Pam Marlin January 2017
Old cemeteries are unique repositories of history and art - and the Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri truly embodies that. Established in 1849, Bellefontaine Cemetery is the burial site of several famous people including William Clark, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (an in depth history of the cemetery is available at Bellefontaine Cemetery). It was a clear, fall day when I visited and I could not stay long, but these are a few of the photos I took with added information on a few of the burials.
Adolphus Busch 1839–1913, Brewer Photo
Forty breweries existed in St. Louis when Eberhardt Anheuser bought, before the Civil War, the Bavarian Brewery. His daughter, Lilly, married Adolphus Busch who sold supplies to the brewery. After the Civil War, Busch joined his father-in-law in the brewing business. Carl Conrad, a native of Budweis, Bavaria, was Busch's good friend who developed a formula for a new, light lager beer. Recently merged, AB-InBev is today the world's largest brewery.
Inside the Adolphus Busch mausoleum.
Henry T. Blow 1817–1875, Minister Photo
Henry Blow was the minister to Brazil during the first term of President Grant. His daughter, Susan Blow, founded the first public kindergarten in the United States at the Des Peres School in St. Louis in 1873. At that time, the public schools of the city were the model for the whole nation. He also financed the Dred Scott Suit and encouraged him to file the suit.
William Clark 1770–1838, Explorer Photo
This American soldier, together with the famous Meriwether Lewis, secretary to Thomas Jefferson, led the expedition that explored the upper Louisiana Territory to the Pacific coast. Starting near Wood River, Illinois in May 1804, the expedition pushed north and west to the Pacific Ocean by boat, horseback and on foot.
After two years and four months they returned to St. Louis. In 1809, Meriwether Lewis started back to Washington, D.C. to report to President Jefferson but never made it. He was either murdered or committed suicide – neither was proven, and the crime remains unsolved. Clark remained in St. Louis and became the Indian Agent for Missouri Territory.
This Egyptian-style mausoleum was built in 1907 by Frank N. Tate, who at the time controlled most of the theater property in St. Louis. He also owned theaters in Chicago and New York. In 1921, Mr. and Mrs. Tate gave $75,000 to the University of Missouri to provide a memorial hall in the School of Law in memory of their son, Lee Harry Tate, who was killed in an automobile accident that year.
David Rowland Francis 1850–1927, Political Dignitary Photo
As a young man, he came to St. Louis from Kentucky and was one of the early graduates of Washington University. He was elected Mayor in 1885, Governor of the State in 1889 and appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Cleveland in 1896. As President of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, he saw the St. Louis World’s Fair through its triumphal year.
In 1916, President Wilson appointed him Ambassador to Imperial Russia where he served until the Bolshevik Revolution forced out all diplomats. He never fully recovered from the exposure he suffered during his escape from Russia back to the United States.
Sidney Rowland Francis (Photo)
Brother of Missouri Governor David R. Francis (gravesite photo above). He became associated with the same St. Louis firm that his brother was connected to in the grain and commission business. Although a young man when he first made his appearance as a trader on the floor of the Chamber of Commerce, he rapidly became one of the most successful traders in grain and produce in St. Louis. He built up a large fortune as a result of his successful operations as well as his active cooperation in every movement designed to extend the trade of St. Louis and to increase the prestige and prominence of the city as a center of commercial and industrial activity.
Captain Nicholas Wall
Steamboat captain on the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois Rivers. He started in the steamboat business as a steamboat agent prior to becoming a steamboat captain. He was well known as a captain along the rivers. He quit as a steamboat captain in 1850 and started a steamboat agency business. It was through this business that he moved to the Montana Territory becoming involved in many jobs. He started a store in Deer Lodge. He was one the founders of the American Exploring and Mining Company, the first St. Louis company to enter the Montana gold fields and was involved in moving goods overland for that company. Later in his life he returned to St. Louis.
Onward Bates 1850-1936
Printed on gravestone: A civil engineer devoted to his profession who thought it in the banguard of civilization and an instrumentality for human welfare.
John J. Mitchell 1813-1903
John Mitchell was engaged extensively in the field of transportation. He was a steamboat captain, a promoter of the Chicago & Alton Railroad & later the president of the Wabash Railroad.
Frederick W. Bauer 1841-1898
Printed on gravestone: His toils are past, his work is done, and he is fully blest, he fought the fight, the victory won and enters into rest.