present carrier system was then of course unknown.
Among the expedients resorted to the following (de-
scribed in a local journal) is rather unique :
" In 1835, Mr. R. D. Watson was a merchant on
Main Street, near Olive, and lived on his farm, about
seven miles from the court-house. He generally
came into town on Monday morning, bringing in with
him a little black pony, and this pony was his letter-
carrier. Any correspondence that might have ar-
rived for Mrs. Watson or any member of the family
was fastened to the pony's mane, and he was then
turned loose on Olive Street, and would make straight
tracks for home, where a servant would be waiting for
him. In those days there were but few houses be-
tween St. Louis University and Mrs. Watson's resi-
dence, on the western part of Watson's Fruit Hill
The question of expediting the mails between St.
Louis and Baltimore, in accordance with the suggestion
of the Baltimore Board of Trade, was the subject of
a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce on the 17th
of April, 1851. It was thought at the time that
there was no reason why the mail should not be re-
ceived in St. Louis in five days from Baltimore, and
that it could be done if the merchants of the city
would set themselves about it in earnest.
The first overland mail from California arrived in
St. Louis Oct. 10, 1858. and the occasion was cele-
brated by a demonstration in honor of Mr. Butterfield,
who had been mainly instrumental in putting it into
successful operation. A procession was formed in
front of the Planters' House about eight o'clock
in the evening, and, headed by the St. Louis Silver
Band in Arnot's band-wagon drawn by six horses,
marched to the Pacific Railroad depot. Mr. Butter-
field was received with an address on behalf of the
citizens and of the reception committee by Hon. John
F. Darby, to which he responded.
Upon leaving the depot the carriages proceeded to
their starting-point on Fourth Street, preceded by the
band-chariot, and passing around Pine, did not draw
up until they reached the post-office, when the mail
was turned over to the proper officials. Some extra
bags, containing the San Francisco Evening Bulletin,
the special edition of the Alta California, and other
papers, were retained and put out at the hotel. Here
they were opened, and the papers handed around to
the assembled spectators, who read them with great
apparent interest. The Alta California was most in
demand, as it displayed a fine special head of " By
the Overland Mail," and an imposing picture of a mail-
coach with four horses in full gallop. A journal,
showing the route taken by the overland mail on its
first trip from San Francisco to St. Louis, and also the
distances between the different points and the time
required for the performance of the trip, states that
at least four days' time was lost on this trip. The
record is as follows :
"Memorandum of distances between the stations on the over-
land route from San Francisco to St. Louis via Arizona, and of
the time made on the first trip : San Francisco to Clark's, 12;
Sun Water, 9; Redwood City, 9; Mountain View, 12; San
Jose", 11; Seventeen-Mile House, 17; Gilroy, 13; Pacheco
Pass, 18; St. Louis Ranch, 17; Lone Willow, 18; Temple's
Ranch, 13; Firebaugh's Ferry, 15; Fresno City, 19; Elk Horn
Spring, 22; Whitmote's Ferry, 17; Cross Creek, 12; Visalia,
12; Pack wood, 12; Tule River, 14: Fountain Spring, 14;
Mountain House, 12 ; Posey Creek, 15; Gordon's Ferry, 10;
Kern River Slough, 12; Sink of Tejon, 14; Fort Tejon, 15;
Reed's, 8; French John's, 14; Widow Smith's, 24; King's, 10;
Hart's, 12; San Fernando Mission, 8; Canuengo, 12; Los An-
geles, 12. Total, 462 miles. Time, 80 hours.
"Los Angeles to Monte, 13; San Jose", 12; Rancho del
Chino, 12; Tyinascal, 20; Laguna Grande, 10; Temecula, 21;
Tcjungo, 14; Oak Grove, 12; Warner's Ranch, 10; San Felipe,
16; Vallecito, 18; Palm Springs, 9 ; Carisso Creek, 9 ; Indian
Wells (without water), 32; Alamo Mucho (without water),
Cook's Wells (without water), 22; Pilot Knob, 18 ; Fort Yuma,
10. Total, 282 miles. Time, 72 hours and 20 minutes.
"Fort Yuma to Swiveler'g, 20 ; Filibuster Camp, 18; Peter-
man's, 19; Griswell's, 12; Flap-Jack Ranch, 15; Catman Flat,
20; Murderer's Grave, 20; Gila Ranch, 17; Maricopa Wells,
40 ; Socatoon, 22 ; Peeacho, 37 ; Pointer Mountain, 22 ; Tucson,
18. Total, 280 miles. Time, 71 hours and 45 minutes.
"Tucson to Seneca Springs (without water), 35; San Pedro
(without water), 24; Dragoon Springs (without water), 23;
Apache Pass (without water), 40; Stein's Peak (without
water), 35; Soldier's Farewell (without water), 42; Ojo de
Vaca, 14; Miembre's River, 16 ; Cook's Springs, 18; Peeacho
(without water), 52; Fort Fillmore, 14; Cottonwoods, 25;
Franklin, 22. Total, 360 miles. Time, 82 hours.
"Franklin to Waco Tanks, 30; Canodrus, 36; Pinery (with-
out water), 56; Delaware Springs, 24; Pope's Camp, 40; Emi-
grant Crossing, 65; Horse-Head Crossing, 55; Head of Concho
(without water), 70; Grape Creek, 22; Fort Chadbourne, 30.
Total, 428 miles. Time, 126 hours and 30 minutes.
HISTORY OF SAINT LOUIS.
" Fort Chadbourne to Station No. 1,12; Mountain Pass, 16;
Phantom Hill, 30; Smith's, 12; Clear Fork, 26; Francis', 13;
Fort Belknap, 22 ; Murphy's, 16 ; Jackboro', 19 ; Earhart's, 16 ;
Connolly's, 16; Davidson's, 24 ; Gainesville, 17 ; Diamond's, 15;
Sherman, 15; Colbert's Ferry (Red River), 13J. Total, 282J.
Time, 65 hours and 25 minutes.
"Colbert's to Fisher's, 13; Wail's, 14; Boggy Depot, 17;
Gary's, 17; Waddell's, 15; Blackburn's, 16 ; Pusley's, 17 ; Rid-
dell's, 17; Holloway's, 17; Trayon's, 17; Walker's, 17; Fort
Smith, 15. Total, 192 miles. Time, 38 hours.
"Fort Smith to Woosley's, 16; Brodie's, 12; Park's, 20;
Fayetteville, 15; 's Station, 12; Callaghan's, 22; Har-
burn's, 19; Conch's, 16; Smith's, 15; Ashmore, 20; Spring-
field, 13; Evan's, 9; Smith's, 11; Bolivar, Hi; Yost's, 16;
Quincy, 16; Bailey's, 10; Warsaw, 11; Burns', 15; Mulholland,
20; Shack elford's, 13; Tipton, 7. Total, 318^. Time, 48 hours
and 55 minutes. Tipton to St. Louis, 160 miles. Time, 11 hours
and 40 minutes.
San Francisco to Los Angeles 462 80
Los Angeles to Fort Yuma 282 72.20
Fort Yuma to Tucson 280 71.45
Tucson to Franklin 360 82
Franklin to Fort Chadbourne 428 126.30
Fort Chadbourne to Red River 282i 65.25
Red River to Fort Smith 192 38
Fort Smith to Tipton 318$ 48.55
Tipton to St. Louis 160 11.40
Total 2765 569.35
" 24 days, 20 hours, and 35 minutes ; 2 hours and 9 minutes
allowed for difference in longitude, leaves 24 days, 18 hours,
and 26 minutes."
The first effort to secure the erection of a building
for a post-office, custom-house, land-office, etc., was
made in 1838, a meeting being held at the court-house
November 12th of that year, for the purpose of taking
into consideration the propriety of memorializing
Congress on the subject. The meeting was organized
by calling William Renshaw to the chair, and appoint-
ing John H. Watson secretary, after which, Gen. N.
Ranney having explained its object, the following
resolutions were submitted by the secretary :
" Resolved, As the sense of this meeting, that a building for
a custom-house and other public offices is highly necessary for
the convenient transaction of the public business in this city,
and that such measures as may be deemed essential to the fur-
therance of this object should be prosecuted without delay.
"Resolved, That a committee, to consist of five members, be
appointed by the chair, for the purpose of drafting a memorial,
to be addressed to Congress in behalf of the object contemplated
in the foregoing resolution, and that an additional committee,
to consist of ten members, be appointed in like manner, whose
duty it shall be to present said memorial to the citizens for their
The resolutions were unanimously adopted, and the
chairman, pursuant to their provisions, announced the
appointment of the following committees : Committee
to prepare a memorial, Messrs. N. Ranney, William
Milburn, J. B. Bowlin, A. Wetmore, and A. J. Davis ;
committee to obtain signatures, Messrs. N. Ranney,
John B. Sarpy, James Clemens, Augustus Kerr, Ab-
ner Hood, H. L. Hoffman, S. S. Rayburn, Edward
Walsh, William Glasgow, C. Garvey, Robert Rankin,
and Edward Tracy.
The latter committee was increased to twelve mem-
bers, on motion of Maj. Wetmore that the chairman
and secretary be added to the last-named committee.
In 1851 it was proposed to locate the post-office
temporarily in the court-house buildings, and a local
journal, under date of May 6th, referring to the pro-
" In the course of the present year the construction of the
eastern wing of the court-house will be commenced and prob-
ably finished. We stated some time since that it was contem-
plated to erect two other buildings separate from the court-
house building, one of which is to stand on the northeast and
the other on the southeast corner of the lot, and both of which
are to be used as offices or court rooms, or by persons in the
employ of the county. It was designed that these buildings
should be thirty-two feet front by sixty feet on Chestnut, and
the same dimensions on Market Street. A proposition is now
before the county court which may cause a change of these
plans. Mr. Gamble, the postmaster, proposes that these ad-
ditional buildings shall be constructed of sufficient capacity to
be employed temporarily for post-office and custom-house pur-
poses. For the post-office alone Mr. Gamble asks that one
apartment be set aside, forty feet front by one hundred in
On the 9th of October, 1851, it was announced
"an association of gentlemen of this city have leased from
Mr. D. D. Page a portion of the ground at the corner of Second
and Chestnut Streets, with the intention of erecting thereon a
building suited to the wants of the St. Louis post-office. For
this purpose a front of sixty-five feet on Second by ninety-six
on Chestnut has been obtained. It is contemplated to erect a
building three stories high, and to appropriate the whole of the
first floor for the uses of the post-office; the interior will be
arranged with direct reference to the accommodation of the office
and of its customers."
In the following year the old St. Louis Theatre
property, at the corner of Third and Olive Streets,
was purchased by the government, and the erection
of a custom-house and post-office building commenced,
after plans prepared by George I. Barnett, architect.
In addition to the custom-house and post-office,
Mr. Barnett has prepared the plans for many other
public buildings, and occupies a deservedly high place
among the architects of the country. He is an Eng-
lishman by birth, and his father, who was a clergy-
man and a writer of some note on questions of political
economy, gave him careful home training, supple-
mented by a course in the grammar school at Not-
tingham. Leaving this institution at the age of six-
teen, young Barnett spent three years with a practical
builder, and then studied architecture in some of the
best schools in England and under the best preceptors
INSURANCE, TELEGRAPH, POSTAL SERVICE, GAS, AND HOTELS.
until he was twenty-four, when he determined to
emigrate to America. After spending a few months
in New York, he removed to St. Louis in the latter
part of 1839. Here he opened an office, and soon
obtained a most lucrative business. For nearly twenty
years he was the only educated architect in the city,
and his genius and enterprise naturally secured for
him an extensive clientage. He was employed in
nearly every great work of that period. In later
years St. Louis has had highly accomplished archi-
tects, but Mr. Barnett still retains a leading position.
It is a well-known fact that Mr. Barnett has erected
a much larger number of buildings than any other
architect in St. Louis, and
to his skill and genius are
due the architectural beau-
ties of many of the pub-
lic buildings, fine business
houses, and elegant resi-
dences of the city. It
would be impossible to enu-
merate all his achievements
in this direction, but the
following may be cited as
prominent specimens of his
work : The Southern and
Lindell Hotels, the St.
Louis Mutual Life Insur-
ance building (Sixth and
Locust Streets), the post-
office (Third and Olive),
the granite building Fourth
and Market, Barr's build-
ing (Sixth and Olive), and
the old Merchants' Ex-
change. In the competition
with the most eminent ar-
chitects of the country in
designs for the new Mer-
chants' Exchange, his draw-
ing secured the first prize of fifteen hundred dollars.
Mr. Barnett also enjoys a high reputation as a hotel
architect, and in addition to the splendid fruits of his
genius in this department in St. Louis, has built many
famous structures throughout the West, notably the
Maxwell House at Nashville, Tenn.
In 1850, Mr. Barnett made a professional tour of
Europe, and examined with well-trained and culti-
vated faculties the monuments of art which the great
masters left for the instruction of their followers.
St. Louis gained much from the results of his observa-
tion and comparison at this period, and his career from
that time forward was one of constantly-increasing
honor and influence. While impressing his individ-
uality on the most noted and beautiful of the struc-
tures of an ambitious and growing city, he has estab-
lished a stainless record as an architect of incorruptible
character. He is a kind-hearted, modest, and unpre-
tentious gentleman, of genial nature and rare social
qualities, and while honored as an artist he is also
loved as a man.
Mr. Barnett has two sons, who have been bred to
his profession. George (the younger) is associated
with his father in business, and is a young man of
extraordinary proficiency for his age, who in the judg-
ment of those who have watched the development of
his youthful powers, must
ultimately take rank among
the architects of the coun-
" The removal of the
post-office," it was stated in
a newspaper of May 20,
1852, " has had the effect
to turn the attention of cer-
tain classes of dealers to
property in its present vi-
cinity, and the consequence
has been to increase ma-
terially its value."
The erection of the build-
ing proceeded until April,
1859, when the post-office,
which occupied the whole
of the main floor, was estab-
lished in its new quarters.
The building is one hun-
dred and thirty-nine feet
three inches long, eighty
feet nine inches wide, and
sixty-six feet seven inches
high on the west front,
and seventy-seven feet seven
inches high on the east front. It is of the Roman
Corinthian order, and in all its details is in strict con-
sonance with that style of architecture. The entire
structure is faced with a peculiar stone known as the
" Barrett stone," selected for the purpose by Capt.
Bowman, United States supervisor of public buildings,
and containing a large proportion of silex, rendering
it almost time- and fire-proof. On the west or princi-
pal front are six massive rusticated stone piers, con-
nected by large arches the height of the first story,
and forming a sub-base, which supports the six fluted
columns of the portico, which is two stories high.
The building has been used for the post-office,
HISTOHY OF SAINT LOUIS.
custom-house, United States courts, and government
offices generally, but for a number of years has been
inadequate for those purposes, and in 1872 the gov-
ernment determined to erect a new building for the
custom-house, post-office, etc., which should not only
provide ample space and facilities, but should be an
ornament to St. Louis commensurate with the dignity
and importance of the city. A site was accordingly
determined upon, comprising what was known as the
Crow block, bounded by Olive and Locust, Eighth
and Ninth Streets, which was condemned and pur-
chased in the autumn of 1872, and plans were pre-
pared by A. B. Mullett, United States supervising
The structure, which is now in course of completion,
has a frontage on Olive and Locust Streets of two
hundred and thirty-two feet, by a depth on Eighth
and Ninth Streets of one hundred and seventy- seven
feet. It is three stories in height with an attic, and
the central compartment of four stories is crowned by
an immense convex dome, the distance from the
ground to the apex of the dome being one hundred
and eighty-four feet. The height of the cornice of
the wing building is ninety-six feet. Each faade of
the building is divided into three parts, each central ;
division being crowned by pitched pediments, over
which are ornamented windows of corresponding style.
The main front on Olive Street is surmounted by the
immense dome, and so decorated as to produce a grand
and imposing effect.
This floor is but two feet higher than the sidewalk
on Olive Street, and is easy of access, a decided im-
provement on the present post-office building in that
particular. The whole of the first story will be used
for post-office purposes, and is lighted not only from
the four fronts of the building, but from the interior
court or quadrangle, thus avoiding the necessity of
burning gas during the day, as is the costly and un-
healthy experience with the old building.
The facilities for the reception of mail matter are
to be made a chief feature. They will be unequaled
by any building, either in this or any other country,
from the fact that the mail-cars will be carried across
the St. Louis bridge into the tunnel, and so on until
they are switched off in front of the basement of the
post-office. For this purpose the tunnel will be
widened opposite the post-office so as to afford a broad
platform between the two tracks for the delivery and
receipt of all mail matter, and from every direction.
The mail matter is then to be placed on elevators and
run up into the distributing-room, and there classified.
The same course is to be pursued with reference to
all bonded goods, and all this immense business is
made easy of transaction without the distraction or
I disturbance in the slightest degree of the ordinary
business of the railroad through the tunnel, or the
business above or on the streets.
The height of the basement from its flooring to
the sidewalk is twenty-eight and one-half feet, di-
vided into two stories, to be known as basement
and sub-basement. The foundation of the sub-base-
ment extends eight feet below the floor, which makes
the entire depth from Olive Street to the bottom of
the foundation thirty-six and one-half feet.
Over the first story or post-office floor will be ar-
ranged the United States District Courts, with suitable
apartments for associate judges, clerks, district at-
torneys, marshals, and deputies, grand and petit juries,
etc., with ample room for all other government offices
demanding accommodation. These offices are ap-
proachable from the main Olive Street front, as well
as from others, affording spacious stairway to every
part of the building. The main staircase is colossal
in its proportions, and elaborate and beautiful in its
design, with return flights, continued from floor to
floor to the upper story. Exclusive of this principal
stairway are two of the largest passenger elevators,
placed one on either side of the staircase, and acces-
sible from the same vestibule as the Grand or Olive
The imposing edifice has already influenced the
erection of handsome business houses in its immediate
vicinity and for blocks around. The basement of the
building is of red granite blocks with a plain finish.
The color of the stone is a pale, delicate red, not usu-
ally employed in buildings in St. Louis. The mate-
rial employed above the basement is Maine granite
throughout. The principal stone-work was done on
Hurricane Island, the lower story being rusticated and
having orders above, in style of composition so fre-
quently employed by the Venetian school during the
renaissance period, and which owes its origin to San
Micheli. The second and third stories, of the Corin-
thian order, have pilasters resting on moulded bases, the
intercolumniations being filled in with square-headed
windows, having arched pediments in the second story
and in the third triangular ones. Of the triple divis-
ions and facades, the central one on either side, which
forms a projection, is adorned by porticoes and crowned
with a pediment. Two porticoes, one above the other,
over the grand entrances have very elegant proportions
and details wrought with extraordinary care. The
porticoes are formed by a couple of granite columns
resting on massive plinths and having Corinthian cap-
itals. In each portico are four fluted columns, with
balustrades between the couples.
INSURANCE, TELEGRAPH, POSTAL SERVICE, GAS, AND HOTELS.
Piers supporting statuary stand at the base corners
of the lower portico, which is that of the second story.
Over the upper portico the fourth-story windows are
semi-circular headed, have finely-moulded cornices,
and are surmounted by a massive pediment enriched
with sculptures. A finely-wrought entablature is sur-
mounted by a balustrade, and above this appears the
quadrangular dome, having its windows encased with
grooved and coupled pilasters, and their richly-designed
cornices furnishing support for statuary.
The building when completed will be one of the
most elegant and perfect in its interior arrangements
in the country, and although not as complicated in
letters advertised, 32,515 ; total number registered
letters received for distribution, 213,311 ; total num-
ber registered letters handled, 350,175 ; total number
of packages made up and forwarded, 66,042 ; number
packages received in transit, 566,430 ; total number
of registered packages forwarded, 632,472; through
registered pouches made up and dispatched, 19,775 ;
registered packages in pouches made up and dis-
patched, 540.949 ; total number of registered pack-
ages in pouches received and dispatched, 1,019,638;
total amount money orders issued, 1852,771.68 ; total
amount money orders paid, $4,520,090.58 ; amount
received from depository offices, $6,240,986.22 ; re-
CrSTOM-HOUSE AND POST-OFFICE,
Corner Eighth, Ninth, and Olive Streets.
architectural design as other post-offices, notably those
of New York and Boston, it will undoubtedly exceed
them all in the simple grandeur of its architectural
proportions and the quiet beauty of its general details.
The following ^statistics were returned by the St.
Louis post-office in 1881 :
Annual cash receipts from sale of stamps, stamped
envelopes, etc., $730,539 ; letters delivered at general
delivery, 124,465 ; letters delivered at daily call,
21,514; mail letters delivered by carriers, 13,119,988;
mail postal cards delivered by carriers, 3,008,926 ;
drop letters delivered by carriers, 2,366,852 ; letters
and postal cards delivered from boxes, 1,852,375;
mitted to New York, $2,489,000. The total number
of packages handled during the year ending Dec. 31,
1881, containing letters, was 78,578, amounting to
47,797 pounds. During the same time there were
13,941 sacks of .papers handled.
The following is a list of the postmasters of St.
Louis, with the dates of their appointment, from the
establishment of the office in 1805 :
Postmasters. Date of Appointment.
Rufus Easton Jan. 1, 1805.
Robert Simpson Jan. 1, 1815.
Aaron T. Crane Sept, 11, 1818.
Elias Rector Jan. 1, 1820.
Wilson P. Hunt Oct. 10, 1S22.
Thomas Watson June 26, 1840.
HISTORY OF SAINT LOUIS.
Postmasters. Date of Appointment.
Samuel B. Churchill July 9, 1842.
John M. Wimer June 14, 1845.
Archibald Gamble April 24, 1849.
David H. Armstrong April 3, 1854.
John Hogan March 30, 1858. .
Peter L. Foy April 1, 1861.
Joseph S. Fullerton Feb. 21, 1867.
Andrew J. Smith April 6, 1869.
Chauncey I. Filley March 12, 1873.
Samuel Hays Sept. 4, 1878.
St. Louis Gas-Light Company. In 1837 the
Legislature of Missouri granted a charter to the St.
Louis Gas-Light Company, vesting in it the power to
erect works and necessary apparatus for lighting St.
Louis and its suburbs with gas. This charter was
amended in 1839 and again in 1845. Under the
original charter and the acts of Assembly amendatory
thereof the company had the exclusive right to
manufacture and vend gas in the city of St. Louis,
and was also authorized " to receive on deposit or