The city of Saint Louis, in the stale of Missouri, is situated on the west bank of the Mississippi river, in
the county of Saint Louis, of which it is the seat of government. It is in latitude 38°, 37′, 2s″, north, and
longitude 90°, 15′, 30″, west of Greenwich.
The site of Saint Louis is both commanding and beautiful; high, without being precipitous, and gently
undulating, affording easy drainage, and sufficiently level, without being Hat, to extend every advantage for
building and beautifying purposes.
The plane of the wharf or Front-street, is thirty-two feet above low water mark. From thence to Fourth
street, the streets rise fifty-nine feat to the first summit, which is a plane occupied by Fourth, Fifth, and, in
part, by Sixth streets. From thence, in going west, and taking the center of the city for observation,
the ground gently declines to Thirteenth street, when we again commence a gradual ascent to Seventeenth street,
where, at the intersection of Olive street, we are ninety feet above the wharf.
From this point we again gradually descend IV Bome distance, then again ascend to another plane at
Beaumont street, beyond which the land beautifully undulates until we reach Grand avenue, near the western
limit of the city, where, near ita intersection with Morgan street, we attain the greatest elevation, being one
hundred and thirty-nine feet above the plane of the wharf.
Beyond the city limits the same general characteristics of country are maintained, except that for a dis-
tance of some three or four miles beyond, it does not attain to the same elevation as at Grand avenue; but
the wave-like character is still
preserved, and tilled, as it all is, with gaulens and orchards, it constitutes
such a view as is excelled by iaw of our cities.
The streets run mainly parallel with the river, and are generally numbered consecutively west from Front
street, which is the levee; the next, Maine, then Second, Third, Ac, ic. The cross streets run nearly at right
angles to the last named, and extend from the river westward to the city limits. The whole does not, how-
ever, present one uniform plan,because,in the rapid extension of the city, different proprietors laid out addi-
tions to suit their own convenience, views and purposes, without regard to uniformity. The streets in the
Older portion—we may say the “Old French Town”—being that part east of, and including Third street
are narrow, and somewhat irregular; the new portion, being that west of, and including Fourth street, are
generally sixty to eighty feet wide, and laiu out with more regularity. Some of the older streets, as Front
and part of Maine, have been widened, so that they do not now present the same contracted appearance to
the stranger as formerly; but still, so great is the business, done on these streets east of Fourth, that it is diff-
icult often to get along, in the great rush during the business season.
In May, 1849, Saint Louis was visited with a terrific conflagration, which, originating among the steam-
boats at the wharf, destroyed some thirty of them, and spreading along the levee, Maine and Second streets,
from above Locust to Elm, nearly all of the largest business houses, with stocks of various merchandize, were
destroyed. The whole loss exceeded, probably, ten millions of dollars! This conflagration was, however,
beneficial in this, that it induced the great enlargement of the wharf, so as to preclude another calamity from
the same source, and also furnished room for the continually increasing business on this great thoroughfare.
It also caused the widening of Maine and Second streets, which have since been built up with business houses,
which for strength and adaptation to heavy mercantile transactions, are scarcely excelled anywhere.
Saint Louis was formerly regarded as unhealthy, yet no local cause was apparent, which could produce the
great mortality that prevailed. The great influx of population, many of them direct from ship-board, the
inadequate supply of suitable, or, indeed, any habitations, the consequent exposures, with change of food,
water, &c, in some degree accounted for this mortality, but it waa assumed that stagnant water also tended
to produce tins result; and to remedy it a system of was inaugurated. Many of the streets in the
Center of the city have been perforated, and all the large ponds contiguous to the more densely settled portion
of the city, have been drained by means of these sewers, now some fourteen miles in length. Whether from
this cause or not, it is now a fact, that, with a greatly enlarged population, our mortality has decreased, until
Saint Louis is assuming the position of one of the healthiest cities in the country.
The great business of Saint Louis has been commerce, and for this her admirable position is eminently
fitted. The great Mississippi washes her eastern shore the whole extent of the city. Hence to the “sunny
south,” it is unobstructed, (except occasionally for a few weeks In mid-winter, by ice,) and furnishes always
a supply of water to bear away the immense products here concentrated.
The numerous large steamboats continually arriving and departing from her wharf, Is evidence of the mag-
nitude of her southern trade. Many of these boats are of the largest and most expensive kind, carrying from
ten to fifteen hundred tons; and frequently there are from three to ten departures hi a day. This will give
some idea of a commerce, which must be seen in order to be fully realized.
But the sources of supply are ample. The Mississippi above, navigable lor 800 or 1000 miles, pentratcs the
finest agricultural country in the world, while the turbid Missouri, navigable for fifteen hundred miles or
more, and draining states and territories of great extent, and capable of almost illimitable productions,
debouches only about twenty miles above, and necessarily brings its commerce to her door. Besides, the
Illinois river, one of the finest in the west for navigation, penetrating the center of that great agricultural
state, and navigable most of the year, enters the Mississippi forty miles above.
All these rivers have numerous navigable feeders, whose contributions to the commercial importance of
Saint Louis are very considerable, while some one hundred and eighty miles below, the Ohio and its many
tributaries, are also accessible, and bring their valuable contributions to its commerce.
Thus Saint Louis comes in directly for the principal business of Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and
Minnesota on the north and east, and Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico and Utah, on the west, while many of
the states south are among her most valuable customers.
The advantages of this position were readily seen by the founder, Pierre La Clede Liguest, who having
received permission to establish a trading-post in the name of the “Louisiana Fur Company ,” in 1762, loca-
ted himself on this spot on the 15th of February, 1764; and thus commenced an enterprise, which, although
small at its inception, has grown almost to greatness, during the lifetime of some of its founders.
In those early times the slow progress of the “keelboat” with the “cordelle and pole,” were not calculated
rapidly to advance the commercial importance of the place; still it was, even then, next to New Orleans, the
point of commercial importanoe.
The introduction of steamboats here, as well as on the other rivers, tended greatly to the development of
the country, and to the advancement of its commerce.
At first, from the remoteness of this position, and the rapidity of the current of the Mississippi and Mis
souri, but few, even of the western steamboats, visited Saint Louis.
The first arrival of a steamboat from Louisville, was on the 2d of August, 1817, in charge of Capt. Jacob
Reed, and was named the “General Pike.” On the 2d of June, 1819, the first steamboat arrived from New
Orleans. She was commanded by Capt. Armitage, and was called the “Harriet.” She made the voyage
from port to port in twenty seven days!! This was a great change from the old keel-boat time, of six months
for the voyage down and back; but progress has been made on this time, as the trip is now usually accom
plished in seven days, and has been made in five!
The progress of Saint Louis in her “steam marine,” has been very steady, thus indicating clearly her rapid
advance to the “Great Commercial City of the West.”
Prior to 1634, no steamboat was enrolled here, as up to this time, all, or nearly all, western steamboat
interests concentrated on the Ohio. All the fine large boats were not only owned but mainly employed
there. The second class of boats generally, with occasional exceptions, came to Saint Louis, and up to that
tune there was but little, comparatively, doing here.
The whole has changed! Now, the principal steamboat interest of the west, including the ownership and
employment of the largest class boats, is at Saint Louis.
It is a proper point now, at which to make some statements, derived from official sources, of the steamboat
interest of the port of Saint Louis.
The first record of ownership, or enrollment of tonnage at Saint Louis, is in the report of the Secretary of
the Treasury of the United States, for the year 1834, and is stated to amount to 452.04 tons. This by the
return of 1836, is increased to 2,482.53. The return of 1838, is 9,373; of 1840, is 11,259; of 1842, is 14,726.80;
of 1844, is 16,664.53; of 1846, is 22,425.91; of 1849, is 32,255.08; of 1851, is 34,065.46; of 1853, is 45,441.08;
of 1855, is 60,592.10.
Commensurate with this growth has been that which supplies these boats, and numerous others not owned
here, with continual employment; for business has, perhaps, increased more rapidly than the boats which aid
in its developement.
With a view to the further illustration of the magnitude of this commerce, we add a statement of the
number of steam boat-arrivals and their aggregate tonnage, for each of the following years, from Jan. 1st
to December 31st of each year, viz:
1853, arrivals, 3,307; tons, 835,397. 1S55, arrivals, 3,449; tons, 918,791.
In 1856, the river remained closed until March. From the first of March to the 31st of December of that
year, the arrivals were 3,065, tons 894,462, or about 340 boats per month, or tons 99,372.
All the various classes of mercantile business are profitably pursued in Saint Louis. The wholesale dry
goods houses are numerous, and their business is very large, principally occupying Maine street. On this
street may alao be found many extensive wholesale dealers in clothing, boots and shoes, hats, bonnets, hard
ware and cutlery, china, glass and queensware, books and stationery, drugs, carpets and oil cloths, jewelry and
clocks, guns and sporting apparatus, saddlery and saddlery hardware, house furnishing goods, tin, copper, stoves, &c., &c.
The wholesale grocery trade, which is the largest separate business here, and which last year amounted to
more than twenty-two millions of dollars, is mostly confined to Second street and the levee.
Many houses engaged largely in the foreign and domestic liquor business, are situated on these streets, and
also on Third street, and those cross streets leading from the levee.
Produce and commission merchants, of whom there are many, are to be found on Front and Commercial
streets, generally, some few on Maine and Second, many on the cross streets, while Broadway, Fourth, Fifth
and Market streets. Franklin avmue, Carondeiet avenue and Seventh street, are mainly devoted to the retail
trade. But on all these streets there are wholesale houses also, and numerous manufacturing establishments,
besides many private dwelings.
Space will not admit of a specification of the business linns of this city, only in a general manner; it must
therefore, suffice to say, that their number is largely over six hundred, and the stocks of goods in all depart
ments, are ample and commensurate with the greatly increasing demand in every branch of business.
Many of these merchants in the various classes of business, are the direct importers from Europe of their
own stocks, and find it to their interest constantly to increase their imports.
But commerce is not now the only business of Saint Louis. Manufacutures are increasing rapidly, and her
position being as well adapted to these as to commerce, the time is not distant when Saint Louis will be
recognized as a large manufacturing city.
Iron, being of the first importance, and its manufacture most diversified, entering as it does, into almost all
)ther branches and employments, and Bow being more extensively used than in the past, it is proper to
give it the first place in this brief notice.
It was about the year 1830, that attention was first turned to the necessity of a foundry and machine shop
in Saint Louis, able at least to repair, if not manufacture, the machinery for those steamboats which were
accessible to this point.
In 1828, or 1829, a steam ferryboat was brought around from the Ohio, as a substitute for the horseboats,
until then plying between Saint Louis and the Illinois shore opposite. This boat for a time answered every
purpose, but afterward, needing some repair, had to lie sent to Cincinnati to have it done. Subsequently.
about the time we have indicated, what is now known as the Mississippi Foundry, was started. The honor
of this effort belongs to Mr. Newell, since dead; but it is proper to state that the present worthy head of that
establishment, Mr. Samuel (Jaty and another of the present proprietors were among the earliest of the
workmen. The foundry proper, belonged to Mr. Wm. K. Rule. It did not then, it is true, have its present
ample dimensions, but it was well adapted to the purpose then in view, and was a beginning.
“Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth.” The place was found adapted to such an enterprise.
It prospered. True, its founders had to struggle with formidable difficulties, but they persevered, and finally
Numerous enlargements of the old establishment have now almost encompassed the square on which
they are located, furnishing a multitude of hands employment, and turning out work of all kinds equal to
any in the country.
It would be improper in so brief a notice ns this is designed to be, to enter into any more of history in this
line of business than we have; suffice it to say, that, at the present time, February, 1857, there are in sue
ful operation in Saint Louis, twenty extensive foundries, nearly all of which have machine shops for the
manufacture of steam engines, boilers, nulls, &c., connected with them. Besides these, there are four machine
shops which are not connected with general foundries. There are also, one locomotive manufactory; four
establishments extensively engaged in manufacturing boilers, exclusively; four extensive stove manufactories;
four ornamental iron works, casting railing, grates, columns, window caps, frames, &c., &c.; five brass and
bell foundries; four scale manufactories; six safe and vault manufactories; two iron pump establishments;
four rolling mills; four plough factories; two saw manufactories and one file factory.
Besides these there are other foundries now building, and other machine shops preparing to commence
business in various departments; nor are we certain that we have enumerated all now in operation.
But the supply of these establishments is not, and never has been, equal to the demand. Although, in
the last two years some new ones have been erected, and all the old more or less enlarged, they are now
farther from furnishing an adequate supply, In any one branch, than they ever were before.
The same remarks may, in a measure, apply to several other branches now successfully prosecuted here;
as, for Instance, furniture, upholstery, trunks, saddlery, saddlery hardware, planes, bellows, &c., &c.
The glass works of Saint Louis have not had a fair chance; still there are two establishments which promise
to do well, and are being prosecuted with considerable energy.
Saint Louis is peculiarly adapted to this species of manufacture. In no part of the country is there to be
found a finer article of sand, every way accessible and cheap; lead and other commodities entering into the
manufacture are abundant, and close by are inexhaustable supplies of potter’s clay, equal to any in the world.
To these add the opening for sales, and the distance competing articles must be transported, and the supe
riority of Saint Louis as a place for the manufacture of glass, must be apparent.
To the above we must add four extensive steam rope and bagging works, and several hand rope works.
The former possess the most unproved machinery, and as Saint Louis is the great primary hemp market, it
is easy to see what facilities are offered ten, not only tor the manufacture, but also for the purchase of these
articles of product.
There are also In Saint Louis two large establishments far the manufacture of paints and oils; two chemi-
cle works on an extensive scale; one glue factory; one of bone-black; three starch factories; six large soap
and Candle factories; seven lard oil factories; one shut tower; one sheet lead and lead pipe factory; one sugar
refinery, about the most extensive in the United States; two organ manufactories; two for the manufacture
of piano fortes; thirty-six wagoa manufactories; eight carriage shops; two spoke and hub establishments;
one type and sterotype foundry: one mill for making cotton yarns and cloth; three mills for cotton batting;
ten large tobacco factories, besides numerous smaller onus; also, many cigar factories, large and small; eight
book binderies; one varnish manufactory; six extensive candy factories; two railroad car factories; the ma
chine shop of the Pacific railroad, manufactures cars for that road, equals in point of finish and con-
venienee to any in the country. There are three optical, surgical and mathematical instrument manufac
tories: two brush factories,besides, the Missouri Institution for the education of the blind, located in Saint
Louis, makes a great variety of brushes, all of which liiul a ready sale.
The controlling object of Saint Louis manufacture may bo said to be flour, of which there is made here
about 700,000 barrels annually. This is the product of eighteen very extensive steam mills. The quality of
this article is so superior, as to have acquired both an American and European reputation, and commands in
all markets the highest prices.
There are also nine steam saw mills; eight plaining mills; four sash, blind and door factories; four distil-
leries; thirty breweries, and numerous other establishments, as those far hats, boots and shoes, tubs and
backets; also, tailoring, coopering and marble establishments, &c., &c. which we cannot enumerate.
All branches of handicraft, or nearly all, are represented in Saint Louis, and every year adds to the number,
and increases the demand for their several product.
Saint Louis presents to the eye of the stranger wiio first visits it, the idea of great solidity, in combination
with rapid progress and great activity. The fleet of .steamboats, ordinarily numbering some fifty to eighty,
which line its wharf, receiving and discharging their varied freights—the piles of goods which so often ob-
struct the extensive levee for a mile or more in length—the numerous drays perpetually crowding, and the
incessant din and noise, fills the mind at once with an idea of the busy character of the place, and the immen
sity of its basin
Then the stately edifices, built more for strength than show, although, architectural beauty is not
ignored, but rather made to bend to the great designs Cor which the edifices lire erected, which line the prin
cipal business streets, all favorably impress the the mind with the solid character of the business of the
The chief material used for all buildings is brick, of which there arc clays in and out of the city, for the
manufacture of the finest quality.
The quantity of building done here may l>e inferred from the fact, that the brick yards make from seventy
to ninety Mumoiu of brie/:, annually! Yet, so great is the demand, that many are compelled to build
of wood who would prefer brick, if attainable.
There is a city ordinance, however, which precludes the erection of wooden buildings within an area of
about two-thirds of the city, as it existed prior to the last extension; in most parts of the populous suburbs
j brick is used, but still very many building-; are of wood.
Btone, of a very excellent quality for building, underlies the city and surrounding couutiy; but few houses
are constructed wholly of it, although many of the fine modern buildings are using- more or less of stone,
iron and marble in their constiuction. The new Custom House, the Merchant’s Exchange, and other build
ings, are employing this material, furnished from quarries in the vicinity, and beautifully prepared by the
Empire Stone Company , at their steam works.
The area of Saint Louis has been enlarged from time to time. It was first Incorporated as a town, Nov. Mh,
[ts length on the river was about OH and one-fourth miles, by a width westward of one-fourth of a
and contained about two hundred and thirty-two at
tnber 9th, 1822, it was incorporated U a city, its length on the river being about one and three-quarter
miles, its width half a mile, and its superficial area about live hundred and sixty-three acres.
February 15th, 1841, it was again enlarged; its length on the river being four and a half miles, by a width
j of one mile, and its area was about two thousand nine hundred and fifty-five acres.
February, 1856, it was again enlarged; it; length on the river being six and one quarter miles, by a width
of about two and a half miles, and embracing about nine thousand eight hundred and forty-seven acres. The
extreme length by the river is seven and a quarter miles, and extreme width from the river to city limits is
about three miles, or an area of near fifteen and a half square miles.
What the number is of stores, dwellings, &c, we are unprepared to say, but learn that the number of
homes built in 1856, was about twenty-five hundred, nearly all of them of a superior class, of brick and frame
dwellings and brick store. Few small braidings are put up here, but mostly such as will accommodate two
or more families; and notwithstanding the great number of houses erected, there are scarcely any vacant,
but are mostly engaged as soon as commeneed, whether dwellings or stores.
Saint Louis is supplied with -water from the Mississippi river, draws op by two steam engines, each of about
350 horse power, and forced through 20 inch iron pipe to the roervoir, which is located about one mile west,
and is of large dimensions. The necessity for increasing the supply of water, exemplifies the growth of Saint
Louis almost as well as any filing else.
The first reservoir was built in 1831, and was capable of containing 230,310 gallons of water, which was
amply sufficient for all the uses of the place. In 1838, enlargement was
required, and its capacity was increased 290,000 gallons.
In 1844, it was again enlarged, and its capacity increased 409,440 gallons, making the capacity of the
reservoir then located on the first hill from the river, above town, about 840,000 gallons.
In 1848, a new place was required, because enlargement was uecotupy, and no greater enlargement could
take place on the old. In 1850 the new one was completed, capable of holding 7,968,750 gallons: but this
again was found too small in 1854, when anew reservoir was built along-side of the former, capable of holding
32,248,126 gallons. The street supply,by iron pipes, extending from the reservoirs, for they are now both in
use. is over fifty miles, while of lead service pipe there is laid down over twenty miles.
Thus is shown something of the growth of Saint Louis. It is proper in this place to exhibit this growth as
shown by the census returns. The population by the census of 1820, was 4,123; 1830, 6,694; 1840, 16,649;
1850, 74,439. City census of 1852, was 94,000. City census of February 1856, was over 122,000, and the
population is now not much, if at all, short of 140,000.
To show thai wealth has steadily continued to increase, as well as population and business, we present
from the official city assessment, the periodical value of real estate in the city.
It amounted in 1840, to $8,682,606; in 1844, to 13,999,914; in 1860, to 29,676,649; in 18.32, to 38,281,668;
in 1855, to 42,991,281, and in 1856, over 60,000,000.
These figures do not include merchandize, which is separately taxed, but real estate, furniture, &C.
In as brief a review of Saint Louis as even this purports to be, it would be unpardonable to omit the arrange
ments for promoting the educational and moral improvements of the population. Yet these points cannot
be elaborated; a very brief synopsis must suffice.
There are a great number of private schools in Saint Louis, both mule and female, each ranging from the
smallest primary to the best grades of high schools and academies.
To these are to be added, the Saint Louis University, and the Webster College, located just west of the
city, on the Pacific railroad. Also, the high school of the Washington Insitute, which possesses ail the char
acteristics of a first class college.
But of all these, and beyond them, the people cherish their system of Public Schools.
“The board of president and directors of public schools of Saint Louis” was incorporated in 1836. Con
gress, by an act passed in 1812, donated for educational purposes certain vacant lands in the town, which
grant was transferred to this board. The people, in addition, by vote, caused a levy of a certain small per
centage of the city taxes, to be set apart for this purpose, in addition to which the state of Missouri has
devoted one-fourth of its entire revenue for the promotion of education in the state, of which a large amount
necessarily comes to the aid of the Saint Louis “school fund.”
The schools are managed by a board of directors, elected by those who pay a school tax, two from each
ward, the city being divided into ten wards, there are consequently twenty directors, one of whom is elected
There are now, February, 1887, eighteen large airy brick school houses owned by the board, many of which
are really ornaments to the city, in addition to their adaptation to the pupose of their erection. The board
have under their charge thirty-nine primary and grammar schools, conducted by 115 teachers, and imparting
education to over 5,000 pupils.
Besides these, the board have erected, and last year opened for the more advanced pupils of the public
schools only, a Brst class high school, which is calculated to impart instruction, free of charge, in the highest
branches of education. They are now also erecting several more school houses.
There are also two medical colleges, whose professors in all the branches of their profession, are scarcely
second to any in the country. The number of students in attendance from all parts of the country, attest
the excellency of these institutions.
The religious element is quite prevalent here; consisting of Roman Catholics, who have here an Arch
Bishop; Methodists of both north, south, German and colored; Presbyterians, old and new school, and Ger-
man; Cumberland Presbyterians; Baptists and German Baptists; Episcopalians, who have also a Bishop here;
Christians; Lutherans and Evangelical Lutherans Congregationalists; Unitarians; Associate Reformed;
Covenanters; Universalists; Swedenborgeans, and Mormons. Also, one Jewish Temple and one Synagogue.
Of churches, there are about seventy, nearly all of them large, stately and ornamental; well adapted to
the purposes for which they were erected, and are, in general, well patronized and supported.
Saint Louis has many benevolent institutions, besides hospitals. &c, &c. Many line buildings, halls, &c
Some first class hotels, boi not enough of these fully to accommodate the immense travel, being concentrated
by boats and railroads. Two b telfl will toon l e added to the list.
The railroad Interests Of Saint Louis are rapidly Increasing. Three roads leading east, make now two trips
each, cacli way daily, affording opportunity for choice of routes east, and their connections with the Illinois
Central, giving opportunity either to go north or .south. The Pacific road is open to Jefferson City, and will
Boon penetrate farther. The south-west branch is progressing, and will .soon open up one of the finest countries
to access and trafic. The North Missouri is operating to St. (harks, and will next .year connect with the
Hannibal and St. Joseph road, thus opening up central Missouri, and if extended as designed, central Iowa.
The Iron Mountain road is partly opened, pointing south, and this year is expected to be finished, and bring
to Saint Loois, cheaply, those vast treasures of iron and lead, with which the country it penetrates is so aston-
There are many excellent private libraries in Saint Louis, in all the various departments of science.
“The Mercantile Library Association,” is a chartered institution, well patronized ami of great and growing
utility. It now numbers in its cases seme seventeen thousand volumes, composed of the choicest selections
in all departments of literature. Its rooms are admirably arranged, well illuminated, and prepared for com-
fortable study. It ia one of the places which a stranger should visit on coning to the city, and with the
spacious and elegant building with which it is connected, is well calculated to exemplify the mercantile
community of Saint Louis, in the enlargement of their views, and their devotion to the cultivation of polite
literature, in connection with busy mercantile pursuits. The library of the Saint Louis I’niversity is also
very choice, and contains many very rare and valuable works, and is well worthy the visits of the studious.
It now numbers some twenty thou>and volumes. Although this cannot be called a public library, still,
from the experience of many, we feel warranted in Baying, ready access can be had to its cases by those de-
sirous of consulting its valuable mtelectual treasures. For the especial use of the “legal profession,” there
has been established here, under a charter, a “Law Library Association.” For the use of this association,
rooms are set apart in the court house, and the library now numbers over three thousand six hundred volumes.
Libraries are also being accumulated by the “Mechanics Institute,” the Otallon Institute, the “Catholic
Institute,” and the “Young Men’s Christian Association,” but we know not the number of volumes which
either of them possess.
There is in Saint Louis a Museum of rare excellency, embracing choice specimens of natural history, &c, &c,
but it must be seen to be fully appreciated. Our limits will not allow an adequate description.
For the dissemination of knowledge, Saint Louis is also prepared, and “the art preservative of all arts”
has its votaries. We have not had time, in the preparation of this hasty sketch, to gather statistics on this
subject, but find to our hand a table prepared with great care for a work entitled, “Thoughts about Saint
Louis,” which exhibits this interest as it existed hi 1S54, and the extension since that period must be inferred
by our readers.
|Newspapers published in Saint Louis,||21|
|Issues of daily papers,||19,300|
|Issues of tri-weekly papers,||6,400|
|Issues of weekly papers||72,000|
|Magazines, Monthly and Semi-Monthly,||12|
|Issues of these,||26,500|
|Power presses used,||21|
|Hand " "||66|
|Hands employed, (printers,)||858|
|Book and Job offices, as distinguished from above||8|
|Annual aggregate of book and job work,||$15G,000|
There are six lithographic, engraving and printing establishments. Four steel and copper engraving and
printing, and three wood engraving establishments, all employing numerous hands.
For the immense business transacted, Saint Louis certainly has the fewest monetary facilities- of any city
in the country. The recent action of the Legislature, however, warrants us in anticipating an important
increase in this respect, in the speedy organization of several new Banks in this city and state, to consum-
mate which the incipient steps have already been taken.
There is now but one bank in Missouri authorized to issue notes for circulation. Its total capital is only
about $1,200,000. The part of this allotted to Saint Louis, is about $600,000.
The bank is well managed—gives all the facilities its limited ability will justify. It never suspended
“specie payment” even in the general suspension of 1838. Its notes only pass here as coin, all others are
denominated “currency.” The bank only takes her own notes or coin, and pays out nothing else. All
transactions here are for specie. Currency, that is the paper of other states, circulates, but is subject to dis-
count, according to the locality and condition of the banks issuing.
There are also thirteen private banks of deposit, which detl in specie, currency and exchange. These possess
large capital and credit, and do an immense business. They afford great facilities to the business of the
city. There are also, .six “savings institutions,” chartered by the State, and authorized to receive deposits,
discount notes, buy aud sell exchange, &c, &c, but not to issue notes to circulate as money. The depositsin
these institutions, are between three and four millions; their authorised capital over $4,000,000. They all
stand well with the community, are rapidly growing into favor, and by their discounts are a very sensible
relief to the business community. To these we must add the home insurance companies, now numbering
twenty-two, having a large aggregate capital, which, with their current earnings, is, in the main, invested
in short, always available, discounts, for their stockholders and customers; thus, at the same time furnish-
ing ample indemnity as underwriters and facilities for business, and partly supplying the lack of banking
Many agencies, however, of Fire, Marine and Life Insurance companies of other states, are located here, so
that there is no material want on the subject of insurance.
The city is lit with gas, most of the private houses, all hotels, halls, churches, stores and most offices, are
thus supplied with light.
The gas supply is in the hands of an incorporated company, the magnitude of whose operations may be
inferred from the size of their new telescope gas-holder, recently constructed at the corner of Fourteenth and
This gasometer is capacitated to hold one million cubic feet of gas. It is thirty-five feet below and seventy-
two above the street, and is of the most desirable character. Its site was quarried from the solid rock, and
it will endure for ages. This, with the one heretofore in use, is expected to supply gas for some time to come.
For supplying customers, the company have now laid down over forty miles in length of street pipe; but
the number of public lamps, or private burners, we are at present unable to state.
Many private families, however, still use the spirit gas, of which there are several manufactories in the city.
Also, one establishment for making rosin oil, which it is said can also be used for burning.
Saint Louis is governed by a Mayor and City Council, elected by the people.
The Council consists of two boards, Aldermen and Delegates. There are two for each board, elected
from each of the ten wards into which the city is divided. The police is composed of some 120 privates,
besides 14 officers—134 in all. There are also a Comptroller, Register, Auditor, Treasurer, City Engineer,
Superintendent of Water Works, Collector of Water Rates, and Recorder for the trial of offences, &c, &c.
The revenue of the city is over $700,000 per annum, and steadily increasing. One-half of the revenue is
set apart by the charter to pay interest, light the city, and extend the water works. The city debt is con-
tracted mainly for aid to railroads and building sewers, both of which debt’s are to be liquidated, the latter
by special tax oil the property, and the former by the companies. The interest has always been paid on the
city indebtedness; besides, she has created a sinking fund from certain sources, including a portion of annual
revenue, which now amounts to nearly $1,000,000, the increase of which is used to purchase her bonds and
retire them from market.
The foregoing facts, to which allusion is also made in the preface, as having been furnished us by
JohnHogan,, Esq., embody a history full of interest to every citizen of St. Louis, as they betoken for her a
future, teeming with golden promise. To these we might add thoughts, of a character not so exclusively
practical, but which might be elaborated into a volume as large as this, were it consistent with the legiti-
mate objects of a mere Directory. The facts set forth by Mr. H. are in nowise over-stated, but rather below
the reality, inasmuch as a few weeks have elapsed since they were penned—a period sufficient, in St. Louis,
to affect, materially, the social relations, and to add much to the magnitude and increase of many branches
of the business of her citizens.
Within our own recollection, such changes have occurred, all tending to illustrate the onward progress of
St. Louis to a point of unexampled prosperity, as have astonished her most sanguine friends. If, sixteen
years ago, when we first arrived, and sojourned, for some weeks, !here, we had been told that, in 1857, the
population of the city would reach one hundred and forty thousand, we should have deemedthe asser-
tion either an idle boast, or the prediction of a dreaming enthusiast. We have, since that time, watched her
growing greatness with emotions of mingled surprise and exultation. And this has occurred, too, with but
few of those artificial aids and appliances so essential to the full development of all inland cities.
And if we go still farther back—to the year 1821, the period at which one of our ‘illustrious predecessors,’
John A.Taxton,, Esq., published the first Directory of St. Louis, a period of only thirty-six years—we have
still more cause for amazement at the contrast presented. That worthy gentleman thought it a matter of
special wonderment, that the fifty-seven years which had then elapsed since the occupation and settlement
of this spot, by Pierre La Clede Liguest and his associates, (in 1764,) had witnessed the expulsion of
the red man, the introduction of civilization, and the founding of a “town,” numbering five thousand five
hundred souls ! These astonishing facts he placed upon record, with evident self-satisfaction, and added,
exultingly, thatl; St. Louis had grown very rapidly! What would he think now, if he could be permitted
to revisit the earth, to find here a city rivaling, in everything that serves to make up a great commercial
emporium, nearly every other in the Union—with her fleet of magnificent steamers, compactly lining her
wharves for miles—her hundreds of extensive mercantile and manufacturing establishments—her thousand!
of busy merchants, manufacturers and artizans, and the tens of thousands of all other classes, citizens and
strangers, who crowd every mart and thoroughfare—a city with an enlightened, moral, and energetic popu-
lation, numbering one hundred and forty thousand, with every prospect of nearly doubling that popu-
lation ere the close of the present decade ! These, with the thousands of noble and stately edifices, public
and private, that would meet his view, on every hand, would doubtless lead him to suspect that something
not far short of supernatural influence had wrought the changes which surrounded him!
We imagine that La Clede and his comrades never, even in their wildest dreamings, anticipated a tithe of
what reality has developed, as to the growth and importance of their once trading-post. When they erected
their rude tents here, on the margin of the “Father of Waters,” it never occured to them that they were
founding a city, destined soon, to outstrip in wealth, population and refinement, every other west of the
Alleghanies; that their birch canoes or rude keelboats were so soon to give place to the magnificent steam-
ers that divide the waters of our noble river and her tributaries—those immense and gorgeous floating
palaces that deck our wharf—or,
“Walking the waters like a thing of life,”
Convey to our marts thousands of passengers, and the surplus wealth of millions of happy and prosperous
people. Or, to the hardy and adventurous pioneer—
“Whose axe rang wildly through those forest shades,
Which from creation t’ward the sky had towered
In unshorn beauty”—
That he was preparing the site for giant edifices, soon to rear their heads towards heaven, rivaling,
in grandeur and magnificence, the temples of Oriental history; that his remote retreat would be so suddenly
invaded by the tread of Empire; that the wings of Commerce would so soon waft her treasures to this
shore, and she herself take up her permanent abode here on the west bank of the Mississippi.
These reflections probably never occurred to those stalwart men—whose fancied paradise was a country
tenanted by savage beasts, and a home environed by still more savage men—who courted danger for its ex-
citement, and shunned society for its monotony—who,
“When Hyperion waked the blushing morn,
To rear his gorgeous sapphire throne on high,”
Set out upon the chase, indifferent, alike, as to whether the buffalo or the savage first met the aim of their
But, if tho past has so transcended all expectation—if St. Louis has been so miraculously transformed,
from a mere Indian trading-post, (and that, too, in a period within the memory of some of her present
citizens,) to a great and prosperous city, without the aid of those fortuitous circumstances which usually
contribute to the advancement of great emporiums, what are we to anticipate from a future, already glowing
with brilliant promise!
An enlightened policy has stricken the shackles from the enslaved energies of our great state, by giving
aid to our projected railroads, and enabling us to increase our banking facilities to an extent commensurate
with the demands of trade. Manufacturing establishments are being multiplied, and, with the increased
facilities afforded by our railroads, for obtaining the raw material used in these establishments, (which scien-
tific research has proved to exist in inexhaustible quantities in our soil,) it requires no foresight to determine
that, next to commerce, manufactures will most engage our attention.
The new territories of Kansas and Nebraska, now rapidly filling up, should make St. Louis the depot for
the surplus products of their teeming virgin soil; in return for which our merchants and manufacturers
will reap a golden harvest, in furnishing the goods and implements necessary to supply their large and in-
creasing population. The trade of these two incipient states must not be diverted from its legitimate channel
by any act of ours, but rather be invited, by the exhibition of a proper degree of courtesy and good feeling.
The superior geographical position of St. Louis, as the center of an immense region of fertile country,
and lying on the direct route, marked out by nature, as the great national highway, connecting the Atlantic
and Pacific oceans—her present and increasing accessibility to commerce—the rapid development and grow-
ing population of all the surrounding country—the facilities which will soon be afforded to business, in the
increase of a home currency—the erection of a bridge across the Mississippi, connecting us with our neigh-
bors in Illinois, thereby greatly appreciating the value of their lands, and tending to enhance their wealth
and population—with many other advantages, which might be stated—combine in bespeaking for St. Louis
a prosperity brilliant as the sun, and lasting as time!