1802 N. Jefferson Avenue Gone

      1802 N. Jefferson Avenue was a two-family flat built in 1890 and located in the St. Louis Place neighborhood.  I originally wrote about the building in 2013 but it was demolished sometime before March 2015.  The building is part of an area being developed for a government complex in St. Louis, so it was not able to be saved.

     These pictures are the only the remains of this residence, which for many years was the home of the Fishbeck family.  Michael and Mildred Fishbeck lived in the first floor flat from the late 1920s until the 1940s.  They had four children at least two of whom were born, when the family lived in the flat.


1802 N. Jefferson Avenue in 2007 – Courtesy of Geo St. Louis


     After midnight on February 18, 1940, Michael and Mildred arrived home after celebrating Michael’s 45th birthday.  Their daughter told them the upstairs neighbor, 73-year-old Elmer Knapp, had been making noise all night.  Knapp then slammed something on the floor of his second floor flat.  Fishbeck and Knapp had a long-standing feud over noise.

     Michael Fishbeck was furious and went up to Knapp’s flat via the wooden steps at the back of the building.  Fishbeck told Knapp not to slam any more items on the floor.  Knapp told Fishbeck to get off his porch or he would shoot him  Fishbeck said, “You won’t shoot me.”  Mrs. Fishbeck heard a gunshot.  She ran up the steps to find her husband shot in the chest.


1802 N. Jefferson Avenue in 2012 – Courtesy of Google Earth

     St. Louis Police arrested Knapp, who admitted to shooting Fishbeck but said it was an accident.  Officers recovered a 16 gauge shotgun.  A coroner’s jury found the shooting to be a justifiable homicide.

     However, Assistant Circuit Attorney Herman D. Olian referred the case to the Grand Jury, who indicted Knapp for manslaughter.  I don’t believe Knapp was convicted of the crime.  He died from stomach cancer ten years later on March 8, 1950.

     Knapp’s shooting of Fishbeck is one of the most senseless crimes I’ve ever written about.  Two grown men let a feud over noise go so far that one man was killed.  Very sad.

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