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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html


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Louis A. Lebaume.

THE biography of Louis A. Lebaume commences in St. Louis; for he was born in this city on March 13th, 1807. His father, Louis Lebaume, was a native of France, a gentleman of fine education, which made him take a prominent part in the country he early adopted as his own. Under Zenon Zrudeau, the Spanish commander, he filled the important and responsible position of secretary, and after the transfer of the province of Louisiana to the United States, in due time he was elected one of the judges of Common Pleas, and likewise colonel of the militia. His wife, who was the mother of the subject of this memoir, and whose maiden name was Susan Dubruil, was connected with one of the oldest families in St. Louis, and was born within its precincts. The house in which the Dubruil family lived was an old-fashioned stone building with extended portico situated on the block in Second street, west side, between Chesnut and Pine. The whole square was owned by Mr. Dubruil, and a part of it was devoted to the cultivation of vegetables, and on one extremity was located a barn. On that square now stands a marble building built by Mr. Gay, in which will be held the Mechanics' and Southern Banks, and it is in the very heart of the business of St. Louis, and its value most enormous. One of the family who resided in that square is still alive. It is Mrs. Celeste Delaurier, sister of Mrs. Lebaume, now seventy-five years of age.

At the age of seven years, Louis A. Lebaume was taken from St. Louis to the Richwoods mines, where his father went to reside, and continued there three years, and then the family removed to a spot near the Belle Fontaine Cemetery, and a portion of the place is now comprised in a part of the beautiful grounds; it was there that the elder Mr. Lebaume died. He was fortunate in having his early education properly cared for, and was sent to the then only college of the town, situated near the south-west corner of Third and Market streets, on the old Alvarez lot, and presided over by Bishop Dubourg, an accomplished scholar and an exemplary divine. He remained at the college until sixteen years of age, and after sojourning with his mother a short period, he commenced his business career by clerking upon a steamboat, in which capacity he continued until 1827, and then went to France to settle an estate belonging to his father. He remained several years in la belle France, and whilst beneath its sunny skies, he formed the acquaintance of Mademoiselle Melane De Lapierre, whose father was high in authority, being president of the civil tribunal of Vigan, département du Garde. He was married to her on the 20th of December, 1832, and returned to St Louis in the spring of 1833.

He then formed a partnership in commercial pursuits with Theodore Lebaume, his brother, and Jonas Newman, the firm going under the name of Lebaume & Co. This partnership continued until 1841, when Mr. Lebaume entered into partnership with Peter E. Blow, his brother-in-law, the firm being Peter E. Blow & Co.

Some years after, Mr. Lebaume resolved to give up commercial pursuits altogether, and then engaged in the mining business with his brother-in-law, in Washington county, which continued until 1851. In this pursuit,

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Mr. Thomas M. Taylor was engaged with them a short time. He then retired from the lead business, which he had carried on extensively for several years, though he still owns the mines. Mr. Lebaume, though strictly a business man, and turning all of his business connections to profitable account, without being a politician, or anxious to mingle in the political atmosphere, has been called upon by his fellow citizens to fill positions of trust and responsibility. In 1841, he was elected a member of the board of delegates, and in 1842, a member of the board of aldermen, and remained a member until he resigned, in 1853, for the purpose of going to Europe to recruit his health, which had much declined. Whilst a member of the board of aldermen, he strongly opposed the measure for the city assisting in building the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad, contending that eastern capitalists for their own sakes, so as to facilitate more directly communication with St. Louis, would complete the road, and if the city had any funds to invest in that manner, it should be in caring for the railroads in the state, which were so much required to develop fully the immense resources of Missouri. He opposed, too, the depositing of the city funds, frequently amounting to several hundred thousand dollars, with private bankers, previous to the failure of many of them, and saved the city from an immense loss in the banking business.

As early as 1842, he introduced a bill for the widening of the levee, which was entirely too narrow for the business of St. Louis, but his enterprising resolution was not supported, and not until 1849, after the great fire, was the levee widened, under the municipal administration of Mr. Barry; Mr. Lebaume promptly urging the resolution, and, after it was passed, assisting in drawing the present line of the levee. In 1844, he was elected to the legislature, and during his term Thomas H. Benton was elected for the last time to the United States Senate.

During his public service, Mr. Lebaume was a hard-working member, and all of his efforts were directed, uninfluenced by the shallow motives of political prejudice, to the advancement of the city and state. When a member of the city council, an effort was made to double the salary of the members, but Mr. Lebaume, assisted by Mr. Palm, satisfied that the office should be one of honor, and not of emolument, which would make it too much of an object for the unprincipled and political harpies, strongly and effectually resisted the attempt.

He has two brothers residing at St. Louis. One of them, Louis G. Lebaume, was once the popular sheriff of the county, and Theodore Lebaume for many years served as deputy-sheriff.

In 1851, Mr. Lebaume was elected a director of the Gas Company of St. Louis, and soon after the president, which responsible office he still holds. In 1851, he was elected a director in the Pacific Railroad, and in 1855, a director in the Boatmen's Saving Institution. When it became evident in 1859, that corruption had crept into the county court, he took a very active part in abolishing it. He is well known in the place of his birth, and has witnessed year by year the unparalleled growth of his native city, and his efforts and influence have done much for its prosperity. His name gives strength, with whatever it is associated, and any enterprise with which he is connected, almost at once guarantees the sanction and the confidence of the public.

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Edwards, Richard; Hopewell, M.; Ashley, William; Barry, James G.; Belt and Priest; Casey, John; Hall, W.; Labaum, Louis A.; Leduc, Mary Philip; Lisa, Manuel; O'Fallon, Benjamin; Piernas; Port Folio; Risley, W.; Stoddard, Amos; Williams, Henry W.; Yore, John E. Edwards's Great West and Her Commercial Metropolis, Embracing a General View of the West, and a Complete History of St. Louis, from the Landing of Ligueste, in 1764, to the Present Time; with Portraits and Biographies of Some of the Old Settlers, and Many of the Most Prominent Buisiness Men . St. Louis: Office of Edwards's Monthly, A Journal of Progress, 1860. [format: book], [genre: biography; history; letter; narrative]. Permission: St. Louis Mercantile Library
Persistent link to this document: http://lincoln.lib.niu.edu/file.php?file=edwards.html
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