About the Book

We are re-publishing this book that was first published 100 years ago. The history covers the period from the earliest settlers in the region, up through the Civil War and into the first decade of the 20th Century. It documents the towns, villages and neighborhoods, schools, churches, cemeteries, social societies, clubs, agriculture, government and politics, medical facilities, businesses, banks, transportation and amusements of the period, providing abundant facts, figures and the names of thousands of the individuals active in all these endeavors.

Individual chapters discuss the five townships that make up the county, as well as chapters devoted specifically to Clayton, University City, Wellston, Bridgeton, Ferguson, Florissant, Maplewood, Webster Groves, Kirkwood, Creve Coeur and Valley Park and lots more.

Steam and street railways and the main roads through the County are discussed and shown on a map. There are a number of photographs of landmarks and other buildings we recognize today. A whole chapter is devoted to the separation of the City of St. Louis from the County in 1875.

The book is 560 pages in length, and includes an added feature not found in the original: an index of names and places that is 50+ pages, with over 5,000 names of people, places and organizations. This index represents a significant improvement over the original, in that it makes it very easy for readers with ancestors in the County 100 years ago to look them up, or for those in communities and organizations that were active here to find reference to them.

The St. Louis metropolitan area was the fourth largest in the US in the year 1911, so this book really provides an illustrative description of suburban America 100 years ago. The original book is now available in only in the reference collections at local libraries and historical societies.

This book is that it adds richness to living in St. Louis County by helping readers understand what the County was like when it was little more than a collection of a dozen or so towns connected by rail and rough roads, compared with to the bustling settled community we know today. There has been quite a lot written about the history of the City of St. Louis and of Missouri, but not about St. Louis County, where most people in the region now live. We believe that many people living in the County would have interest in knowing how our communities evolved, and who the pioneers were that so many our streets, towns and other places are named for.

We believe that the centennial of the book’s original publication gives it special relevance this year. It seems that every time you pick up the book and read a chapter you come away with an appreciation of life here 100 years ago, or a little nugget of information that has relevance to today. One fact discovered in it is that St. Louis County was first organized on October 1, 1812. This means that the year 2012 will mark the 200th anniversary of the organization of the County.

Todd Abrams, Publisher
September, 2011