General Sherman’s St. Louis Home

     General William Tecumseh Sherman of Civil War fame had deep roots in St. Louis stretching back to 1843.  As a soldier, he was assigned to Jefferson Barracks.  He was also involved in St. Louis businesses as he was the St. Louis Street Railroad Company President until he left St. Louis for the Civil War in 1861.

sherman-house

General Sherman House article from the May 7, 1901 edition of the St. Louis Republic

     After the war, St. Louis’ citizens raised $30,000 to build him a home at 912 N. Garrison Avenue, which was on the northeast corner of the intersection of N. Garrison and Bell Avenue.  A better picture of the house can be found by clicking here.  The house would be in what is the Lucas Heights neighborhood today.

     General Sherman lived in the house until the mid-1880s, when he left because of a dispute with the city over a water bill for the mansion or because he wanted to be closer to his children in the east depending on which source you trust.  He lived in New York from 1886 until his death on Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1891.

     His funeral was one of the largest that the City of St. Louis ever experienced.  General Sherman was laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery.  A story in the May 7, 1901 edition of the St. Louis Republic talked about the recent purchase of the Sherman Home for $9,500.  The purchaser intended to convert the building into a hotel.

     The article stated that the house contained 18 rooms.  The purchaser intended to tear down the stable and build an edition of 12 rooms onto the back of the house.  The mansion would then be used as a family hotel.

     Prior to its purchase, the mansion was being used as a rooming house for transient tenants.  In 1930, the house was again being used for this purpose.  The Sherman House perfectly illustrates what happened to many of the early mansions in St. Louis.

     Originally, the Lucas Heights neighborhood was part of a wealthy neighborhood.  Many of the former residents of affluent neighborhoods like Lucas Place moved west.  This Wikipedia entry tells a similar tale about Vandeventer Place.

      The mansions that they left behind were too large for most families to be able to keep up, so they become rooming houses for transient tenants.  The new owners do not make many repairs and the homes fall into disrepair.  This pattern is repeated every time the wealthy neighborhoods moves west.

     Today, the Sherman mansion like so many of the old homes in St. Louis has been demolished.  Each time it happens a little more of the city’s history disappears.  With a few exceptions most of the buildings built before 1890 are gone.

     Did you know General Sherman had such deep roots in St. Louis?  You can leave a comment or ask a question about this or any post on my Facebook pageTwitter profile and Google+ page.

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