Frederic Louis Billon.

Annals of St. Louis in its territorial days, from 1804 to 1821; being a continuation of the author's previous work, the Annals of the French and Spanish period online

. (page 20 of 24)
Online LibraryFrederic Louis BillonAnnals of St. Louis in its territorial days, from 1804 to 1821; being a continuation of the author's previous work, the Annals of the French and Spanish period → online text (page 20 of 24)
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I have the honor to be,

Very respectfully
Sir, your most Obed't Servant,

Fredertck Bates.
Hon. Augt. Chouteau.

Lieut. Col. comd'g 1st Reg't Militia.

/Sir: One of your Hunters applied yesterday at
my office for a license to hunt on the Osage river.

As I did not hear the name of the man, I have the
pleasure to enclose yoa a blank. The name may
be reported to me at some future time, when con-

I have the honor to be,

Yery respect^lly
Sir, your most Obed't Servant,

Frbdeeick Bates.
Sept. 23, 1809.
The Hon. Augte. Chouteau.

St. Louis, Sept. 4, 1810.

Sir: I enclose Patent certificates 'Nos. 78, 79,
80 and 81 on the. commissioners JSTos. 336, 376, 403
and 363.

I have been obhged to delay these papers longer


than I could have wished, in ordei* to obtain certain
explanations from the Surveyors.

With very great respect,
I have the honor to be

Sir, your most Obed't Servant,
Frederick Bates.
Hon. Auguste Chouteau.

St. Louis, April 28, 1813.

Sir: I have the honor to enclose a letter to the
General Commissioner of the land-office, enclosing
the corrected plat and patent certificate for your
Mill Tract.

Be so obliging as to put a wafer in it before
delivery to Major Hempstead.*
I have the honor to be.
Very respectfully

Sir, your Obed't Servant,

Frederick Bates.
Hon'ble Augt. Chouteau.

Missouri Territory, Executive Office,

Aug. 11, 1819.
Sir: I have this moment the honor to receive
your letter of yesterday, enclosing a copy of a Treaty
negotiated by yourself and Col. Stephenson, com-

* Edward Hempstead, then acting commissioner of the General Land


missioners on the part of the United States, with the
Kickapoo Indians, on the 30th July last.
With great respect, I have the honor to be,

Sir, your Obe't Servant,

Fkedbeick Bates.
The Hon. Augt. Chouteau.


A large portion of the people of our City, at the
present day, imagine whenever they hear the term
Bellefontaine made use of, that it is the name ex-
clusively of the Cemetery so designated, but few of
them, perhaps, being aware of the fact that Belle-
fontaine proper is a locality some ten miles distant
from the cemetery, which last received the name
simply from the fact of lying on the road to Belle-
fontaine. The association that originated the ceme-
tery, named it at first the "Rural Cemetery " and
subsequently changed it to " Bellefontaine," per-
haps as more euphonious. Bellefontaine lies on the
south bank of the Missouri river, in St. Ferdinand
Township of St. Louis County, in Sec. 10, Town-
ship 47 north, range 7 east, and is just 14 miles due
north from the Court house. It was a noted point
in the early annals of St. Louis, and its history
and events that there occurred, if detailed at length,
would fill quite a volume.

Early in the year 1768, but a few years after the
birth of the village, and while yet there was no
legally established , government in the country on


this side of the River, everything, being in
abeyance, awaiting the appearance of those to
whom the country had been ceded by the French
King, Capt. Rios of the Spanish service, with
some twenty-five soldiers, arrived from below, sent
up by Count UUoa to establish the Spanish author-
ity in this Upper Louisiana. Meeting with a very
unwelcome reception from the people of the place,
although, following the example of their country-
men below, they did not oppose his landing, his
first step was to select a suitable location for a Fort,
as protection from Indian inroads on the north, and
to provide quarters for his men.

He selected this spot, and late in the season com-
pleted his Fort which he named, "Fort Prince
Charles " in honor of the son of his King, and heir
to the Throne.

It does not appear to have been long occupied as
a Military Post by the Spanish, in the year 1769
Rios returned below with his men, and Piernas came
up in 1770. It was afterwards converted into a
Factory, or trading Post with the Indians, although
still called the "Fort," and is mentioned in several
documents of the time under that title. However
Governor Zenon Trudeau, on Sept. 10, 1797,
granted to a Hezekiah Lard, a concession of one
thousand arpents of land on the Missouri river,
through which runs the ' ' Cold water ' ' or Belle-
fontaine creek; on this land Lard built a house, saw
and grist mill, and cleared a farm, and on this land
was the Old Fort or Factory. Lard died in 1799,


and in 1803 his estate was sold at public sale, in par-
tition and six hundred arpents of the tract were pur-
chased by a William Massey, upon which was the
old Factory and buildings. This closes its history
for the forty years that the Country was in pos-
session of the French and Spanish. It received the
name of Belle-fontaine by the French and Spanish
traders from a large spring at the foot of the
Bluffs near the river.

After the transfer of the country to the United
States in 1804, Geri'l James Wilkinson, then in
command of the Army of the United States,
selected Bellefontaine as the most suitable position
fpr the headquarters of the U. S. Military on the
western waters. The U. S. troops were first can-
toned at Bellefontaine in temporary log-huts in the
years 1805-1806.

April 20, 1806, Gen'l Wilkinson for the U. S.
purchased from William Massey, five acres of land
with the Factory and buildings called Bellefontaine,
with the use for five years of the ground then used
for the cantonment, with the buildings, gardens,
woodlands, &c. Upon these five acres G-en'l Wil-
kinson erected the buildings for a permanent post.

July, 1806, Gren'l Wilkinson purchased the whole
tract of 500 arpents excepting the 5 acres pre-
viously purchased for the U. S. — and in March,
1809, conveyed it to the U. S. who then owned the
whole tract — a considerable portion of which was
kept in cultivation to supply the wants of the men.

After the establishment of Fort Atkinson, Couh-


cil Bluffs on the Missouri, Fort Snelling, St.
Peters, on the Mississippi, and the various other
military posts on these two rivers, Bellefontaine
was no longer the rallying point of the U. S. Mili-
tary in the west (but a few troops were still kept
there for a few years longer) and from its inac-
cessibility in seasons of low water, it was deemed
best to abandon it altogether, and establish the
headquarters of the U. S. in the west, at a more
suitable and accessible point, for which purpose the
site of the present Jefferson Barracks was selected,
and on the 4th July, 1826, Col. Talbot Chambers
with his four companies of the 1st Infantry, the
last U. S. military occupants of the Fort, aban-
doned the old place forever and removed to the new
site selected by the U. S. (Jefferson Barracks) for
what was then contemplated to become the chief
point for the concentration of the U. S. Military.
After the removal of the troops it remained in
charge of a military store keeper '" for some ten

In 1836 Gen'l Lewis Cass, Sec'y of War under
Yan Buren, ordered it to be sold at public sale. It
was purchased by Jamison Samuel, Dunham Spald-
ing, H. 'N. Davis and E. L. Langham, who laid out
on it their " Town of Bellefontaine," but as it
never came to anything it was again converted into
a farm, and was purchased by the late Doct. David
C. Tandy of this City, whose son, Eobert E.
Tandy, at present resides on the place.

Old Major John Whistler of the Eevolution.


The prospect from Bellefontaine north is very
fine. Immediately opposite on the north side of
the Missouri River, Hes the south-east point of St.
Charles County, low and flat, of alluvial formation,
extending some three miles east to the junction of
the two rivers ; across this flat point of land at the
distance of four miles due north, the City of Alton
on the east bank of the Mississippi is in full view,
the hig'h bluffs on that side pointing out the course
of the river for some distance above that City.
The bluffs on this side are 170 feet above the river,
ascertained by the old well which had to be exca-
vated to that depth before reaching water.

The noted Spring from which the place received
its name, is near the foot of the Bluffs on this side,
but the encroachments of the river have swept it

The track of the old upper road to Bellefontaine,
can be traced to this day (1880) through Belle-
fontaine and Calvary cemeteries, and from Baden,
at the forks of the old Hall's ferry road to the
Spanish pond, it runs pretty much over the same
ground for 120 years.


There yet remain here at this day (1888) some
eight or ten dilapidated old houses of the early
times, and as in a very brief period they must
inevitably be removed to make way for others, it
might be a matter of some little interest to a por-


tion of the present generation, to take a cursory-
glance at these old relics of by-gone days, enabling
them at a future period to realize the fact, that they
were here in time to witness for tliemselves some of
these old remains of early St. Louis. And more
especially as some of these old ruins had been
erected and were occupied for a time by individuals,
who, in their day and' generation, were prominent
in this community, several of them having filled
important public positions.

These old houses are in chronological order.


A two-story brick dwelling at the southeast corner
of Main and Spruce Streets (now l^o. 400 South
Main), built by Judge Wm. C. Carr, in 1815, for
his own residence, the fifth brick house built in St.
Louis, and the first one expressly for a dwelling, and
was occupied by the Judge for several years, until
he removed to his new place in the country, in what
is now Franklin Avenue.

In the year 1820 it was occupied for a short time
by Doct. Bernard G. Farrar, on his return from
Kentucky with his second wife, the late Mrs.

It was next a sort of Military Headquarters and
Bachelor's Hall, being occupied in 1821 conjointly
by Genl. Henry Atkinson, Major Thomas Biddle
and Capt. Tom Smith, U. S. Army, and Major
Kichard Graham, U. S. Indian Agent, all four at


that period unmarried men, but Grraham, and he a
widower. Subsequently by other parties, until
eventually it was altered for a drinking saloon, as it
is yet so occupied.


A two-story frame house, No. 217 South Third
Street, west side, third house above Myrtle, built by
James Irwin, a Carpenter, in 1815, who sold it to
Col. Saml. Hammond in 1818, who occupied it for
some years, succeeded by other first-class families, it
being not only a genteel but fashionable locality for
many years.

In this house in 1827 Col. John O' Fallon was
married to his second lady, Miss Caroline Sheets.


K'os. 617 and 619, west side of South 4th, oppo-
site Plum Street, built by Col. Thomas F. Riddick
for his residence in 1818, then in the country.
House 36 feet front by 18 deep, two rooms above
and two below, the window glass below 13 by 18
inches, sent for to Pittsburg, extra large size.

At that day there was no Fourth Street south of
Elm, all being enclosed, the house was approached
from the east by the road, now Plum Street, and
was for years the southwest house of the then vil-
lage, the surroundings originally several feet higher
were cut down in grading the streets.

This old house had a noted history — for some


years it was the residence of Col. Riddick. It was
then opened in the summer of 1823 by Blanchard
and Storrs as a public resort, called the Vaux Hall
Garden, subsequently occupied by Major Faysseau,
U. S. Quarter Master, and finally by Judge Luke
E. Lawless, who died in it. This locality was a
very fashionable quarter.


A stone mason, built in 1819-20, in a deep sink
hole at the northeast corner of Elm and Sixth, a
two-story stone dwelling, in which he died in 1820.
In raising the street to its present grade, it left but
the upper story above the street level, at this day
occupied as a saloon.

WM. Bennett's mansion house hotel.

Built in 1816 by Gen'l Wm. Rector, U. S. Sur-
veyor General for Illinois and Missouri, for his office
and residence, at the northeast corner of 3d and
Vine. Enlarged by him early in 1819 for WilUam
Bennett's Hotel, who opened the house in the summer
of 1819, and it was occupied as such for many years,
during which it has been the scene of many interest-
ing and note-worthy incidents, sufficient in them-
selves to fill a large volume.

Old Manager Samuel Drake's Theatrical Company
from Cincinnati and Louisville, on its first visit to
St. Louis in the winter of 1819-20, performed in the
large dining room of this hotel.


The Convention that framed the Constitution of
the State of Missouri, held its sittings in June, 1820,
in the same long dining room, and it was for many-
years our principal ball room.

This building was removed a few years since, to
make way for the large business house now occupy-
ing its site.

MAJOR WM. Christy's

Old stone residence in ISTorth St. Louis, erected
for him in 1818. This house, then two miles out
in the country, stands at present at the northwest
corner of Monroe and Second Streets, then not far
from the river bank.

Here the Major and his family lived for many
years, he dying in it in April, 1837, and his widow
continuing to occupy it for a number of years after-
wards. It was a fine house in its day, but has long
since been converted into a manufactory.

During its long occupancy by this noted family of
the olden days, it was much frequented by the elite
of St. Louis society, several of the daughters and
family connections were married in it, and it was
frequently the scene of much gayety and festivity.

HENRY Gratiot's

Old farm house, built by him about the year
1810, the first house built on the " Gratiot League
Square," and one of the earliest near the village,
where he lived for a number of years after his


marriage in 1813. A weather boarded log house
1 1-2 stories high, 50 feet long, by 16 deep, on a
stone foundation about 4 feet high, with a stone
chimney at each end. Three doors on the east
front, one to each room, with a shed over the
, steps to each, in place of the gallery which originally
extended along the whole front of 50 feet ; the rear
gallery still remains in a dilapidated condition.

It stands on high ground overlooking the country
in each direction, about three-eighths of a mile west
of the King's Highway, which is the east line of the
" Gratiot League Square," and 150 yards north of
Pattison Avenue which leads to it.

A deep well of water stands about 50 yards north-
east of the house. A part of the stone founda-
tions of Gratiot's old mill, are still to be seen,
(1881) a short distance north of the house, on the
slope of the hill which descends to the river Des
Peres, and the ruins of the old stone spring-house,
in a hollow about 200 yards east, as also a num-
ber of old dead apple-trees in the orchard.

The builder of this house died at Barnum's
Hotel, Baltimore, in April, 1835.


Brick country residence on the King's Highway,
in survey IS'o. 3052. Situated now (1881) just
opposite the west end of a proposed new wide road
from Yandeventer Avenue to Forest Park, to be
called "Forest Park Boulevard." It is 140 yards


south of the west end of Laclede Avenue, and 165
yards north of the angle in the front line of
King's Highway.

In the year 1819-20, Mr. Cabanne, who had
resided with his young family in the town during
the twenty years he had been engaged in mer-
chandising, being about to relinquish that branch
of his business, and devote his whole attention to
the fur business exclusively, which would necessi-'
tate his absence from home the most of his time,
built for his family (eight children, the oldest not
yet fifteen) a residence in the country immediately
west of the center of our town, on the eastern
line of the above tract, IS^o. 3052, the King's
Highway (now the eastern front line of Forest
Park) a brick residence, where the family resided
some twelve or fifteen years, until 1833, when Mr.
Cabanne built his city residence at ISTo. 28 Vine
Street, in which house he died on Sunday, June
27, 1841, aged about 68 years.

This old "Cabanne Mansion" was the first
brick house built in the country outside of the old
town, consequently the "Pioneer Brick." It was
known to almost the whole population of the
county far and wide, and with its quaint old wind
mill and out houses could be seen from a long
distance from all directions except the west, where
the primeval forest hid it from view.

Occupied by that family, father and son, for near
half a century, noted for their hospitality and gen-
erous mode of living, it had been the scene of many
a gay and joyous occasion.


In it two of the daughters of the houise had
entered the marriage state ; Adelle, the eldest daugh-
ter, to Jno. B. Sarpy, in 1820, the first year of its
occupancy, and Juha, in 1830, to Lieut. Jas. W-
Kingsbury, U. S. Army. The third daughter,
Louisa, was also united to an officer of the Army,
Lieut. Albert G. Edwards, at present our Sub-
Treasurer at St. Louis, although not at this, but at
their city residence, JSTo. 28 Vine Street.

After Mr. Cabanne, Sr., had removed to the city,
he conveyed to his eldest son, John Charles, a large
portion of this land from the south end including
the Mansion, etc., who made it his residence until
the year 1850, in which year he sold it to Alban H.
Glasby, of Gaty, McCane and Glasby, who also
lived on the place for some years, and there laid out
his Town of Hockessin in 1854, and resold to Mr.
Chas. Cabanne the Homestead and adjacent im-
provements with a few acres of land.

This old land-mark, true, by no means an impos-
ing structure, but simply an unpretentious country
mansion, yet, from its quaint style of architecture
and well preserved condition so far from being an
eye-sore, suggesting its removal, was an ornament
to the spot, and with very little labor and expense in
improving the surroundings, could easily have been
made an attractive spot and an object of historical

To sum up all, there was every reason in the
world why this old land-mark should have been pre-
served, and none whatever for its unjustifiable



destruction, it can only be partially excused by the
supposition that the party who caused its removal
was totally ignorant of its early history — and the
writer of this feels almost persuaded that had the
Superintendent of the Park been anyway posted
in regard to its early history and associations, he
would not have allowed its removal.


Menlber of Congress from the Lexington, Ken-
tucky, district, was nominated by President James
Madison, April 17, 1810, for Governor of Upper
Xiouisiana to succeed M. Lewis deceased.
1810 Sep. 17. He arrived in St. Louis, and assumed

the duties of the office.
" Oct. 31. He appointed Thomas T. Crittenden

of Ste. Genevieve, Attorney General of the

Territory .

1811. Renewed the commission of Frederick Bates,
as Secretary of the Territory for four years.

" Peby. 14. He was married in Loudon County,
Virginia, to Miss Mary T. Mason, daughter of
S. T. Mason, dec'd.

" On Monday Deer. 2nd, Governor Howard
and lady arrived in St. Louis.

1812. Gov'r Howard's proclamation dividing the
Territory into five counties, St. Charles, St.
Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, and
ISTew Madrid.

'' Appointed by President Madison, a Brigadier
General, in the U. S. Army.


1812 llTov'r. 28. A dinner was given him by a large
number of citizens of St. Louis, as a mark of
their appreciation of his measures for the
defence of the Territory.

1813 March 21. Death at Lexington, Kentucky, of
Mrs. Howard, wife of Gren'l Benjamin Howard
U. S. Army.

^' Sept. 8. Being about to set out on an ex-
pedition against the Indians of Ilhnois, he
executed his will at Portage des Sioux, nam-
ing his nephew Benj. Howard Payne of Lex-
ington, Kentucky, as the heir of his estate.*

'" Sept. 10. He set out from Portage with
1400 men on his expedition.

1814 Sept. 18. Death at St. Louis of Genl. Benj.
Howard U. S. Army, late Governor of the

After Christy's addition of l^orth St. Louis was
laid out in 1817 the remains of General Howard
were removed to the Protestant Cemetery in the
north circle, now Grace Church, and covered with a
stone slab.

General Howard left no children, a sister was the
wife of Edward C. Payne, Sr., of Lexington, Ken-
tucky, they had six sons, and the eldest Benj.
Howard Payne, the sole heir of his uncle, after
whom he was named, died unmarried in 1821, leav-
ing five brothers, of whom the fourth, Thos. Jef.
Payne, acquired the interest of the others, and came
to St. Louis about the year 1828. After a residence

* The will recorded at Lexington, Kentucky.


of about forty years in Missouri, the latter part of
this period in St. Charles County, he died in St,
Louis in 1867, and is interred in Bellefontaine Ceme-

Mr. Thos. J. Payne had acquired from various
parties, the large body of land lying between Grand
Avenue and the King's highway, now embracing
Shaw's Botanical Garden, Tower Grove Park, etc.,
which he was the first to improve and put in cultiva-
tion, and on which he lived for a number of years,
previous to disposing of it to Mr. Henry Shaw.


was born in Scotland in the year 1750.

In 1755 hie father, a farmer and poor, came over
to America, and settled in York County, Penn-

With a few old books, then scarce, and a little
teaching he pursued his studies, and at 18 years of
age, he succeeded in getting into Princeton Col-
lege, where he taught two classes for his support.
Then took charge of an Academy in Maryland. In
1777 he joined the Army, crossed the mountains to
Pittsburgh in 1781, read law with Judge Chase, and
in 1788 was at the head of the Pittsburgh bar, and
afterwards elected to the Legislature.

On the election of Governor McKean, 1800-01,
he appointed him a Judge of the Supreme Court of
the State, which he fiUec until his death in 1816, at
66 years of age, universally respected for his integ-
rity and talents.


Alleghany County was organized from Westmore-
land and Washington, in September, 1788, it in-
cluded all the country in Pennsylvania, north of the
Ohio, and west of the Alleghany, out of which was
formed in 1800, the counties of Beaver, Butler,
Mercer, etc.


was Fort Pitt until 1784, when the Town was laid
out and surveyed. Town incorporated in 1794, the
year of the Whisky Insurrection, and the City in


was JSTew Geneva, Payette County, on the Monon-

He was in Congress from 1795 to 1801, six years,
and appointed Secretary of the Treasury by Jeffer-
son in 1801, and was succeeded in Congress by J.
B. C. Lucas in 1801 and 1803.


was born in Pittsburg, then called Fort Pitt, in

His father. Judge Hugh H. Brackenridge, author
of several works, was an eminent Lawyer, his
mother died when Henry was an infant of eighteen
months of age. In 1791, when he was five years
old, his father married again, the daughter of a
German farmer and Justice of the Peace near

In 1792 or 93, when about six years of age, his


father sent him to Louisiana, under the care of John
B. C. Lucas, a friend of his father, then at Pitts-
burgh, who occasionally traded to Louisiana, to be
placed in some French f arnily where he might learn
the French language. He left him for a short time
in ]S^ew Madrid, then came by land to Ste. Gene-
vieve, Henry riding a pony. Here he left him with
old Mr. Beauvais, in whose family Henry passed
over two years, treated like one of the children, he
became a complete French boy, and almost forgot
his English language.

In 1794-5 Lucas came for him, took him up the
Ohio in a canoe, and left him with Doct. Saugrain
in Galliopolis, Ohio, he was then between 8 and 9
years old; 'he stayed in Doct. Saugrain' s family
about one year.

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Online LibraryFrederic Louis BillonAnnals of St. Louis in its territorial days, from 1804 to 1821; being a continuation of the author's previous work, the Annals of the French and Spanish period → online text (page 20 of 24)