To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis, Tim O'Neil is reviewing the area's history.
The meeting of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers drew the adventurers who settled St. Louis. The river still draws people and commerce.
The matriarch of St. Louis was a shrewd housekeeper who managed a large family and saw her children's marriages advance the family business holdings. She died at 81.
The city was founded for the fur trade and outgrew it only after fur wealth had helped establish its early industrial might.
European schemes during the war centered on St. Louis.
During Spanish rule of St. Louis, townfolk remained French by blood and inclination. Spanish commanders were often frustrated by the carefree ways of the residents.
St. Louis becomes part of the United States in what has become known as the "three flags" ceremony, representing Spain, France and America.
The Osage survived and flourished doing business with the original settlers of St. Louis, but ceded their land shortly after the U.S. government took over.
Early editions offer a sense of life and the travails of newspapering in the early 19th Century.
In early 1800s, American newcomers to St. Louis disputed earlier colonial land grants, with occasionally bloody consequences.
From one small wooden church in 1800, St. Louis grew to have 66 houses of worship six decades later.
As the city boomed before the Civil War, many of today's suburbs were still small hamlets or simply farmland.
Disease killed 6 percent of the city's population and a fire that started on the landing destroyed 15 blocks that disastrous year.
The number of slaves dwindled before the Civil War, but powerful slaveholding families assured slavery's survival.
The case wasn't unique when filed, but it took a long, twisted path to national importance.
In the years before the Civil War, waves of immigrants arrived from Europe. Many of the more established St. Louisans didn't like it.
The long-promoted transcontinental eventually went through Chicago, but St. Louis interests pushed hard to be a railroad center.
German immigrants, Yankee newcomers and quick action by Union leaders narrowly keep St. Louis and Missouri out of the Confederacy.
St. Louis was a strategic rail hub and supply base that Lincoln desperately needed to hold.
Radical Republicans tried to stamp out anything and anyone secessionist.
Despite strenuous efforts by blacks and women to lobby Missouri for the right to vote, it took federal constitutional amendments to win the ballot.
St. Louis was locked in rivalry with upstart Chicago after the Civil War.
It was a busy few years even for a raucously growing city in the Gilded Age. See how those years changed St. Louis forever.
- By Tim O’Neil St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- 2 min to read
Riding upon floats bought from Mardi Gras in New Orleans, members rolled their first parade on Oct. 8, 1878. It was a blunt assertion of social hierarchy.
A tornado known to history as the Great Cyclone killed 255 people in St. Louis and East St. Louis. Three weeks later, the city hosted a Republican National Convention.
About 2,500 men of the upper and professional classes formed a posse to keep the streetcars moving.
There were an estimated 50,000 bicycles and fewer than 2,000 cars in St. Louis during the dawn of the 20th Century, when the city reached its highest rank among top American cities.
City had to overcome brown silt in the water, other obstacles
Sick of tolls, citizens rallied around "free bridge" across the river.
Women seeking the vote tried various methods to get it before constitutional amendment prevailed.
A Congressional committee held hearings on the riot and blamed manipulative industrialists, a corrupt city government and the "savagery" of the white mob on July 2, 1917.
The worst case was the hanging murder of Robert Paul Prager in Collinsville. Many German-Americans served in the American army during the Great War.
The Cardinals would win 10 more World Series, but the first was in 1926 against the New York Yankees in seven games.
The era was known for privation and long lines — lines to find jobs, obtain relief and get warm meals.
A lawyer who battled housing segregation also persuades City Hall to build a new hospital for blacks in the Ville neighborhood.
The city finally banned high-polluting but cheap coal from southern Illinois mines, sparking howls of outrage from miners and coal dealers.
For first peacetime draft, St. Louisans registered at neighborhood polling places.
From grim early months to eventual victory, St. Louisans coped, and chipped in for the war effort.
To provide new housing after World War II, planners adopted the "think big" concepts that had won the war.
New highways and demand for housing feed growth.
Demand for good jobs at banks was keystone of modern Civil Rights efforts.
In the 1950s, the downtown skyline was tired and dingy, the riverfront an empty expanse of cleared ground.
27-year saga costs the state nearly $2 billion, moved thousands of students by bus across the city-county line and spurred growth of magnet schools in the city.
Factories, railroads and mills employed more than one-third of the St. Louis area's workforce after World War II. Now, the blue-collar payroll is barely eight percent.
The Mississippi River reached a record crest in April 1973. Only 20 years later, a bigger and longer-lasting flood brought even more water and forces changes in life along the river.
St. Louis soared into the aviation age with Teddy Roosevelt in 1910, Charles Lindbergh, Mercury and Gemini, and hot jet fighter planes.
It took effort for promoters of separating St. Louis city and county to achieve their goal, but trying to undo the big mistake has been even more daunting.
A year of birthday celebration comes to an end as city turns 251.
On Sept. 26, 1872, the city opened the Social Evil Hospital on Arsenal as part of its experiment with legal, regulated prostitution.
- By Tim O’Neil > 314-340-8132
St. Louis held down the death toll of the world's worst pandemic by closing public places, including churches and schools, and prohibiting dances and banquets.
St. Louis' biggest party ran for seven months and was such a success it even made money. But, no, the ice cream cone wasn't invented there.