Preservation Journal

1106 South

Year Built: (after 1856)
1106 South Main Street

The Cooperage That Wasn’t (and the Lime Kiln)
from Justin Watkins

In an area recently home to a construction and demolition project sits a limestone monument, a monument to the days of saw mills and limestone quarries: 1106 South Main Street. Edna McElhiney Olson described the building in 1961 as “one of the few rock buildings remaining in St. Charles.” It is “very large,” “100 feet long by about 30 feet wide. The beams are 3x14 and about 30 feet long. The north wall will amaze you. The arched door and the fireplace still show even though filled in with brick. All the walls are 18 inches thick, giving an effect of a hit and miss pattern as the rocks have such odd shapes. At the rear, the huge door is cut at an angle and the back of the building faces the river. The south wall, with its unusual arches (that were doors) has been filled in with brick, also the fireplace. I hope you will especially notice the unusual low arch … When the second floor was removed, the ceiling was dropped and the old beams can be seen leaving the height of 13 feet, which is unusually high for any ceiling.”[1] The property on which 1106 South Main sits was originally owned by Toussaint Souliers.[2] It was then purchased by Charles Phillips from Toussaint Soullier.[3] In 1825, the land was confirmed to the legal representatives of Charles Phillips by Theodore Hunt, recorder of Land Titles for the State of Missouri and Territory of Arkansas.[4] At the time, this property was located across present-day South Main Street from that of George Shannon, who was a member of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery at the age of eighteen.[5] Shannon was born in 1787 in Pennsylvania, joined the Corps of Discovery in 1803, and later served in the Kentucky House of Representatives (1820-1822) and the Missouri State Senate. He then became a lawyer in Palmyra, Missouri, where he died suddenly in a courtroom in 1836. He was buried in Massie Mill Cemetery, one mile north of Palmyra.[6]

In 1835, Thomas W. Cunningham, administrator of the estate of James Phillips, deeded this land to William Eckert.[7] William Eckert owned several parcels of land along Main Street. In 1829, he, Osborn Knott, and Benjamin Emmons were appointed as road commissioners “to view and mark out a public highway from St. Charles to Elm Point.”[8] He briefly was a business partner of George Collier, Francis Yosti, and John Moore in the St. Charles Steam Mill in City Block 9.[9] He also owned some property in City Block 34.[10] Eckert owned a tavern, known as Eckert’s Tavern, in 1828 according to several issues of the Missouri Republican.[11] Olson suggests an important meeting took place at Eckert’s Tavern: “In 1825, President John Quincy Adams appointed Benjamin Reeves, George C. Sibley, and Thomas Mathers commissioners to carry out the route to Santa Fe. The US Congress, recognizing the importance of the establishment of trade with the west, made an appropriation for a survey of a route to New Mexico. It was Eckert’s Tavern where Colonel Mather met Major Sibley, secretary of the Government Survey of the road to Santa Fe. The work of writing the complete report on the survey, making the necessary treaties with the Indians, including maps, field notes, expense accounts, etc. took place from 28 October 1827 to 7 December 1827.”[12] In addition to running the tavern, Eckert also operated a ferry at the foot of Pike Street in 1826.[13] Eckert was summoned to appear before the St. Charles County Circuit Court in 1831 in a civil case regarding a debt Nathaniel Simonds owed James Clemens, Jr.[14] Later he operated the William Eckert Hotel (also known as the St. Charles Hotel), which was, according to Louise Heye, a “stage station and possibly the oldest St. Charles Hostelry. It was destroyed by fire in 1853. On the river near this point was the Riverside House owned by William Eckert where stage drivers and horses were lodged, the passengers being cared for at the more commodious Eckert Hotel.” “This point” in the context of the article was the corner of Main Street and Boone’s Lick Road.[15] A respondent to Heye’s reminiscences stated, “If we are correctly informed the mortal remains of William Eckert sleep up on the ‘River Side’ Cemetery, which the town of St. Charles purchased and used as a ‘city of the dead’ many years ago, but now abandoned. If this information is correct, he could not have a more peaceful resting place. The ripple of the river sings constantly his requiem and around the forest trees the stillness of nature is broken only by the sighing winds and the songs of the birds. In his life he was alert, active, and full of energy, contributing to the growth and progress of the town, in his might and after life’s fitful fever he sleeps well.”[16] William Eckert died on 5 June 1846.[17] Eckert’s widow Francina reported that her husband William lived in a mansion house at the time of his death. The mansion (on the site of today’s Piker’s Club building) was located on Pike Street and the property on which it was situated was sold under foreclosure to Gerald Hope. At the time of his death, he ran the St. Charles Hotel.[18] Eckert also owned property in the 700 block of South Main Street from 1830 to 1838 except for a portion which he retained until 1840.[19] He owned a large portion of City Block 27 from 1821 until his death.[20] Eckert’s widow later served as innkeeper of the Western House at South Main and Boone’s Lick in 1857.[21]

Eckert’s estate sold six parcels of land for $608.50 to Henry Benne in 1849. Among these was the site of 1106 South Main Street.[22] According to Robert Myers, former City Planner of the City of St. Charles, Benne was born in Prussia and “was a farmer of modest means, not a manufacturer.”[23] Benne owned the land from 1849 to 1855, when he sold it to Peter Hausam for $200. At the time, today’s South Main Street in the area outside of the city of St. Charles (past where Barbour Street used to be) was known as the Stillhouse (or Still House) Road. [24] Myers supposed in his 2000 article that 1106 South Main Street and the accompanying lime kiln across the street were built no earlier than 1856. (We will look at both of these suppositions in a moment, but first more about Peter Hausam.) Peter Hausam was born in Baden (1860) or Bavaria (1870) and immigrated to the United States in 1835. His first enterprise in St. Charles was a mercantile business.[25] Myers writes that Hausam’s “real estate holdings were valued in 1870 at more than $22,000, a small fortune at that time. He served on the St. Charles City Council, 1855-6, 1859-60, and was elected mayor in 1862 and 1863. His house, built in 1858, remains standing at 1018 South Main Street, less than a block away from the sawmill.”[26] In the 1860 census, Peter Hausam is listed as a lime burner with personal holdings of $4,000 and real estate valued at $20,000.[27] In 1863, Hausam was installed by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri as one of the curators of St. Charles College.[28]

Peter Hausam filed a report with the City Council in February 1856, two months after his purchase of the property from Henry Benne. The petition stated, “Your petitioner Peter Hausam would most respectfully represent that he has lately purchased of Henry Benne a piece of ground adjoining the Southern boundary of the City of St. Charles, fronting on the extension of Main Street Southwardly as represented by the above plat 192.6 ft and running the same width Eastwardly with the Southern boundary of St. Charles City to the Missouri River, that the said Benne claimed to be the owner of the land described under purchase from the Administrator of Wm. Eckert who held the same by a lease from the City of St. Charles, that your petitioner has commenced the building of a Steam Saw Mill on said lot and has done considerable work to the same, that upon our examination of the title it was suggested to him that in view of the fact that he was about to erect very valuable improvements thereon it would be well for him to obtain a release of any title which might yet be in the City, that for the better securing of his title he is willing to pay the City a reasonable amount as a compromise for any supposed right the City might have, that if himself and the City can agree as to the amount, he desires to obtain a fee simple title without warranty for the tract or lot of land described. He prays the board to take into consideration the subject matter of the petition and grant him the prayer thereof. Your petitioner would further state that he desires the matter to be acted on as soon as convenient as he will feel safer in going on with his contemplated improvements.”[29] Hausam’s first partner in the business was John E. Stonebraker, a Maryland native of German descent, who moved to St. Charles with his family in 1843. In 1856, he became interested in the walnut lumber industry and saw it as “a profitable field of enterprise.” From 1856 to 1859, Hausam and Stonebraker operated the saw mill and manufactured walnut lumber and other kinds of native hardwood. Myers further described the operation, “Timber was cut from surrounding properties owned or leased by Hausam, including about half of the adjoining island in the Missouri River. Logs were hauled by oxen from the river bottom to the steam-powered mill. Before the Civil War, the mill reportedly specialized in walnut lumber.”[30]

Myers continues his narrative on Hausam, “Peter Hausam’s main business was actually a lime kiln and rock quarry he owned. The kiln was located directly across the street from the sawmill near the corner of South Main and Barbour Street. The massive limestone kiln would be a prominent local landmark for years to come. Hausam having owned a quarry would explain why the sawmill building was constructed of limestone.”[31] There was already a lime kiln, known as “Kental’s (or Kentil’s Lime Kiln”) on the southeast corner of City Block 24 according to Carolyn Whetzel.[32] Kental’s Lime Kiln is mentioned in 1828, when David McNair, who had moved from St. Charles to Upper Mississippi Land Mines, Illinois, sold it (among other properties) to Stephen Hempstead in 1828.[33] An 1833 St. Charles Circuit Court case places Kental’s Lime Kiln as just outside of the city limits of St. Charles: “One lot or tract of land, lying and being situate in the County of Saint Charles, fronting on and bounded SE by Main or Fourth St in the Town of Saint Charles … fronting on said Main St, 120’ and running back 300’ French measure and including what is called or known as Kental’s Lime Kiln and Quarry.”[34] Olson claimed that McNair built the lime kiln in 1800, which is possible (although not provable).[35] Another source states circa 1818 for the construction of the lime kiln by David McNair and described it as being constructed of Burlington limestone.[36] Hausam took over the operation of the lime kiln upon his purchase of the property surrounding the kiln in August 1857.[37]

In 1852, Hausam contracted with the St. Charles Western Plank Company to build a plank road for five miles west from the city limits of St. Charles. The agreement shows some of the other kinds of lumber that Hausam manufactured at the sawmill: “The Plank will consist of white Post and Burr oak timber, and may be cut into lengths of 8 or 16 feet, 3 inches thick, from 5-12 inches wide, and may be sawed with the taper of the log. The timber must be sound, clear of sap and shake, and when not conforming to these requisitions will be subject to rejection by the Engineer or other person appointed in his stead to inspect the same.” Hausam filed a lawsuit against the plank company in 1854. He claimed that they owed him money for lumber used in the construction of the road, while they replied that he had broken his agreement with them.[38] In 1862, the case was decided in favor of Hausam and in 1865 Frederick W. Gatzweiler, sheriff of St. Charles County, seized the ten-mile stretch of plank road from St. Charles to Cottleville and sold it to Hausam.[39] Hausam and his wife subsequently deeded the road to St. Charles County on the same day.[40]

In 1862, Hausam and his wife Clara sold 1106 South Main Street, “it being the same lot upon which the grantor has erected a steam saw mill and other buildings,” for $7,000 to John Hausam, Jr. and Henry D. Schmidt.[41] Peter Hausam held on to the lime kiln until 1879, when he sold his business to Jacob Hausam and moved to a farm near Fort Scott, Kansas. He later moved to the town of Fort Scott, Kansas, where he died in 1894. Hausam’s widow Clara survived him, dying in 1909 at a daughter’s home in Denison, Texas.[42] Peter Hausam’s brother, John Hausam, Jr., continued to operate the sawmill in St. Charles. Henry D. Schmidt of Hamilton County, Ohio, sold his interest in the mill to John Hausam, Jr. later in 1862.[43] John Hausam, Jr. was succeeded by Jacob Hausam and Adam Boellner in operating the sawmill.[44] Boellner was a native of Hanover according to the 1870 census. Jacob Hausam and Adam Boellner appeared to have still been in business together in the sawmill in 1870.[45] Boellner later took over the operation of the mill until his death. His widow, Fredericke, sold 1106 South Main Street for $500.01 to Ernst G. Kemper in 1876.[46] Kemper moved to Burlington, Iowa by 1883, when he gave the mill property (and three other parcels) to Charles H. Kemper for $1.[47] Charles H. Kemper served on the St. Charles City Council in 1878 and 1879.[48] After Kemper’s death, the property was sold by his estate to Ernst A. Schnedler for $2,950 in 1912.[49] The lime kiln remained on the opposite side of South Main Street from the Hausam Sawmill Building until 1922, when Edward Amrein began to tear down the old lime kiln. In 1928, Amrein completed the job for the price of $50 and the stones were used in the construction of a new home near the Missouri River.[50] In the last twenty years of its existence, the kiln was home to a man known as “Cow” Kemper. He was attacked at the kiln in a reported robbery attempt in 1916 and was taken to the hospital. He survived the attack and lived two more years, dying in 1918. The Banner-News reported, “The old man, while he lived in the old kiln, gathered the slops and refuse from the boarding houses in a little mule cart with a barrel mounted on the cart. The slop and garbage he fed to his stock. He subsided from the food he picked out of the slop barrel. He would buy up a few head of starved out steers and fatten them. He also had a few hogs, some chickens, and a pack of dogs. During his life there, the surroundings about the kiln were a great nuisance. It was the dirtiest and filthiest place around St. Charles. During the summer, there was a very bad odor in this vicinity. Complaints were brought to the city officials many times and notices were served on him to stop the nuisance, but it never came to pass. He was a hideous looking person, never shaved or had his hair cut, and seldom washed, his wearing apparel was in rags and filth.”[51]

After the death of Charles H. Kemper, his estate deeded 1106 South Main Street (and several other properties in the same area) to Ernst A. Schnedler in 1912.[52] As early as 1906, William Schnedler used this building as his slaughterhouse.[53] Concerning the Schnedler family, Olson writes, “These men were very successful. William and Ernest Schnedler had a fine meat market at 139 N. Main Street and another one at 510 Clay Street and still another butcher shop at the rear of 1022 South Main. Their brother Henry had one at 639 South Main Street. Few changes were made in their slaughterhouse. The second floor was used to store hay and straw for feeding the cattle. One room was used to dry the hides. Straw was used to store their ice and packing it. A huge pit was built called a kettle pit installed to heat water to scald hogs for butchering (you can see where this pit was). A pen was built at the rear of the building for the cattle. The Schnedler Brothers were kind to the animals and certainly their meat was splendid.”[54] William and Ernst Schnedler continued to operate their slaughterhouse here until they sold the property in 1921 to Blaske, Carter and Day Sand, Gravel, and Building Company for $500.[55] Apparently the land reverted back to the Schnedler brothers at some time. Ernst Schnedler died 4 November 1927 in St. Charles and was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, St. Charles.[56] William H. and Christina Schnedler and Tuhra Schnedler (Ernst’s widow) sold 1106 South Main Street to Milton W. and Arlie Dumm on 1 April 1946.[57]

When the Dumms purchased the building, “they made many changes in the building, taking off the second floor, all but a small room facing the street which they converted into an office. They put on a new roof and on the front of this beautiful natural rock wall put on a false face.”[58] In 1948, the Dumms sold the property to Cities Service Bus Company.[59] Cities Service Bus Lines operated at 1106 South Main Street in 1950.[60] Cities Service Bus Lines deeded the property to Gulf Refining Company in 1953.[61] Cities Service later became known as CITGO.[62] Gulf Refining Company then sold it to Gulf Oil Corporation in 1956.[63] Gulf Oil Corporation merged with Chevron in 1985.[64] In the early 1960s, the business was managed by the Stevenson brothers. R. L. Stevenson Oil Company, distributors of Gulf Oil, was located at 1106 South Main Street in 1961 and 1970.[65] In 1961, Edna Olson reported concerning the interior of the building, “Everything is clean and well-groomed. The bins extending to the ceiling from the ground floor hold their accessories. The office has been modernized and the front of the building has had its face lifted. The grounds are well kept and the flowers and small trees growing out from the old rock walls are attractive.”[66] Gulf Oil Corporation continued to own the building until 1973, when they sold it to Charles A. Dyer.[67] After Dyer’s death, his estate deeded 1106 South Main Street to Onyx Corporation in 1976.[68]

In 1980, Onyx Corporation was located at 1106 South Main Street.[69] The company later changed its name to Triad Management Corporation and sold the building in 1986 to Froesel Oil Company, Inc.[70] Froesel Oil Company was located here in 1988.[71] A gasoline leak occurred at 1106 South Main Street in 1990 and led to the evacuation of fifty St. Charles residents.[72] The oil company was located in Ballwin, Missouri in 1991.[73] For the last few years, 1106 South Main Street has been for sale. In the past year (2011), a new construction project has limited access to the building. 1106 South Main Street still stands as a limestone monument to the days of saw mills and lime kilns, to the days of the St. Charles Western Plank Road. No, it doesn’t date back to the time of William Eckert’s cooperage, but it still has quite a history.

UPDATE, 13 November 2013
Froesel Oil Company, Inc. sold 1106 South Main Street for $210,000 to Stone Chapel LLC (Heart of St. Charles Banquet Center) on 10 May 2013.[74] Heart of St. Charles Banquet Center, after their purchase, had the top building and the roof removed from the lower building. HSC is in the process of extensively remodeling and adding on to Hausam’s 1856 stone building. To see the Heart of St. Charles’ plans for the site (to be called Old Stone Chapel), see

[1] Edna McElhiney Olson, “Once a Barrel Factory,” St. Charles Journal, 9 November 1961
[2] St. Charles County Deed Book W, 16-17, 18 June 1849
[3] Deed Book F, 327
[4] Deed Book W, 16-17, 18 June 1849
[5]; Deed Book L, 57, 7 February 1837
[7] Deed Book K, 105, 1 April 1835; Deed Book N, 89, 1 April 1835
[9] Deed Book L, 8, 19 December 1836; Deed Book Q, 251, 22 September 1842
[10] Deed Book K, 107, 20 June 1835; Deed Book O, 225, 19 April 1841
[11] Missouri Republican, 11 November, 16 December 1828, index at website of the State Historical Society of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
[12] Olson, Historical Saint Charles, Missouri (St. Charles, MO: Olson, 1967), 47; City Real Estate Tax records indicate that the current building at 515 South Main Street in St. Charles was built in 1856 under the ownership of William J. McElhiney
[13] St. Charles County Court Record Book 1, 163, cited in Mitzi D. Riddler, “Abstract of Title to all of City Block 16,” John Dengler Collection, St. Charles County Historical Society
[14] St. Charles County Circuit Court Box 45, Folder 30, February 1831
[15] Louise Heye, “Main Street in Early Times,” St. Charles Cosmos-Monitor, 18 August 1909
[16] “Ancient History,” St. Charles Banner-News, August 1909
[17] Olson, “Once a Barrel Factory”
[18] Deed Book T, 423, 9 May 1848; Deed Book Z, 9, 21 October 1847
[19] Deed Book H, 520, 8 October 1830; Deed Book M, 94, 2 May 1838; Deed Book Q, 49, 18 April 1840
[20] Deed Book H, 531, 1 April 1821; St. Charles County Probate File #852
[21] Carolyn Whetzel, “South Main Research Notes from City Abstracts: City Square #16,” John Dengler Collection, St. Charles County Historical Society
[22] Deed Book W, 16-17, 18 June 1849
[23] Robert A. Myers, “More St. Charles Landmarks Identified: Peter Hausam’s Saw Mill and Lime Kiln,” St. Charles County Heritage XVIII: no. 1 (January 2000), 25-31, who cites the 1850 and 1860 U.S. censuses, St. Charles County, Missouri, for his information; Myers’ article was reprinted in Heritage Treasures (St. Charles, MO: St. Charles County Historical Society, 2006), 94-97
[24] Deed Book D-2, 457, 8 December 1855
[25] Frank Wilson Blackmar, ed., Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, etc. (Standard Publishing Co., 1912), 911; 1860 U.S. Census, St. Charles County, Missouri
[26] 1870 U.S. Census, St. Charles Co., MO; Ordinances of the City of St. Charles State of Missouri of a General, Public and Permanent Nature (St. Charles, MO: 1861), 141-143; cited in Myers; see also Dennis Miller, “Bringing New Life to an Old Landmark,” St. Charles Journal, 29 July 1987
[27] 1860 U.S. Census, St. Charles County, Missouri, Series M653, Roll 644, Page 707
[28] Laws of Missouri Passed at the General Assembly (Vol. 22), 646
[29] St. Charles City Council Book C, 454, 18 February 1856
[30] History of St. Charles County, Missouri, 1765-1885, 433; Sutherland & McEvoy, compilers, The Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory (St. Louis: Sutherland & McEvoy, 1860), 234; cited in Myers, “More St. Charles Landmarks Identified”
[31] Myers, “More St. Charles Landmarks Identified”
[32] Whetzel, “City Square #24” in “South Main Research Notes from City Abstracts”
[33] Deed Book H, 345, 4 August 1828
[34] Ludwell E. Powell v. James D. Earl, St. Charles County Circuit Court Records, Box 48, Folder 2, January 1833, St. Charles County Historical Society
[35] Olson, Historical Saint Charles, Missouri, 55
[36] St. Charles County Historical Society Business File QU-1; see also SCCHS photos 05.1.162, 05.1.163, and 05.1.164
[37] Deed Book H-2, 19-20, 15 August 1857
[38] Peter Hausam v. St. Charles Western Plank Co., St. Charles County Circuit Court Records, Box 95, Folder 3982, August 1852
[39] Deed Book T-2, 605-606, 12 May 1865
[40] Deed Book T-2, 607, 12 May 1865
[41] Deed Book P-2, 88, 30 January 1862
[42] Blackmar, 911; St. Charles County Deed Book 29, 412, 5 January 1882
[43] Deed Book P-2, 291, 18 September 1862
[44] Myers, “More St. Charles Landmarks Identified”
[45] 1870 U.S. Census, St. Charles, St. Charles Co., MO, Series M593, Roll 806, Page 295A
[46] Deed Book 20, 298, 31 January 1876
[47] Deed Book 37, 372, 19 November 1883
[48] History of St. Charles County (1885), 344
[49] Deed Book 118, 297, 15 August 1912
[50] SCCHS Business File QU-1; St. Charles Banner-News, 24 February 1922
[51] St. Charles Banner-News, 24 February 1922
[52] Deed Book 118, 297, 15 August 1912
[53] St. Charles City Directory, 1906
[54] Olson, “Once a Barrel Factory”
[55] Deed Book 135, 110, 8 September 1921
[57] Deed Book 217, 380, 1 April 1946
[58] Olson, “Once a Barrel Factory”
[59] Deed Book 213, 310, 28 January 1948
[60] St. Charles City Directory, 1950
[61] Deed Book 260, 547, 25 July 1953
[63] Deed Book 298, 44, 17 September 1956
[64]; the author’s uncle, Joel S. Watkins, Jr., was one of several vice-presidents in Gulf Oil Corporation at the time of its merger with Chevron.
[65] St. Charles city directories, 1961, 1970
[66] Olson, “Once a Barrel Factory”
[67] Deed Book 672, 1153, 18 December 1973
[68] Deed Book 742, 1496, 21 June 1976
[69] St. Charles City Directory, 1980
[70] Deed Book 1076, 1671, 1 April 1986
[71] St. Charles City Directory, 1988
[72] Robert Manor, “50 Evacuated After Fuel Leak,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8 June 1990
[73] Lacey Burnette, “Schools to Get Company’s $1,500 Fine for Clean-Air Violation,” St. Charles Post, 9 October 1991
[74] St. Charles County Deed Book 6015, 1592, 10 May 2013 (according to the St. Charles County Assessor’s Property Database)