In 1829, upon the death of Auguste Chouteau, one of the founders of St. Louis, the land where the Eugene Field House now stands was deeded to the City of St. Louis with revenues from the lease of the land earmarked for the support of the city schools. Sixteen years later, in 1845, with St. Louis still clustered close to the Mississippi River and its steamboat commerce, Edward Walsh leased the land from the school system and built 12 row houses known as Walsh's Row.
In 1850, Roswell Martin Field and his wife, Frances Maria Reed Field, leased the second unit from the south end, the family home until 1864.
In 1934, when Walsh's row was scheduled for demolition, Irving Dilliard wrote a spirited editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch decrying the destruction of Eugene Field's birthplace. Jesse Powell Henry and Carl Peyton Daniel, Sr. , formed a committee to save the house, and the Board of Education took possession, preserving that single unit of Walsh's Row.
In 1935 and 1936, during the "Great Depression," school children in the St. Louis Public Schools collected nearly $2,000 to help save the Eugene Field House. It was restored and opened as a museum in December of 1936, and to this day, school groups from the St. Louis City public schools are admitted free.
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What’s Past is Prologue: A House Brimming with Stories Built more than 160 years ago, the Field House was once part of a row house, a get-away from the noise and smoke of the small metropolis of St. Louis. The embodiment of the past and…Read More »