NIU Libraries Digitization Projects
Lincoln/Net Prairie Fire Illinois During the Civil War Illinois During the Gilded Age Mark Twain's Mississippi Back to Digitization Projects Contact Us
BACK

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


Previous section

Next section

Biographies. Madame Elizabeth Ortes.

MADAME ELIZABETH ORTES was born September 27th, 1764, at Vincennes, a French military post of great importance on the Wabash. To have been in Indiana at that early date, was to have been in a wilderness, and a vast region on both sides of the Mississippi went by the name of Illinois. Her mother's name was Marguerite Dutremble, and that of her father Antoine Barada, who, previous to his marriage, was a French soldier, and served for some years in the French army, then commanded by Louis St. Ange de Bellerive. When Vincennes had been given up to the English, the very year after her birth, her parents still remained at the post; but seeing, day by day, the old customs gradually dying away, which, from long use, had become necessary to their existence; and feeling, also, that dislike to the English natural to the French, they removed to St. Louis in 1768. Madame Ortes was then four years of age, and St. Louis was founded seven months before her birth.

At the age of four years, the memory had commenced to retain upon its delicate tablet impressions of external objects, and Madame Ortes distinctly recollects her removal from Fort Vincennes to St. Louis, and knows well the time when the little log church was built on Second street, near Market, on the same square where the cathedral now stands. The church was built by Jean B. Ortes, who became her future husband. She distinctly recollects the time when the French flag was lowered, and the town was delivered to the Spaniards by Louis St. Ange do Bellerive, who was then commandant. She well remembers the appearance of that distinguished general of the French, and the time when he died, at the house of Madame Chouteau, situated on the square opposite the Missouri Republican office. She distinctly remembers Pierre Laclede Liguest, the founder of the city, and was thirteen years of age when he died, on the Mississippi, at the mouth of the Arkansas.

At fourteen years of age, Mademoiselle Elizabeth Barada was married to Jean B. Ortes, one of the companions of Liguest, who was a native of the same place, the county of Bion, on the borders of France; and their birth-spot was in the shadow of the towering Pyrenees. Both emigrated to America at one time, and they were together when the site of St. Louis was chosen and the trees marked where the erection of the buildings was to be commenced. He was a carpenter and cabinet-maker, and died in 1813, at the age of seventy-five years.

Madame Ortes is now nearly ninety-six years of age, and has lived ninety-two years in St. Louis. She has seen all the different phases of the Mound City, from 1768 to the present time. She was a little girl during the first French domination, and saw Piernas, the first Spanish governor, when he arrived in the town. She had grown to womanhood when the town was attacked by the savages, in 1780. She was intimate with the families of the different Spanish commandants, and was in the fortieth year of her age when the city was again delivered to the commissioner of the French, and on the following day was consigned to a

-- 530 --

representative of the United States, and the star-spangled banner floated from the battlements. She has witnessed all the changes St. Louis has undergone during the almost century of its existence. She has seen the little log cabins of one story, as they grew tottering by the decaying fingers of Time, supplanted by palatial buildings. She has seen the gay, convivial, and happy inhabitants that once formed the population, go, one by one, to their "narrow house;" and a new people, with different tastes, and animated by mercenary motives, are living and breathing around her. Every thing has become more attractive to the eye — shows the march of intellect and civilization; but the atmosphere created by sympathetic influence has been chilled, and the warm sunshine of happiness, which radiated the days of the former inhabitants, is now wanting.

Time has dealt gently with Madame Ortes. Though ninety-six years of age, her health is good, spirits buoyant, and her mind lucid and active. Her memory is most astonishing, and she loves to talk of the time that has passed, of the persons who were the companions of her childhood, and with whom she associated in the spring and summer of her life. She was always of a happy nature, lived a retired life, never was troubled by worldly wants, and, to use her own graphic expression, "her cellar was always full." To these salutary causes is to be attributed the health and the length of life she has enjoyed. We are happy to relate that she has resided, since the death of her husband, in the house of Mr. Joseph Philibert, her son-in-law, having at her command all worldly comforts. She is surrounded by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and in their society almost forgets the infirmities and regrets of age, and lives a life of comparative happiness.

-- 533 --

The Chouteau Family.

THERE is no family that now lives or has lived in St. Louis, that is so identified with the city as the Chouteau family. The name is familiar to all classes of citizens, and a sketch of its history will be a record of unusual interest. It was from the beautiful country bordering upon the Po in France that a member of the family, in the person of a youth called René Chouteau, first emigrated, and came first to Canada, and afterward to New Orleans, where he engaged successfully in trading with the Indians; and there married Mademoiselle Therese Bourgeois; and five children were the fruit of the marriage, namely, Auguste, Pierre, Pelagie, Marie Louise, and Victoire.

The eldest of these children, Auguste Chouteau, at an early period gave indications of business talent, and attracting the attention of Pierre Laclede Liguest, when he was making preparations for the trade with the Indians of the Missouri and Upper Mississippi rivers, he offered him a position of trust, which was accepted, and previous to starting from New Orleans he had so ingratiated himself in the favor of his employer, that he became the second in command; and the position of the son being one of trust and importance, the mother and family started with the expedition for the new post that was to be established on the Mississippi.

The expedition first landed at St. Genevieve, and after leaving there, a few families stopped at Kaskaskia, among whom was that of Madame Chouteau, with the exception of Auguste Chouteau, who, as next in command to Liguest, conducted the expedition to Fort de Chartres. [74] From Fort de Chartres, Auguste Chouteau started with Liguest, and a few picked men, for the mouth of the Missouri, to discover a site for the trading post which was to be their future home. In this voyage the site where St. Louis now stands was chosen, and the trees sliced to mark the spot where the first buildings were to be erected. After returning to Fort de Chartres, Auguste Chouteau, directly navigation would permit, started with thirty picked men, by the order of Liguest, to commence building upon the spot previously selected, and the cabins for the men and the warehouse for the goods were built, and also the commencement of the building which afterward became known as the old Chouteau Mansion, but lately torn down, and which stood on the square between Main and Second, and Market and Walnut streets.

Six months after the little colony had become settled and somewhat comfortable, Madame Chouteau and her children, who had been left at Kaskaskia, moved to the new-named town of St. Louis, and a few months afterward resided in the square situated between Second and Main, and Chestnut and Walnut streets, where Madame Chouteau resided until her death.

-- 534 --

Auguste Chouteau, the eldest son of the family, had a business education, and to him was committed the charge of surveying the precincts of the new town, in which work he was assisted by his brother, Pierre Chouteau. He then became a merchant and Indian trader, and after the death of Liguest in 1778, he was selected by Antoine Maxent, the partner of the deceased, to administer upon the estate, and in the Spanish archives still in existence in our court-house, is to be found a paper of Antoine Maxent, bearing testimony to the confidence he had in the administrator, and his satisfaction in the manner in which the business confided to him had been adjusted. [75]

The house in which Liguest lived, was purchased by Anguste Chouteau, after his death, when offered for public sale in 1779, for the sum of three thousand livres. This was for the whole square, and was a large price for property at the time; but it must be recollected that though land was comparatively nothing in value, buildings were dear, and the one of Liguest was the best in the village. Colonel Auguste Chouteau soon afterward greatly enlarged the house, and it became known as the Choteau Mansion, and around it was built a wall having portholes for cannon; and often, when alarmed from fear of the Indians, many of the inhabitants would take shelter within its gates. As the city grew it was again new modeled and with all the elegance that wealth could command, though preserving many of its primitive quaint features, which added to its interest. [76] In that mansion Colonel Auguste Chouteau resided until his death, which took place in 1829.

Under Governor Lewis, Auguste Chouteau received the appointment of colonel — was one of the judges of the territorial courts, and a commissioner of the general government to treat with the Indians. He was also

-- 535 --

president of the old Bank of St. Louis and the old Bank of Missouri. During the time of the Spanish commandants, he possessed their confidence and friendship, and may be said to have been the prime vizier of all of them. He for a long time owned the only mill in the place, assisted in building the first church in 1770, built the first distillery in 1789, and during the Spanish domination was the leading and enterprising spirit of the time. After the change of government, he was regarded by the American people as a man possessing a high sense of honor and a benignant disposition.

In early life he married Mademoiselle Therese Cerré, and had seven children, bearing names as follows: Auguste, Gabriel, Henri, Edward, Ulalie, Louise and Emilie.

Pierre Chouteau, who was the brother of Auguste, came to St. Louis, according to the ancient record, with his mother, as has been related before, about six months after the founding of the post. From early youth he evinced a passion for trading with the Indians, and being taken into partnership by his brother Auguste, to him was confided the trading with the savages, and most of the years of his active life were spent amid the wilds of the Missouri, encountering all the hardships and vicissitudes then incident to the life of the trader. He may truly be said to have been the pioneer of the fur-trade, which in after years became the source of the wealth of St. Louis and of interest to the Union. In 1804 he gave up the Indian trade, and was appointed under Jefferson agent for the Indians west of the Mississippi river. During the "Celebration of the Anniversary of the Founding of St. Louis," he was the oldest settler in St. Louis, and presided at the festival on that occasion. He was twice married. His first wife was Mademoiselle Pelagie Kiersereau, and four children were the issue of the marriage, namely, Auguste, Pierre, Paul Liguest, and Pelagie. His second wife was Mademoiselle Brigette Saucier, by whom he had five children, named as follows: Frances, Cyprien, Pharamond, Charles and Frederick. He died at the advanced age of ninety-one.

We have now given a cursory history of the two sons of René and

-- 536 --

Therese Chouteau, and will now simply mention the three daughters in, their marriage connection.

Pelagie married Sylvestre Labadie, a prominent merchant and Indian trader in the early days of St. Louis, and had one son and four daughters, namely, Sylvestre, Emilie, Pelagie, Sophia, and Monette.

Marie Louise, the second daughter of René and Therese Chouteau married Jean Marie Papin, a merchant and Indian trader, who had a large family of seven sons and five daughters, viz.: Joseph, Laforce, Hypolite, Hilicour, Villeret, Pierre Didier, Dartine, Marguerite, Therese, Marie Louise, Sophia, and Emilie.

Victoire, the third daughter of René and Therese Chouteau, married Charles Gratiot, a merchant and Indian trader, and had nine children, viz.: Charles, Henri, Pierre, Paul, Julia, Victoire, Therese, Emilie, and Ezabelle.

We have now given the names of the children of René Chouteau and Therese Bourgeois, known as Madame Chouteau, and, likewise, the names of those to whom they were married, and the names of their children; and from the marriages of these last have sprung some of the most influential citizens of St. Louis. We have now to complete this sketch of the Chouteau family, by giving a biographical sketch of one of its prominent members, whose portrait adorns this work.

Pierre Chouteau.

PIERRE CHOUTEAU was born on the 19th of January, 1789. His father, after whom he was named, and of whom we have already given the reader some account as being an Indian trader, was seldom domesticated with his family, being called, by the nature of his vocation, far in the remote wilds through which the Upper Mississippi and wild Missouri flow. His mother, Pelagie Kiersereau, had the whole charge of the children; and the first visitation of childish grief which young Pierre experienced was when, at the age of four years, he lost this estimable parent. After the death of his mother he was taken by his aunt, Madame Dahetre, who lived in a little one-story house, at the corner of Washington Avenue and Main. (At that time Washington Avenue had no name, and Main street was called, La rue principale).

There were, in the early days of St. Louis, two French teachers who taught all of the children of the little village. They were known as Madame Rigache, and Jean Baptiste Trudeau; and to them Pierre Chouteau owed the first rudiments of education. However, from the very first, his nature rebelled against confined and sedentary habits; and while a young boy, he would listen with rapture to the adventures of the hunters and trappers, who, at that time, made up a large portion of the population of St. Louis, and often besought his father to let him go to the trading posts established on the Missouri. This repeated solicitation was at length gratified; for his father, having given up his trade with the Indians at the change of government, he consented in 1807 to young Pierre making his first essay as a trader, which was at that time a kind of knight-errantry to which all the ambitious French youth aspired.

Panting with the pressure of youthful hopes, Pierre Chouteau left St.

-- 537 --

Louis in August, 1807, with two boats laden with goods suitable for the Indian trade in that region. As is always the case in youthful perspective, not more than one-half of his hopes were realized. The expedition did not produce the Potosi of wealth which he had before figured up would be the result; and on the whole was but a meagre compensation for the hardships he encountered in his first experience in the fur-trade; for he wintered upon the Osage, and that year the winter was of unusual severity.

In early spring he returned to St. Louis, and then, at the solicitation of Dubuque, the well-known pioneer miner and trader of Iowa, went up to the trading post bearing his name, and on the site of which is now a flourishing city, and became connected with the fur trade of the Upper Mississippi. After the death of Dubuque, he came back to St. Louis, and in 1819 formed a partnership with his brother-in-law, Berthold, in the Indian trade and general merchandizing business; and the store was kept in the second brick house that was built in St. Louis, and located on Main street, between Market and Chestnut streets.

The firm of Berthold and Chouteau soon became extensively known, and their boats and trading posts were familiar to the numerous tribes of Indians who dwelt upon the Missouri and its tributaries. Berthold remained in the store, and to Pierre Chonteau was confided the trade with the Indians. After the boats were dispatched a few days, he would start upon horseback and take the road leading from St. Louis toward what now is Manchester, and which, after some miles from the city, became a small Indian path, in many places scarcely perceptible. After leaving the settlements he had to content himself with Indian comforts in his business pilgrimage. Some bread and dried buffalo meat which he carried in a wallet attached to his saddle, served as his sustenance on his journey. At night, he would tether his horse that it might graze at pleasure, and wrapping himself in a blanket, would lie upon the earth with his feet toward the fire which he usually kindled, according to the fashion of the Indians. Frequently in these wild solitudes he would come across small encampments of Indians, and would often accept their invitations to a feast; and, strange to say, there was never an insult offered him, nor any attempt made to interrupt his journeys. This originated in a great measure from a perfect knowledge of the Indian character, and a disposition at all times to conciliate their regard rather than excite their prejudice. [77]

After the dissolution of the firm of Berthold & Chouteau, Pierre Chouteau became connected in business with other prominent Indian traders, among whom were General Bernard Pratte, and Jean P. Cabanné. It is a fact deserving of record that, in these associations, so total was the confidence of each partner in the other, that there were no written terms of copartnership, and never any difficulty in the final adjustment of the books.

-- 538 --

In 1827, Pierre Chouteau became associated with Mr. Astor, and the American Fur Company, then in its palmy days, was principally under his management. At this time the boats ascended the Missouri only as far as the Bluffs, and the goods were then taken and transferred in packs to horses, and carried in that manner to the regions of the Crows and Blackfeet at a vast expense. Pierre Chouteau, after being familiar with the currents of the Missouri for many years, resolved to pass what was thought to be the Ultima Thule of its navigation. In 1831, he ascended in boats to Fort Pierre, which feat having accomplished successfully, in the following year — 1832, the wild Indians living about the mouths of the Yellowstone, first saw, in awe and surprise, a steamboat in their midst. In 1834, he purchased Mr. Astor's interest in the western branch of the company, and in 1836 was established the present firm of Pierre Chouteau, Jun., & Co., which, since that time, may be said to have monopolized all of the fur-trade of the Missouri and Upper Mississippi rivers. Mr. Chouteau is also now engaged extensively in the iron business.

June 15th, 1813, Pierre Chouteau married his cousin, Emilie Gratiot, daughter of Charles Gratiot, and has two children, both living — his son, Charles Chouteau, being associated in business with him. He is now in the evening of an active and well-spent life, possessing a reputation pure from calumny, and enjoying the respect of all classes of citizens. He was one of the framers of the constitution in 1820, and has been of much utility to the general government in assisting in treaties with the far and distant tribes of Indians. He has been the largest fur-trader west of the Alleghany Mountains. At one period his trading area extended over an immense country. It embraced the whole country watered by the Upper Mississippi and Missouri rivers, and by the Osage, the Kansas, the Platte, and the St. Peters; he frequently having in his employ seven hundred men, some of them at immense salaries. To his pilots up the Missouri river he often gave seven hundred dollars per month, so as to secure the services of the most skilful; and to this circumstance may be attributed the fact that in all of the dangerous navigation incident to his business, he has never met with any serious losses.

-- 541 --

The Soulard Family.

THE name of Soulard, so identified with the early annals of St. Louis, belongs to that part of France where the city of Rochefort is situated. We will commence with Antoine Soulard, the second surveyor under the Spanish domination in Upper Louisiana, he having succeeded Martin Duralde, the first surveyor who had been appointed by Piernas, the first Spanish commandant. His father figured conspicuously in the martial exploits of his country, and was a captain in the French Royal Navy. While holding this rank, in some engagement with the English, his left arm was shot off by a cannon-ball.

Antoine Soulard, born at a time when France for many years presented the features of a recruiting camp, and born, too, of ancestors who had been bred to arms, gave early indications of a preference to a martial sphere, and, after being properly qualified by an education at a military academy, was in due time appointed a lieutenant in the royal army. A little while after his appointment, the lowering clouds which produced the storm of the Revolution, began to gather over the political firmament of France with portentous gloom. It soon burst with all its fury. The royal crown was rolled in the dust, and the king, queen, and whole hosts of their followers were swept from existence. To belong to the royal faction was to be a foredoomed victim to the bloody shrine of wild and barbarous anarchy; and Antoine Soulard and many others, to escape the busy axe of the guillotine, resolved on expatriating themselves, and sailed for the United States in the year 1794. He landed at Marblehead, Massachusetts, with but a small quantity of livres in his possession; and knowing that St. Louis was peopled principally by the French, he at once started for the distant town. He took his route through Pittsburgh, which journey ho performed on horseback, and from thence he proceeded down the Ohio, in a keel-boat which was bound for St. Louis.

When he arrived at St. Louis, Antoine Soulard was a perfect stranger, but, self-reliant and determined to enter promptly on some sphere of active life, he at once introduced himself to Zenon Trudeau, the Spanish commandant, but a Frenchman, and so favorable was the impression which he created, that the lieutenant-governor took him to his house, and there domiciled him. He did more. Finding how superior was his education, he appointed him surveyor-general of the whole province of Upper Louisiana, which office had then been vacant, and remained his true and staunch friend during the term of his administration, which expired in 1798.

Antoine Soulard was continued in office by Delassus de Daluziere, the last Spanish commandant, during whose term, from the profusion of grants, his duties were very onerous. When the Province of Louisiana was transferred to the United States, he was continued in office by Major Pierre Chouteau is connected with two business houses in New York, one in the fur-trade, the other in the iron business; his name is known from St. Louis to the Rocky Mountains, and from St. Louis to the little lake from which flows the Mississippi, and wherever it is known it is loved and honored.

-- 542 --

Stoddard, the first governor of the province when it came in possession of the United States; and when the province came under the jurisdiction of the Territory of Indiana, he was continued in his office by General Harrison, and held it until he resigned.

After his resignation, Antoine Soulard devoted himself to the care of his farm, situated on what was then known as the Vide Poche road, now Carondelet avenue. What was then his farm is now comprised in the very centre of the southern portion of the city of St. Louis. It extended from what is known as Park avenue to Lesperance street, and, commencing at the Mississippi on the east, was bounded on the west by Carondelet avenue. He had the finest orchard of fruits known in St. Louis or its vicinity.

Soon after his advent in St. Louis, Antoine Soulard was married to Julia Cerré, daughter of Gabriel Cerré, one of those who came from Kaskaskia to St. Louis a few months after its foundation, after the eastern portion of the Province of Louisiana fell into the hands of the English. He was consequently the brother-in-law of Colonel Auguste Chouteau, who married Therese Cerré, and likewise brother-in-law of Pascal Cerré, all children of Gabriel Cerré, who was engaged at one time extensively in trade with the Indians, and owned large landed possessions near St. Louis.

Antoine Soulard died in 1825, and left three sons — James G. Soulard, Henry G. Soulard, and Benjamin A. Soulard, all of whom are still living.

Antoine Soulard had one brother and two sisters, the latter living and dying in France. The brother, whose name was Benjamin Soulard, had a predilection for military life, and was fitted for it by graduation at a military academy. He was lieutenant in the navy, and was at St. Domingo (now Hayti) when the negro insurrection occurred, and the whites were nearly all inhumanly massacred. Ho then went to Cadiz, Spain, and for a short time engaged in mercantile pursuits; but when the French legions marched into the country, he joined their ranks, and served in that eventful war, fortunate at first for the French, but disastrous in its termination.

After the giant strength of Napoleon Bonaparte was forced to yield to the tremendous coalition against him, and he was inhumanly cast upon a barren and rocky isle in the wild waste of ocean, Benjamin Soulard, with many other French officers, was restored to his rank in the navy, and soon after retired — his pension being the half-pay of captain. He carried with him in his retirement the most honorable insignia of his profession as emblematic of his worth. He was invested with the order of "The Legion of Honor," and also with that of "Knight of St. Louis." He died at Rochefort.

We have in this work a portrait of a member of this ancient family, and will now proceed to give his biography.

James G. Soulard.

JAMES G. SOULARD was born in St. Louis, July 17th, 1798. He was sent to the well-known schoolmaster of the village, Jean Baptiste Trudeau. After the retirement of his father, Antoine Soulard, from the surveyorship

-- 543 --

of Upper Louisiana, he received from him much instruction, as he had been highly educated in France previous to his entrance in the army. He was learned in the practical duties of agricultural life, as his father possessed a superior farm, whose limits now almost embrace the heart of the city of St. Louis.

James G. Soulard was married in early life to Miss Eliza M. Hunt, daughter of Thomas Hunt and of Eunice Wellington, both of Watertown, Massachusetts. Her father, Colonel Thomas Hunt, was an officer in the United States army, and fought for his country during the trying period of the Revolution. He was stationed at Belle Fontaine, then the military post of the country, before the building of the Arsenal, and died at the fort, where he commanded. Four weeks afterward the amiable wife and devoted mother paid the last debt which humanity pays to nature, and was buried by the side of her husband. The turf is now green above them both, but their memories are still cherished by friends and children.

James G. Soulard has been engaged in mercantile pursuits, which he pursued for some time in the state of Illinois, and for many years was one of the hardy pioneers on the outskirts of civilization. He was for a short time a resident of Fort Snelling, Minnesota. He was made deputy-surveyor of the general government, and while a resident of Jo Daviess county, Illinois, he had so much the confidence of the community, that he was elected county recorder and county surveyor, which offices he held for many years. For twenty-two years he has resided near the flourishing city of Galena, Illinois, where he has been farming extensively, and, by his taste for the collection of the finest fruits, and skill in cultivating them, he has done much to call the attention of agriculturists to the profits arising from fruit-culture, and the blessing to the general health which attends their consumption. Mr. Soulard was the first to introduce the grape into that section of country, and now there are many flourishing vineyards which evince the success of its cultivation. He was also coast-master of Galena.

Mr. Soulard has a large family of children — one son and seven daughters. The daughters are all married. He is blessed with still a fine constitution, though he has drawn heavily upon it during the hardships incident to his pioneer life, and Time has but gently touched him during the more than threescore years of his existence, leaving scarcely an evidence yet of his "decaying fingers." His health is vigorous, his step elastic, his form erect, and possessing no mark of the decrepitude of age. He is warm and constant in his friendship, and, from his amiable deportment, has always been popular. He was born in St. Louis when it was under a foreign domination, and is one of the few still left who recollect when our great Metropolis had less than one thousand inhabitants.

-- 544 --

The Right Rev. Cicero Stephens Hawks, D. D., Bishop of Missouri.

THE distinguished subject of this sketch was born May 26th, 1812, at Newborn, North Carolina. His father's family was of English extraction, and his mother's was of Irish origin. They settled in North Carolina at an early day. It was his misfortune, however, never to know the sweetest boon of childhood — a mother's affection, she having died when he was but two years of age. She was exemplary as a Christian, a wife, and mother. His father, Francis Hawks, had nine children, of which the subject of this memoir was the youngest son, and on the death of the mother, he was taken under the affectionate charge of the eldest sister, Phebe, who afterward married the Hon. Walter Anderson, late chief-justice of the Supreme Court of Florida, and who still survives her distinguished husband, and resides in Pensacola. It may be here remarked that the two eldest brothers belong to the ministry. The Rev. Francis L. Hawks, D. D., LL. D., is the present rector of Calvary Church, New York, and the Rev. William N. Hawks is the rector of Trinity Church, Columbus, Georgia; both of them are learned, popular, and eloquent divines, and the former has been thrice elected bishop.

The father of Cicero Stephens Hawks gave to him all the advantages of an early education, and among his first classical teachers was the late Right Rev. George W. Freeman, D. D., missionary bishop of the southwest. After a due preparatory course, at the age of fifteen he entered the Sophmore class, of the University of North Carolina. He was indefatigable as a student; not only did he excel in his scholastic duties, but there were none who could compete with him in knowledge of general literature. He remained three years at the University, and then graduated. Whilst there he gave indications of his future eminence. His mind was comprehensive, brilliant, and logical, and his memory so impressive that whatever it acquired was ever after recorded upon its tablet.

After leaving college, in accordance with the wishes of his father, and his own inclination, he commenced the study of the law in his native town, under instruction of the late Hon. Wm. Gaston, one of the most accomplished jurists and statesmen of his time. He had almost completed his legal studies when his father died, and, forming new plans for the future, in 1833 he went to New York, furnished with introductory letters to Chancellor Kent and other prominent gentlemen, and for a short time continued to pursue his studies for the legal profession.

A little while after his advent in New York, his ambition became chastened, and his early views became elevated, by reading some authors on theology under the awakening influences of conscience; he felt a call to the ministry, and under the direction of his brother, the Rev. Francis L.

-- 547 --

Hawks, he commenced his course of studies, and was ordained a deacon by Bishop Onderdonk, of New York. His first charge of a congregation was in Ulster county, New York; he officiated also in the neighborhood of Red Hook. When he had attained the age of twenty-four, he was qualified with the full powers of the ministry. He received many invitations, to preside over congregations, from different sections of the Union, and finally accepted the rectorship of Trinity Church, Buffalo. His winning and efficient eloquence, and the influence of an exemplary life, soon increased the number of his parishioners, and it was necessary to build another church of larger dimensions, and he was beloved by his numerous congregation.

In 1843, he received an invitation to the rectorship of Christ's Church, St. Louis, which he accepted by the advice of his friends. He became at once most popular in the new field of his labors, and, with the wishes of the resident ministry of the diocese of Missouri, in 1844, he was elected bishop unanimously by the House of Bishops, and the election confirmed by the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies; and, October 20, 1844, he was consecrated by Bishop Chase of Illinois, in Christ Church, Philadelphia; Bishops Chase and Cobbs, the former of New Hampshire, and the latter of Georgia, were consecrated at the same time. Bishop Hawks, we believe, is the youngest bishop that has ever been consecrated in the Episcopal Church. He was, at his consecration, only thirty-two years of age. Possessing an expansive and comprehensive mind, he was soon familiar with his new sphere, and his administration over his extensive diocese has been popular and efficient.

In 1847, Bishop Hawks received the honorary degree of D. D. from the University of Missouri; at the same time that of LL. D. was conferred on the late Thomas H. Benton.

In 1849, St. Louis was visited by the most dangerous of all known maladies, the Asiatic cholera. It was at this season of tribulation, when life held by so precarious a tenure, and hundreds were flying from the city, that Bishop Hawks was found ministering comfort by the side of the sick and the dying. He acted truly the part, during this fearful crisis, of an exemplary Christian and a faithful pastor to his fold. Five years afterward, death launched his shaft into his household, and claimed as a victim the gentle being who brought happiness to his hearthstone, the wife of his bosom. Her maiden name was Ann Jones, daughter of Dr. Hugh and Anna Maria Guyon Jones, of Huguenot descent, natives of North Carolina. Her illness was a lingering one, yet she was sustained by Christian fortitude, and her sufferings assuaged by the balm distilled by an approving conscience. She left one daughter, still of a tender age, affording solace to the father in the dark hour of affliction. Bishop Hawks had also for many years the charge of three of his deceased brother's children, two sons and a daughter, who are now comfortably settled in married life.

Bishop Hawks, while firmly advocating and maintaining the tenets of his Church, has no sweeping denunciation of others of different views. He is a true Christian, and while free from most of the weaknesses incident to humanity, he is charitable to the errors of others. His mind is a repository of learning garnered from every source, and he possesses rave executive powers. His writings, though not as voluminous as his friends

-- 548 --

and admirers would wish, are, nevertheless, known and popular, having been for many years a contributor to the various journals. He edited some years ago, "The Boys' and Girls' Library" for the Messrs. Harper, and also Appleton's "Library for my Young Countrymen." He wrote several of the volumes of "Uncle Philip's Conversations for the Young," and was the author of "Friday Christian; or, the Firstborn of Pitcairn Island." In the pulpit, he wields the potent power of true eloquence. His discourse, convincing by the strength of argument, is relieved and adorned by appropriate rhetorical beauties; and his manner, without being glowing or impressive, has the gentle fervency of Christian inspiration. With health unimpaired, and his mind rich in scholastic lore and the wealth of practical experience, the diocese of Missouri can hope, for many years, his popular superintendence.

-- 551 --

John S. McCune, President of Pilot Knob Iron Company.

JOHN S. McCUNE was born, June 21st, 1809, in Bourbon Co., Kentucky. His parents, John and Mary McCune, were natives of Pennsylvania, and emigrated to Kentucky when much of the primitive forest of that fertile state towered in its native grandeur, untouched by the axe of the sturdy pioneer. They appeared to have had a partiality for the excitement of pioneer life, for when civilization commenced to supply the luxuries of life, and the settlements commenced to thicken with an industrious population, they left their habitation for a newer country, and moved near Bowling Green, Pike county, Missouri, in 1817. John McCune, the elder, was remarkable for his innate strength of mind, which always made him a leader in the commonwealth in which he lived. He was a skilful agriculturist, and took great delight in possessing fine stock, and spared no pains and expense in procuring the choicest strains. He had a large family of eight children, four of whom are still living.

Young John McCune, directly his size admitted of labor, assisted his father in the working of the farm, and soon became acquainted with the healthful and useful pursuit of agriculture. In 1839 he went to Galena, Illinois, and supplied government provisions at St. Peter's, Dunleith, and Rock Island, and continued to do, for five years, that extensive and lucrative business. He then went to Pike county, Louisiana, where he erected a large flouring mill, and became engaged also in merchandizing, which continued for several years, when Mr. McCune, feeling that the field of operations was too circumscribed in the town of Louisiana, resolved on moving to St. Louis, where he could extend his business to the magnitude he wished. He disposed of his concern, and came to St. Louis in 1841. He purchased an interest in the large foundry establishment of Samuel Gaty, and still continues connected with that gentleman, the firm being well known to every business man in St. Louis, and indeed throughout the Union.

Enterprise has been one of the dominant traits in Mr. McCune's character. In 1843, believing that a lucrative trade could be established between St. Louis and the intervening river towns to Keokuck, he conceived and organized the Keokuck Packet Company, and the gigantic enterprise startled even some of the most enterprising and venturesome natures in St. Louis. Most men predicted a failure, and even the friends of the enterprise distrusted the feasibility of the scheme and feared the result. Despite of all these gloomy predictions, which appeared sufficient to smother the enterprise in its incipiency, Mr. McCune soon had his line of packets

-- 552 --

plying between Keokuck and the various cities between it and St. Louis on the Mississippi river. The trade proved a most profitable one to all engaged, and the company have reaped a golden harvest. That line of packets has not only proved the "philosopher's stone" to their owners but has developed the resources of some of the most flourishing towns on the Mississippi river, which had remained unknown before the company's creation. There are six boats of superior elegance, appearing like palaces on the water, which are now running between Keokuck and St. Louis, and to John S. McCune belongs the credit of their existence.

There are some minds of such capacity, that no magnitude of business appears sufficient to fill up its dimensions, and exhaust its ability. Though Mr. McCune was connected with an extensive foundry business, and the Keokuck Packet Company, he accepted the nomination of the Presidency of the Pilot Knob Iron Company in 1857, at the very time that the great financial tornado was sweeping through the country, and was ruining and laying prostrate every variety of business. The Pilot Knob Iron Company felt the pressure upon it, and its affairs were in a tottering condition. To save themselves from a total wreck, they were on the eve of sacrificing an immense amount of their stock to raise the sum of $300,000, from eastern capitalists, when McCune assumed the largo liability, and relieved the company from its embarrassment. Since that time its affairs have been in a most healthful condition, and the business is extensive and lucrative.

Mr. McCune was married May 21st, 1839, to Miss Ruthora Galesby, daughter of William Galesby, of Westchester, Pa., and has five children. His son is now engaged in the tour of some of the foreign countries, so as to perfect his education by travel. There is no one in St. Louis, who holds more positions of trust. He is a director in the Real Estate Savings Institution, State Mutual Insurance Company, and was chiefly instrumental in the establishment of a district school; he is also a director in the Globe Insurance Company, President of the Pilot Knob Iron Company, besides his connection with the foundry business and packet company.

-- 555 --

Hon. John Marshall Krum.

JOHN MARSHALL KRUM, so well known throughout the state as eminent in his profession, was born in Columbia county, state of New York. From a boy, he was fond of mental culture, and, after passing through the grade of instruction afforded by the common schools, he went to Fairfield Academy, under the charge of the Rev. John Chassell, and remained nearly three years under the tuition of that eminent scholar and divine. Leaving Fairfield, he commenced the study of the law, and so well did the profession assimilate with his natural affinities, that he progressed by far faster than students who entered upon it with indifference, and in 1833 was admitted to practice.

Mr. Krum was early dazzled by those day-dreams of ambition which are incident to an aspiring nature, and, seeing but little opening in his county, he started for the West, and located himself at Alton, Illinois, in 1834. Here he soon entered upon a lucrative practice, and by his talents and integrity so won the respect and confidence of the community, that in 1835 he was appointed by the governor of the state to the office of probate judge of Madison county.

In 1837, when Alton was incorporated a city, Mr. Krum was nominated by the Democratic party as their candidate for the mayoralty, and though his opponent was a Methodist divine of great popularity, he was triumphantly elected. After the expiration of the term of office, he was again nominated, but declined the appointment.

In 1838, he was tendered the nomination of state Senator, but declined the nomination, as it interfered with his professional duties. In 1839, he was married to the daughter of Chester Harding, a distinguished artist of Boston, and in 1840 he moved to St. Louis, where he could have a more extensive arena to display his legal abilities. His reputation as a lawyer had preceded him, and his efforts were successful. After three years of successful practice, he was appointed judge of the St. Louis Circuit Court, whose jurisdiction was far more extensive than at present.

While on the bench, Mr. Krum published the "Missouri Justice," which was received with favor, and is a record of his industry and professional learning. Finding that the onerous duties of his office were undermining his health, he resigned his judgeship, and again resumed his profession. In 1848, he was nominated as candidate for mayor, and was elected, though opposed by one of the leading and most popular citizens of the place. He has since been attending to the duties of his profession, and is known as an able attorney, and one of the successful champions of the Democratic party.

-- 556 --

Henry Boernstein, Publisher of the "Anzeiger des Westens" the oldest German newspaper west of the Mississippi.

HENRY BOERNSTEIN was born November 4th, 1805, at the town of Hamburg, one of the free German cities of the Hanseatic league. He remained in that place until 1813, when his parents emigrated and settled in Lemberg, a city in Austrian Poland, where young Henry was sent to the University, and after being accomplished in the requisite preliminary education, commenced and completed the study of medicine.

After leaving the university, Henry Boernstein was so attracted by the ostentatious display of military life, that he entered the Austrian army, and remained connected with it during five years, and then, with all of the youthful romance which had been brought into play by the camp and epaulette banished forever, he resigned his commission in the army, and took up his residence in Vienna, and there he first became connected with the press, and was associated with one of the leading journals. Very soon he evinced decided dramatic talent, and wrote plays which became popular on the theatrical boards, and in 1826 was appointed secretary of the two great theatres of the Austrian metropolis — "An Der Wien" and Josephslads, under Director Carl, who was the justly-celebrated stage-manager of Germany, and who has won a world-wide renown from the success which has attended his management of the dramatic boards.

After remaining three years under the instruction of the greatest stage manager in Europe, Henry Boernstein became chief manager in several of the leading theatres of the cities of Germany and Italy — at Linz, Agram, Trieste, Venice, and other cities. He was not only known as a successful stage-manager, but was also known as a favorite and popular actor, and in 1841 he and Mrs. Boernstein entered upon a star-engagement tour through the principal cities of Germany, and crowded houses evinced the appreciation of the public of their claims as dramatic artistes.

So popular was Mr. Boernstein in Germany, that he determined to go to Paris, "the glass of fashion" of all European cities, and in 1842 he became manager of the German Opera, in that city, and afterward of the Italian Opera. He carried on at the same time correspondence with the leading journals of the day, and finding that he could not conveniently be an author and a stage-manager at the same time, he dedicated himself alone to literature, and wrote a number of plays, which had a fine run in the various German theatres.

Henry Boernstein was always an advocate for freedom. His first breath was drawn in a free city, and his beau ideal of a perfect government was the sovereignty of the people; consequently, when Louis Philippe was dethroned, he advocated the cause of those who supported the

-- 559 --

French Republic; but when Louis Napoleon became president, and finding France would again be under the dictatorial rule of a monarch, he resolved to go to a country which promised a continuance of the blessings arising from the expansive and elevating character of a well-organized government of the people. He embarked for the United States December 10th, 1848, and immediately on landing, wended his way to the west, and remained for a year at Highland, Illinois, looking about for a proper locality, finally to fix himself.

While at Highland, his literary abilities became known through his correspondence, and he was offered the editorship of the "Anzeiger des Western" at St. Louis. He accepted the offer, and entered upon his duties in March, 1850, and very soon after became the publisher and proprietor of the paper. This journal has always wielded an immense influence in St. Louis, and from the ability and good faith in which it has been edited has constantly received a cordial support from the Germans.

Mr. Boernstein has been true to the interest of his countrymen, and through many trying periods of political warfare, has stood forth fearlessly their champion. He contends, and rightfully, that the German interest is not a nullity, but should receive some consideration in legislative enactments, and they are not bound to sacrifice all their nationalities because they do not agree with the caprices and peculiar education of "native-born American citizens" who can claim the name, merely because their ancestors, natives of some foreign country, reached our shores some years previous to their birth. He contends that the German citizens are as true to this Republic, and love and would fight by the "star-spangled banner" with as much devotion, as any other class of citizens, and therefore they have equal claim to legislative consideration.

Mr. Boernstein was married November 13th, 1829, to Miss Mary Stolzer, and has four children, three sons and one daughter. By his talents and attention to business, he has already amassed a fortune, and in consequence of the amenity of his manners, he is both socially and politically popular. He is still the publisher and proprietor of the Anzeiger des Westens, and has recently leased the largest theatre in St. Louis, fitted it up in an expensive and tasteful manner, and converted it into an opera house, and is doing much to elevate and improve the taste of the citizens of St. Louis by the introduction of the true classical drama.

-- 561 --

Hon. Francis P. Blair, Jr.

FRANCIS P. BLAIR was born in Lexington, Kentucky, February 19th, 1821. His father was a native of Washington county, Virginia, was a gentleman of fine scholastic attainments, being a graduate of Transylvania University, and as a journalist and politician, was well known throughout the whole Union. He was the first editor of "The Globe" at Washington City, and continued to preside over that acknowledged organ of the Democratic party until the advent of Mr. Polk in the "White House," when, not going the whole length prescribed by the Democratic platform, he was required to dispose of the journal to Mr. Ritchie, who was the Nestor of journalists, and was the unswerving advocate of Democratic principles, as established by conclave. He has now retired from the turbid currents of political life, and devotes his time to the independent and ennobling pursuit of agriculture, though, previous to retiring from the political field, when Martin Van Buren advocated the Free-soil doctrine, and drew off large numbers from the Democratic ranks, Mr. Blair became a Free-soiler, and warmly supported the new political doctrine.

Francis P. Blair, jr., the subject of this sketch, was brought up in Kentucky until nine years of age, when his father's family removed to Washington, his father having been invited there the preceding year to edit The Globe. He was sent early to school, and, passing through the first gradations of education, he was sent to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and enjoyed for a short time all the advantages of mental culture afforded by that justly-popular institution. His father being a scholar, and estimating properly scholastic attainments, then sent him to Princeton, and at the age of twenty he obtained his diploma of graduation at Nassau Hall.

After graduation at Princeton, he returned to Kentucky, and commenced the study of law under the instruction of Lewis Marshall, an eminent lawyer, and brother of Chief-Justice Marshall, one of the most distinguished jurists of our country. He, however, remained but a short time prosecuting his studies, for his health was at that time feeble, and came to St. Louis on a visit to his uncle, Judge Blair, and then returning to Kentucky, he went to the Law School at Transylvania, where he continued until he completed his legal studies.

Young Blair, when he visited St. Louis to see his brother, had marked the vitality everywhere apparent in business, and believing, from its splendid location, in its great future, he had then determined to make it his home when he commenced his profession. After leaving Transylvania, he put this design in execution, and returned to St. Louis in 1843, for the purpose of practising his profession. He commenced his practice under favorable auspices; but his health was so feeble, it was much feared by his friends that the stamina of his constitution were prematurely declined. He was advised by his physician, so as effectually to stop the

-- 563 --

progress of decline, to alter entirely his habits and pursuits, and, following the advice, he made a trip to the Rocky Mountains in company with some traders and trappers, and, at the breaking out of the Mexican war, joined the command of General Kearney in Mexico, serving as a private soldier. He returned to St. Louis in 1847, and resumed his profession.

Mr. Blair had his health entirely re-established from the active, wild, and exposed life which he led for several years, and even enjoyed the deprivations to which he was subjected, owing probably to hereditary predisposition for that kind of life, as his mother was a descendant of the well-known pioneer Gist, one of the companions of Daniel Boone, when the "Bloody Ground" received its sanguinary baptism in the early annals of Kentucky.

In 1848, Mr. Blair, following in the political footprints of his father, advocated the tenets advocated by the Van Buren or Free-soil party, and took an active part in that campaign. He became a leader of the party at that time, and in 1852 was elected to the legislature, and was re-elected for the second year. In 1856, he was elected to Congress, and while in the House of Representatives fearlessly advocated his doctrines, contending against the extension of slavery in the territories. He is no believer in the unholy and disgusting tenets advocated by Abolition fanaticism, but advocates the gradual abolition of slavery in the Union, and the colonization of the slaves emancipated in Central America, which climate appears to be happily adapted to their constitutional idiosyncracies.

In September 8th, 1847, Mr. Blair was joined in wedlock to Miss Apolline Alexander, daughter of Andrew Alexander, of Woodford county, Kentucky. He is the acknowledged leader of the Free-soil party, not only in the state of Missouri, but of the Union; and has ever been the friend and supporter of the system of internal improvements, which is so rapidly developing the mineral and agricultural wealth of Missouri.

-- 564 --

Alexander Kayser.

ALEXANDER KAYSER was born at St. Goarshausen, on the Rhine February 15th, 1815. Reinhard Kayser, his father, was a man of high repute in the town, and for twenty-eight years magistrate, under the Duke of Nassau; he had been educated as an attorney, but, holding office, did not practice.

As might be inferred from the high position of his father, young Alexander Kayser had every opportunity of cultivating his mind in the best schools, and, at the age of sixteen, showing a preference for architecture he was sent to Frankfort-on-the-Main, that he might accomplish himself in that science. However, he remained but a short time there, owing to some reverses, and commenced learning the carpenter's trade. At the age of eighteen, seeing a pamphlet, written by Dr. Duden, a German physician, who had travelled extensively over the United States, lived some time in Warren county, in this state, and spoken most favorably of its institutions and resources, he determined to leave Germany for the Western Republic; and, accompanied by his brother Henry and his sister, who has become Mrs. Bates, he left Europe, and, after a tedious journey, finally reached St. Louis, June 18th, 1833. He purchased a farm contiguous to St. Louis, on which his sister still resides, but, not liking farming, and being prostrated by an attack of sickness, he went to Beardstown, Illinois, and pursued the profession of teacher. In 1838, he returned to St. Louis, where his brother Henry was employed, in the surveyor-general's office, and he obtained a situation in the land-office, as acting register under the efficient charge of Mr. De Munn.

During the municipal magistracy of William Carr Lane, he was appointed street commissioner, to which he was again reappointed, during the administration of the Hon. John F. Darby; but he shortly resigned his office, commenced the study of the law, and was admitted to the bar in 1841.

In 1844, Mr. Kayser was appointed delegate to the Convention in Baltimore, and, in 1846, was lieutenant in the Mexican War.

In 1852, he was chosen by the democratic party, one of the nine presidential electors of the state.

For many years Mr. Kayser has been the most prominent man in St. Louis, in taking an active interest in grape culture, and showing how greatly Missouri is adapted to the culture of the grape. He gave a premium, in 1845, so as to bring forward specimens of the best native wine, and, in 1849, offered two premiums of $100 each, and one of $125, for the same purpose. He was married to Miss Eloise P. Morrison, granddaughter of General Daniel Bissell. He is an enterprising and use citizen, and highly esteemed in the state of his adoption.

-- 569 --

Major Henry S. Turner.

MAJOR HENRY S. TURNER was born April 1st, 1811, in King George's county, state of Virginia. His parents were both of highly respectable families of that state, his mother being a Randolph, a name so well known and honored in the Old Dominion. Young Turner's early education received proper attention, and, after a preliminary preparation, he was sent to West Point Academy, in which institution he remained four years, and successfully passed through the physical and mental ordeal to which the cadets are subjected before they are admitted as officers in the service of the United States.

As an officer, Henry S. Turner occupied a prominent position; and when first-lieutenant of dragoons was honored by his country's preference, being selected, with two other officers of the same regiment, to be sent to the Royal School of Cavalry, at Saumur, France, for the purpose of learning the cavalry tactics, which the French had carried to such remarkable perfection. He creditably acquitted himself of his honorable mission; and after a residence of fifteen months at the Royal Military Academy, he returned to the United States in 1840. Immediately on his return home, being assisted by one of his colleagues who had accompanied him abroad, he translated the French Cavalry Tactics, and by judicious modifications, adapted them to the requirements of our service. So highly were his labors appreciated that his work is now the standard authority of the cavalry corps of the United States.

Unfortunately, the life of a soldier, from the controlling nature of his vocation, being liable to be ordered at any time to any part of the Union, and at all times subjected to the dangers of the battle-field in the emergency of war, compels many officers to a life of celibacy, who are formed by nature to appreciate, to their fullest extent, the honorable and endearing relation of husband and father. Though Henry S. Turner was early ambitious of gathering the honors incidental to his military career, he was not proof against the poetical maxim of the Mantuan bard, "Amor vincit omnia, et cedamus amori." Having become acquainted with Miss Julia M. Hunt, the beautiful and accomplished daughter of Theodore Hunt and Anne Lucas, he sought her hand in marriage, and the nuptials took place in February, 1841. Lieutenant Turner, since he had become an officer of the United States, however he may have thirsted for military glory, from the comparative state of peace of the country, had been doomed to inaction. At length there were threatening signs on the political horizon, and it became apparent to all that a storm was brewing between our country and Mexico. Since the battle of San Jacinto, in which a United States general and United States citizens were chiefly instrumental in defeating the troops of Mexico, that power had ever regarded our government with a jealous and malignant eye; and when by treaty the lone star of Texas shone in the glorious constellation of our Union, she declared that Texas was still a province of her dominions, and evidently determined to bring about a collision. In the war which followed, Lieutenant Turner

-- 570 --

took an active and chivalrous part, serving through the entire campaign and was raised to the rank of captain.

In 1848 Captain Turner was breveted major; and in the records of the war department is the honorable testimonial of the nature of his promotion — "for gallant and meritorious conduct in the battles of San Pasqual, San Gabriel, and Plains of Mesa in California."

In 1848 Major Turner retired from the army and turned his attention to the pleasing pursuits of agriculture near St. Louis. He remained thus engaged till 1850, when he received the appointment of assistant treasurer of the United States at St. Louis, which office he held until 1853, when he resigned, and going to California, there established the banking-house of Lucas, Turner & Co. This house remained in operation until 1855, when Major Turner returned to St. Louis and became a member of the banking firm of Lucas & Simonds, in which he continued until the dissolution of copartnership in 1858. In this year he was solicited to become a candidate for the General Assembly of Missouri, and was elected to that honorable body.

Major Turner is well known to the inhabitants of St. Louis, and is popular with all classes of the community. He possesses the frankness of the soldier, is warm in his friendship, and has, in a remarkable degree, that suavity of manner which characterizes the well-raised sons of the "Old Dominion." He is a zealous advocate of internal improvements, and is ready to second all works of public enterprise. He is practical in his thoughts, zealous and earnest in action, and is known as an efficient worker both in a military and civil capacity. He was one of the corporation of the St. Louis Agricutural and Mechanical Association, and since its commencement has held the responsible trust of treasurer of the association.

Major Turner has filled many vocations in life, and all of them with ability. As a banker he was honorable, and versed in all the commercial finesse of the day; as a legislator he is liberal, practical, and comprehensive in his views; and as a military officer, the official documents of the war department bear testimony to his merit, and the book of French cavalry tactics which he translated and modified to the requirements of our service, of his talents and acquirements.

-- 571 --

Dr. William Carr Lane, First Mayor of St. Louis.

WILLIAM CARR LANE was born December 1st, 1789, in Fayette county, Pennsylvania. His ancestors were of English origin, with the exception of one branch, which was Irish, and came at a very early period to Virginia. For many years they made the "Old Dominion" their home, until the father of the subject of this memoir emigrated with his family to Pennsylvania. They were highly esteemed in their new home; the father being an opulent farmer and very popular, was elected repeatedly to the state senate.

William Carr Lane, in his youth, had good advantages of education. His father being a man of sound practical sense, knew how important was the wealth of the mind, and sent him to the most respectable institutions of learning, that he might fit himself for any profession, and be qualified for any career in life. He first had all of the advantages which the country schools of his neighborhood could give, then an academical education, and finally completed his course at Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, where he remained for three years enjoying all of the advantages afforded by that justly celebrated institution. From there, after a short sojourn at home, still further to perfect him in his education, he was sent to Dickinson College of the same state, where he remained for two years. Being then fully competent to pursue any vocation, he shortly afterward moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and commenced the study of medicine under the instruction of Drs. Collins and Johnson, both eminent physicians.

In 1813, Dr. William Carr Lane had that passion for military glory which appears to spring spontaneously from the warm blood of youth, and which every young man, at some time in the April of his life, experiences. As a volunteer, he joined a brigade commanded by Colonel Russell, of the regular army, in a campaign against the North-west Indians, the whole expedition being under the command of Major Taylor, afterward the renowned Mexican hero and president of the Union.

At the close of the expedition, the professional services of Dr. Lane were called into requisition, and he filled the appointment of surgeon's mate at Fort Harrison; but losing his health, he was ordered to the station at Vincennes, and soon afterward resigned his appointment in the army. However, in a short time, receiving an appointment of surgeon's mate in the regular army he accepted it, and in that capacity remained until ill health again compelled him to retire. He then attended a course

-- 572 --

of medical lectures at the university of Pennsylvania, and at the completion of the course he was promoted to the rank of surgeon, and retained in service though the army had been reduced to a peace establishment.

In 1818, Dr. Carr Lane married Miss Mary Ewing, daughter of Nathaniel Ewing, Esq., of Vincennes, Indiana, and having sent in his resignation of surgeon in the army, which was accepted with reluctance, in the following year, 1819, he came to St. Louis, and devoted himself wholly to the duties of his profession, and soon became one of the leading physicians of the place. However, it was but a short time that he was permitted to devote his entire time to his profession, for, when Missouri became a state, he was appointed the first quartermaster-general; and when St. Louis became incorporated a city he was elected the first mayor.

So well satisfied were the people with the administration of Dr. Lane, that he was elected for six consecutive years, and after an interim of some years he was again elected to the office, and served a second term of three years. His labor during his official administration over municipal affairs was untiring. During his first administration there was but little pavement, and in some seasons of the year the streets were almost impassable from the mud, the government of the city was in a disordered and ineffective condition, and the revenue of the city was wholly inadequate to its wants. He went to work with that vigor so characteristic of his nature, and soon many of the streets were graded and paved, wholesome laws were enacted, and the treasury was replenished. His administration was popular and successful.

Dr. Lane has also served three terms in the Missouri legislature, and for several years filled a professor's chair in the medical department of Hamper's College. He has always been a hard worker.

When Mr. Fillmore was called to the presidential chair, he appointed Dr. Lane governor of New Mexico, a country at that time settled in a great measure by lawless spirits and unprincipled adventurers. Prompt and decisive action and clear judgment were necessary in the executive to calm the dangerous elements of which it was composed, and bring them, insensibly, under the salutary dominion of the law. The governor was equal to the emergency of the occasion, and soon the country exhibited all the indications of administrative healthfulness. When Mr. Pierce became president, Dr. Lane resigned, and returned to St. Louis.

Dr. Lane is well and favorably known throughout Missouri, and has a fame beyond its limits. He is in the evening of life, but all the essentials of happiness are about him — "health, peace, and competence."

-- 575 --

John J. Anderson, President of the Bank of St. Louis.

ON the other side of the Mississippi, three miles south of St. Louis, in the little French village of Cahokia, January 19th, 1813, John J. Anderson, the well-known banker of St. Louis, was born.

During the war of 1812, his father, Reuben Anderson, was connected with the army, and emigrated from the state of Delaware when some military companies were ordered West. He had charge of the military stores when the troops were stationed at Bellefontaine, and in the change of location incident to military life, he had to move from station to station until his connection with the army was severed. He had married Miss Margaret Byron, daughter of Captain Byron, of the United States army, and the eldest child of the marriage was the subject of this memoir.

The first recollections of John Anderson are associated with the French hamlet of Cahokia, surrounded by the thick forest trees in which it then nestled, and which concealed it almost totally from view, until the visitor entered upon the open space which surrounded the romantic village. He remained there until Belleville was made the capital of the county, when his father removed from Cahokia to the new seat of government, and was soon after appointed sheriff, which responsible public office he held for eight years — or until his death, which took place in 1822. By his death the family was left in rather straitened circumstances, and young John J. Anderson, who was then attending school, soon after was removed from the school-house, at the early age of thirteen. It was necessary that he should earn his own livelihood, and, entering thus early upon the eddying currents of life, he came to St. Louis July 2d, 1827.

The first business experience of John J. Anderson was in the store of Richard Ropier, where he was employed first as a boy, but being of an ambitious and diligent nature, as he advanced in years, he was gradually promoted, until he became the confidential clerk of the proprietor, and in 1834 became a partner in the concern, the firm then becoming Ropier & Anderson. Two years afterward, Mr. Ropier retired, and the junior partner purchased the whole business, which he conducted upon a most extensive scale, and for many years in the most profitable manner.

Commercial life is ever precarious, and subject to uncertainties and fluctuations, which the most observing and cautious cannot at all times control. In the year 1842, the pecuniary pressure was so great that many of the strongest firms in the country were forced to submit to the stringency of the times, and could not meet their financial contracts. John J. Anderson was of this number. He failed; but all of his debts, when fortune again smiled upon him, he cancelled in an honorable manner.

With all his worldly wealth swept away, and having debts hanging

-- 576 --

over him, and feeling keenly the torture of the rankling shafts of adversity, the spirit of John J. Anderson was not subdued, but was nerved to greater efforts. He conducted mining and merchandizing for a short time and was then appointed clerk of the City Council in the spring of 1843.

About this time, Joseph S. Morrison, of Pennsylvania, came to St. Louis, and, becoming acquainted with Mr. Anderson, had so much confidence in his business capacity, that he offered to take him as partner in the banking business, which offer being accepted, the new banking-house went into operation under the title of John J. Anderson & Co., which continued until 1849, when Mr. Morrison retired.

Every one who has been a resident of St. Louis for a little more than a score of years, remembers the great fire of 1849, and the terrible visitation of the Asiatic cholera. The general conflagration in the eastern part of the city burnt the banking-house of Mr. Anderson to the ground, but quickly he commenced building the structure in which he is at present located, at the corner of Main and Olive streets, and then took Reuben L. Anderson, his brother, into partnership.

Mr. Anderson has taken an active part in the government of St. Louis, and was a member of the Common Council for four years. He took an active part in all measures tending to the improvement of the harbor, and ably seconded the effective efforts of the Hon. Luther M. Kennett, to whom St. Louis owes so much for having removed the obstructions of the harbor. He was the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, when one million of dollars was appropriated to the Ohio and Mississippi and Pacific Railroads — half a million each. He was two years director in the Pacific Railroad, was a director in the Iron Mountain Railroad, and is now a director in the North Missouri Railroad. He procured for the Bank of St. Louis its charter, subscribed liberally to its stock, and is now its efficient president.

So popular was John J. Anderson from his official service in the City Council, that he has been since frequently importuned by his friends to become a candidate for other high and responsible public offices, but has always declined. The new marble building which he has erected is a monument of his liberal enterprise. The marble was brought from the quarries of Vermont, and it was the first entire marble building that was erected in St. Louis. Its cost exceeded $80,000. He is one of the ten gentlemen that have undertaken the building of the Southern Hotel, of this city, which will be one of the palatial structures of the Union — costing $600,000.

On April 23d, 1835, Mr. Anderson was married to Miss Theresa Billon, daughter of Charles L. Billon, of Philadelphia. He has worked out a destiny of which any one might be proud; and whatever of wealth, public confidence, and social position he has achieved, he owes to the self-reliant and energetic elements which make up his character.

-- 579 --

B. W. Alexander.

B. W. ALEXANDER was born in Fleming county, Kentucky, November 14, 1809. At an early period, when Kentucky was almost a wild, his parents, William and Cynthia Alexander, emigrated from the state of New York, and came to the state where the subject of this memoir was born.

When at the early age of twelve, B. W. Alexander left his father, and he was bound to Thomas Sommers, a bricklayer. During his indenture he took every opportunity to improve his mind, attending constantly the evening schools, and read with avidity all books within his reach. After putting up for many years with bad treatment from his master, he determined to loose himself from his torturing tyranny, and ran away in 1828, and came to St. Louis. He pursued sedulously his trade for three years, and then, having accumulated a small capital, commenced the livery business, which he conducted with great success until 1853, when he sold out his well known concern, and opened a commission house under the firm of Alexander & Lansing, which continued four years, and then was succeeded by the firm of B. W. Alexander & Co.

There are some men whose judgment appears almost infallible, and from the success which crowns their every effort, one is almost induced to believe that there is some truth in astrology, and that to be born under a fortunate star, is to insure success in every undertaking. Whatever Mr. Alexander has touched has thriven, and the diversified pursuits in which he has been engaged, have always yielded a lucrative profit. The esteem with which he is held by the community in which he lives, is proved by the following positions of trust which he holds: — he is president of the Commercial Insurance Company, director of the St. Louis Bank, director of the Pacific Railroad Company, was director of the Boatmen's Saving Institution, and also one of its corporation, and has served in the city council.

Mr. Alexander has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Thelkeld, of Kentucky, by whom he had one child, a daughter, who is married to Mr. A. L. Hardcastle, a well known citizen of St. Louis, and of the firm of Bryan & Hardcastle; the second wife is Miss Octavia E. Orme, daughter of Archibald E. Orme of this city.

The ambition of Mr. Alexander has been to become a thorough business man, and his well known reputation is a testimony that he has succeeded in the accomplishment of his wishes.

-- 580 --

Aaron W. Fagin.

AARON W. FAGIN was born in Clairmont county, Ohio, March 11, 1812. His parents, Joseph and Rachel Fagin, were respectable and worthy people who emigrated early in life, from the state of New Jersey and came to Ohio, which at that time, was attracting a numerous population. Joseph Fagin commenced trading on the Ohio River, and pursued that occupation with much profit to himself and family. He was an honorable and industrious man, and carefully instilled into his children the same principles of honor and industry which formed the basis of his own conduct. He died at the advanced age of eighty years.

Aaron W. Fagin was the fifth child of the six which are now living. He was early taught by his father how to work on the farm; and during the busy season was always engaged in preparing, working, and saving the crops. He went to school in the winter, the season of comparative leisure, and this was the only basis of his education, which he was very assiduous in improving, by the liberal purchase of useful books and studying them during the moments of intermission from labor. He continued his connection with the farm until twenty years of age, and was then married to Miss Sarah Bradbury, who resided in the same county, December 10, 1830.

After his marriage, Mr. Fagin, not being partial to the monotonous life of a farmer, where small profits were earned by much labor, quitted that pursuit, and joined himself with his father in a general trading business on the river.

This new business much more assimilated with his natural disposition, and first called into action those business qualifications, for which he has since been so remarkable. His attention, judgment, and industry, soon produced their usual effects upon his pursuits, and the firm of Fagin & Sons gathered largo profits from their immense business; their trade extending to New Orleans. It had the confidence of all, and well deserved it; for, when the pecuniary crisis of 1837, caused banks and bankers, and individuals engaged in all classes of business to break or suspend, the firm of Fagin & Sons stood unmoved amid the general ruin, and was ready to liquidate any demand made upon them. In a little while after the panic, Mr. Fagin dissolved connection with his father, resolving to look about him for a little season, before commencing business on his own account. In 1839 having wound up his affairs he again recommenced the trading business, in which he continued for two years; and then acting on the suggestions and advice of his friend, Mr. George Carlysle, a respectable and wealthy citizen of Cincinnati, who stood high in the financial circles, he came to St. Louis in December, 1842, where he entered upon the commission and produce business.

-- 583 --

The same success which attended Mr. Fagin in other localities, attended him in St. Louis. He did an extensive commission and produce business, and was the first person in St. Louis who carried on business of any magnitude with the Ohio River. He frequently sought the fertile bottoms of that beautiful river for produce, often exchanging lead for corn, wheat, rye, &c.

He continued in this business until 1849, when he commenced the building of his large United States Mill, the fame of whose flour has since spread so widely over the Union. In the milling business he pursued the same course which had insured him success in other avocations. He entered upon it with a determination to succeed, and, strictly attending to his business, and making himself familiar with all of its details, his brands of flour soon became in demand; and his well known brand, in itself so characteristic of excellence, "a hand holding the four aces" stamped on the head of the barrel, is known throughout the Union.

For the purpose of facilitating trade, Mr. Fagin, by his efforts, first organized the Millers' Exchange, which, in its incipiency, was viewed by many with disfavor, but became eventually the basis of the present Merchants' Exchange, which regulates the great commercial interest of St. Louis. His milling business annually amounts to the enormous aggregate of a million and a half dollars.

In politics, Mr. Fagin, without taking any prominent part, has always been identified with the old Whig party. He is a director in the Union Insurance Company, and is looked upon as one of the leading business men in the great Metropolis of the West.

-- 584 --

Joseph Charless.

[EXTRACT FROM "THE GREAT WEST."]

"JOSEPH CHARLESS was born January 17th, 1804, at Lexington, Kentucky. He is of a most reputable family, who were forced to flee from Ireland, and arrived in this country, at the city of New York, in 1795. All will remember the sad circumstances connected with the Irish rebellion, at the head of which figured the young and noble Emmet, who fell a sacrifice for loving too well his enslaved country. Joseph Charless, the father of the subject of this memoir, was actively engaged in the spirit of resistance, but when the plan for resistance was discovered in its incipiency, he precipitately fled to avoid the halter or transportation; and, after a sojourn of some time in France, sailed for the United States.

"He was a printer by trade, and established himself in the city of Philadelphia. He worked for Matthew Carey, who, at that time, did the largest publishing business in the Quaker City, and Mr. Charless often boasted that he printed the first quarto edition of the Bible that was ever issued in the United States. Marrying Miss Sarah Gouch in 1798, in two years after he started for Kentucky, and settled in Lexington, where he pursued his business, and in 1807 came to St. Louis. He can boast of having started the first paper in the city of St. Louis and west of the Mississippi river, having, in July, 1808, started the Missouri Gazette, which is still in existence, and is known now as the Missouri Republican, which has the largest circulation of any journal west of the Alleghany mountains. He died in 1834.

"The first years of the young Joseph Charless were partially employed in receiving the limited instructions which the village schoolmaster at that time could impart, and directly he had attained a working size, he was put to work as a printer in his father's office, and while in that employment gleaned a great deal of useful knowledge; he then commenced the study of the law, and read for some time in the office of Francis Spaulding, and afterward, went to complete his legal education at the Transylvania University, Kentucky.

"In 1828, Mr. Charless entered into partnership with his father, who had sold out the Missouri Gazette, and gone into the drug business. He still continues in that pursuit, and is the senior partner of the large and respectable firm now known as Charless, Blow & Co.

"In politics, Mr. Charless has always been identified with the Old Whig party; but has never been a politician, nor has he sought the loaves and fishes of office. His sphere in life has been in a business circle, and he is well known in St. Louis, and his name carries with it respect and influence. He has been in St. Louis since a few years after his birth, and has witnessed and helped to make the great change from poverty to

-- 587 --

wealth, from log-houses to palatial residences, which has taken place in the last two-score years in the Mound City.

"Mrs. Sarah Charless, his mother, was a most exemplary Christian, and was the first to set in agitation an organization for the building of the first Presbyterian church in St. Louis, and from her hospitable doors no unhappy stranger or suffering mendicant was ever turned away unrelieved. She died loved and regretted; for she had lived in the service of her Creator, and in loving and assisting her fellow-creatures.

"In nearly all works of general and municipal importance, Mr. Charless was connected. He has been a member of the Board of Aldermen, director in the Public Schools, has been president of the Bank of the State of Missouri, and is now president of the Mechanics' Bank of this city, and one of the directors of the Pacific Railroad. He is likewise a Christian, being a member of the Presbyterian church, and was one of the most active to carry into execution the building of the City University, which is an ornament of the city, and is under the control of the Presbyterian church.

"November 8th, 1831, Mr. Charless married Miss Charlotte Blow, daughter of Captain Blow, of Virginia. He is of domestic habits, and his sterling business qualities, integrity, social disposition and enterprise, have created a large number of friends, and given him deserving influence in the city which few possess."

Since writing the above, Mr. Charless was shot in the streets of St. Louis, in June, 1859, by a man named Thornton, for having a year previously given some testimony operating against him at a public trial. The indignation of the citizens was aroused, and the murderer narrowly escaped being hung on the spot.

-- 589 --

Previous section

Next section


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
Powered by PhiloLogic