1900-1909

Home ] Up ] 1890-1899 ] [ 1900-1909 ] 1910-1919 ] 1890 ] 1891 ] 1892 ] 1893 ] 1894 ] 1895 ] 1896 ] 1897 ] 1898 ] 1899 ] 1900 ] 1901 ] 1902 ] 1903 ] 1904 ] 1905 ] 1906 ] 1907 ] 1908 ] 1909 ] 1910 ] 1911 ] 1912 ] 1913 ] 1914 ] 1915 ] 1916 ] 1917 ]

 

1900-1909

 

1900 - A few wealthy residents of the city travel to Paris to visit the World Fair being held there. One of the most interesting exhibits is the newly invented escalator.

Lansdowne Baptist is started as a mission of the Baptist Church- Its Original location is at 15th and Lake and it becomes known as the Second Baptist Church in 1903. It constructs a basement building at 1815 North 39th at Waverly and moves to that location in 1913.

New City Hall on main street is opened to the public. The '96 cyclone destroyed the old city hall and a temporary residence was set up in the library at 8th and Broadway. M. M. Stephens is mayor at this time.

There is disagreement between the leadership at the Shickle, Harrison and Howard casting plant in St. Louis. Part of the group wants to expand their St. Louis facility and others want to cross the river to East St. Louis. The two factions are unable to come to terms so Tom Howard and George Leighton gather their assets and start Leighton-Howard Steel in East St. Louis.

In 1902 steel companies at Granite City, East St. Louis, (Leighton-Howard) Chicago, and Alliance, Ohio, along with three Others in Pennsylvania, combine into one corporation known as American Steel Foundries.

Mr. Moellenbrook rebuilds a resort at Horseshoe Lake. It had originally been built in 1880 but was destroyed by fire. It becomes a favorite rendezvous for the families Of doctors and dentists of St. Louis and East St. Louis. Moellenbrook Rod and Gun Club is located on the premises.

40-americansteel.tif (48439 bytes)

City population reaches 29,655. East St. Louis is now the fourth largest city in the state.

The Royal Hotel is erected by George Diehl at Collinsville and Missouri Avenue. It is called the Diehl Hotel until 1903. Later, the name is Changed to Ill-Mo. It is destroyed by fire in 1927 and replaced by the Goldman Building.

Prosper Soucy opens a real estate office at 18 North Main and becomes one of the city's first millionaires. He is Ed English's maternal grandfather.

Sheriff Herman Barnikol is killed when a group of prisoners escape from the county jail.

Longfellow School is built at 1400 Pennsylvania Walter Potts serves as the first principal. Washington School is erected at 1100 Piggott. Charles Cannady is the first Principal. Webster Annex at 10th and Gaty is built.

Mepham Paint Company constructs its first buildings at 20th and Lynch and opens for business. It will be the most enduring of all major businesses that locate in East St. Louis and presently employs roughly 226 people.

Captain John Robinson makes plans to organize the Afro-American State League of Illinois at 232 N. 5th

Harry Liberstein's father opens a business at Collinsville Avenue. When Harry finally assumes his well-known motto will be "The Busy Jeweler."

St. Louis is hurt by the high freight transfer of the Terminal Railroad Association and the availabilility of cheap land in East St. Louis. The city's economic growth adversely affected- East St. Louis is the primary beneficiary with its availability of cheap utilities and low taxes. City grows in Product value from less than $2 mill annually in 1890 to $32.7 million by 1900. East St. Louis also leads the shift in cattle-finishing from Texas to the fertile grasslands of the northern Great Plains.

 

1901 - P. H. Murphy, father of Walter Murphy, the man who donated and named the Beulah Club site all his sister who died at an early age, is honored in a civic ceremony by employees of the Cairo Short Line.

St. Louis and Illinois Suburban Railway street system created. It will be reorganized a year later as East St. Louis and Suburban. It begins acquire existing lines that were built in 1890s.

Unity Edgemont Bible at 8601 State has its origins as a mission of First Baptist Church at 11th and State Street. They late construct their first building, a one room 28 x 40 foot frame structure. The group decides to go independent around 1921 an, the name is changed to Edgemont Bible. Rev. Joseph Wright will be the pastor in 1940 with a membership of 110.

Armour Packing Co. opens a new Plant. Its 210 foot smokestack is the tallest structure in East St. Louis.  Immigrants from central and eastern Europe flock to the city to work in the facility. They settle in an area nearby called Goose Hill, so named because of the many geese that they raise in their backyards.

Monsanto Chemical of Centreville, founded by John Queeny, incorporates.

Knights of Columbus organized with thirty-five members at the Lovingston Building at 400 East Broadway. Their magnificent structure at Washington Place near State Street was built in 1922 at a cost of $500,000. The building had four bowling lanes, a swimming pool, a ballroom, basketball court, handball court, a bar and lounge and forty-two rooms for men. The group will move to 9400 Lebanon Road in 1968, then to 5400 Old Collinsville Road in 1989.

Three school districts combine: Island, Central, and Illinois City to form Union District #10.

The new Relay Depot opens to the public.

Dr. Gatling of Chicago, inventor of the famous gun, visits East St. Louis.

Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, the first English-speaking Lutheran church in the city is started. it will be completed at 13th and Sumitt in 1903. Fred and Herman Jost and George Fisher are instrumental in organizing this congregation.

Lansdowne Park on 29th Street opens with an amusement center. It has a dance hall, roller coaster, shooting gallery, bowling alleys, amusement park rides, a soda fountain, and a pavilion overlooking the lagoon. The Knights of Columbus often have picnics there. People also use the northern part of the lagoon for fishing and swimming. The lagoon is eventually drained with the northern part being developed for business and housing, and the southern part incorporated into Jones Park.

August Schlafly, a bold financier who had started numerous banks in the area, including St. Louis, organizes Union Trust in East St. Louis. He is Phyllis Schlafly's (the political activist from Alton) husband's grandfather. When the city needed money to continue its operations, he personally loaned the treasury $75,000. For a while, the bank was located on the first floor of the old Royal Hotel. He builds the new structure on the comer of Collinsville and Missouri Avenues in 192 1. The parking lot in the rear is on a level with the basement entrance.

East St. Louis lawyer, William Rodenberg, is appointed by President McKinley to the U. S. Civil Service Commission. Between 1899 and 1923, this St. Clair County Republican serves a total of ten years in the U. S. House of Representatives.

 

1902 - Central Brewing Co. builds beer plant at 1800 Broadway. It later fell under the ownership of William Lemp whose grandfather, Adam, invented the lager process in 1840. It employed 150 workers and had an annual payroll of $300,000.

41-centralbrewery.tif (129638 bytes) Eddie McBride works as an elevator boy in the Metropolitan Building where he puts his art talent to work by amusing lift riders with caricatures of their mugs posted on the elevator walls. He later becomes a cartoonist, working for several different New York newspapers.

The town of Maryville, located between Glen Carbon and Collinsville, is incorporated and flourishes as a coal mining community.

According to historian Georgia Engelke, Jess Willard has a boxing match in Nameoki near Granite City. Because the bout lasts after nightfall, two train engines stop and turn on their lights so the match can be completed.

The State of Illinois takes control of St. Clair Turnpike and abolishes the tolls.

St. Patrick's parish becomes too large and is divided, making a new parish, Sacred Heart. It is organized for Irish and German Catholics. Work is started in 1907 on a new Sacred Heart church on Baugh Avenue.

Father Thomas Barman organizes St. Joseph's (patron saint of carpenters and laborers) Church in Columbia Place. Territorially, it is the smallest parish in East St. Louis.

The United Presbyterian Church at 12th and Summit is organized.

East St. Louis Wednesday Club for -women is organized. Mrs. Loren M. Krause is its president in 1961.

Winstanley area votes to be annexed by the city.

Bosworth Dairy is started near the site of Jones Farm, later to become Jones Park. Around Civil War times, the 55 acre farm was owned by Sam Jones, a local barrister. Bosworth Dairy will become the largest dairy in the city. Other prominent private dairies in the city were Ruttenshire's in the South End, near the old Civil War powder mill, Emil and Auggie Wurth at 33rd and St. Clair, John Neiderer at 40th and Caseyville and Hugo Schneider.

Monroe School Annex built at 16th and Cleveland Avenue by Jesse Gedney Construction of East St. Louis.

The Phelan-Faust paint company is organized.

East St. Louis Retail Merchants Association is formed with the following as officers: John G. Gain, J. B. Sikking, Fred Geissing, Thomas Knobel and L. F. Tissier.

42-monroeannex.tif (32650 bytes)

Several small electric firms merge to form Union Electric Light and Power in St. Louis. They have 2,000 customers and a plant capacity of 6,400 kilowatts. The new Company helps supply Power to the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. Union Electric will buy out East St. Louis Light and Power in 1924.

Pittsburgh Reduction Company opens a plant on 3300 Missouri Avenue in East St. Louis. It quickly becomes the largest processor of bauxite in the world. It changes its name in 1910 to Aluminum Ore Company. It will incorporate in 1944.

42-trra.tif (36574 bytes)

State Street Methodist at 574 North 29th Street is established. Rev. C. H. Carlton will be the pastor in 1940.

Excelsior Tool and Die of St. Louis buys six acres of land at 31st and Ridge and builds a plant. The huge complex will shut down in 1955.

Rock Island Railroad, which had previously been denied admittance to the Terminal Railroad Association, secretly bids $500 each for 10,000 shares of the Wiggins Ferry Company. Festus Wade and a number of other Wiggins stock trustees try to encourage others to sell by reducing the ferry company's rates to drive down its earnings. The gambit works and several stockholders offer to sell but now the Terminal Association enters the bidding war. This leads to a series of suits and countersuits. The end result is that the Rock Island, five additional railroads, and Wiggins Ferry Company are admitted to the Terminal Association. A larger monstrous monopoly now confronts shippers.

City Plumbing at 226 Collinsville Avenue is taken Over by John C. English and Ed Maher. Walter English and James English will later run the establishment at 634 Missouri Avenue.

East St. Louis isn't the only city tarnished by corruption. Lincoln R. Steffens begins the first of a series of muckraking articles in McClure's Magazine, the first of which is titled "Tweed Days in St. Louis."

 

1903 - Girl's Athletic Organization is formed, making it the oldest organization at East Side High. Lois Snyder, Fannie Haeffner, Ada Holten and Emmanuel Walker are officers in 1933.

42-mayorcook.tif (31334 bytes)

Alta Sita Methodist is founded at 27th and Market. It will later be known as Aldersgate Methodist. In 1940, the pastor is Rev. Heber Burge with a membership of 400.

Silas Cook becomes mayor and will hold that office until 1911.

Runoff of melting snow from he Rockies causes severe flood which devastates the city with 39 feet of water. This causes residents in the low-lying section of 3rd Street to be abandoned by its residents and it becomes a red light district known as The Valley. The city's raised streets remain high and dry, but other areas are submerged. Approximately 40 citizens drown and thousands take refuge on the bluffs.

Citizens and civic leaders begin to see a need for a levee system as a result of the flood. Plans are formulated to devise a system that will protect East St. Louis, Venice, Madison, Granite City and farmland near Cahokia Creek.

Charles F. Hufschmidt establishes a wholesale liquor business that also deals in soda water, ginger ale and seltzer.

Brooklyn Packing Co. is incorporated with S. P. Daniels as president. By 1907 it will be known as Meyer Packing Company and its plant in East St. Louis covers One and One-half acres and employs 50 men. It later becomes Hunter Packing Company.

City Directory for the year refers to East St. Louis as the "Queen City of Little Egypt."

The first Jewish congregation is established by ten men who meet for the high holidays - Rosh Hoshana and Yom Kippur - in the Lovingston Building in the 400 block of East Broadway.

St. Joseph's Church, a small frame structure is completed. In 1911, the cornerstone of a large brick and of a large brick and stone church is laid. It is expected to cost $100,000.

Armour plant opens for business at the National Stock Yards. Robert Conway is the Superintendent.

Frank Klaus opens Klaus Diamond Coffee Store whose specialty is selling to hotels and restaurants.

David Wyatt, a Negro school teacher in Brooklyn, shoots Charles Hertel, County Superintendent of Schools, for refusing to renew his teaching certificate. Wyatt is taken from his jail cell and lynched by a mob at the Belleville Square.

East St. Louis Zeitung, a German evening newspaper is started. Dr. William Fargo is the editor.

Victor Paint Company on 5th Street is organized.

The Troy and Eastern Railroad is built connecting Troy, Illinois, with East St. Louis.

East St. Louis Bottling Company is started at 6th and Broadway by William H. Campbell (Scotch-Irish). The soft drink company will later be managed by sons William and Frank.

Father Sweeney oversees construction of the new St. Patrick's Grade School. The comer stone is laid at 6th and Illinois. In 1931 it will become Central High School.

 

1904 - St Adalbert's parish is organized by Reverend Julian Moczydlowski for about 50 Polish families. lease the former Methodist Epscopal Church on Summit Avenue. Later, a combination church/school is built at 7th and Pennsylvania.

Louisiana Purchase Centennial is held at the St. Louis World's Fair. A special "East St. Louis Day" is designated for' the event. The old courthouse at Cahokia, the oldest town in Illinois, is disassembled and placed on display at the fair. When the fair is over, it will be moved to a park near Chicago. It will not return to Cahokia until preservationists bring it back and reconstruct it in 1939.

Continental Can (stock yards) and Corno Mills on Baugh begin daily operations.

Jefferson School at 1800 N. 25th Street opens in portable classrooms. A beautiful brick structure will be built a few years later. F. F. Sams is the first principal; E. R. Callison is principal in 1961.

As more and more industries locate just outside the city limits, city fathers cope with the low tax base problem by becoming a wide open town with respect to gambling, drinking and prostitution. Fees and taxes from saloons and gambling halls became a source of revenue for the city that was equal to, and perhaps exceeded, the property tax.

A group of Czech men organize a local T. J. Sokol group. Sokol was a Czech athletic organization whose purpose was to establish gymnastic classes for all ages to build the body and mind through education. The first head instructor is Martin Havlena. The classes were discontinued after World War II.

A. J. Throop purchases a small printing company in the 200 block of 5th Street. His son, Dan, will join him in the venture in 1928. A. J. brought the first Linotype machine to East St. Louis and used it for contract work with the Journal. He later sold the machine and bought Call Printing. In 1922, the firm moved to 223 East Broadway.

Seidel's opens as a general merchandise store in the South End. David and Ida Seidel operate the original store. In 1915, the operation is moved to the 300 block of Collinsville Avenue. The present location at 239 Collinsville Ave. opens after extensive remodeling. Seidel Apparel Co. handled complete lines of women's clothing plus a children's department. A complete economy store operated in the basement. David's son, Marty, became president and chief executive of the firm. Marty's son, Harold, became secretary-treasurer, and a son-in-law served as vice-president. Before they closed in 1997, Minette Seidel was still on hand every day at the store.

 

1905 - Horace Mann School is built next to Rock High School. It is expanded in 1915 and becomes the new high school. Walter Potts serves as the first principal. The school begins practice of graduating classes in mid-year.

Jewish Ladies Aid Society is formed to serve the elderly, the sick and the handicapped. Florence Steinman is president of the group in 1956.

Park School at 27th and Henrietta is built. C. G. Williams is the first principal, LaVina Donaldson is there in 1950 and G. C. Crites holds that position in 1960.

43-mannschool.tif (95018 bytes)

A parish for Bohemian families is established at 11th and Winstanley by Father Peter Polomsky.

Judge Silas Cook is re-elected mayor.

There is a devastating fire at the Spark's Brothers barns killing 250 mules valued at $150 each. Another fire devastates the Josephine Building at Collinsville and St. Louis Avenues.

Thirty members of First Christian Church on 7th Street, just off St. Clair, organize Lansdowne Christian Church. This becomes the basis for the church that will be known as Lansdowne Church of Christ at 25th and Lincoln, across the street from Jefferson School. Its original name is the Second Christian Church. By 1940 it will be pastored by Rev. Irl Sidwell with a membership of 560.

The town of Dupo is laid out by Charles Mousette (Mousette Lane).

The curiosity of Harry Lewis, age 10, who lives at 3rd Street and St. Louis Avenue, leads him to investigate the workings of an old alarm clock, which turns into a minor tragedy. A physician and a watchmaker are called in to ease the boy's tongue from the mechanism, which was done only after the end of his tongue was amputated.

The Schubert Women's Club is organized as a musical club which furnished the city with social events such as teas, dances, balls and concerts.

 

1906 - Another fire at Union Elevator causes a million dollars in damages.

Bay View Reading Club is established by Mrs. W. C. Smith and Mrs. C. G. Williams for cultural study. The group donated money to the YWCA and did sewing for the Visiting Nurses Association. Mrs. Ernest Hoehn is president in 1936.

44-kassly.tif (33500 bytes)

John J. Kassly opens a funeral home at 510 North 6th Street. A new establishment is erected at 825 Exchange Avenue in 1920 when a partnership is formed with William H. Degen. It was known as Degan-Kassly until 1929 when Mr. Degan retired.

The Edgemont School at 88th and Washington is built. Principals include C. E. Hertel and J. J. McGlynn (1930). S. J. Havey will hold that position in 1960.

East Side's first orchestra gives a concert in the high school auditorium.

German citizens meet at Vonnahme's Hall and make plans to build a new and bigger hall for singing societies and social events. Paul Abt, C. B. Goedde, George Lotz, Robert Bethman, Henry Albrecht, Philip Wolf, and C. Reeb are among the notables on the committee to plan construction of the $40,000 hall at 24th and St. Louis Avenue.

44-edgemontschool.tif (43364 bytes)

Jewish leaders make plans to build a temple at Ninth and Pennsylvania. The congregation will consist of 250 families. In 1962, the Agudas Achim Congregation will relocate to 425 N. 88th Street.

Illinois legislature passes bill to organize and finance the East Side Levee and Sanitary District. Col. J. A. Ockerson was appointed head consulting engineer for the project, and utilized his knowledge of the dikes in Holland in building the levee system here. A system of levees and wing levees, canals, conducts and pumping stations were constructed. As of 1967, it was one of the few levee systems along the Mississippi which had never broken. River stages higher than twenty-two feet create a problem in that water no longer flows by gravity into the river and pumping stations must be operated. The levee district maintains an area of ninety-two square miles. The district has twenty miles of levees. The outside limits of the district are just east of the Harding Ditch. The system handles storm waters from the bluffs as far as Litchfield. There are six main open channels, including Cahokia Creek, that transfer these waters to the Mississippi. There are seven pumping stations in St. Clair and Madison counties. One sewage treatment plant is in Cahokia and another was built in East St. Louis near the river front in the 1960s.

Wood River, an industrial suburb north of East St. Louis, in Madison County, is created by Standard Oil of Indiana. The land was quietly purchased for $93,000. The site was desirable because it served a thriving industrial area and it was close to the oil fields of the South and the coal of southern Illinois.

.

1907 - Corner stone for Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 8th and Baugh is laid by Bishop Janssen.

Winstanley Baptist is started as a mission of First. Baptist Church. A group of 33 Baptists meet in a one-room frame building at 26th Street, just north of State. They will later build a brick structure at 2801 State.

Denverside, located on both sides of the Terminal and Southern Belt railroads, is the city's hottest industrial park. It is named after a group of investors from the Denver, Colorado, area. Among the factories located here include: Hezel Milling, Missouri Malleable Iron, Rich Self Feeder Co., St. Louis Locomotive Works, National Iron Works, St. Louis Steam Forge and Iron Works, McGowan and Finnigan Cordage Plant, Missouri Bridge and Iron, Walter Zellnicker Railway Supply, Terminal Elevator, Kreyer Chemical, Illinois Mineral and Milling, Eads Planing Mill and St. Louis Bed Mfg.

Carbonic Dioxide is in the city at 8th and Walnut.

The Franz Schubert Club, founded by Mrs. M. E. Johnston, continues to stimulate interest in music. Mrs. William Matlack is president in 1936.

Twenty-two eastern railroads now have a western terminus at East St. Louis.

In response to Upton Sinclair's sensational muckraking novel about the meat packing industry, "The Jungle," National City incorporates as a village to control its own political and economic destiny.

45-carbonic.tif (42435 bytes)

Frank Maule opens coal and ice business at 20th and State complete with weighing scales.

The first hard road to Venice is completed.

Peerless Furniture opens for business. They will later locate at 358 Collinsville Avenue and are currently in business on Route 159 south of St. Clair Square.

Slade School at 28th and Summit is built. C. G. Williams became the first principal and Wyatt Rawlings was the principal in 1960.

In A History of St. Clair County, Thomas Feckete states: "The name East St. Louis has become synonymous with misgovernment."

Washington Park area is added to the school district.

Model Laundry begins service at 931 St. Clair Ave.

45-gaindrugs.tif (113574 bytes)

Due to public indignation, police officers take action by closing down several opium dens and make raids on a number of "disreputable" houses.

Wuller Drug Store is founded by A. N. Wuller at 13th and Lake Ave. The original store will be replaced by a new budding in 1919.

His son, Ed, buys the firm in 1951. Ed Wuller purchased Kollme Drug Store, at 3607 Caseyville Ave., from Harrison Kollme a few years later. Ed's two sons, Jerome and Eugene, earned degrees from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy and work in the family business.

The old Rex Theater is remodeled by Eddie Cragen and it reopens as the Majestic.

 

1908 - City park district created and includes Canteen and Centreville areas. Emmett P. Griffin later becomes superintendent and through expansion and acquisition gives the city one of finest park systems in the country. Griffin will become known as the Father of East St. Louis Parks.

Levee district builds flood control dike extending in south from Prairie Du Pont Creek to a point about thirteen miles north of the Madison county line.

A canal 126,400 feet long and 100 feet wide is dug which includes thirty miles of levees from five to twenty feet high at a cost of $6,500,000. Railroad embankments are also raised.

The Montgomery Elevator is destroyed by fire.

The corner stone of the new Federal Building is laid at Sixth and Missouri.

44-griffin.tif (15584 bytes)

Womens' Literary Club is organized for social and cultural purposes. Mrs. O. A. Buck is president. Mrs. W. J. Crotty was president in 1961.

46-firehouses.tif (75908 bytes)

The fire department, with headquarters at 113 North Main, now has five companies.

Ferd Ganschinietz begins his construction business on 18th Street.

Pat Sullivan finds $10,000 in a tin can while digging a grave.

Servants of Mary begin teaching in the newly completed school/church complex of Sacred Heart parish. Father Gilmartin is the pastor.

St. Clair County is dubbed the "Stove Capital of America" due to its numerous stove manufacturing plants in towns such as Belleville and East St. Louis.

Lincoln High at 10th and Broadway is built. Early principals include B. F. Bowles and J. W. Hughes (1930). Cliff Basfield will hold that position in 1960. The building becomes Hughes-Quinn Junior High in 1950.

The city council creates the Park and Boulevard Commission to oversee the development of a park and street beautification program. There are five park commissioners who serve for a period of five years with no pay.

City authorizes work to begin on building a sewer plant with pumping stations to ensure flow during high water. O. F. Dunlap Company of Edwardsville was awarded the contract for $710,266. This will replace the old system, which served only the heart of the city. The plant will be located about a mile from the river, just south of where Cahokia Creek empties into the Mississippi. The drainage District extends east to about 25th Street. The pumping equipment Will consist of five drainage pumps and two sewage pumps.

The Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints, an off-shoot of the Mormons, is founded here. Their home headquarters are in Independence, Missouri. A year later,

President Taft and House Speaker Joe Canon (he was on the cover of the first issue of Time Magazine) visit the city to dedicate new Federal building. Governor Charles Deneen is also on hand for the occasion.

First mass is celebrated at St. Regis Church in Alta Sita. Original parishioners were of Irish, French and German descent. The parish was created by severing territory from St. Mary's and Immaculate Conception of Centreville. The Jesuits establish a college on the site with they build their church at 38th and Forest. They will relocate to Waverly Avenue in the Lansdowne area in the early 1960s.

 

 

BACK

 

top.gif (906 bytes)