transportation up to the
advent of the motorcar. “ The valley of the Illinois and
the Mississippi,” he said, “has seen the couriers of
France who wended their way slowly and fearfully
down those uncertain paths to the mouth of the great
Father of Waters. You also have witnessed the vari­
ous stages of transportation from the ‘prairie schoon­
er’ to the ‘Only Way/ but this means is the culmination


E pisodes of M y L ife

and the fit representative of that progress in trans­
portation, and is also a hopeful augury of the time
when provincialism will be unknown and ignorance of
our common country a sin.”
Mayor Erastus C. Knight, of Buffalo, N. Y., ex­
pressed the hope that “the automobilists will reach
your city safely,” and wrote that “Buffalo has more
automobiles per capita than any other city in the world,
even outranking Paris, France.”
It would be inconsistent with the nature of progress
in transportation in the past quarter of a century for
me to omit the views of Mayor William C. Maybury,
of Detroit. “Among,” he wrote, “the wonderful in­
ventions of the age, especially among that class de­
signed to contribute to the comfort of travel and to
speed therein, as well as in a measure solving the great
problem of transportation, is the modem automobile.
We are peculiarly fortunate in Detroit in having, I
think, the greatest combination of plants producing
automobiles in any city of the Union, if not of the
The messages which our visitors presented to me
were from Governor B. B. Odell of New York and the
following mayors of nineteen cities: Patrick S. Collins
of Boston; William E. Maybury of Detroit; George H.
McClellan of New York, son of the famous Civil War
general; John Weaver of Philadelphia; W. B. Hays of
Pittsburgh; Tom L. Johnson of Cleveland; Carter H.
Harrison of Chicago; Everett E. Stone of Springfield,
Mass.; Charles H. Gaus of Albany, N. Y.; Charles A.
Talcott, of Utica, N. Y .; Erastus C. Knight of Buffalo,


M o to r c a d e o f



N. Y .; Walter H. Blodget of Worcester, Mass.; Alan
C. Fobes of Syracuse, N. Y .; George Milton Hine of
Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; R. H. Finch of Toledo, O.; Ed­
ward Fogarty of South Bend, Ind.; S. A. Rathbun of
Pontiac, 111.; Harry H. Devereux of Springfield, 111.,
and William C. Crolius of Joliet, 111.
Automobile Day was an auspicious occasion for the
World’s Fair, St. Louis, and the United States. It was
the beginning of the good roads movement. It denoted
the march of modern transportation. There were 250
cars in the parade from the Hotel Jefferson to the
World’s Fair, under escort of Mr. A. B. Lambert, presi­
dent of the St. Louis Automobile Club, who subse­
quently, owing to his participation in aviation matters
during the World War, received the title of Major.
During recent years Major Lambert took a leading
part in aviation and it was largely through his activity
and interest that the flying field now located on the
Bridgeton Road in St. Louis County, and named for
him, was established. The members of the St. Louis
Automobile Club who were associated with him on the
Glidden Tour reception committee were Messrs. J. A.
Prescott, Fred Gardner and E. M. Senseney. The visi­
tors were entertained royally at the World’s Fair.

L aunching of the St . L ouis
12,1905,1 received official request from
the Navy Department to name a young lady to
be the sponsor and two to be maids of honor
for the christening of the protected cruiser St. Louis,
to be launched May 6th in the port of Philadelphia.
Complying with the request, I chose Miss Gladys Bryan
Smith as sponsor, and Miss Mary M. Wright of St.
Louis and Miss Rebecca Reeves VanLennep of Phila­
delphia, as maids of honor.
Miss Smith was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James
E. Smith, who were present at the christening. She
was a student in Mary Institute, where she distin­
guished herself in athletics, as well as in studies, and
was especially prominent in basket ball. Mr. and Mrs.
George M. Wright, the parents of Miss Wright, had
the pleasure of witnessing the ceremonies on the Dela­
ware River. Dr. William B. VanLennep, father of the
other maid, was also present. He was an old classmate
of mine.
The young ladies had beside them on the platform
Judge C. H. Darling, Assistant Secretary of the Navy,
Mayor John Weaver of Philadelphia, and myself. The
duty of the men was simply that of conferring formal­
ity on the occasion.


A pril

L a u n c h i n g of t h e S t . L o uis


Among the guests from St. Louis, besides the par­
ents of Misses Smith and Wright, were Mr. and Mrs.
Charles H. Huttig, Mr. and Mrs. Franklin L. Ridgely,
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph D. Bascom, and George W. Bascom.
Miss Smith acquitted herself sweetly and gracefully.
The Philadelphia newspapers complimented her highly.
“ It was a perfect launching,” said a Philadelphia
dispatch to the St. Louis Republic. “ Not the slightest
mishap occurred. At exactly 4:10 P. M. the St. Louis
began to move and a minute later her long, curving
lines were bathed in the waters of the stream. Miss
Smith bore the honors of the day triumphantly.”
At the word, “ Now,” she broke a bottle of wine
across the bow, proclaiming “ I christen thee St. Louis.
May thou ever prove an honor to our country, our flag,
and the beloved city whose name thou bearest.”
A mighty cheer from the throng of 10,000 or more
spectators apostrophized the climax.
A luncheon followed the christening. Mr. Samuel
Bell, one of the receivers for the Neatie & Leavy Com­
pany, builders of the ship, presided. Compliments were
exchanged, and the speakers lauded Miss Smith and
her attendants, Misses Wright and VanLennep, for the
grace and dignity which their participation gave to the
dramatic spectacle.
In my short address I took the opportunity to mingle
the sentiments of American history with modern ideals
of patriotism and commerce.
“You have assigned me,” I said, “the sentiment, ‘The
City of St. Louis/


E pisodes of M y L if e

“In considering the subject we think of the past,
present and future. Thinking of the past, where can
one find a more fertile field than here in the city of
Philadelphia ?
“These surroundings stir the hearts of the most in­
different, for we literally stand upon the ground once
so bravely trod by those who created this great
“ Here was Washington, here was Jefferson, here
was the meeting place of the Continental Congress,
composed of men who, in the origin and all through
the formative period of our government, exercised such
constructive statesmanship that has established the
greatest nation on the globe.
“Here is the Liberty Bell. With the history of Phil­
adelphia most of you are more familiar than I.
“You ask me to speak of St. Louis. The history of
St. Louis is interesting and picturesque.
“St. Louis is intensely modern in its character and
impulses, yet its foundation rests upon a substructure
of associations that lead research and investigation
into the affairs of the earliest white settlers on the
North American continent.
“The first white man looked on the site of St. Louis
before the founding of Philadelphia. A trading post
was established at the locality in the year 1764.
“Through the acquisition of the Louisiana Territory
by President Jefferson, St. Louis was brought into the
Union in 1803, and incorporated into a city in 1822.
To-day it is the fourth city in importance and popula­
tion in the United States.

Launching of the U. S. Cruiser “St. Louis," May 6, 1905
M iss G la dys B rya n t Sm ith, o f St. L ou is, Sponsor. M iss M a ry S. W rig h t, o f St. Lou is, and M iss R ebecca R eev es Van Lennep,
o f Philadelphia, maids o f honor. M a y o r W e lls, o f St. Louis. M a y o r John W e a v e r, o f Philadelphia. Judge C. H . Darling,
A ssista n t S ecreta ry o f the N a v y.


L a u n c h i n g of t h e S t . L o uis


“ Citizens of St. Louis are noted for their conserva­
tism. It is said of a true St. Louisan, before the Civil
War, who stopped at the stall of a slave dealer, that
he exemplified this trait. The dealer noticed him and
inquired whether he desired to purchase anything.
“ ‘Yes/ said the St. Louisan, ‘I want to buy a negro.’
He was invited in, made his choice and asked the price.
“ ‘Five hundred dollars,’ said the dealer, ‘but accord­
ing to the custom you will be allowed twelve months
in which to make payments without interest.’
“ This proposition disturbed the St. Louisan, he not
fancying the idea of having a debt hanging over him
for a whole year.
“ ‘No! No!’ said he. ‘I will pay you six hundred
dollars now, and be done with it.’
“ ‘Very well,’ said the accommodating dealer, ‘any­
thing to oblige you.’
“ St. Louis has had changes in fortune and history
unusual to cities in this country. In a little over a
hundred years it has been under the domination of
three flags, having passed in peaceful transition from
Spanish to French and from French to American
“Its people have come, or are the descendants of
those who came, from every section of this land; in
fact, from every quarter of the globe. It was the Mecca
of those men of history and fame — Marquette, La
Salle, De Soto, and Laclede; it was the starting point
and base of supplies of Lewis and Clark, commissioned
by Jefferson to explore and open the great Northwest­
ern territory.


E pisodes o f M y L ife

“But, Mr. Toastmaster, I will not occupy the time
of this assembly in further talking of St. Louis, and
will conclude with the statement that St. Louis is like
most other communities of this country, progressive
and patriotic.
“On behalf of those who accompany me on this aus­
picious occasion, on behalf of all the people of our city,
I express the sincere appreciation of the compliment
bestowed on St. Louis through the christening of this
splendid warship, which has been so successfully
launched to-day.
“ May it ever be found in the service and defense of
our country, and we pray that kind Providence may
ever direct the path of the gallant men of our Navy
who will be commissioned to command and man it.
There is but one sentiment that will be to our liking
on this occasion, but one text that we care to hear, but
one result that will prove to our satisfaction, and that
is: ‘One flag, one land, one heart, one hand, one coun­
try evermore.’ The Army and Navy forever.”

A T r ip


Panam a

N 1880 there were organized four commercial clubs,
located in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati and St.
Louis, respectively. The membership was of a
diversified character and limited to about sixty mem­
bers each.
For a number of years the practice was for each
club, every four years, to entertain the members of
the other clubs, thus enabling the joint membership to
intermingle. These reunions were most enjoyable and
advantageous, from a social as well as a commercial
standpoint. The principal function of the St. Louis
Commercial Club was a dinner of its membership, hfeld
at intervals, where current subjects and lectures were
the order of procedure.
The most noted undertaking of the four affiliated
clubs was an informal joint inspection of the method
and progress in the construction of the Panama Canal.
This was instigated by the Secretary of War, William
H. Taft, a member of the Commercial Club of Cincin­
nati. I can best explain the purpose of this unofficial
mission by quoting from the special message of Presi­
dent Theodore Roosevelt, to Congress, December 17,
“ I am informed that representatives of the Commer­


E pisodes o f M y L ife


cial Clubs of four cities—Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati
and St. Louis—the membership of which includes many
of the leading business men of those cities, expect to
visit the Isthmus for the purpose of examining the
work of construction of the canal. I am glad to hear
it, and I shall direct that every facility be given them
to see all that is to be seen in the work which the
government is doing. Such interest as a visit like this
would indicate will have a good effect upon the men
who are doing the work, on one hand, while, on the
other hand, it will offer as witnesses of the exact con­
ditions men whose experience as business men and
whose impartiality will make the result of their ob­
servations of value to the country as a whole.”
The steamer “ Prinz Joachim,” a fine six thousand
ton ship of the Hamburg-American line, under com­
mand of Captain von Lightner, was chartered. Eightysix members of the clubs, about equally divided, made
up the party, as follows:
Representing the Commercial Club of Boston:

Stephen L. Barrett
Robert Batcheller
S. Parker Bremer
Robert A. Boit
Robert M. Burnett
Frederick B. Carpenter
James R. Carter
Harry W. Cumner
Charles L. Cutler
Charles S. Dennison


R. Henry W. Dwight
William B. Lawrence
Laurence Minot
William D. Mandell
Harry L. Rice
Joseph B. Russell
Elihu Thomson
William Whitman
John G. Wright

Representing the Commercial Club of Chicago:

Alfred L. Baker
Benjamin Carpenter
Clyde M. Carr
William J. Chalmers
John M. Clark
William E. Clow


John W. G. Cofran
Charles H. Conover
John V. Farwell, Jr.
William A. Fuller
Charles L. Hutchinson
Cyrus H. McCormick

Trip to Panama— February, 1907
F irst R o w : Charles W . K n a p p , L. I). Dozie)-, H om er P. K n app, Rolla W ells, W a lter B. S teven s, P ress R ej)resen ta tive; Collins
Thom pson, Stenographer. Second R o iv : W . K. B ix b y , Daniel Catlin, Oscar L. Whitelavo, R obert M cK . Jones, D. C. N ugent.
S ta n d in g : Captain run L eitn er, E . G. C o w d ery, I). R. Francis, H anford C ra u fo rd , Charles Gordon K n o x , G eorge M. W rig h t,
H en ry C. S cott, W alker H ill, G eorge O. C arpenter, R ob ert M oore, Joseph I). B a sco m , M u rra y Carleton.


F irst R o w : G eorge M. W r ig h t, M urra y C arleton, I). R. Francis, Charles W . Knapp. Second R o w : L. D. D ozier, Rolla M ells.
This group of m em bers o f the Com m ercial Club w ere also m em bers o f the L.og Cabin Club o f SI. Louis.

A T r ip to P a n a m a


Henry J. MacFarland
John R. Morron
Joy Morton
La Verne W. Noyes



Martin A. Ryerson
Edward F. Swift
Charles H. Thorne
Walter H. Wilson

Representing the Commercial Club of Cincinnati:

L. A. Ault
B. W. Campbell
J. T. Carew
A. H. Chatfield
Nathaniel Henchman Davis
Charles W. Durrell
Thomas P. Egan
David B. Gamble
Frederic A. Geier
Edward Goepper
Edwin C. Goshorn
James A. Green
Frank J. Jones
Perin Langdon


Harry L. Laws
William Lodge
Lawrence Maxwell, Jr.
D. B. Meacham
James E. Mooney
John Omwake
W. S. Rowe
J. G. Schmidlapp
W. W. Taylor
John W. Warrington
William Worthington
Lucien Wulsin
H. C. Yeiser

Representing the Commercial Club of St. Louis:

Joseph D. Bascom
W. K. Bixby
Murray Carleton
George O. Carpenter
Daniel Catlin
E. G. Cowdery
Hanford Crawford
L. D. Dozier
David R. Francis
Walker Hill


Robert McK. Jones
Charles W. Knapp
Homer P. Knapp
Charles Gordon Knox
Robert Moore
D. C. Nugent
Henry C. Scott
Rolla Wells
Oscar L. Whitelaw
George M. Wright

Mr. Walter B. Stevens and Mr. Collins Thompson,
both of St. Louis, accompanied the party, the former
as official press representative and the latter as official
The voyage began on February 17, 1907, and ended
March 18, 1907. Aside from the officers and crew we
were the sole voyageurs. Not a pound of femininity
was represented. The door plate “ Fuer Damen” was
It is not my purpose to undertake a detailed descrip­
tion of this unofficial inspection. It would require a


E pisodes o f M y L if e

volume in itself. Sufficient to relate that the report of
our finding when published lessened the unjustifiable
and partisan criticism of the Panama Canal project
indulged in at that time.
Mr. Walter B. Stevens, of St. Louis, in 1907, pub­
lished a most interesting illustrated book relating to
this voyage and unofficial inspection. A copy of this
volume was furnished to each member of the four

T he D avid R a n k e n , J r ., School of
M echanical T rades
uring my occupancy of the office of Mayor of
St. Louis, Mr. David Ranken, Jr., a kindly, un­
pretentious and diffident gentleman of con­
siderable wealth, made frequent visits to the City Hall.
His capital was invested largely in real estate and he
had numerous dealings with several departments of
the city government. As he was in voluntary retire­
ment from active business, he devoted much of his time
to the management of his properties and vigilance over
his investments, and, as far as his own interests were
concerned, he appeared to carry on a more or less con­
tinual surveillance of civic affairs.
He used to drop in my office now and then, and in­
quire of me of one thing and another, important and
trivial, about public affairs. I liked him for his plain,
frank, equable disposition and the sterling integrity
which marked all of his ideas and actions.
On the occasion of one of his visits, he startled me
with the comment that he had accumulated more
money than he knew what to do with and asked me
to make some suggestions. This request was so un­
usual that it created the thought in my mind that some­
thing worth while might be accomplished.



E pisodes o f M y L if e

I asked him what was in his mind; whether or not
he had given the question of the disposal of his money
any consideration.
He replied that he had always had great sympathy
for poor boys.
“ Well, why not poor girls?” I asked.
“ No, if I do anything, I always will have a desire
to help boys,” he replied.
I was thinking as quickly as possible, and had the
thought, which I expressed to Mr. Ranken, that inas­
much as I was Mayor of St. Louis, it might be a good
plan for me to communicate with the Mayors of New
York, Philadelphia and Boston—older cities than St.
Louis and, no doubt, possessing extensive records in
the matter of bequests, wills, etc., along the line he had
in mind.
Mr. Ranken thought well of the idea and I told him
I would get what information I could for him.
I communicated with the Mayors of these cities and,
in due time, received a lot of information in the nature
of catalogues, copies of wills and bequests, etc., which
I put away in a drawer of my desk awaiting another
visit from him. When he called I turned over to him
the information I had received.
Some time later he came to see me and showed me
a catalogue of a school in the neighborhood of Phila­
delphia, which seemed to coincide with his ideas. It
was a training school for boys. I suggested that he go
to Philadelphia and stay there sufficient time to make
an investigation and study the institution.
Thereafter he continued his visits to my office, but




R a n k e n S c h o o l op M e c h a n i c a l T r a d e s


quite a time elapsed before he again alluded to the
subject. One day he confided to me that he had been
to Philadelphia, inspected the school he had in mind,
and had decided to found a school in St. Louis, to be
known as “ The David Ranken, Jr., School of Mechani­
cal Trades.” He would, he added, endow it with sub­
stantially his entire fortune. He had even considered
whom he would appoint as trustees; he produced a list
of names, and asked me for advice as to their suit­
The first session of the trustees was held December
3, 1907, in the office of Mr. F. H. Bacon, Mr. Ranken’s
legal counsel, at 211 North Seventh Street; at this
meeting he explained his arrangements concerning his
property. The Board consisted of Mr. Ranken and
Messrs. Walker Hill, Julius Pitzman, F. B. Eiseman,
John F. Lee, L. D. Dozier, A. L. Shapleigh and myself.
Mr. Dozier was elected president, Mr. Lee vice-presi­
dent, Mr. Eiseman secretary and Mr. Shapleigh, treas­
Mr. Lewis Gustafson, whom Mr. Ranken had em­
ployed to make an investigation of trade schools in
other cities, was engaged on July 1, 1907, as superin­
tendent of “ The David Ranken, Jr., School of Mechani­
cal Trades.”
The object of the Ranken School was not to disturb
occupational conditions, or to increase the supply of
skilled labor in order to reduce the wage of workmen.
The very opposite was the purpose of Mr. Ranken and
the trustees; Mr. Gustafson expressed the opinion that
there was nothing in the scheme to which the labor


E pisodes o f M y L if e

union organization could object. Mr. Ranken and the
trustees believed that the institution would be advan­
tageous to employed skilled mechanics, as it would en­
able them to take extra or special training at night,
without being obliged to lay off from work. Members
of organized labor would find the school to be of prac­
tical benefit.
The Board decided to charge a small tuition fee, and
also to arrange for remunerative employment for those
who could not pay, but declared that the principle of
the management should be “to turn no one away.”
Eames & Young were engaged to draft the archi­
tectural plans for the first building, and the trustees
on April 21,1908, approved the bid of the Hill-O’Meara
Construction Company. The building was ready for
occupancy on March 1, 1909, and the “day” school was
opened on September 7, 1909. The school proved to be
so successful that the trustees on May 26,1911, ordered
the construction of a second building. The Cook Ave­
nue building cost $175,000, and the Finney Avenue
building $345,000; the sites $125,000; thus, the school
investment totaled $645,000.
Mr. Ranken described himself in “the foundation
deed” as “ David Ranken, Jr., of the City of St. Louis
and State of Missouri, bachelor.” The public was his
legatee. The first preamble of this document revealed
his ideas pertaining to the school, and, as it is a matter
of general human interest, as well as of special inter­
est to the people of St. Louis, I insert it here:
“Whereas, for many years I have been impressed
with the fact that too little attention is given to the

R a n k e n S c h o o l o f M e c h a n i c a l T ra d e s


instruction of boys in the mechanical trades, and that
the public schools and other free educational institu­
tions have a tendency to create in the minds of the
young, as well as in the community, a prejudice against
manual labor, and the idea that common work is not
respectable, so that a false impression and a false
pride often influence boys and young men to avoid the
mechanical trades in which they might have succeeded,
in order to follow pursuits for which they are unfitted
and branches of business which are overcrowded and
in which they probably would not succeed, I am satis­
fied that there is need of an institution, the object of
which shall be education and instruction in the ordi­
nary mechanical trades and in which boys, especially,
may be taught the dignity of labor.”
Further in the same document he declared: “ I direct
that the managers shall always bear in mind that the
object of this school is not higher education or instruc­
tion in new sciences and arts, but plain and simple
instruction in the manual or mechanical trades, such
as that of carpenter, plumber, brick and stone mason,
blacksmith and others of a similar nature.”
There were two striking provisions in the formal,
legal agreements between Mr. Ranken and the trustees
of the school. One related to his continued employment
during the rest of his life. The other was a precaution
against his ever being in want.
Mr. Ranken continued to manage his properties in
co-operation with the Board until February 9, 1910,
when he submitted a letter to the trustees which at­
tested his nobility of character still more.


E pisodes o f M y L if e

“I have,” he said in this letter, “today completed the
conveyance of practically the remainder of my estate
to the school. I have done this because I am about to
leave St. Louis for the South. My health is not robust,
and I have been unwilling to make the journey without
first having made this provision.”
Feeling that his life would soon end, he promptly
took legal measures to fulfill his pledges in such a
manner that no question could be raised after his
death. He died at Atlantic City, N. J., six months
later, on August 18, 1910.
In the minutes of the proceedings of the Board of
Trustees of February 9, 1910, the day on which his
letter was considered, is this entry: “ The trustees
hereby express their grateful appreciation of this gift,
the amount of which, including the stock heretofore
conveyed, is roughly estimated as of the value of
$1,800,000, the most munificent gift to charity ever
made in St. Louis.”
The first meeting of the Board of Trustees of “ The
David Ranken, Jr., School of Mechanical Trades” was
held December 12, 1907, and there were present
Messrs. David Ranken, Jr., Rolla Wells, Walker Hill,
Julius Pitzman, F. B. Eiseman, John F. Lee, L. D.
Dozier and A. L. Shapleigh.
Mr. Ranken announced that he had executed to the
Foundation, Deed of Gift for certain properties to the
school and had placed the same on record.
At this meeting Mr. John F. Lee was appointed a
Committee of One to draft by-laws.
The second meeting of the trustees was held Janu­

R a n k e n S c h o o l of M e c h a n i c a l T rad es


ary 14, 1908, and the following officers were elected:
L. D. Dozier, President; J. F. Lee, Vice-President; F.
B. Eiseman, Secretary; A. L. Shapleigh, Treasurer.
January 9, 1912, Mr. J. F. Lee was elected Presi­
dent, Mr. Rolla Wells, Vice-President, and Mr. F. B.
Eiseman, Secretary and Treasurer.
January 11, 1927, Mr. Rolla Wells was elected Presi­
dent, Mr. A. L. Shapleigh, Vice-President, and Mr. F.
B. Eiseman, Secretary and Treasurer.
Mr. Lewis Gustafson was appointed superintendent
of the school July 1, 1907, and retained the position
until his death, August 30, 1927, when Mr. O. H.
Turner was appointed superintendent.
Mr. W. P. Samuel, Financial Secretary, was ap­
pointed November 16, 1910, and served until his death,
April 27, 1931, when Mr. J. A. Lewis was appointed
to that office.

General W illiam Clark
October 2,1904, it was my privilege as Mayor
of the City of St. Louis, and also as a friend
of the family, to take part in the unveiling of
a memorial monument of historic fame, in Bellefontaine Cemetery, commemorative of the life of General
William Clark.
The Clark lot is located in a picturesque section of
the cemetery, on a high ridge overlooking the Mississ­
ippi River, a short distance from the mouth of the
Missouri River—a tributary of the Mississippi River—
which territory was explored in the years of 1804 to
1806, by the Lewis and Clark expedition, commissioned
by President Thomas Jefferson.
On the panels of the shaft and the granite walls of
its approaches, is carved a eulogy, as characterized in
the following inscriptions:

“This monument is erected in honor and loving memory of
William Clark by his son, Jefferson Kearny Clark.”
“William Clark, born in Virginia, August 1, 1770. Entered
into life eternal September 1, 1838. Soldier, explorer, statesman
and patriot. His life is written in the history of his country.”
“The expedition of Lewis and Clark across the continent in
1804-5-6 marked the beginning of the progress of exploration
and colonization which thrust our national bounderies to the
“This primary exploration, through more than four thousand
miles of savage wilderness, planted the flag of the United States
for the first time on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. It com­

G e n e r a l W il l ia m C l a r k


pleted the extension of the United States across the vast West­
ern region of the American continent and gave us our outlook
towards the Orient.”
“William Clark received his commission as Lieutenant from
George Washington, in 1791. He was appointed Brigadier-Gen­
eral by Thomas Jefferson, in 1807, and reappointed as such by
James Madison, in 1811. He was made Governor of the Missouri
Territory by President Madison, in 1813, and recommissioned
twice by being again appointed Governor by James Monroe, in
1820, who also made him Superintendent of Indian Affairs, in
1822. His great fame as an explorer was won on the expedition
of 1804-5-6.”

General James H. Wilson, Commandant at Jefferson
Barracks, officiated as presentor. He opened the cere­
monies with a short address on the subject of the day.
Then followed a hymn by the Army Band, and the
Right Reverend Frank Millspaugh gave the opening
Governor D. R. Francis, president of the Louisiana
Purchase Exposition, made an address, followed by
General John C. Bates, at that time Commander-inChief of the United States Army, who spoke eloquently
of the achievements of General William Clark.
At the conclusion of General Bates’ address I was
introduced, and after my address came General Pleas­
ant Porter, principal chief of the Creek Indians, In­
dian Territory, who made a pleasing address.
It happens that I recently uncovered a type-written
copy of the address I made on the occasion and I in­
corporate it herein, as follows:
“ Within this cemetery we number many departed
friends; to some, as the years roll by, friends resting
here now outnumber those engaged in the present tur­
moil of life.
“ Here in eternal sleep are many who were promi­


E pisodes o f M y L if e

nent while in life, who performed their full duty and
served their country well, among the number none
more faithful in the performance of the charge and
duty placed upon them than the one in whose memory
we are now assembled, General William Clark.
“ Through the Louisiana Purchase Exposition now
being held in St. Louis, the interest of the people of
the United States in the acquisition of the Louisiana
Territory by President Thomas Jefferson has been
“We are here to pay tribute to the memory of the
men through whose intelligence, bravery and endur­
ance the great value and importance of this purchase
was first ascertained.
“ People of all nations read with intense interest, as
of a romance, the story of the explorations of South
Africa by Livingstone and Stanley. With equal, if not
greater interest, we read the story of the exploration
of our great Northwestern country. The people of this
city are especially interested, for it was from here, on
May 14, 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition started.
“I will not consume your time through an attempt
to follow their courageous venture as they slowly
wended their way up the mighty Missouri River, across
the majestic Rocky Mountains, to the Pacific Ocean.
The story has been fully written, and doubtless you
are familiar with it.
“ General William Clark is a prominent personage
in the early history of the United States in public ser­
vice other than his connection with the exploration of
the Louisiana Territory. He was the recipient of com­

G e n e ra l W illia m C la r k


missions from four Presidents of the United States.
Commissioned by President Jefferson to explore the
territory of the Louisiana Purchase. Appointed Gover­
nor of the Territory of Missouri by President Madison,
July 1, 1813. Re-appointed Governor by President
Monroe, January 24, 1820, and after Missouri became
a state, was appointed Superintendent of Indian Af­
fairs, May, 1822, and in 1824, commissioned as Sur­
veyor General of Missouri and Illinois, by President
Monroe. In 1825 was recommissioned Surveyor Gen­
eral by President John Quincy Adams.
“In 1828 he laid out the town of Paducah, Kentucky.
In 1830 he effected the important treaty of Prairie du
“ Few men have been so honored.
“In this burial lot rests three of the sons of this
great man—Merriwether Lewis Clark, George Rogers
Hancock Clark, and Jefferson Kearny Clark, the young­
“ Of Jefferson Kearny Clark, who bequeathed this
historic monument, permit me to speak. Although a
much older man than I, he was my friend; well do I
remember his stately presence, his genial manner and
kindly word.
“ To my mind it is a most remarkable coincidence,
when we now consider the wealth, the large population
and importance of this section of the United States,
that we of this day numbered among our friends the
son of the man who first explored the Louisiana Terri­
tory. It is an illustration of its rapid growth and
future power.


E pisodes o f M y L ife

“ Proud am I this day to be privileged to have a part
in these historic ceremonies identified with the pur­
chase of the Louisiana Territory—the mighty empire
lying on the west bank of the majestic Mississippi, the
Father of Waters.
“ Let us look backward one hundred years. Picture
Captain William Clark, with his youth and energy, in
the village of St. Louis, looking toward the unknown
Northwest, eager to devote his life in the service of his
country. Think what he accomplished, and then, all
hail to his memory!
“ In the shadow of this historic monument, which is
indicative of so much in the history of this nation;
in the presence of that genial and kindly life compan­
ion, the widow of the son who bequeathed this monu­
ment; in the name of this generation and those to
follow; in the presence of the Supreme Being, let us
look forward with the full determination of being all
that is loyal, all that is patriotic, in the interest of our
nation, our state, our municipality.”
Apropos of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and in­
dicative of the wonderful growth of the Western coun­
try, let me relate the following incident:
In the year 1870, the Kansas Pacific Railway, now
known as the Union Pacific Railroad, was completed
between Kansas City and Denver. The event was com­
memorated by the running of an excursion train be­
tween St. Louis and Denver, the passengers, as invited
guests, were prominent men from different sections of
the United States.
My father was one of the number, and my boyhood

Ge n e r a l W il l ia m C l a r k


companion, Isaac H. Lionberger, and I accompanied
him. We were the only boys on the train. I now visual­
ize as of yesterday this unusual experience.
Kansas City at that time was a comparatively small
place. As we journeyed across the plains of Kansas
we saw innumerable herds of grazing buffalo and ante­
lope and thousands of range cattle in charge of pic­
turesque cowboys.
Mr. Robert Campbell, of St. Louis, was the United
States Indian Commissioner, and anticipating the ar­
rival of this train (which, by the way, I believe was
the first passenger train to operate between Kansas
City and Denver) had called in the Indians in the
vicinity of Denver. I think there were about five thou­
sand, clothed in the characteristic Indian manner—
moccasins, beaded leggings, varied colored blankets,
and feather headgear. It was a unique, colorful pic­
At that time Denver was a small frontier town.
Now, as I sometimes journey between Kansas City and
Denver, I marvel at the tremendous growth of numer­
ous cities all along the line, and Denver, a real metrop­
olis of great importance.

W oodrow W ilson
the name of Governor Woodrow Wilson
was mentioned as a possible presidential
candidate, early in the year 1912, many of
my friends expressed the opinion, that because of his
life-long environment in the literary world and as an
educator, he did not have the necessary executive abil­
ity, and would not measure up to the requirements of
the position of President of the United States.
They were evidently unfamiliar with his executive
record as Governor of the State of New Jersey, from
1910 to 1912; and were unaware that in little more
than a year he had cast aside the boss and political
machine that previously had made the State of New
Jersey known as one of the worst governed states in
the Union, and in so doing made it one of the best
governed states. Presumably, they did not know of the
constructive legislative acts, important to the people,
which had been passed by the New Jersey Legislature
through his leadership. In two years he brought about
new and progressive election, corporation, public util­
ity and labor laws.
Knowing of the achievements resulting from his
executive leadership, in combination with his superior
intellect, I felt that he would make an ideal President


W oodrow W il s o n


of the United States, and determined to do all in my
limited power to promote his candidacy.
As time passed his candidacy became more evident,
and at the opening of the Democratic National Conven­
tion in Baltimore, which was held June 25 to July 2,
1912, it was quite formidable.
At the time I was at my summer home in Wequetonsing, Michigan, Dr. David F. Houston, Chancellor of
Washington University of St. Louis, had a cottage at
Wequetonsing for the season and we saw a good deal
of each other. We were both ardent Wilson admirers,
and naturally had a keen interest in the prolonged pro­
ceedings of the convention at Baltimore.
After several days of intensive balloting for the
respective candidates, on Saturday, June 29, 1912, as
I recall, there were indications that Honorable William
J. Bryan would withdraw his support from Honorable
Champ Clark, and would support the candidacy of
Governor Woodrow Wilson, which, of course, would
carry with it the following of Mr. Bryan in Missouri,
as well as throughout the country at large.
On the following morning (Sunday) I drafted a tele­
gram with the idea of transmitting it at once to those
members of the Democratic National Committee, then
in Baltimore, with whom I was acquainted, the tele­
gram reading as follows:
“Clark cannot now carry Missouri, nor the
country at large; Wilson can. Why not exercise
political sanity in taking advantage of a rare op­
portunity by nominating a scholarly statesman and
a conservative progressive, namely Woodrow Wil­
son, who can be elected.”

I then called upon Chancellor Houston and asked


E pisodes o f M y L if e

him if he would give me his views relative to the con­
text of the telegram. After careful consideration he
said he thought it was all right and advised me to send
the telegram. I inquired if it occurred to him that if I
did so, being a native of Missouri, and many of my
personal friends in Baltimore strenuously advocating
the nomination of Mr. Clark, it would probably result
in burning my political bridges behind me. He was
good enough to reply to the effect that I had been do­
ing that all of my life.
I sent the telegrams to National Democratic Com­
mitteemen Norman E. Mack, of New York, Thomas
Taggart, of Indiana, Edward F. Goltra, of Missouri,
and delegate Roger C. Sullivan, of Chicago, Illinois,
and others I do not now recall.
In illustration of the efficiency of the service of the
Western Union Telegraph Company, that evening, be­
fore seven o’clock, the time at which the telegraph
office of this small summer resort closed, I received
two telegrams, one from the St. Louis Republic and
the other from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, stating
that a correspondent of the New York Sun had wired
them to the effect that I had forwarded telegrams to
Baltimore (quoting my telegrams), and asking me to
confirm or deny these messages. As the Wequetonsing
telegraph office was closed, it was too late for me to
reply to these inquiries the same evening. However,
the next morning I wired both of these newspapers to
the effect that the statement of the correspondent of
the New York Sun was authentic.
This incident is related by Mr. David F. Houston,



W oodrow W il s o n


former Secretary of Agriculture and former Secretary
of the Treasury, in his book entitled, “ Eight Years
With Wilson’s Cabinet.”
On Tuesday, July 2, 1912, on the forty-sixth ballot,
Governor Wilson received 990 votes; Mr. Clark 84;
Mr. Harmon 12, and not voting 2; whereupon, on mo­
tion of Senator William J. Stone of Missouri, the nomi­
nation was made unanimous. The same day, on the
second ballot, the nomination of Governor Thomas R.
Marshall, for Vice-President, was unanimously made.
After the nomination of Governor Wilson for Presi­
dent, and before the nomination of candidates for VicePresident, Chancellor Houston remarked to me that
he considered Governor Marshall of Indiana would
make a most excellent man for the position of VicePresident of the United States.
It can readily be surmised that Chancellor Houston
and I, sojourning at the out-of-way summer resort of
Wequetonsing, Michigan, intensely interested in the
proceedings at the Baltimore convention, were exultant
in the nomination of Wilson and Marshall.

T rea su re r D e m o c r a t ic N a t io n a l C o m m it t e e

occurred to me that I should be called upon
to have any active part in the campaign to follow,
and it was a great surprise when, on August 5,
1912, I received a telegram from Mr. Edward F.
Goltra, of St. Louis, National Democratic Committee­
man from Missouri, reading as follows:
t never


“New York, August 5, 1912. Would you accept
national committee treasurership? It would entail
your making New York your headquarters and
soliciting contributions. Wilson will offer if you
will accept. Wire me Waldorf-Astoria.”

On the same day I replied:
“Wequetonsing, Michigan, August 5, 1912. An­
swering your telegram of August fifth. I am of
the opinion a better selection for the position men­
tioned can be made, others are better equipped and
qualified. I would esteem it a great honor to be
called upon to serve Governor Wilson in any man­
ner where I would be effective. I am ready to give
my time doing everything in my power in the inter­
est of his candidacy.”

On the following day, August 6th, I was informed
that my appointment would be made by Governor
Wilson on that day or the next day, and on August
7th, being notified of my appointment, I sent the fol­
lowing telegram from Wequetonsing, Michigan:
“Governor Woodrow Wilson, Seagirt, New Jer­
sey. I appreciate the compliment and confidence
that has been placed in me. I will reach New York
Sunday night ready for duty.”

T reasu rer N a t io n a l C o m m it t e e


The following telegrams were received on August 7,
1912, from Mr. Wm. F. McCombs, Chairman of the
National Democratic Committee, and Mr. W. G. McAdoo, Vice-Chairman, respectively:
“I am delighted at your selection as Treasurer
of the National Committee and especially so at
your acceptance. Permit me to express the hope
that you can come East immediately, for there are
urgent matters which should be taken up and I
want to confer with you respecting them. Please
advise me.”
“Please accept my hearty congratulations. Your
acceptance gives great satisfaction to your associ­
ates here in particular and the country in general.
A warm welcome awaits you here.”

After reaching New York, I received a note from
Governor Wilson as shown on the following page.
I left Wequetonsing for St. Louis, arriving Saturday
morning, August 9, leaving there the same day and
reaching New York, Sunday noon, August 10, 1912.
I immediately went to the Democratic campaign head­
quarters, located in the Fifth Avenue Building, and,
realizing that there had been no preparation or organi­
zation for the treasurer’s department, I telegraphed
Mr. James G. McConkey, my former secretary when I
was Mayor of St. Louis, asking him if he would come
to New York and accept the position of assistant treas­
urer. He was good enough to accept the call and ar­
rived at headquarters on Tuesday, August 13, 1912.
The first thing Mr. McConkey and I did, when we
got together, was to obtain a copy of the Corrupt Prac­
tice Act, enacted June 25, 1910, and August, 1911, and
amended August 23, 1912.
The conduct of the national campaign of 1912 for
the election of a President and Vice-President was the


E pisodes o f M y L if e

first under Congressional restrictions, and, after read­
ing these laws, Mr. McConkey and I realized that,
under the recently enacted Corrupt Practice Act, the
Treasurer of the Campaign Committee was made re­
sponsible for the handling of the campaign funds in
the manner set out in the act.
This being the first national campaign to be con­
ducted under Congressional restrictions, we found that
there was no precedent to follow, as far as the treas­
urer’s department was involved. Relating to previous
campaigns, there were no records of any kind, no
books, no voucher forms or receipts to guide us.
Realizing our restrictions under the act, and our
responsibility, Mr. McConkey and I were faced with
the necessity of formulating a plan for the carrying
on of the department. We, therefore, created and
adopted our own method of procedure in the matter of
requisitions, receipts and accounting.
There had been no personnel appointed for the de­
partment, and it was necessary for us to at once
employ quite a number of people, and, being strangers
in New York, the organization which we created within
a very short period was accomplished with some diffi­
Now, our method of conducting the treasurer’s de­
partment was more or less different from that of any
previous campaign and was novel indeed to those who
might be termed the “old-timers” who had been active
in previous battles. The adamantine rules that we set
forth and insisted upon were somewhat irritating to
some of those connected with the campaign. We were



HKA OlHT. K. J .

August 10v 1912,

ily dear W ellsiYour acceptance of the treasurership has given
me the greatest gratification and I want ray fir s t
word in this business letter to he a word of weloome and sincere appreciation of the sacrifice you
are making.
I am tsking the liberty of sending you cheques
that have come In to me since your acceptance*


number of these come in every day and I shall send
you at short intervals the cheques with a l i s t of
the subscribers.
Within a few days I shall send you the balance
that is in my hands from former receipts together with
a statement of expenditures up-to-date and a fu ll l i s t
of the subscribers#
It is a great comfort to know that you are at hand
Cordially and sincerely yours,

Hon. Rolla W ells,
York City.


T r e a s u r e r N a t i o n a l C o m m itte e


insistent, however, that our regulations be complied
with, which brought about friction with some of those
with whom we were associated.
The work was arduous. It was of great magnitude,
confined to a short period of time—altogether about
three months—requiring the utmost vigilance, involv­
ing day and night labor, and was conducted with a
temporary organization. Nevertheless, every dollar,
both in receipts and expenditures, was properly re­
corded and accounted for.
I want to here express my sincere appreciation of
the splendid assistance rendered by Mr. James G. Mc­
Conkey and his fellow workers, and by Mr. E. M.
Grossman, who acted as assistant treasurer, assigned
to the branch headquarters in Chicago; and of the cor­
dial relationship that existed between the chairman,
vice-chairman and those at the head of the various
bureaus of the organization.
A summary of my final report as filed with the House
of Representatives illustrating the magnitude of the
work is shown on the following page.


E pisodes o f M y L if e

R e c a p it u l a t io n , I n c l u d in g F i n a l


S u p p l e m e n t a l R epo r ts

Number of Contributions:
Contributions $100.00 and over........................................... 1,650
Contributions under $100.00...............................................90,174
Total Number of Contributions.........................................91,824
R e c e ip t s

Contributions $100.00 and over..........$797,046.47
Contributions under $100.00................ 320,775.71


Interest on Bank Deposit, sale of Cam­
paign Literature, Buttons, etc., New
York Headquarters........................... $ 13,648.18
Money received at Chicago Headquar­
ters from other sources, including
sale of Literature, Text-books, but*
tons, etc., and $202.61 previously
forwarded to Chicago Headquarters
from New York and not expended



D is b u r s e m e n t s

Amount paid at New York Head­
quarters, including $211,652.07 paid
through Chicago Branch office___ $1,123,834.28
Balance on hand, Feb. 1, 1913........



A Jaunt


P r in c e t o n

N THE night of the day of election, November

5, 1912, there assembled in a suite of rooms at
the Waldorf Hotel, New York, a number of
those who had been active in the campaign, some of
whom were accompanied by their wives and invited
guests. Telegraphic instruments had been provided for
receiving election returns.
Early in the evening it was evident that Governor
Wilson would be elected by a handsome majority. A
gentleman resident of New York, who had taken con­
siderable interest in the campaign, asked me if I should
like to motor to Princeton the following morning and
pay our respects to the President-elect. Of course I
accepted, and the next morning I joined him, in com­
pany with another gentleman who also had taken a
prominent part in the campaign.
Arriving at Princeton, we went to the modest, but
lovely, cottage-home, where Governor and Mrs. Wilson,
with their three daughters, Margaret, Jessie and
Eleanor, and their neighbors, were rejoicing at the
result of the election. I was charmed by the genial and
dignified reception.
After we had paid our respects to the President-elect
and his family, one of the gentlemen whom I had ac­


E pisodes of M y L ife

companied, touched me on the sleeve and remarked:
“ Have you noticed the display of chrysanthemums
in the cottage?” I replied I thought they were the most
beautiful specimens I had ever seen. Whereupon, he
whispered to me: “ They are mine.”
A few minutes later, the other gentleman with whom
I had come from New York, touched me on the sleeve
and said: “ Come here, I want to show you something.”
We stepped into the hall, and, looking through the
dining room door, he said to me: “ Do you see that cake
on the sideboard?” I replied, “ Cake! Is that a cake?
Why, that is the biggest cake I ever saw in my life.”
He replied, “ Yes, it’s a cake,” and then he whispered
to me, “ It's mine.”
Both of these gentlemen were, deservedly, appointed
by President Wilson to important positions, and served
with distinction. In making my courtesy call I did so
without even a buttonhole bouquet or a cooky in my
In relating the foregoing incident, I do it, I hope, in
good taste, and certainly with the best of feeling and
with a sense of humor.
I had served in the campaign without any thought
or idea of expecting or receiving any favors. In later
years, in being introduced by President Wilson’s pri­
vate secretary, Mr. Tumulty, to the Secretary of State,
Mr. Lansing (who succeeded Mr. Bryan), Mr. Tumulty
remarked that he wanted to introduce to the Secretary
the only man he knew actively engaged in the cam­
paign of 1912 who had not asked for favors, and didn’t
want any.

A J a u n t to P r in c e t o n


However, while at my summer home at Wequetonsing, Michigan, on August 29, 1914, I received a tele­
gram from Honorable William J. Bryan, Secretary of
State, as follows:
“Please wire me confidentially whether you
would be willing to consider a diplomatic post of
prominence. If so, please come to Washington at
once for a conference.”

My reply, on August 31, 1914, was as follows:
“Honorable William J. Bryan, Secretary of
State, Washington, D. C. Regret exceedingly cir­
cumstances are such it would be ill advised for me
to favorably consider the suggestion contained in
your telegram of yesterday.”

W illiam J ennings B ryan
Y IT s I elsewhere relate, the episode of my acl —11 tive connection with the National Democratic
Money Conference in 1896 forced me into
opposition to Mr. William Jennings Bryan, who was
the party nominee for President on a platform plank
of “ sixteen-to-one” , the proposed bimetallic ratio of
silver to gold. Mr. Bryan had by his overwhelmingly
dramatic speech at the Chicago convention not only
made “free-silver” the principal issue in the campaign,
but also had made himself the party nominee. I took a
determined stand against this hypothesis, and there­
fore was looked upon as an arch-foe to Mr. Bryan, for
his dynamic personality had become so identified with
the free-silver agitation, as to become its symbol, its
mouthpiece, and its very embodiment.
The leading citizens of St. Louis who agreed to
recommend and support me for Mayor did not discuss
bimetallism, tariff for revenue only, or any other na­
tional issue, and I had nothing in mind on accepting
their offer except the purpose to give St. Louis, were
I elected, progressive and just administration. With
my supporters our sole objective was the New St.
The Republicans had nominated a strong candidate

W il l ia m J e n n i n g s B r y a n


against me, Mr. George Washington Parker. Mr. Lee
Meriwether, who had built up an imposing organization
in an extended, inter-election campaign, was the can­
didate of the Public Ownership Party. The Republican
plurality was estimated at 3,000 to 10,000 as a regular
advantage, and the probable result of the election was
extremely doubtful. Each candidate would need all
the votes that he could get.
In the heat of the mayoralty campaign we were
startled by a sudden warning by Mr. Bryan in his
journal, “ The Commoner,” that a Democratic imposter
was running for the chief executive office at the be­
stowal of the unsuspecting citizens of St. Louis. Imme­
diately some of the press and politicians outside of St.
Louis took active interest in the local election.
Mr. Bryan, on March 15, 1901, denounced me as a
traitor to the Democratic party! Former Governor
John P. Altgeld, of Illinois, came to St. Louis from
Chicago and excoriated me at a rally in the Coliseum.
David A. Ball, a Pike County resident, prominent in
Missouri state politics, tore me to pieces in a fiery
speech in the Coliseum.
“ Mr. Rolla Wells,” wrote Mr. Bryan in “ The Com­
moner,” “ the gentleman who was nominated by the
Democratic city convention, renounced his allegiance
to the Democratic party in 1896 and resigned the presi­
dency of the St. Louis Democratic Club. He actively co­
operated with the bolting contingent which supported
the Republican ticket that year, and in 1898 he openly
opposed the 16 to 1 Democratic candidate for Congress
in his district. In 1900 his influence was given to the


E pisodes o f M y L if e

Republican national ticket, and he has not since that
time returned to the Democratic principles as set forth
in the party platform.”
“It may be that the situation in St. Louis is such as
to make it necessary to disregard party lines, but, if
such is the case the candidate should run as a nonpar­
tisan or as an independent.”
“ If Mr. Wells has changed his views, let him publicly
announce his conversion to Democratic principles, and
his sins, though they may be many, will be forgiven.
Of course, if the conversion did not occur until after
he had made up his mind to seek the nomination for
Mayor, some might doubt the sincerity of the change,
but so far he has failed to give even that much comfort
to the Democrats.”
Mr. Bryan attacked me again in “ The Commoner”
on March 21. I quote only the following from that
“ The Republic is in error. Mr. Bryan does not care
about municipal government in big cities, but he does
not expect good government under the administration
of a man who believes in making the President an
emperor and who is willing to let the trusts control the
national administration. The man who sees no danger
in imperialism, a large standing army, wars of con­
quest, private monopolies and the other policies for
which the Republican party now stands is not likely
to give the people of any city, large or small, a wise,
just or economical administration.”
The St. Louis “Chroniele” of March 15 published an
interview with me on Mr. Bryan’s philippic. “ Mr.

W il l ia m J e n n i n g s B r y a n


Wells Is Mum” it was captioned. The following is an
“ ‘Will you answer Mr. Bryan’s article?’ Mr. Wells
was asked.
“ ‘I have nothing to say,’ he answered.
“ ‘He accuses you of being a bolter and not a good
“ ‘I have nothing to say/
“ ‘Mr. Bryan says you never have announced your
return to Democracy/
“ ‘I have nothing to say/
“ ‘Are you a Democratic candidate—’
“ ‘I have nothing to say,’ interrupted Mr. Wells.
“ ‘—or a good government candidate?’
“ ‘I have nothing to say.’ ”
Mr. Bryan’s great influence in and out of his party
was indisputable, and it is probably a fact that no
party leader in American experience commanded more
earnest, loyal allegiance than he. His slightest wish
was a solemn edict to his immense following. Never­
theless, his intrusion into a purely local contest, in
which the issue was between misrule and graft and
progressive administration, had the effect, as far as
St. Louis was concerned, and to some extent in other
cities, of strengthening my position. I do not mean
to imply that Mr. Bryan was injured or discredited
personally or politically, but that the points which he
made as to party membership were without force in
view of the known facts and conditions of civic cor­
ruption which existed here.
The issue was explained definitely in the press of the


E pisodes of M y L if e

country. An editorial by Mr. William Marion Reedy
in the St. Louis “Mirror” was headed, “ As The Nation
Looks On.”
In St. Louis leading Republicans declared that they
would support and vote for me. I believe that Mr.
Bryan’s editorials were resented by many citizens on
the ground that he had no right to interfere with what
was purely a local controversy and that his action
contributed largely to my election.
My first meeting with Mr. Bryan occurred in Wash­
ington when, with a St. Louis delegation, I had gone
to the national capitol to urge the Democratic National
Committee to hold the 1904 national convention in
St. Louis. The committee met in the Willard Hotel.
United States Senator William Joel Stone of Missouri
came into the corridor after the committee adjourned
and announced that St. Louis had been chosen. Then
he turned to me and invited me to meet Mr. Bryan.
The members of the committee were scattered about
the room chatting. I noticed Mr. Bryan in a corner,
surrounded by a group of newspaper correspondents.
Senator Stone edged in and said:
“ Mr. Bryan, I’d like you to meet my old friend Rolla
Wells, of St. Louis.”
Mr. Bryan hesitated a moment, and then remarked
“Yes, I’ve heard of him.”
“I’ve heard of you, too, Mr. Bryan. But you didn’t
‘Roll Rollo/ ”
“Roll Rollo” was a catch phrase with which he had
closed one of his articles against me in the mayoralty

W il l ia m J e n n i n g s B r y a n


If ours had been a feud, this repartee ended it. We
shook hands and afterwards got along amicably.
Old Father Time mollifies our distempers and
modifies conditions, and fortunately he eliminates ani­
mosities. Mr. Bryan brought about the nomination at
the Baltimore convention of Woodrow Wilson, and I
was chosen treasurer of the Democratic National
Committee. Each of us did his best to help elect Mr.
Wilson. Mr. Bryan entered the President’s cabinet
as Secretary of State, and while in that office tendered
me a high ambassadorial post.
I met Mr. Bryan on visits to Washington while Mr.
Wilson was President. On an outing on the President’s
yacht, “ The Mayflower,” Secretary Bryan and I were
thrown together. I related a story of the Log Cabin
Club in St. Louis.
“ This club,” I said, “is exactly like a country home.
No member signs a ticket for anything. No guest is
allowed to sign a card. Everyone orders whatever he
wants, and gets it. We have had a negro named Neal
there for years, and whenever anybody wants any­
thing, he calls out ‘Oh, Neal!’ and Neal responds.
After a time everybody thought that his name was
Mr. Bryan then told a story of a bartender named
Johnny who had been in the same saloon for years.
Customers would enter, place a foot on the brass rail
and exclaim—“Whisky, Johnny.” “ At last” said Mr.
Bryan, “he was known generally as Whisky Johnny.”
In 1906 Mr. Bryan visited St. Louis, after a trip
around the world, and was tendered a luncheon at


E pisodes o f M y L if e

which I presided. The newspapers endeavored to revive
the gossip of 1901, but were not successful. I think
the accompanying photograph shows that there was
an amicable relationship between us.
Mr. Bryan was a good man, a man of excellent char­
acter, and was sincere in his convictions.

Harry B. Hawes, Rolla Wells, WilliamJennings Bryan


V erboten
official with a paucity of political
acumen was the good-natured Charles Varrelmann, who was Street Commissioner for a
time during my administration as Mayor of St. Louis.
The ward politicians liked him and his colleagues
respected him, and his affability and attention to duty
brought him both popularity and success.
Mr. Varrelmann was a holdover appointee of the
previous administration, and I had a nice regard for
him. I esteemed Mr. Varrelmann not only for his
urbanity and seriousness, but also for his official un­
sophistication, which afforded me secret amusement
once in a while.
I questioned him one day, in my office, concerning
the obstruction of street improvement bills in the House
of Delegates. We had changed the specifications for
paving in order to build better streets, and the combine
evidently had determined not to pass a measure con­
taining the stricter requirements.
“What’s the trouble?” I asked.
“ Oh,” he replied nonchalantly, “the Delegates don’t
like our new specifications. They won’t pass the bills.”
I advised him in a friendly manner to urge the mat­
ter upon them. Don’t you see, Mr. Varrelmann, that




E pisodes o f M y L ife

their failure to act will reflect unfavorably on your
department? You are the head of the department, and
I must look to you for results. Allow me to suggest
that you hunt up a few of the principal Delegates and
tell them point-blank that you expect them to enact
these ordinances. Tell them, if you wish, that I said
that these specifications will not be modified, but will
be inserted in every street improvement bill. Give
them to understand that they can’t barter with you.”
He followed these directions, doubtless in his genial
way, and soon all the measures were passed.
His interests were centered exclusively in the opera­
tions of his department. He may have quaffed a few
glasses of beer in the evening, or during the day, but
I think that his every week was a routine of home to
office and office to home.
“ Mr. Varrelmann,” I said, one day, “you haven’t
had a vacation this year. In fact, I believe that you
haven’t had one for years.”
He answered that he did not care for a rest, as he
he was not over-worked and took pleasure in his duties.
But I insisted, feeling that a vacation was due to him,
and suggested that he take a month’s leave of absence
and go to Germany. In order to give force to my
counsel, I remarked that the trip would give him a
chance to inspect methods of street paving in Berlin,
Paris and London.
In Berlin he stayed at a modern hotel on one of the
boulevards. Returning one afternoon from a jaunt, he
took a seat at a window and gazed out on the sward
and trees. He took unusual solace in a fine, big cigar,

V erb o ten


and, I fancy, dreamed of new boulevard embellishments
for St. Louis. Musing, he flicked the ash from his
cigar out of the window, and it fell on the sidewalk.
He was startled in a few minutes by the abrupt
appearance of a blustering policeman, who tapped him
on the shoulder and declared him to be under arrest.
He had been very careful, as always, to observe the
law, and told the policeman so.
“Verboten,” the officer asserted, pointing to the
As Mr. Varrelmann spoke German, he addressed the
policeman in that language, and found out that it was
forbidden to flick ash on a public thoroughfare. After
producing his credentials, and giving an explanation
in German, and promising not to flick ash where it
was verboten to do so, Mr. Varrelmann was released
from police custody.

R ooseveltiana
A W et P arade
great President of the United States, Theo­
dore Roosevelt, and a Mayor of the City of
St. Louis, originated the wet parade. This
happened before the nation became ostensibly dry.
President Roosevelt came to St. Louis to make a
speech on inland waterway improvement, and after­
ward voyaged down the Mississippi River with a flo­
tilla loaded with public officials, business men and
bankers, who wanted more depth to the bottom of the
stream and more craft on the surface.
He was to deliver an address in the morning in the
Jai Alai Building on De Baliviere Avenue, south of
Delmar Boulevard, and was to be conducted out there
by a committee of prominent citizens. The party was
to proceed through the downtown district first, to give
the people a chance to see and cheer “ Teddy.”
As Mayor I was host to the President. We had a
carriage together. As we rode west on Olive Street
the carriage rolled, tumbled and shook like a boat in
turbulent billows to his rising and rocking to wave
his hat and gesticulate with his hands strenuously in
acknowledgment of the cheers and applause of the mul­


Theodore Roosevelt


R ooseveltiana


It was a day for a public celebration in honor of the
President of the United States and in the hope for
revival of river transportation. Mr. Roosevelt had a
manner of making the people demonstrative to the
We had not gone far out Olive Street before a driz­
zling rain fell. The sky darkened and frowned in
preparation for a heavy shower. In a little while the
drizzle turned into a downpour.
A secret service agent alighted from a carriage be­
hind our’s and hurried forward with a raincoat, which
he handed to the President, who quickly pulled it on.
I was huddled in a corner of the carriage to the left
of him, trying to keep dry.
President Roosevelt remained standing. When he
had fastened the coat about him, he gave me, crouched
in the corner, a searching inspection, and then laughed
and lifted his hat to the throngs which lined both
Every few minutes he glanced at me, laughed, and
waved his hands at the crowd, which responded with
My musings, except when he grinned, were as black
as the sky. I was as wet as a mop, and felt like one.
I planned to slip out of the auditorium after intro­
ducing him, and run home and change my clothes, but
circumstances obliged me to remain at the meeting.
My silk hat looked like rat’s fur. My feet were
wriggling in soaked shoes and stockings. My outer and
inner clothing pulled me down with their weight and
chilled me. I felt as bedraggled as I looked. In this


E pisodes of M y L if e

condition I had to present him at the meeting. After
the meeting we proceeded to the Jefferson Hotel, where
a luncheon was to be served, and from the hotel we
returned to the river.
Upon reaching our boat I hastened to my stateroom
and speedily imbibed a potion to stimulate me inside
and counteract the exterior wetness. Then I changed
my clothes.
President Roosevelt looked me over again, and again
he grinned.


N ot D ignified

Theodore Roosevelt, former President of the United
States, was a guest of the Hotel Jefferson. He had
given strict orders to the clerks not to let any one
know that he was there. He should not be disturbed,
and would see nobody. A colored valet accompanied
How I found out these particulars I forget. It did
not seem natural or possible that the strenuous Roose­
velt, who preached the simple life and pursued the
active, could pussyfoot in and out of St. Louis without
being recognized, and hide away in a hotel room, and
be still. The unreasonableness of the rumor excited my
curiosity, and as I had a definite object in seeing him,
I resolved to become a sleuth.
We were in the World War, and I, as Governor of
the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, was general
chairman of a Liberty Bond selling campaign in the
Eighth Federal Reserve District, and I had a hope that
I might induce the ex-President to assist me in a pub-



licity stunt. Because of my acquaintance with Mr.
Roosevelt and my former association with him during
the World’s Fair, I was sure he would do what he
could for me.
A hotel clerk accommodated me by having the colored
valet come downstairs. The valet listened intently and
memorized my name, and looked me over.
“ Ah’ll see, sah!” he said, without giving me any
information. “Yo’ wait right heah, sah!”
He returned soon, whispered, and tiptoed me to Mr.
Roosevelt’s room.
I broached my idea to Mr. Roosevelt that he might
assist me in the bond-selling drive.
“ Sure! Sure! What have you in mind?”
I had no plan in mind.
“ Well,” I replied, hoping to think of something, “here
and everywhere it’s become a sort of practice to run
a war tank about town loaded with a bevy of beautiful
young ladies—”
“And I would ride about town with them?”
“ Well,” I faltered, “ I was thinking—”
“ It would be very spectacular,” he said, laughing.
I laughed and answered, “ Quite.”
“ Would you say,” he asked, laughing heartily, “ that
it would be consistent with the dignity of a former
President of the United States?”
“ Scarcely.”
A Good E xample

On the occasion of one of the visits of President
Theodore Roosevelt and Mrs. Roosevelt, during the


E pisodes of M y L if e

World’s Fair, they were the guests in the home of Mr.
William H. Thompson, Treasurer of the Exposition
Company. They remained over Sunday and Mr.
Thompson asked Mrs. Wells and me to take them for
a drive Sunday afternoon.
The President manifested great interest in the Expo­
sition, and I thought that it would please him to go
through some of the buildings or ride through the
grounds when the spacious inclosure was deserted by
all except the guards and a few necessary workmen.
I suggested to him, as we drove through Forest Park,
that if he wished we would go into the Fair grounds.
His reply was: “ I think we better not do so, inso­
much as the Fair is not open to the public on Sunday.”
It was very evident, although he did not make any
further comment, that he, the President of the United
States, did not wish to break the Sunday-closing rule.
A Souvenir

On a trip abroad, while sauntering about Paris one
day my attention was attracted to a novel scarf pin
in a jeweler’s show window. It was a miniature mon­
key of gold, holding a small diamond resembling a
hand-mirror, into which he was gazing.
On the occasion of a visit to our Exposition of Presi­
dent and Mrs. Roosevelt, accompanied by Miss Alice
Roosevelt, I was Miss Alice’s escort. The monkey pin
which I was wearing in my scarf attracted her atten­
I felt flattered as, through the corner of my eye,


The President’s Daughter andthe Mayor of St. Louis, November 25, 1904




I observed Miss Alice frequently glancing in my
She was staying with the Catlins, and as we ap­
proached within a few blocks of their home at the
conclusion of the drive, she exclaimed:
“ Pardon me, Mr. Mayor, but I positively can’t help
admiring that unique monkey scarf pin you are wear­
ing—I never saw any like it. It’s extremely odd.”
She had not been looking at me, after all! I told
her I had purchased it in Paris. I released it from my
cravat and tendered it to her. “I beg you, Miss Alice, to
accept it as a souvenir of your visit, with my com­
We were entering the Catlin premises as I handed
the pin to Miss Alice, and President Francis was just
coming out of the house.
He saw the gesture and exclaimed: “ If any prizes
are to be distributed, I’m the one to hand them out.”
At that he took from his coat one of the numerous
metal badges which he wore during the Exposition and
gave it to Miss Alice.
When I was again abroad I made the rounds of the
jewelers’ shops in Paris, but that kind of monkey was
extinct. That was the only species of climbing diamond
monkey which I had seen then or before, or have dis­
covered since.


K n ig h t o f t h e T r a c k

have been complimented in the naming of many
things after me from a cigar to a locomotive and
from a human baby to a colt. Perhaps I ought to
say, from a locomotive to a cigar and from a colt to a
baby-boy named Rolla Britt. However, I am not pre­
senting degrees of comparison, but agreeable recollec­
tions of facts in the past.
On the other hand, many names and epithets have
been applied to me. I know that one politician called
me a mule, and another a liar, and another a traitor.
Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany knighted me as a Sir,
and the Chinese Emperor accoladed me into the Double
Dragon. While I was Mayor of St. Louis, and Treas­
urer of the Democratic National Committee, and a
leader in the Sound Money movement, quite a number
of aspersive titles were invented to designate me. In
fact, some were hurled in my face.
I am inclined to think that these opprobrious appel­
lations did me much good in the trend of events. At
any rate, if they injured any one, I was not a maimed
victim. They contributed to public amusement and
sharpened my own sense of humor. A public officer
being the butt of unwitting comedians is, I suppose, an
indispensable condition of public service.


A K n ig h t of t h e T r a c k


I had less to do with applying my name to things
and creatures than things and creatures had in con­
ferring names on me.
Wellston, the flourishing and ambitious suburb of
St. Louis, got its cognomen properly. When our home­
stead in St. Louis County was subdivided and formed
the nucleus of a community or town, Wellston was an
apt name for the place, and the settlement thrived.
The baby which was named after me grew hale and
fat. The cigar contained fine tobacco, was well made,
puffed sweetly and gave off a delectable aroma, but
the manufacturer made the mistake of presenting a
color picture of my face on the inside cover of the
box. At the time I was forcibly expressing my candid
opinion of the combine in the House, and the Delegates
and their friends did not like my name or countenance.
Critics would declare, perhaps, that the locomotive was
named fitly, as it was small and built for a narrow
gauge line, yet I must say that it had power and speed,
and looked spick and span, and was one of the features
of the town of fifty years ago.
My friend, Mr. Joseph P. Whyte, ordered a new steel
harbor boat while he was Harbor and Wharf Com­
missioner. It was to be the pride of the city’s harbor
fleet, if not the whole fleet; at any rate, it would be
the flagship. It was built at Quincy, 111., and I made
a trip to the marine ways to see it under construction.
On the day that the boat was delivered to Mr. Whyte,
he dropped in my office.
“ The new harbor boat is here,” he said. “ Come down
with me and have a look at it.”


E pisodes o f M y L if e

We inspected the lower part of the vessel and then
went to the upper deck. As we stood at the bow of
the boat, I turned around to glance at the pilot house,
and I was almost stunned with amazement at behold­
ing in huge black letters—“ Erastus Wells.”
I remonstrated with Mr. Whyte in a friendly way.
“Well, I meant to please you,” he said, “and the
thing’s done now. Erastus Wells did a lot for St. Louis
and naming the harbor boat after him is very small
I had a similar experience with Park Commissioner
Philip C. Scanlan, who was likewise a warm friend of
As sections of Forest Park were reconditioned by the
World’s Fair management after the close of the Expo­
sition, they were accepted back by the city. Mr.
Scanlan one day invited me to accompany him in order
to inspect the main road in the district in which the
concourse of states had been located. He wished me to
see it before he received it officially from the Exposi­
tion Corporation.
An assortment of fencing, barrels and other barri­
cades had been put up by workmen in order to keep
the road closed against traffic until the city accepted
it. Mr. Scanlan summoned some of these men and
directed them to remove the blockade. As soon as the
material had been cleared away, Mr. Scanlan stood in
the middle of the road, and, with uplifted hand, dra­
matically exclaimed:
“Now, in officially accepting this road from the Ex­
position Company, I dedicate it as ‘Wells Drive/ ”

A K n ig h t of t h e T r a c k


The name had been painted on signs and markers,
and, I suppose, had been listed in the park records; so
I could only express my surprise.
I had no knowledge in advance of the intention to
name the harbor boat after my father or the drive
after me. The nominating had been done in both in­
stances by public officers without first obtaining my
consent. I felt that it would be discourteous for me to
rebuke them for action already taken.
The colt which was named after me added to my
fame, such as it was, on the turf. It was known to
trackmen generally as a result of my serving for three
years as president of the St. Louis Jockey Club. Our
course was among the best known in the country and
our meets were popular. The foremost racers in the
land were entered here.
My friend, Charles C. Maffitt, took a notion that he
would like to own a number of two-year-olds, and
bought eight or ten. He named them after friends.
One was Sir Rolla.
I went up to Wequetonsing for a short stay. In all
probability I would not be in St. Louis when Sir Rolla
engaged in his first race; so, I hunted up a friend and
handed him $50 to wager on my namesake, in the event
that he started during my absence.
Mr. Maffitt was my friend and it would be a personal
affront to him if I failed to back up the gallant Sir
“By no means fail me. I would not offend Charlie
Maffitt. He was good enough to name this colt after
me, and it would be uncivil of me to fail to support the


E pisodes of M y L if e

young fellow with a bet on his initial start,” I said to
my friend.
Sir Rolla trespassed on my thoughts only at inter­
vals while I was at Wequetonsing, resting and recreat­
ing. I hoped that he would be a winner for Mr. Maffitt.
No one could do more than hope, for the ablest experts
are unable to predict what a two-year-old will or will
not do.
One afternoon, as I was lolling out in the shade,
watching my daughter and a chum playing tennis, the
station-agent-ticket-seller-telegraph-operator-baggageman-messenger-dispatcher and General High Cocka­
lorum of the railroad company stalked across the sward
to me.
“ Mr. Wells,” he said, “ I just left a telegram at your
cottage for you.”
“ I don’t care to go to the cottage right now. You’re
the telegraph operator and can tell me what the wire
is. What does it say?”
“I’m sorry I can’t tell you, Mr. Wells. It’s in code.”
“ In code!” I exclaimed. “Why, I never use a code.”
“Well,” he replied, “ maybe you can figure it out for
yourself. The message runs something like this: ‘Sir
Rolla a walk six hundred and fifty to the good’.”
“ That isn’t code,” I thought; “it’s form.”
I hastened to the cottage, drank a toast, standing,
to Sir Rolla, and wired my congratulations to Mr.
Maffitt. Upon returning home I had a photograph
taken of Sir Rolla with a wreath round his neck and
his jockey beside him; in a small circle in the righthand corner was my own likeness.

T heatres and P layers of L ong A go
when a young lad, being invited by Dr.
E. C. Franklin and his wife to accompany them to
the old DeBar’s Theatre, where we occupied a
private box, in company with Mrs. Ben DeBar. It was
the occasion of the first appearance of Ben DeBar in
the character in which he became famous—“ Falstaff.”
The DeBar Theatre at that time was located on the
north side of Pine Street, between Third and Fourth
Streets. It was here that Ben DeBar and Mark Smith
acted together; also, Ben DeBar and Lotta (Miss Crab­
tree). This theatre subsequently changed the name
and was used for variety shows.
I also remember, as a child, attending an indoor
circus held in a building on Fifth and Walnut Streets,
opposite the old Southern Hotel and Tony Faust's res­
taurant. All old St. Louisans know of Faust’s restau­
rant, in its day internationally known as a place and
rendezvous for noted characters, actors and actresses,
and prominent people. Its cuisine and wine cellar were
In the late seventies Mr. Charles Pope, the tragedian
—and a good actor, he was—converted a church build­
ing located on the northwest corner of Ninth and Olive
Streets into a theatre.




E pisodes of M y L if e

The theatres at the time were conducted with what
was known as stock companies, and the performances
would be given with the local stock company in asso­
ciation with star actors and actresses who visited the
city. Of course, now and then, an entire troupe would
come to the city and the stock company would then be
temporarily relieved.
What to me, and a great many other people in St.
Louis, at the time, was a charming little playhouse,
known as the Wilson Opera House, located on the east
side of Fifth Street, between Chestnut and Pine
Streets, which, during the first few years of its exist­
ence, was used exclusively for minstrel shows by the
best talent of that character. These were “ river” days,
and the negro character was more picturesque than
It was in this little opera house that Billy Emerson,
so versatile, and probably one of the most graceful per­
formers ever on the stage, sang and danced “ Happy
as a Big Sunflower.” I can visualize him now.
This theatre was afterwards taken over by McKee
Rankin, and many charming comedies were performed.
It was here I first saw Kate Claxton in “ The Two
The Olympic Theatre had its origin with Moses
Flannigan, of St. Louis, who proposed to build what
he called a “ Hippotheatron,” located on Fifth Street,
opposite the Southern Hotel. It was adapted for either
circus ring or theatre. Later, the Olympic Theatre
which had passed to Charles R. Spaulding, was made
a Variety Theatre in 1867, and two years later estab-


Edwin Booth
Henry Irving

Ellen Terry

Adelaide Neilson

Mary Anderson

T h e a t r e s a n d P l a y e r s of L o n g A go


lished as a legitimate playhouse under the active man­
agement of Patrick Short. Pope’s Theatre was started
in 1875, at Ninth and Olive Streets.
The performance of many noted actors and actresses
I have witnessed in these theatres. Namely, the opera
stars, Patti, Carey, Kellogg and others. The great
actors, Edwin Booth, John McCullough, Lawrence Bar­
rett, Edwin Forrest, Henry Irving, E. A. Sothern,
Joseph Jefferson and Charles Kean.
I must not overlook Adelaide Neilson, Mary Ander­
son, Clara Morris, Fanny Davenport, Ellen Terry, the
charming Lotta, Maggie Mitchell and Kate Claxton.
Also, John T. Raymond and Joe Emmett, Lydia
Thompson, Pauline Markham’s troupe of Famous Eng­
lish Blondes. In later years, Lillian Russell, the reign­
ing stage beauty of her day.
All of us of that period remember genial Pat Short
and George McManus, who were active in the manage­
ment of the theatres.
Amateur theatrical clubs were popular in those days,
as is the Little Theatre movement of today. Among the
members of the McCullough Club were: William Beau­
mont Smith, Guy Lindsley, Edgar Smith, W. G.
Smythe, A. G. Robyn, who became nationally known
as a composer, Wayman McCreery and Augustus
Thomas, who has made a place for himself as a play­
wright. Back in 1870, through the sponsorship of my
father, who was a member of the United States House
of Representatives, Gus Thomas got the appointment
of a page in the House.
Wayman McCreery, I considered one of the most


E pisodes op M y L if e

versatile young men of St. Louis. He was physically
well proportioned, an all-round athlete, the leading
tenor in the choir of Christ Church Cathedral, a com­
poser of music, the author and composer of the opera
“ L’Afrique,” which was produced on the stage in St.
Louis and New York. He wrote a number of songs and
ballads. He was one of the best amateur billiard play­
ers in the country. He originated the three-cushion
game of billiards, and at one time was the national
champion. He was also a leading amateur actor.
Wayman McCreery, Charlie Maffitt and I were inti­
mate friends. During the administration of President
Cleveland, upon the resignation of the Collector of
Customs in St. Louis, Wayman told Mr. Maffitt and me
that he would like very much to get the position.
Knowing Wayman's environment and disposition, we
couldn't imagine why he wanted a position of that
character, and we told him so. His reply was that he
desired the appointment as Collector of Customs, as
it would afford him an opportunity to demonstrate his
ability other than as a singer, an athlete and an all
round sportsman.
Mr. Maffitt and I, being convinced of his sincerity,
the next day went to Washington, had an interview
with the President, and succeeded in getting the ap­
pointment for Wayman.
In later years, ex-President Cleveland was visiting
St. Louis during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition,
and he remarked to me, “ Did I make you happy when
I complied with your request in the appointment of
Wayman McCreery?”

T h e a tr e s a n d P l a y e r s of L o n g A go


“You certainly did,” I replied, and, moreover, I was
glad to say that Mr. McCreery performed the duties
of the office most competently.

Social Clubs and the V eiled P rophet
back over the cycle of time I have the
feeling that the year 1878 was conspicuous in the
history of St. Louis. In that year the Saint Louis
Club was organized. It was also the year that the
Veiled Prophet was organized.
Previous to 1878 there had been no civic get-together
spirit, no common meeting place where citizens could
confer and plan. It seems to me that it was in this year
that St. Louis assumed the aspect of a metropolis.
The first location of the Saint Louis Club was at
1532 Washington Avenue. Later it moved to the build­
ing it erected on the southwest corner of Locust Street
and Ewing Avenue (28th Street), and then afterward
to a site on the north side of Lindell Boulevard west
of Grand Avenue.
The Saint Louis Club was the favored place for
social and commercial assemblages. It was well adapted
for dinners, banquets, receptions and balls. It was
there that many distinguished guests were entertained.
The University Club was the oldest social club. It
was organized in 1872. It was first located at 911 Olive
Street, then at 1125 Washington Avenue. From this
location it moved to the top floor of what was then
known as the Eugene Jaccard Building, on the site now
n looking


S o c ia l C lu b s a n d t h e V e ile d P r o p h e t


occupied by the Boatmen’s National Bank Building.
In a few years the club moved to the old Edward Walsh
mansion on the northwest corner of Beaumont and
Pine Streets, and from there to the George W. Allen
residence on the northwest corner of Grand and Wash­
ington Avenues. This house was subsequently taken
down and the present University Club building erected.
The use of the automobile brought about radical
changes in club life. Numerous country clubs, both
large and small, well equipped for entertaining, with
greater opportunity for recreation, have, to a certain
degree, supplanted the city clubs.
Probably the most important of these country clubs
is the St. Louis Country Club. Among the smaller
clubs is the Log Cabin Club, which was organized in
1899. Some years later the Bogey Club was formed.
The Veiled Prophet organization has been in suc­
cessful operation since the year 1878. The annual pag­
eant of spectacular splendor continues to delight the
hundreds of thousands. The annual ball with its inde­
scribable beauty of tableau and motion, the crowning
of the queen and her attendants in the court of honor,
season after season, is a beautiful living picture
awaited with intensified anticipation.
None but good fellows belong to this order. They
expect no reward nor word of praise. Its secrecy is its
success and charm. Hail, Grand Oracle! We unite in
making our obeisance, and it is our prayer that you
may continue to gladden the hearts of the children and
grandchildren of the future as you have the children
and grandchildren of the past.

T he Statue of St . L ouis
proclamation, a half-holiday was declared for
the fourth of October, 1906, the occasion being
the unveiling of the equestrian statue of Saint
Louis, a majestic figure in bronze, on the crest of Art
Hill, placed immediately in front of the Art Museum
and overlooking what had been the main picture of the
World’s Fair.
The work was designed by Charles Henry Niehaus.
The statue itself is twenty-one feet in height from the
base of the bronze plinth to the unlifted hilt of the
sword. The sword in the hand of the Crusader is trans­
posed, denoting Peace, the symbol of the Louisiana
Purchase Exposition for happiness, prosperity and ad­
vancement in the tranquility of peace. The base is
nineteen feet, six inches in height. From the ground
to the hilt-end of the sword is forty and a half feet.
A grand demonstration was held, and it was said
that 200,000, or more, persons were assembled at the
ceremony. There was a parade of more than 7,000
men, which was almost two hours in passing the re­
viewing stand on Art Hill. It was made up of repre­
sentatives of the post office department, the police de­
partment, the fire department and civic organizations,
accompanied by brass bands.


T h e S t a t u e o f S t . L ouis


Colonel E. J. Spencer was in command, and at the
conclusion of the parade it was my privilege to extend
to him my congratulations.
The procession was headed by a platoon of seventyfive mounted policemen, followed by six hundred offi­
cers on foot. The police division was led by Chief
Creecy, who appeared for the first time as commander
of the department in a dress parade.
The post office department, led by Postmaster Frank
Wyman, contributed 1,500 men. Six hundred mail car­
riers appeared in the regulation uniforms, while 700
clerks of the various offices were neatly attired in black
trousers and soft white shirts.
Mr. William H. Lee was chairman of the ceremonies
and Mr. David R. Francis, for the Exposition Com­
pany, made the presentation address, a part of which
I quote as follows:
“ The St. Louis World’s Fair marks a new epoch in
the history of the city, state and country in which it
was held, and a new era in our relations with other
“ This reproduction of the equestrian statue of Saint
Louis in the massive proportions that delighted the
millions of spectators who viewed it in the Plaza of
St. Louis has been erected to mark the site where were
congregated the representatives of the thought and
progress of all ages, and where were assembled in
friendly rivalry the choicest products of the brain and
brawn of man. It is presented to the City of St. Louis
in appreciation of the interest manifested and the sup­
port rendered by the municipal government and by


E pisodes o f M y L ife

all the people. This spot was selected for its location
and is eminently fit. Here it is in front of the palace
where were exhibited so many invaluable works of art,
and the only permanent building of the thirteen stately
structures which were erected. It overlooks the scene
of the incomparable picture whose beauty entranced
millions, and which was at once a poem and a song.
This noble monument and this magnificent palace of
art should form, it would seem, a fitting climax, and
a rounding out of the task which has consumed eight
years of time filled with increasing and unselfish
labors, and has had the good-will and material support
of city, state and nation.
“In conclusion, Mr. Mayor, I deliver to you for the
City of St. Louis this magnificent monument. The Ex­
position company is confident that it will be preserved
with patriotic care for ages to come. May it quicken
the civic pride of our people, and serve as an incentive
to greater undertakings and grander achievements.
“ You have been chief magistrate of this city since the
organization of the Exposition Company. Throughout
its vicissitudes and labors you have always extended
to the movement your encouragement and all the offi­
cial assistance permitted by your unselfish devotion to
duty or sanctioned by your high standard of public
service. The Exposition management makes its ac­
knowledgements to you, and to all the members of your
administration and to the municipal assembly.
“ Into the keeping of the municipal government of
St. Louis, as the property of the people, I confide this
superb statue of our patron saint.”

Statue of Saint Louis Presented to the City of St. Louis by the
Louisiana Purchase Exposition Co., October 4, 1906


T h e S t a t u e of S t . L o uis


The unveiling party consisted of Jane Howard
Wells, Isabel Wyman, Mrs. Rolla Wells and Mrs. David
R. Francis, who were seated on a stand adjacent to the
At the close of the address of presentation my
daughter, Jane Howard Wells, stepped to the front of
the platform and drew the cord which caused the great
white canvas cover to fall to the ground, unveiling the
statue. The Star Spangled Banner was played and
Battery A fired the first of the twenty-one guns, and
with uncovered heads a mighty cheer swept over Art
It was then my privilege, as Mayor, to accept this
magnificent monument, with the following address:
“ The vigorous and hearty cheers we have indulged
in, resulting from the unveiling of the magnificent
statue now exposed to our view, are the echo of the
sentiment and opinion of every citizen of the City of
St. Louis that the Louisiana Purchase Exposition was
conceived in wisdom and consummated in success.
“Almost two years have passed since the closing of
the Exposition gates, and it is evidenced on every side
within the boundaries of the City of St. Louis that it
was not held in vain; that the generosity of the people
that made it possible was not misplaced; that the man­
agement and organization that brought it to such a
successful ending were of the highest order.
“ Mr. President, this commemoration statue, which
you, representing the stockholders of the Louisiana
Purchase Exposition, have just presented to the City
of St. Louis, will be a monument of remembrance to


E pisodes o f M y L if e

generations to come of the able and disinterested part
that you and your co-workers have taken in the pro­
duction of an exposition never before equaled.
“ It is my grateful privilege, Mr. President, on be­
half and in the name of every inhabitant of the City
of St. Louis, to accept this token of your public spirit
and civic pride, and well may we all, as long as time
permits, look upon the statue of Saint Louis as our
most cherished work of art.”
Who of us who witnessed this remarkable demon­
stration and heard the mighty roar of exultation in the
greeting of the bronze Saint Louis, could help feeling
warm tears in his eyes with laughter in his heart? A
symbol of peace had been given to our children!

F ranklin Delano Roosevelt
passing of the world’s depression under
which we have all so greatly suffered for a num­
ber of years, I feel that it would not be inappro­
priate for me to include in these episodes an interview
I gave to Mr. Paul Brown, Editor of the Executive’s
Magazine, in March, 1933:
“ The present crisis is no worse than others through
which we have passed. In fact, it’s not so bad, for we
have better machinery with which to meet it. During
the panic of 1873 I was a student at Princeton. I went
down to New York with a $250 draft, issued by a St.
Louis bank on its New York correspondent, in my
pocket. I could not cash it. Finally, a young friend of
mine induced an influential New York man to inter­
cede for me, and so I got my $250. ‘It’s all been done
“After we have worked through our present diffi­
culties and restored the ordinary operation of our
business machinery it will pay us to take seriously to
heart the fact that such an experience is always the
culmination of a long period of economic misrule—of
confidence in mistaken principles. Our present shakeup simply means that after the old homely law of
supply and demand has been ignored it brings itself


th e


E pisodes of M y L if e

to our attention with a jerk. We shall work our way
back through this experience as we have before. An
emergency currency will function until confidence is
restored and common sense resumes sway. Our pres­
ent situation simply shows the poisonous results of
fear, hence hoarding, hence emergency currency.
“ There is no occasion for panic and hoarding—the
latter being the sure forerunner of the former. The
material basis of the nation is entirely sound. We are
not the victims of any physical disaster; our material
possessions are the same as ever. All that is wrong is
our disregard of simple natural laws in regulating our
trade and handling our financial exchanges. As we
ourselves have done the wrong we can undo it. Nature
stands ready and anxious to save us when—to borrow
the phrase of a Southern darkey—we ‘stop getting in
our own way/
“ To me, the prospect that this will happen looks
most encouraging, and that for two reasons, one of
which is grounded in the past and the other in the
“ First, we have the Federal Reserve System. I speak
with some certainty here, since, when the first meeting
of the Governors of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks was
held in Washington, as Governor of the Federal Re­
serve Bank of St. Louis, I sat at the right hand of
Governor Benjamin Strong, Jr., Governor of the Fed­
eral Reserve Bank of New York and Chairman of the
Governors’ Conference. I have already referred to
former panics. Those of 1873, 1893 and 1907-1908 had
no such aid to the unification and the mobilization of

F ranklin Delano Roosevelt


credits as is afforded today by the Federal Reserve
System. When Clearing House certificates and ‘John
Smiths’ were resorted to in 1908, the United States
had a currency which was sound enough but had, as
someone has said, ‘all the elasticity of a wooden leg.’
Today we have a currency that can be expanded or
retired at will. It might be worth while to remark in
passing that our present troubles are not due to any
lack of currency; we have more of that than we have
ever had before—about 23 per cent more, in fact, than
the average amount in circulation for the 3 years end­
ing with 1925. Our difficulty is not a lack of currency;
it is a lack of confidence.
“ This brings me naturally to the second factor which
ought to reassure us. That is the courage, ability and
resourcefulness of the man in the White House. If I
were asked to condense into a phrase the thing which
will do more than anything else to get ourselves out
of the mess that wrong thinking and mismanagement
have gotten us into I would say: ‘Back the President
to the limit!’ I listened with deep interest to the in­
augural ceremonies. The very tone of that man’s voice
when he took the oath of office, his courageous, force­
ful and timely inaugural address reassured me.
“ And while we are following the President and his
advisors along the painful but sure path of reconstruc­
tion and restoration, it will pay us well to do a little
active repenting of some of our sins of the past period
of inflated values and mushroom financial structures.
For something like a dozen years we have been asking,
‘How big?’ when we ought to have been asking, ‘How


E pisodes op M y L if e

strong?’ Unless financial principles are sound, based
on sane and sensible industrial and merchandising
practices, the bigger the structure the shorter will be
its life and the more disastrous the collapse.
“ I shall never forget the last night of the great St.
Louis Exposition of 1904, when an enthusiastic St.
Louisan jumped to his feet and proposed the organiza­
tion of a Million Population Club with a fervor and
energy that swept a large number of his hearers into
line. I did not believe in the principle then; I wonder
if anybody believes in it now. A city should have only
the population necessary to perform the services re­
quired by the people in its tributary territory. Un­
necessary population is like fat about a man’s heart,
it is a curse instead of a blessing—a liability instead
of an asset. The cities of the United States have lured
hundreds of thousands of people from farms and vil­
lages whom the city did not need and who did not need
the city. This was a mistake and nature has just now
presented us the bill. (Of course, it will be understood
that I am talking about real surplus population and
not about workers necessary to normal industry who
are temporarily out of a job.)
“ The United States ought to recover from its pres­
ent plight easier, with less pain and less difficulty, than
it did after 1873 or 1893. After all, our present diffi­
culty is one of indigestion—not one of starvation. My
mind goes back inevitably to the early days of the
Federal Reserve System when all we had was the
skeleton provided by the law, and it was necessary to
form the organization, write the rules, and establish



Franklin Delano R oosevelt


the practices which would make of it a living, working
thing. I remember the educational work that preceded
and followed the enactment of the law—the work that
was necessary to bring home to the American people
what ‘asset currency’ was, and how the very fact that
a piece of commercial paper paid itself off and went
out of existence with the completion of the transaction
that called it forth made it the very best foundation—
with, of course, an adequate gold reserve—for the cur­
rency whose volume should expand and contract with
the needs of business. The banks of this country, na­
tional and state, should be unified, all under regulation
of the Federal Reserve Act with the supervision of the
Federal Reserve Board, from which all currency and
coin is derived.
“ I should like to recommend in this connection that
our business leaders give serious thought to the topheavy financial structures which have been created by
heavy long-term borrowing and lending. They may
well ask themselves whether it is not more economical
in the long run to have less capital, and to make more
demands, when business is brisk on the loaning powers
of our commercial banks to carry on current opera­
tions. This will mean that interest on borrowed money
will be paid as and when money is needed for profit­
able operations actually in hand, instead of constitut­
ing a burden such as is created by long-term loans like
the proverbial brook—‘Men may come and men may
go, but I go on forever.’
“ The future is full of hope if we keep our heads,
work hard—and trust the President.”


I nd ex
Adams, C. M., 325
Adams, Elmer B., 242, 363
Adams, John, 407
Adkins, Ben C., 162, 207, 208,
Adreon, E. L., 224, 375
Aiken, Alfred L., 384
Allen, A. A., 325
Allen, Charles Claflin, 206,
224, 367
Allen, Frederick W., 347
Allen, George L., 352
Allison, James E., 199, 358
Alt, Henry, 117
Altgeld, John P., 461
Altheimer, Ben, 353
Ames, Henry Semple, 351
Anderson, Charles V., 368
Anderson, Lorenzo E., 367
Anderson, Mary, 483
Anderson, Thomas L., 97
Anderson, William, 208
Ardrey, J. Howard, 385
Arhelger, M., 393
Atkins, Dr. H. S., 208
Aull, Robert, 176
Ault, L. A., 433

Bell, Nicholas M., 353
Bell, Samuel, 427
Bennett, Tom W., 346
Benoist, Eugene, 173
Benoist, E. H., 369
Benoist, Lee, 325
Bent, C. C. F., 360
Benton, M. E., 408
Betts, Frank, 393
Bickner, Anthony, 304
Biggs, David C., 386, 387, 388
Billy, the Kid, 53
Bingham, John A., 19
Birge, Julius C., 369
Bixby, W. K., 71, 218, 368,
Blackman, George, 18
Blackwell, A. M., 325
Blaine, James G., 19
Blair, Albert, 366
Blair, James L., 87, 93
Blake, John S., 366
Bland, Richard, 77
Blanke, Cyrus F., 117
Blewett, Scott H., 374
Block, H. L., 348
Block, William A., 259, 279
Blodget, Walter H., 425
Blodgett, W. H., 325
Blossom, Howard, 75
Blossoms, The, 34
Blow, Henry T., 56
Bodley, H. J., 55
Boehne, John W., 385
Boehnken, E. H., 370
Bogey Club, The, 487
Boit, Robert A., 432
Bollman, Otto, 325
Bond, Dr. H. Wheeler, 173,
208, 354, 372
Boogher, Howard, 325
Boogher, Dr. J. Leeland, 347
Boogher, Lawrence, 348
Booth, Edwin, 483
Borman, Thomas, 82
Bowman, Dr. George A., 374
Boyce, Joseph, 95, 116, 132,
Boyce, John P., 359
Boyd, T. B., 368
Boyle, Wilbur F., 93, 365
Boynton, E. W., 82
Bragg, General Edward S., 83
Bremer, S. Parker, 432

Bacon, F. H., 437
Bagnell, William, 375
Baker, Alfred L., 432
Baker, Col. E. D., 12
Baker, G. W., 18
Bakewell, Paul, 242, 367
Ball, David A., 461
Ballard, James F., 350
Barclay, Sheppard, 325
Barret, A. B., 56
Barret, J. Richard, 56
Barrett, Lawrence, 483
Barrett, Stephen L., 432
Barroll, Joseph R., 242, 347,
Bascom, George W., 427
Bascom, Joseph D., 260, 349,
427, 433
Bascom, Mrs. J. D., 427
Bassford, Homer, 325
Batcheller, Robert, 432
Bates, Charles F., 356
Bates, Charles W., 206, 279,
325, 390, 397
Bates, General John C., 443
Battle, W. G., 369


I ndex
Brennan, James T., 117
Bright, James B., 224
Bringhurst, Robert H., 224
Brinkwirth, Louis, 325
Brinsmade, Hobart, 350
Britt, Rolla, 476
Britton, F. H., 374
Broadhead, James O., 82, 87
Brown, Dr. John Young, 208,
Branch, Lawrence O., 354
Brank, Rev. Robert G., 12
Breeze, J. L., 432
Brock, J. E., 355
Brockman, F. W., 325
Brookings, Robert S., 345,
380, 382
Brookmire, James H., 354
Brown, Alexander, 376
Brown, George Warren, 349
Brown, Paul, 325, 493
Brueggeman, G. F. A., 224
Bryan, P. Taylor, 359
Bryan, William Jennings, 80,
85, 98, 393, 449, 459, 460
Buckley, Thomas J., 116
Buckner, General Simon B.,
Budd, George K., 4
Buick, J. M., 374
Bullit, Thomas W., 82
Burg, William, 350
Burgess, J. E., 393
Burke, John J., 116, 132
Burlingame, J. L., 360
Burnett, Bobert M., 432
Busch, Adolphus, 400
Busch, August A., 348
Butler, Benjamin F., 19
Butler, H. O., 393
Bynum, W. B., 83

Carleton, J. L., 355
Carleton, Murray, 117, 173,
375, 382, 385, 433
Carnegie, Andrew, 218
Carpenter, Benjamin, 432
Carpenter, Frederick B., 432
Carpenter, George O., 218,
224, 433
Carpenter, Mrs. George O.,
Carr, Clyde M., 432
Carr, Peyton T., 325
Carroll, James H., 373
Carter, James R., 432
Carter, L. Ray, 364
Carter, F. W., 65
Carter, Thomas H., 227
Carter, T. W., 364
Carter, Willie, 18
Case, Calvin, 2
Casey, D. C., 407
Catlin, Daniel, 345, 433
Catlin, Ephron, 376
Catlins, The, 475
Caulfield, H. S., 373
Celia, Louis, 65
Chalmers, William J., 51, 432
Chambers, John M., 55, 56
Chaplin, W. S., 201
Chapman, N. C., 356
Charles, Benjamin H., 206,
Chatfield, A. H., 433
Chester, Edwin S., 51
Chittenden, W. Z., 360
Chouteau, Pierre, 224, 376
Christie, Andrew, 55
Christie, Harvey L., 359
Church, Alonzo C., 173, 365
Claiborn, Governor Jackson, 4
Clardy, Martin L., 325
Clark, Champ, 449
Clark, Charles, 325
Clark, Charles McL., 351
Clark, George Bogers Han­
cock, 445
Clark, Jefferson Kearny, 445
Clark, John M., 432
Clark, M. Lewis, 60
Clark, Merriwether Lewis,
Clark, General William, 442
Clarke, C. S., 365
Clarks, The, 17, 34

Cabannes, The, 34
Calcott, Charles A., 424
Caldwell, J. F., 60
Calhoun, David R., 248
Calhoun, Gouvemeur, 358
Campbell, B. W., 433
Campbell, Edward T., 367
Campbell, James, 93, 117, 382
Campbell, Robert, 447
Cannon, Joseph B., 227
Capen, Sam D., 347, 377
Carew, J. T., 433


I nd ex
Clarkson, W. Palmer, 352
Claxton, Kate, 482, 483
Clemens, Samuel M., “Mark
Twain,” 412
Cleveland, Grover, 45, 84
Clifford, Alfred, 374
Clifford, P. J., 191, 208
Clow, William E., 432
Cobb, C. W. S., 260, 350
Cochran, Alexander G., 353
Cochran, Charles F., 408
Cochran, Miss Ella, 224
Coffey, Rev. James T., 224
Cofran, John W. G., 432
Cole, Amedee B., 357
Coleman, N. J., 56
Colemans, The, 34
Collins, Allen H., 18
Collins, J. B., 18
Collins, Patrick S., 424
Collins, Thomas R., 325
Colnon, Redmond S., 260, 370
Combs, Ford, 98, 417
Compton, William R., 325, 386
Conduitt, Allen, 83
Connett, W. C., 110, 357
Conover, Charles H., 432
Conrades, Edwin H., 351
Cook, Isaac T., 376
Cooke, Lyttleton, 82
Corkery, John F., 360
Corliss, John B., 227
Cottrill, George H., 361
Cowdery, E. G., 433
Cox, Samuel S., 19
Coyle, P. W., 348
Crabtree, Charlotte (Lotta),
Crafton, J. D., 393
Crammer, C. J., 262
Crawford, G. Lacey, 368
Crawford, Hanford, 368, 433
Creecy, Edward P., 489
Crolieus, William C., 423
Crone, C. C., 224
Cronin, James H., 115, 116,
132, 161
Crunden, Frank P., 361
Crunden, Fred F., 224
Cuendet, Eugene R., 346
Cumner, Harry W., 432
Cupples, Samuel, 362
Curby, C. E., 373

Cutcheon, F. W. M., 83
Cutler, Charles L., 432
Daley, C. L., 325
Dameron, Edward, 18
Dana, J. D., 173
Darling, C. H., 426
Davenport, Fanny, 483
David, Samuel C., 366
Davidson, A. J., 356
Davis, Dwight F., 184, 218,
Davis, George M., 82
Davis, H. N., 93, 248, 278,
325, 382
Davis, John D., 221, 352, 382
Davis, John T., 57, 93, 346
Davis, Nathaniel Henchman,
Dawson, James, 208
DeBar, Ben, 481
DeBar, Mrs. Ben, 481
Delafield, Wallace, 352
Dennison, Charles S., 432
Denny, Charles J., 132
Denny, Charles F., 116
Devereux, Harry H., 425
Devoy, Edward, 367
DeWitt, Abraham, 9
Dickmann, Joseph F., 191
Dickson, Joseph, Jr., 372
Dieckman, John H., 117
Dierkes, Bernard J., 95, 138,
Dillard, Paul, 386
Dings, Fred, 56
Doan, George P., 356
Dodd, S. M., 366
Donk, E. C., 325
Dorsett, Walter H., 55
Douglas, Alexander, 349
Douglas, A. W., 348
Douglas, Stephen A., 10, 12
Douglas, Walter B., 103
Downs, M. L., 421
Doyne, M. H., 295
Dozier, L. D., 117, 365, 433,
Druhe, William H., 117, 248
Dryden, Walter, 173
Duke, R. T. W., 408
Dula, R. B., 95
Duncan, James R. F., 18


I ndex
Finch, R. H., 425
Finlay, A. M., 348
Fining, J. N., 132
Finn, William, 393
Fischel, Dr. W. E., 354
Fischel, Mrs. W. E., 224
Fisher, D. D., 371
Fitzgerald, John, 369
FitzGibbon, P. R., 95, 207
Fitzsimmons, Arthur J., 325
Fitzsimmons, John T., 370
Flad, Edward, 117, 373
Flannigan, Moses, 482
Flynn, William J., 98, 369
Fobes, Allen C., 425
Fogarty, Edward, 425
Folk, Joseph W., 188, 408
Fontana, John R., 116, 132,
Ford, James L., 349
Forgan, James B., 385
Forman, Hamilton A., 154
Forrest, Edwin, 483
Forster, Dr. O. E., 362
Fowler, John, 178
Fowler, Mrs. John, 178
Francis, David R., 56, 75, 79,
97, 101, 117, 166, 200, 226,
248, 345, 382, 433, 443, 489
Francis, Mrs. David R., 491
Francis, David R., Jr., 362
Francis, J. D. P., 362
Francis, Talton T., 351
Francis, T. E., 393, 397
Francis, T. H., 372
Franciscus, James M., 95,
207, 366
Frank, Nathan, 117, 246
Franklin, Dr. and Mrs. E. C.,
Frauenthal, B. W., 393
French, Nath., 82
Frenzel, John P., 83
Frost, Graham, 34, 87
Frosts, The, 17
Fuller, William A., 432
Fullerton, S. H., 374
Funkhouser, Dr. Robert M.,
Funsch, Oliver F., 116
Fusz, Louis, 95

Duncan, General Joseph, 11,

Dunlap, Colonel James, 12
Durant, George F., 373
Durrell, Charles W., 433
Dwight, R. Henry W., 432
Dye, John T., 83
Dyer, Colonel D. B., 41
Dyer, Judge D. P., 391
Dyer, Ezra Hunt, 348
Eads, James B., 5
Eads, John, 9
Eames, William S., 217
Echels, James H., 83
Edwards, B. F., 375
Edwards, George L., 365
Edwards, Waller, 98
Egan, Thomas P., 433
Ehlermann, Charles, 360
Eiseman, F. B., 437
Einstein, A. C., 325
Elbrecht, Dr. Oscar H., 208
Elliot, Howard, 117
Emerson, Billy, 482
Emmett, Joe, 483
Enders, William, 361
Estes, Frank M., 408
Evans, D. G., 325
Evans, J. D., 393
Evans, Lynden, 83
Evans, Admiral Robley D.,
Evans, W. F., 366
Everett, Dr. William, 88
Ewing, A. B., 56
Ewing, Charles A., 83
Fairfield, Joseph, 9
Fancher, E. R., 384
Fardwell, Harry R., 207, 357
Faris, C. B., 394
Farwell, John V., Jr., 432
Faulkner, Henry A., 116, 132
Fauntleroy, C. H., 408
Faust, Edward A., 365
Faust, Tony, 481
Fenley, Oscar, 385
Ferguson, Forrest, 354
Ferris, Franklin, 363
Fielding, Oliver, 93
Filley, Chauncey I., 325
Filley, John D., 375
Filsinger, Ernest B., 358

Gaiennie, Frank, 358
Galbreath, G. W., 364


I nd ex
Gallagher, M. J., 407
Gallenkamp, Charles F., 373
Gamble, David B., 433
Gambles, The, 34
Gannon, F. G., 393
Gardner, Frederick D., 354,
Gardner, William A., 370
Garfield, James A., 19
Gameau, Pierre A., 373
Garrells, G. W., 326
Garrett, Pat, 53
Garrison, D. E., 371
Gaus, Charles H., 424
Gazzolo, Andrew, Jr., 116,
132, 259
Gehner, August, 353
Geier, Frederic A., 433
Geraghty, Charles L., 117,132
Gibson, Charles E., 95, 116
Gill, M. J., 98
Giraldin, William A., 326
Glaser, Morris, 218
Glasgows, The, 17, 34
Glennon, Most Rev. John J.,
Glidden, Charles J., 419
Goddard, Warren, 349
Goepper, Edward, 433
Golterman, Guy, 98
Goltra, Edward F., 68, 173,
248, 347, 382, 450, 452
Goodall, John B., 373
Goodrich, Adam A., 83
Goshom, Edwin C., 433
Graham, Joseph A., 201
Grahams, The, 34
Grant, U. S., 21
Gratz, Benjamin, 326
Gray, William, 350
Green, Charles, 56
Green, James A., 433
Green, James, 56
Gregg, Cecil D., 374
Gregg, Norris B., 349
Gregory, George, 12
Griesedieck, Joseph, 326
Grimm, J. Hugo, 360
Grimsley, Thurston, 55, 56
Grossman, E. M., 361, 455
Groves, Albert B., 217, 373
Guion, E. E., 98
Gustafson, Lewis, 437
Guy, William E., 349

Haarstick, Henry C., 375
Haarstick, W. T., 117
Hackett, George, 9
Hagerman, James, 248, 326
Hagerman, James, Jr., 207,
326, 369
Haile, C., 326
Haldeman, W. B., 82
Haley, Thomas P., Jr., 370
Hammar, F. V., 364
Hammar, L. F., Jr., 95
Hannah, Martin, 55
Hannigan, J. J., 116
Hardin, C. B., 393
Hardin, John J., 12
Hargadines, The, 17, 34
Harnett, John, 55
Harneys, The, 17, 34
Harper, Andrew, 55, 56
Harris, Frank H., 408
Harris, J. W., 386
Harrison, Carter H., 424
Harrison, John A., 117
Harrison, John W., 51
Harrison, William H., 10
Harrity, William F., 78
Hart, Henry C., 55, 56
Hart, Stephen, 362
Haslam, Lewis S., 347
Hassett, George L., 353
Hauschulte, William H., 370
Hawes, Harry B., 97, 117,
189, 248, 362, 405, 416
Hawkins, C. L., 393
Hay, Lyman T., 326
Hayes, Joseph M., 349
Hays, Frank P., 361
Hays, W. B., 424
Hayward, Miss Florence, 224
Hazen, Allen, 161
Hebard, Alfred P., 346
Holmes, Jesse H., 372
Hough, Warwick M., 372
Hennings, Thomas C., 97,101,
Henry, Alfred W., 24
Henry, John, 7
Henry, Frank R., 24
Henry, Isabella Bowman, 5
Henry, Watson, 7
Henry, William D., 24
Hermann, Edward A., 117
Hertel, John M., 117
Hidden, Edward, 359


Jones, C. Norman, 351
Jones, Frank J., 433
Jones, Robert McK., 355, 382,
Jourdon, Morton, 358
Joy, Charles F., 349
Judson, F. N., 87, 93, 97, 248,
Jump, James W., 363

Hill, David Jayne, 400
Hill, Ewing, 366
Hill, Walker, 362, 377, 382,
385, 433, 437
Hiller, Frank A. J., 98
Hilton, A., 376
Hine, G. M., 422
Hitchcock, George C., 326
Hoblit, Janies T., 83
Hodgdon, William, 357
Hodges, W. R., 116, 354
Hodgman, Mrs. M. M., 14
Hofman, Mrs. May W., 110
Hoffman, George E., 364
Hoffmann, August, 116, 132
Hogan, F., 82
Hopkins, John P., 83
Holding, S. H., 83
Holman, C. L., 355
Hornsby, Joseph L., 95, 116,
151, 161, 199, 205, 259, 361
Horton, William M., 116
Houston, David F., 381, 449
How, J. Finney, 79
Howard, Clarence H., 376
Howard, James J., 116
Howard, Thomas, 51
Hughes, George W., 56
Hunt, Charles L., 56
Hunt, Washington, 1
Hunts, The, 17
Hutchinson, Charles L., 432
Huttig, Charles H., 248, 345,
Huttig, Mrs. Charles H., 427
Hyland, Dr. R. F., 393

Kains, Archibald, 384
Kalb, G. O., 56
Karbe, Otto F., 116
Kavanaugh, W. K., 359
Kean, Charles, 483
Keane, Ed, 370
Kearney, J. W., 352
Kehoe, C. J., 371
Kellogg, Clara Louise, 483
Kelly, Charles F., 116
Kennard, S. M., 367, 377
Kent, Henry T., 82, 87, 93,
224, 355
Kerens, R. C., 371
Kessler, George E., 221, 234
Keyes, Sylvester P., 365
Keyser, Henry, 4
Kimballs, The, 34
King, Goodman, 372
Kingsland, L. D., 117
Kinney, Thomas E., 115, 116
Kinsella, W. J., 345
Kirkwood, James P., 164
Kleiber, Frank M., 248, 417
Klein, Jacob, 354
Klute, John H., 116
Knapp, Charles W., 80, 117,
173, 248, 363, 433
Knapp, Homer P., 173, 260,
361, 433
Knight, Erastus C., 424
Knight, Harry F., 354
Knott, Proctor, 19
Knott, Richard W., 82
Knox, Charles Gordon, 433
Koeln, Edmond, 116
Kotany, M., 354
Krauthoff, L. C., 82
Kreismann, F. H., 141, 277,
Krotzenberger, C., 348
Krum, Chester H., 88

Irving, Henry, 483
Ittner, W. B., 224
Ives, Halsey C., 372
Jaffray, C. T., 385
January, Thomas J., 55, 56
Jefferson, Joseph, 483
Jenks, William C., 55
Johns, George S., 117, 345
Johnson, Christopher, 95
Johnson, C. Porter, 352
Johnson, J. Y., 393
Johnson, Tom L., 423
Johnston, McArthur, 95
Johnston, Robert, 367
Jones, Breckinridge, 117, 366,
382, 390


I ndex
Lackey, W. G., 369
Lackland, C. K., 352
Lake, Fred C., 367
Lambert, A. B., 368, 425
Lane, William Carr, 226
Langdon, Perin, 433
Langenberg, H. F., 357
Lansing, Robert, 458
Lawler, Daniel W., 83
Lawnin, L. D., 173
Lawrence, William B., 432
Laws, Harry L., 433
Layman, Earl, 178
Lehmann, Frederick W., 82,
87, 117, 173, 201, 218, 248,
Lehmann, Frederick W., Jr.,
Lewis, J. A., 375, 377, 441
Lewis, Joseph W., 364
Lewis, Robert D., 367
Lee, Fitzhugh, 408
Lee, John A., 408
Lee, John F., 218, 355, 437
Lee, William H., 362, 382,
Leighton, George B., 221
Lemp, William J., Jr., 326,
Lesser, Julius, 248
Levy, Jefferson M., 406
Liegerson, John, 55
Lindsay, R. B., 393
Lindsay, William, 227
Lindsays, The, 17, 34
Lindsley, Guy, 483
Linn, Talfourd P., 83
Lionberger, Isaac H., 18, 93,
97, 355, 447
Little, William C., 355
Lockwood, R. J., 393
Lockwood, William M., 56
Lodge, William, 433
Log Cabin Club, The, 487
Logan, John A., 19
Lonsdale, John C., 386
Lotta (Miss Crabtree), 481,
Love, Edward K., 365
Lucases, The, 17, 34
Lyerly, Charles A., 385

McAdams, Clark, 373
McAdoo, William G., 381, 453
McCaffery, James, 98
McCall, Mrs. Louis M., 224
McChesney, W. S., Jr., 262,
McClelland, George H., 424
McCluney, J. H., 357
McCluney, J. H., Jr., 360
McCombs, William F., 452
McConkey, James G., 108,
117, 206, 369, 382, 385, 453
McCord, Joseph A., 384
McCormick, Cyrus H., 432
McCreery, Wayman, 91, 483,
McCulloch, Robert, 353
McCullough, John, 483
McDonald, W. L., 358
McDougal, James B., 384
McGrew, George S., 359
McHenry, Estill, 79
McKeen, Benj. F., 357
McKellops, H. S., Jr., 18
McKittrick, Hugh, 260, 346
McLaren, C. J., 18
McLeod, N. W., 248, 371, 382
McManus, George, 483
McMillan, C. H., 374
McMillan, N. A., 375
McMillan, William, 71
McNair, Lilburn G., 365
McPheeters, Thomas S., 93,
97, 355
McRoberts, James G., 69
Maffitt, C. C., 56, 60, 75, 479,
Maffitt, William, 218, 351
Magill, E. E., 370
Mallinckrodt, Edward, 367
Mandell, William D., 432
Mansur, Alvah, 56, 57
Markham, George D., 95, 116,
Markham, Pauline, 483
“Mark Twain,” 157
Marshall, Thomas R., 451
Martin, Euclid, 83
Martin, John C., 386
Martin, L. M., 82
Martin, Robert, 55
Martin, Stephen A., 140
Martin, William McC., 383,
384, 385, 388

MacFarland, Henry J., 433
Mack, Norman E., 450


Mauran, John Lawrence, 216,
Maxwell, Joseph, 183
Maxwell, Lawrence, Jr., 433
Maxwell, W. C., 359
Maybury, William C., 424
Meacham, D. B., 433
Mellier, K. D., 357
Meriwether, Lee, 461
Meyer, Theo. F., 356
Meysenburg, Emil A., 132
Michael, Elias, 260, 377
Middleton, C. H., 350
Middleton, J. A., 360
Miller, Joseph Gilman, 356
Miller, Henry, 345
Millspaugh, Rt. Rev. Frank,
Miltenberger, M. B., 376
Minnis, J. L., 357
Minot, Laurence, 432
Miodzianowski, E., 12
Mitchell, Maggie, 483
Mooney, C. P. J., 386
Mooney, James E., 433
Moore, Robert, 95, 173, 260,
Moran, Thomas A., 83
Morgan, George H., 357
Morgan, J. P., 385
Morgan, William E., 366
Morril, Charles H., 346
Morrill, J. L., 79
Morris, Clara, 483
Morris, George W., 408
Morris, W. C., 350
Morissey, John, 19
Morron, John R., 433
Morton, Isaac M., 224
Morton, Joseph, 9
Morton, Joy, 433
Moynihan, Walter R., 393
Mudd, Dr. H. G., 371
Murrell, Edward E., 116
Muschamp, J. J., 393

Nicolaus, Henry, 351
Niedringhaus, George W., 351
Niedringhaus, Thomas K., 326
Niehaus, Charles Henry, 488
Niemann, Gustave W., 354
Nixon, W. C., 326
Nolker, William F., 56
Nolker, W. H., 369
Noll, Henry M., 366
Noonan, E. A., 61
Noonan, E. A., Jr., 97, 101
Norvell, Saunders, 356
Noyes, La Verne W., 433
Nugent, D. C., 224, 351, 433
O’Brien, John J., 95, 207, 210,
O’Brien, M., 393
O’Fallon, Clarence, 18
O’Fallon, John, 55
O’Fallons, The, 17, 34
O’Reilly, Andrew J., 260
Oberbeck, G. H., 116
Odell, B. B., 421
Omwake, John, 433
Orr, Edward S., 348
Otis, Ethelinda, 1
Otto, Carl, 373
Palmer, John M., 84
Pantaleoni, Guido, 369
Paramore, F. W., 374
Parker, D. T., 38
Parker, George W., 376, 461
Parker, H. L., 349
Parker, J. W., 38, 50, 51
Parkinson, James, 9
Parsons, Charles, 57, 61
Parsons, Samuel, Jr., 233
Partridge, George H., 83
Patti, Adelina, 483
Pattison, Mrs. E. M., 224
Pauley, J. J., 248
Pennington, E. J., 62
Percy, Leroy, 385
Perez, Mme., 407
Perkins, Albert T., 260, 346,
393, 397
Perry, J. W., 326
Perry, Lewis, 358
Peters, H. W., 361
Pfeffle, Henry, 116
Phillips, Hiram, 95, 117, 137,

Nagel, Charles, 117, 382
Nahm, Max B., 386
Neilson, Adelaide, 483
Neville, George J., 98
Newell, James P., 95, 116
Nicholls, Charles C., 360
Niccolls, Rev. S. J., 201, 345
Nickerson, John, 365


I n d ex
Pickens, Samuel C., 83
Pierce, Alexander B., 173
Pierce, P. R., 327
Pierce, H. Clay, 79
Pierce, Lawrence B., 140, 359
Pilcher, John E., 352, 377
Pitzman, Julius, 221, 372, 437
Player, James Y., 95,144,200,
210, 300, 359
Plunkett, W. B., 385
Pollard, William Jefferson, 98
Pope, Charles, 481
Porter, General Pleasant, 443
Post, Augustus, 423
Potter, Henry S., 375
Potts, David, 7
Powell, Thomas C., 356
Prather, Col. Griff., 78
Pratt, Bernard, 4
Preetorius, Edward L., 373
Prentiss, Henning W., 408
Priest, H. S., 327
Prescott, J. A., 425

Rochambeau de, Count and
Countess, 412
Roche, James J., 393
Rolfes, Henry G., 358
Roosevelt, Miss Alice, 474
Roosevelt, Theodore, 53, 431,
Roosevelt, Mrs. Theodore, 473,
Roth, George A., 362
Roth, J. H., 225
Roudebush, A. H., 206, 356
Rowe, W. S., 385, 433
Rowse, E. C., 225
Rue, L. L., 385
Ruf, Frank A., 327
Rule, A. O., 373
Rumbold, Charlotte, 186
Rumsey, L. M., 56, 57
Runge, Dr. E. C., 208, 225
Russell, Ernest John, 184
Russell, Joseph B., 432
Russell, Lillian, 483
Rutledge, Thomas E., 364
Ryan, O’Neil, 218, 354
Ryerson, Martin A., 433

Ramsey, J. P., 349
Randolph, Tom, 352, 382
Ranken, David, Jr., 354, 435
Ranken, Robert, 166
Rankin, McKee, 482
Rathbun, S. A., 425
Rawn, I. G., 327
Raymond, John T., 483
Reed, James A., 408
Reedy, William Marion, 101,
117, 224, 464
Reiss, Paul C.f 117,132
Renfrew, John, 55
Reynolds, John, 11, 12
Reynolds, Matthew G., 173
Rhoads, Charles J., 384
Rice, Frank R., 349
Rice, Harry L., 432
Richards, Oliver F., 363
Richardson, Allen P., 173
Richmond, Manley G., 369
Ridgley, Franklin L., 117,
175, 207, 221, 233, 368, 427
Ridgley, Mrs. Franklin L.,
Rieloff, Dr., 399
Robbins, Henry S., 83
Robert, Edward S., 248, 350
Roberts, John C., 353
Robyn, A. G., 327, 483

St. Louis Club, The, 486
St. Louis Country Club, The,
Sager, Arthur N., 348
Sale, M. M., 348
Samuel, W. P., 441
Sanderson, H. S., 356
Sappington, John, 55
Saunders, W. F., 173, 370,
Sawyer, Charles M., 384
Sayers, Henry, 358
Scanlan, Philip C., 177, 181,
207, 359, 478
Scarritt, Charles H., 374
Schafly, August, 353
Scharff, Edward E., 357
Schmidlapp, J. G.f 433
Schnell, Louis, 116,132
Schnurmacher, B., 117, 206
Schroers, John, 117, 327
Scott, Henry C., 352, 433
Schwedtman, Fred C., 347
Scullin, James, 95
Scullin, John, 117, 372
Seay, George, J., 384, 385
Senseney, E. M., 425


Senter, Charles P., 347
Shapleigh, A. L., 117, 345,
382, 437
Shapleigh, Richard W., 260,
Sharon, E. M., 82
Sheehan, Jeremiah, 95, 116,
Shelby, William R., 83
Shepley, J. F., 327
Shields, George H., 370
Shoenberg, M., 376
Short, P., 376, 483
Shultz, J. A. J., 173, 350
Simons, H. H., 18
Simmons, E. C., 98, 345
Simmons, E. H., 371
Simmons, George W., 363
Simmons, W. D., 347
Singer, Richard, 225
Singleton, Seth, 208
Skinker, Thomas K., 248, 327
Smith, Edgar, 483
Smith, Elong G., 413
Smith, D. S. H., 173, 327
Smith, Miss Gladys Bryan,
Smith, J. Herndon, 375
Smith, James E., 173, 208,
248, 345, 377, 382, 426
Smith, Mrs. James E., 426
Smith, Luther Ely, 359
Smith, Mark, 481
Smith, R. D., 173, 369
Smith, Walter W., 385
Smith, William Beaumont,
Smythe, W. G., 483
Snodgrass, Dr. C. A., 208
Soldan, L. Louis, 225
Sothern, E. A., 483
Spangler, R. E., 83
Spaulding, Charles R., 482
Spencer, E. J., 225, 353, 489
Spencer, Dr. H. N., 347
Spencer, Selden P., 364
Spiegelthalter, Joseph, Jr., 95,
116, 132
Stacy, Mathew, 9
Stanard, W. K., 353
Stannard, Sam B., 116
Stanze, Frank M., 116
Steedman, George F., 327
Steigers, W. C., 376

Stevens, Walter B., 117, 171,
368, 434
Stewart, Alfonso Chase, 353
Stewart, Clarence M., 388
Stickney, William A., 371
Stix, Charles A., 361
Stock, Philip, 327
Stockton, R. H., 327, 377
Stone, Everett E., 424
Stone, William J., 408. 418,
Strauss, R. J., 117
Strawn, Jacob, 12
Streett, J. Clark, 185, 363,
Streett, J. D., 355
Strong, Benjamin, Jr., 384,
Sweeney, John P., 116
Sweet, A. E., 360
Swift, Edward F., 433
Swingley, Charles E., 208,
Swinney, E. F., 385
Swinney, John T., 132
Switzer, E. M., 79
Swope, Gerard, 182
Sullivan, A. W., 376
Sullivan, Roger C., 450
Taft, William H., 431
Taggart, Thomas, 450
Tansey, George J., 97, 101,
Taussig, Benj. J., 141, 356
Taussig, James, 227
Taussig, Dr. William, 278,
Tawney, James A., 227
Taylor, Daniel G., 97, 173,
201, 364
Taylor, D. G., 56
Taylor, Edward D., 12
Taylor, Isaac S., 327
Taylor, Walter C., 352
Taylor, W. W., 433
Terry, Albert T., 365
Terry, Ellen, 483
Thacher, Arthur, 374
Thomas, Augustus, 483
Thomas, John R., 351
Thomas, William, 12
Thompson, Collin, 362, 433
Thompson, Lydia, 483


I nd ex
Thompson, William B., 346
Thompson, William H., 117,
Thomson, Elihu, 432
Thomson, William H., 357
Thome, Charles H., 433
Thurston, James M., 227
Tiffany, Dexter, 367
Tiffany, George S., 346
Tilton, E. D., 327
Todd, Charles, 56
Travilla, James C., 208, 356
Trelease, William, 225
Troll, Charles, 116
Troy, E. J., 360
Troy, William E., 327
Tumulty, Joseph, 458
Tune, Lewis T., 367
Tupper, T. C., 386
Turner, Henry S., 56, 351
Turner, J. W., 56
Turner, Milton, 20
Turner, O. H., 441
Turner, W. P. H., 351
Turners, The, 17, 34

Walker, G. Herbert, 248, 348
Walker, J. S., 362
Wall, Edward E., 171
Walsh, Julius S., 56, 366, 382
Walsh, Julius S., Jr. ,327
Ward, F. E., 374
Warder, R. H., 233
Ware, Mrs. W. E., 225
Warner, H. A., 422
Warrington, John W., 433
Watermans, The, 34
Waterworth, James A., 199,
Watts, F. O., 382, 385
Watts, M. F., 356
Wear, John Holliday, 347
Weaver, John, 424, 426
Wells, Erastus, 1, 478
Wells, Erastus, 173, 362, 382
Wells, Jane Howard, 491
Wells, Lloyd P., 173, 363, 382
Wells, Oscar, 384
Wells, Otis, 1
Wells, Mrs. Rolla, 474, 491
Wells, W. B., 361
Wenneker, Charles F., 358
Werner, Louis, 375
Werner, Percy, 355
Wertheimer, J. J., 372
West, Samuel H., 365
West, Thomas H., 355, 382
Westhus, Edward, 407
Wetmore, M. C., 348
Whitaker, Edwards, 375, 382
White, Hugh L., 10
Whitelaw, Charles W., 372
Whitelaw, Oscar L., 173, 178,
225, 363, 433
Whitelaw, Robert H., 259, 361
Whiteside, John D., 12
Whitman, William, 432
Whittaker, Francis, 4
Whittemore, F. Churchill,
Whyte, Joseph P., 117, 180,
207, 233, 357, 477
Wickhams, The, 17
Wiegand, George, 372
Wilkinson, John C., 377
Wilkinson, John P., 9
Williams, Benezzette, 161
Williams, Charles P., 206,
Williams, John B., 116

Udell, C. E., 374
University Club, The, 486
Usher, Ellis B., 83
Utterback, J. C., 386
Valle, Edgar J., 18
Valliant, F. W., 207
Van Blarcom, J. C., 79
Van Cleave, J. W., 327
Van Lennep, Miss Rebecca
Reaves, 426
Van Lennep, Dr. William B.,
404, 426
Van Riper, J. C., 364, 382
Van Winkle, J. Q., 360
Varrelmann, Charles, 117,
137, 207, 221, 467
Vaughn, Fred W., 83
Veiled Prophet, The, 486
Vilas, William F., 83
Vollmer, Henry, 82
Von Leightner, Captain, 432
Von MayhofF, Mme. Carl, 407
Wade, Festus J., 362, 382
Wainright, Ellis, 56
Walbridge, C. P., 117, 201,
345, 377


Williams, Ollie, 55
Williamson, C. H., 83
Wilson, Eugene S., 184
Wilson, George W., 327
Wilson, Isabella, 7
Wilson, James H., 443
Wilson, John R., 83
Wilson, Robert, 7
Wilson, Walter H., 433
Wilson, Woodrow, 448, 457,
Windmiller, C. A., 117
Wing, Daniel G., 385
Wisner, George Y., 161
Withnell, John, 55, 56
Witte, F. A., 353
Witte, Otto H., 327
Woerheide, A. A. B., 225
Woerner, William F., 194,
206, 356
Wold, Theodore, 384
Wolf, Caspar, 208
Wood, Fernando, 19
Wood, John M., 248
Wood, Joseph, 263

Woodward, Walter B., 370
Worthington, William, 433
Wright, George M., 173, 357,
426, 433
Wright, Mrs. George M., 426
Wright, John G., 432
Wright, Miss Mary M., 426
Wright, Thomas, 361
Wulsin, Lucien, 433
Wyatt, John, 9
Wyman, Frank, 363, 489
Wyman, Isabel, 491
Yates, Richard, 12
Yeiser, H. C., 433
York, F. B., 38
Young, R. A., 389
Young, Thomas C., 372
Zachritz, Fred G., 116, 184,
Zeibig, Fred G., 184, 368
Ziegenhein, Henry, 226
Ziegler, Sam A., 386

W illiam J . M cC ar th y . P rinter
St . L ouis . M o .