What street stood as the south boundary of St. Joseph in the early days?
What is “the street of churches”?
What street possesses an odd little jog that has bothered drivers for more than 100 years?
Readers of the News-Press were given the answers to these and other questions in spring 1954 in a weekly, 10-part series that focused on streets. Because of the historical nature, I thought I’d repeat some of them here.
I’m keeping this in the present tense — as it was when printed — and sticking to the original text as much as possible. Let’s have a look:
Francis Street: Named for a son of Joseph Robidoux, Francis is one of the most important streets Downtown, being home to Townsend & Wall, the Tootle Building and the Kirkpatrick Building, plus three churches: Francis Street Methodist, Christ Episcopal and First Baptist.
St. Joseph Avenue: The avenue is known as “the street with everything”: Three schools, three churches, a post office (at Woodson Avenue), a fire station and a movie theater. It marks the start of the boulevard system and provides the entrance to one of St. Joseph’s finest parks.
South 11th Street: South 11th is a street of industry. Quaker Oats, Dugdale Packing and Western Tablet & Stationery (Westab) are all located in the southern portion, while the northern terminus, after passing the stately St. Joseph Museum, sits on a hill overlooking City Hall.
Edmond Street: Edmond starts out in the Central Business District, sporting the Electric and Missouri Theaters, and continues into the eastern section of the city, with Central High School, Sherwood Elementary School and Brookdale Presbyterian Church. The hill between Eighth and 11th Street “was quite a test for early-day motor cars. Automobiles now zoom up it at 30 mph or more.”
Messanie Street: Messanie is the south boundary of the original town. Stately Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church is a landmark. And the weed patches that existed for years east of 28h Street have been turned into the pride of the street — a row of fine new homes.
King Hill Avenue: King Hill is the street of churches: St. James Catholic, King Hill Evangelical, King Hill Methodist, King Hill Baptist, King Hill Christian, King Hill Tabernacle and First Baptist Mount Union. The avenue has two thriving business districts: Hyde Valley and the area south of Missouri Avenue.
Noyes Boulevard: Noyes, the central line of the boulevard system, is famous for its trees. It features many fine homes, as well as Christian Brothers High School, the Noyes Home for Children and Moila Temple Shrine.
Olive Street: Olive is home to Goose Town. In olden days there was a brick and cement goose pond, and nearly every household in the neighborhood kept geese or ducks.
Sixth Street: Sixth has a number of things going for it. Here you’ll find Union Passenger Station, the Masonic Temple and the Scottish Rite Cathedral. It is probably the main north-south artery, as its viaduct connects with King Hill Avenue and the north terminus is at the Goetz Brewery. The corner of Sixth and Felix is regarded as the heart of Downtown. And one more thing: “The jog at Messanie Street has been a nuisance for more than a century, but it is still there.”
Frederick Avenue: One of the principal thoroughfares in St. Joseph, Frederick is home to City Hall, the former Noyes Hospital, the stately Geiger mansion at 25th Street, a fire station, the Pony Express Statue and State Hospital No. 2. It also serves as U.S. Highway 36 through town.
It’s interesting to read this now and think of the landmarks that still are there, and the ones that have passed on. Which ones struck you the most?