The First Residents of the Colchester Apartments

Gould’s Blue Book (a social register of who’s who in St. Louis) and Gould’s City Directory tell us the names of the first residents of the “Colchester Apartments.”   None of these names jump out as prominent names that are easily recognized.

However, a little research and a closer look at the names, reveal some amazing facts.  Nineteen of the head of the households are listed in The Book of St. Louisans, A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men of the City of St. Louis (1906) and eleven men are in St. Louis, History of the Fourth City, 1763-1909, Volume II.  The introduction in the “dictionary” book reads, in part:

“These St. Louisans believe in St. Louis.  They have invested their money, their activity and themselves not only in promoting their own interests but also in advancing the city’s welfare……These men are all imbued with the missionary spirit and are constantly at work to make the advantages of the city known to the outside world, to ‘push along’ every measure calculated to enlarge the advantages, increase the attractiveness and add to the prestige of the city.

This civic spirit created the World’s Fair, made it a means of advertising the manifest advantages of St. Louis and bringing them to world-wide notice and attention; made the fair itself the grandest success in the history of world’s fairs and so directed it that it has been followed by increased progress and enlarged prosperity, in place of the reaction and years of stagnation which have followed similar efforts in every other American world’s fair city.

Because of the high character of the people of St. Louis, and especially of those who lead in its onward progression, this volume, which records, modestly and without adulation, the life histories of those who have led in its progressive efforts and now control and direct its important activities, is believed to be a timely contribution to the list of local reference books.”

Included in the first residents of “The Colchester Apartments” (and listed in the books mentioned above) are:

Lorenzo E. Anderson, vice-president Mercantile Trust Company

Augustus Hager Bryant, vice-president Missouri Glass Company

Alfred James Davidson, president St. Louis and San Francisco R.R. Company

Joseph Dickson, Jr., lawyer, Dickson & Dickson

Abner Harvey Duncan, president of Mayfield Woolen Mills Clothing Company

John Wilfred Higgins, assistant general manager Missouri Pacific Railway

Alexander Hilton, general passenger agent St. Louis & San Francisco R.R.

Frank Nicholas Johnson, president Scullin-Gallagher Iron & Steel Company

Charles Frederick Joy, congressman (elected to Congress, Nov. 1892, and re-elected four times from 11th Missouri district), lawyer, president Standard School Book Company

Henry K. Lackland, treasurer and general manager Jamieson-French Fire Clay Company

Arthur Wilson Lambert, treasurer Lambert Pharmacal Company

John Henry McCluney, Jr., broker in commercial paper – McCluney & Copp

Richard McCulloch, assistant general manager United Railways Company

Neill Alexander McMillan, vice-president St. Louis Union Trust Company

John S. Manchester, president and treasurer The Railway Supply Company

Robert Edward Parsons, district manager National Cash Register Company

German Green Powell, vice-president F. A. Steer Furnishing Goods Company

Charles Sutter, broker

Lewis Bates Tebbetts, L. B. Tebbetts & Sons Carriage Company, vice-president Commonwealth Trust Company

Harry S. Wheeler, department manager, Rice-Stix Dry Goods Company

Tyrell Williams, lawyer

These twenty-one St. Louis leaders were all living in the “Colchester Apartments” with their families at the same time.  The other residents, although not listed in the “who’s who” in St. Louis, were officers of major St. Louis corporations, physicians, lawyers, and managers.  Three apartments were resided in by widows.

Throughout the years of “Colchester Apartments” living, additional prominent and important St. Louisans have resided in the building, but at no time, except in the early years, have so many prominent people lived in the building at the same time.