1890-1920

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1890-1920

 

1890 - Jay Gould inadvertently stimulates the growth of East St. Louis and Granite City. He sells his monopoly holdings to the Terminal Railroad. Due to exorbitant fees charged by the TRRA for moving coal across the river, meat-packing plants, foundries, refineries and steel mills begin to locate on the Illinois side.

The population of East St. Louis reaches 15,169

City experiences a thirty year boom - a Golden Era New industrial plants begin springing up all along the east bank of the Mississippi - steel, brass, malleable iron aluminum, zinc, chemicals, wood and glass works; elevators and flour mills; railroad-related industries; lumber yards; packing houses; breweries and factories churning out baking powder; roofing materials, soap, syrup, paint pigments and many other commodities. The city acquires the nickname "Pittsburgh of the West."

James P. Slade (Slade Grade School) becomes East. St. Louis Superintendent of Schools.

The new steel viaduct on Broadway which spans the railroad tracks and Cahokia Creek is officially opened by Mayor Stephens.

St. Mary's hospital founded. Prior to its opening, as many as 16,000 East St. Louisans a year were taken to St. Louis for treatment.

Illinois City School is built at 8th and Bowman. It is later renamed Emerson School. This replaces the old Garfield School which now becomes a Negro school. Isaac H. Todd is Emerson's first principal. It is condemned in 1933.

The streets of the city are lighted by electricity for the first time. Citizen Light Company is responsible for this achievement.

St. Clair County holds its centennial celebration which is attended by East St. Louis Mayor M. Stephens.

Men's suits are $4 and bread is a nickel a loaf.

J. T. McCasland lets a contract for the construction of the Broadway Opera House. It was destroyed in 1917 by the fires resulting from the race riot. The site was later used by McMahon Transfer Company.

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George S. Mepham, a St. Louis businessman, drives his horse and buggy across the Eads Bridge to select a new location for his paint pigment firm. He chooses a twenty-two acre farm at 20th and Lynch as his site.

The Journal expands and becomes a daily. In 1901, it will add its first comic or funnies section to the newspaper.

Immanuel Evangelical, founded by Paul Abt, J. J. Lange, Harry Marquard, John Fein and Emil Eggman, relocates to 412 North Fourteenth Street. It operated Christian Welfare Hospital for twelve years, and by 1940 was in charge Of Mount Hope Cemetery. Reverend E. R. Jaeger was the pastor for over twenty-six years, starting in 1914.

St. Peter's congregation on 8th, between Illinois and St. Louis Avenues, builds a new brick church and Parsonage. In 1967, they will sell their property for $30,000 and relocate out on Bunkum Road.

First Baptist Church is established. It is the oldest existing organized Baptist Church in the city. The group later builds a beautiful brick structure at 11th and State.

 

1891 - Allison/Obear Glass founded on Broadway where the Belt Line railroad crosses.

The town of Madison is incorporated as a village. A number of East St. Louisans will find employment at their American car Foundry, Rolling Null Co. and Helinbacker Forge. The place will grow rapidly due to good transportation and the McKinley Bridge. Many immigrants from the Balkan countries will be attracted to Madison. A race track is built and people from the St. Louis area will ride on special trains to the "Monte Carlo of America."

City's first electric street car makes a run down Collinsville Avenue from Broadway to the stock yards

McCasland or Broadway opera House, on 7th and Broadway, is Officially opened by Mayor M. M. Stephens with melodramatic productions such as "Peck's Bad Boy" and "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

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Liederkranz Society holds first ball in Heims Hall

The city gets its first mail carriers. Seven men are chosen for the task of delivering the mail.

The East St. Louis Turngemeinde is organized for the purpose of promoting athletic sports.

Severe earthquake hits the area. It is the worst tremor to hit the region since the great quake of 1811.

Unbaked sand casting process invented by James McRoberts of Leighton-Howard Steel Co. in East St. Louis.

 

1892 - Flood water reaches height of 37 feet.

New library in the Adele building is opened to the public.

A town called Glen Carbon (coal valley) is incorporated. When a railroad is laid out from Springfield to East St. Louis in 1885, the town is platted along this railroad, five miles south of Edwardsville. Two coal shafts are dug near the town and continue to operate until 1930.

Democratic governor of Illinois, John Peter Altgeld, delivers a speech in East St. Louis and supports Grover Cleveland in the upcoming presidential campaign.

J. E. Brown organizes a labor bureau to assist men in securing work. This bureau later becomes the Central Trades and Labor Union.

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1893 - The Depression of 1893 hits the U. S. but this doesn't stop economic activity in East St. Louis. Abt Music Hall, later housing the old Family Theater, flourishes on Collinsville Ave. Numerous stars of stage and screen played here. And, too, in this building, Mrs. Gish, the mother of Dorothy and Lillian Gish, ran a confectionery. The two daughters both worked at the Finke Candy Kitchen on Collinsville Ave. This building originally housed the First Uptown Church which moved to 13th and Gaty in 1893 and became known as First Presbyterian.

St. Philip's School on Church Lane is founded.

City records fist the following cemeteries: City Cemetery, 1200 North 14th Street, Mt. Carmel on bluff on Belleville Rock Road, Mt. Hope on bluff on Belleville Rock Road, St. Henry's, 3100-3300 Rock Road, St. Peter's, 3500-3600 Rock Road.

Work is started on the new Christian Science Church at Washington and Summit. The cost is around $30,000 Mr. Howard Peet is the first reader and Mrs. Mary Dohl is the second reader.

August Mirring starts a floral shop in the city. It will become the longest continuing business in East St. Louis. It is presently open for business at 8700 State and run by Paul Mirring, a grandson.

William and Frederick Niedringhaus, two businessmen in St. Louis, become dissatisfied with the status quo. They are having difficulty buying foreign tin-plate and they dislike paying additional costs imposed by the Terminal Railroad and Wiggins Ferry for transporting raw materials across the Mississippi. They employ the city engineer of St. Louis to lay out a new city. The pair organized two firms, one of which would evolve into the American Steel Company. The new town is called Granite City, named after the Graniteware pots and pans which made these German immigrants wealthy.

Joseph Nester, manager of Alton Glass Works, buys interest in the small Obear glass (formerly Alison/Obear) factory which had only one furnace at the time. He convinces the Obear family (Thomas and W. F.) to expand the project by explaining that the numerous breweries in Belleville, East St. Louis and St. Louis will create a big demand for their bottles.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Obear-Nester is second only to Aluminum Ore as an employer in East St. Louis. By 1961 the company covers seven acres and is producing about a million and a half gross of bottles annually.

East St. Louisans flock to Chicago, site of the Columbian Exposition, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America.

 

1894 - The Robinson Danforth Company is founded. Later, it will become Ralston Purina Company at Eighth and St. Clair Avenue.

State Savings and Loan is organized. H. D. Sexton is President at this time.

Alta Sita electric streetcar makes its first run.

Gerold Van Lines moving and warehousing is established at 315 North 9th Street.

A Republican newspaper for colored folk is started and it goes by the name of East St. Louis Advanced Citizen.

A city ordinance is passed that requires union men be used for city labor projects.

A large contingent of people camp in the city. They are on their way to join Jacob S. Coxey of Massilon, Ohio, to participate in the March of the Unemployed on Washington, D. C.

Precious Blood Sisters open St. Teresa Academy in Winstanley Park at 25th and Ridge. Rev. C. Kuhlman is commissioned to build St. Elizabeth's Church on Ridge. This parish, due to a lack of members, will be discontinued in 1973.

Magnificent Romanesque-style Union Station is completed in St. Louis by the TRRA. The tunnel at the west end of Eads bridge is extended to 18th and Market. is the largest and best-equipped railroad station in the world.

 

1895 - Henry F. Bader is elected mayor and serves in that capacity until 1897.

Rock High School is dedicated at 10th and Summit. It is constructed of the same sand stone from Rockwood, Ill., that was used to build Eads Bridge. Charles Manners is the first principal. Architects design gymnasium with a roof that is only 16' high, making it difficult to shoot long shots in games of basketball that would eventually become so popular.

High grade projects begun in 1888 are completed.

Immaculate Conception parish organized by Lithuanian immigrants. Reverend Joseph Servetka is the first parish pastor. A rented home on 15th and Baugh Ave. served as both church and rectory.

Turnpike Board orders an unpopular five cent ton for cyclists.

The city installs its first fire alarm boxes.

The Commercial Club is established. It is a self-appointed committee dedicated to finding new industries to locate here, and working with them to solve problems once they are established. The club was one of the first of its kind in any city and was composed of about twenty-five local merchants and business men. It would evolve into the Chamber of Commerce and was successful in landing the Monsanto Company.

Park District created consisting of a board of five Park Commissioners who are elected for a term of six years with no remuneration. H. C. Fairbrother was president of the first board that took office in 1908. In 1967 the total acreage controlled by the park district was 1,337.47.

The Salvation Army and Bond Avenue Methodist church are established. Reverend Leroy Dude was pastor of the Methodist Church in 1940. The head of the Salvation Army, at 129 North 6th Street, (in 1940) was Captain Ernest Orchard.

 

1896 - Island area, Eads Bridge and downtown section hit on May 27th by a vicious tornado killing 115. it severely damages property including Douglas School, YMCA, City Hall (the cyclone threw a fleeing Mayor Henry F. Bader into a ditch) and St. Mary's Church in the south end. Wiggins Ferry Company loses five out of its six boats, in the storm.

The Howe institute is destroyed by the churning terror. Losses are estimated at roughly $4 million. Damage is even more severe in St. Louis with losses totaling about $11 million. The furious winds did their damage over a span of twenty minutes. The Great Cyclone struck when East St. Louis was experiencing a decade of economic growth and expansion. The twisting cloud hit St. Louis around 5:15 p.m. and came across the Eads Bridge near 5:30 p.m. It cleared the main span but badly damaged five of the six stone arches on the east end. The rear cars of the Chicago & Alton train were knocked off their tracks on the exposed street deck but there were no casualties on the passenger train. It knocked over two streetcars and then slammed into the Island area which consisted of a mix of railroads, hotels, tenements, and assorted businesses. Several fires broke out and consumed wreckage and other buildings on the Island area before torrential rains came and helped quench the fires. About two inches of water fell after the storm.

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Onlookers described the bluish-green cloud as sausage-shaped. The boat J.J Odil was blown into the Path of the towboat Libbie Conger. A woman named Mary Connelly caused great excitement when she returned to the twisted wreckage of her home on Missouri Ave. the next day. The Journal had listed her among the dead.

A new library at 8th and Broadway opens at a cost of $55,000.

Provident Association organized. They join the Queen's Daughters to help the stricken and give aid to impoverished individuals and families.

German Evangelical Church at 11th and Gaty is dedicated. Grover Cleveland is president and John Peter Altgeld is the governor of Illinois at this time.

City jail officials establish a rock pile for prisoners to vent their energies.

The group known as the Hibernians are reorganized by Harriet and Lillian Walsh. The club consists entirely of Irish people by descent who are practicing Catholics. There were separate men's and women's groups devoting themselves to the betterment of the Catholic community.

Years later, the local chapter boasted of having one of the three honorary lifetime members of the Hibernians in the U. S. - Mrs. Nell Walsh Barnes.

Keeley Brothers Construction founded by Michael Keeley at 4211 State Street, next to the railroad tracks.

Niederer's Dairy is established on Caseyville Ave.

Queen City Women's Club is organized to help the needy

The Bi-Metallic club is organized by city Democrats to support the candidacy of William Jennings Bryan in his bid for the presidency. They persuade him to schedule a stop at East St. Louis in October.

Eugene Debs, head of the national American Railway Union, speaks to the Central Trades and Labor Union.

 

1897 - Henrietta Hospital, a multi-story structure, is built at 15th and Illinois. It will later be called Deaconess and eventually come to be known as Christian Welfare.

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St. Patrick's parish refuses to accept Father William Cluse as their new pastor because he is German. For two years they worshipped without a priest. A Guard of Honor patrolled the church grounds until the authorities gave in and appointed a new pastor, Father Chas. Sweeney.

Roc Seiter is captain of first East Side football team.

Frame Lithuanian church built at 15th and Baugh.

Despite the Eads Bridge, Wiggins Ferry manages to transport 123,011 railroad cars across the Mississippi.

Mt. Hope cemetery on Signal Hill is dedicated.

M. M. Stephens is swept into office running on a Progressive reform ticket. He serves until 1905.

The old City Hall, damaged beyond repair, is still standing. There are no funds to build a new structure so Mayor Stephens raises the money from a group of thirty citizens who will be repaid with interest as the city's financial status improves.

 

1898 - Wolfs Park, Starkel's Park and Gross Park are three main private parks open to the public. The city is on the verge of developing its own park system.

Irving School is built at 1500 Kansas. The name is later changed to Johnson School.

New St. Philip's School is built at its present site on Church Lane next to the cathedral. It consists of two stories and a basement. The cost is about $5,000.

Union Elevator on Front Street is destroyed in a costly $650,000 fire. It will be rebuilt and hit with another fire in 1906, this time with damages amounting to $250,000.

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Many East St. Louisans volunteer for the Spanish-American War. Orin G. Nelson, who was still living in East St. Louis in 1961, served as an officer under Nelson Miles, the man who captured the famed Apache leader Geronimo in the Indian wars.

 

1899 - Mississippi River freezes so hard people can walk across to the other side. Vendors set up refreshment booths to add to the festivity.

Day Line Railroad opens for business running coal from the bluffs on its narrow-gauge rails to the Union Electric power plant.

East St. Louis Daily Times is started. It boasted of being the only morning Democratic newspaper published in this section of the country.

Rush City is organized into a village.

The Boer War between the British and Dutch in South Africa breaks out. As a result of the three year war, people will come from all over the world to buy horses and mules at the stock yards.

City income for the year is approximately $552,027.

James Flannery Sr. organizes Flannery Building Materials on the site of the old Hezel Milling plant at 2nd and Division. Sixteen mule teams are used to deliver materials but they are eventually supplanted by mixer-type concrete trucks. The firm eventually moves to 2101-2107 State and the installation covered almost an entire city block by 1957. When sons Vincent, James Jr., and Jack join the firm, it is renamed Flannery and Sons.

John Francis Queeny, the founder of Monsanto, opens a sulfur refining plant in East St. Louis at a cost of $6,000. It burns down the first day of operation, uninsured.

 

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.

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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 StLouisImmigrants 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 196 1.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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 am in the early 1960s.

 

1909 - Lansdowne (named after an English lady who owned the land) and Edgemont (foot of the lull) annexed. City extends its boundaries to Highway 157 by annexing Edgemont and a narrow strip of land along the Rock Road (State Street). East St. Louis and Belleville now touch as their city limits meet for the first time.

Dorothy and Lillian D. Gish sell popcorn in Joe Erber's Lyric Theater. Their mother runs a candy store next to the theater. They will later gain fame as silent screen stars and of the spoken stage. Lillian is educated at Ursuline Academy (St. Henry's) and made her film debut in 1912. She and her sister star in D. W. Griffith's An Unseen Enemy. Lillian became the silent screen's greatest actress, noted for her ability to show intense emotional power seemingly hidden in her frail and hauntingly beautiful body. Griffith utilized Gish's aura to its fullest to develop the image of the suffering heroine to perfection.

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It was said that all the big stars played the Lyric Theater on their way up. Famous names include: Harry Langdon, Ina Claire, Mae West, Will Mahoney, Duncan Sisters, Ted Healy, Marx Brothers, Marilyn Miller, John L. Sullivan (sparred three rounds), Laurel and Hardy, Walter Winchell, Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Fred and Adele Astair and world champion tap dancer, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.

 

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