Brentwood Residents Honored

75 year residents

On Tuesday February 19th, at the Board of Alderman meeting, the Brentwood Historical Society honored four Brentwood residents who have lived in Brentwood for 75 years or longer.  Shown in the picture are:

Left to right: Wilma Nowell (83), Regina Gahr (78), Judie Litts (78) and Laren Langguth (75).  The number in parenthesis indicates years lived in Brentwood.

Also to be honored is Rosemarie Kornfeld (75).  She could not attend the meeting and will be recognized at a later date.

Published in: on February 20, 2019 at 11:04 pm  Comments (1)  

Barbara Gill (1931-2019)

history soc.-7 6-2809 010 (6)

Today, Barbara Gill was laid to rest.  She died Jan 1st.  She is seen in this picture, in the white shirt, relaxing on the front porch of the Barlow House, the last home of her beloved Brentwood Historical Society.  She is with her husband Joe, Earl and Joyce, Nancy, and Regina.

Barb Gill was so important to the Brentwood community. She gave of herself in so many ways to Brentwood.  Member of the Brentwood Board of Education, Mark Twain Mothers Club and PTSO, Brentwood Chamber of Commerce, and of course the Brentwood Historical Society. She was an usher at St Mary Magdalen Church for over 25 years.

Barb was part of a group of Brentwood citizens who started the Historical Society in 1985.  Many have helped the BST over the years, and some have held positions on the board, but there was never any doubt who was in charge.  Sorry Joe, but we all know, Barb ran the show.  She fussed over where items should be stored, where displays would be placed and what pictures would be used for a booth.  God forbid, if anyone ever thought of taking something from the building.

She did these things because she cared.  Barb cared about people and she cared about everything Brentwood. Friday morning conversations at the Barlow House were always centered around Brentwood, but Barb always asked about our families.  She knew everything going on in our lives; because she cared. Joe and Barb attended all events in the Brentwood community, supporting all things Brentwood.

All communities need people like Barb Gill. Brentwood is fortunate to have had Barb in our community.

Published in: on January 9, 2019 at 8:21 pm  Comments (1)  

The Morgan Family in Brentwood

The Brentwood Historical Society received a gift from Nelson Morgan, a former Brentwood resident.  Nelson sent us old photographs and some memorabilia from his family.  He included a detailed history of his family in Brentwood that we would like to share.  The following is an abbreviated version with photographs included.

Nelson Skylor Morgan was born in 1867, probably near Salem, Illinois.

Nelson Skylor MORGAN

Nelson Skylor Morgan

He worked for the Missouri Pacific Railroad for many years.  He and his wife, Sallie, moved to Brentwood around 1917.  They lived at 1417 Cecelia Avenue, across the street from the lake.  He was involved in the City of Brentwood in its growing stages. He was part of the group who opened the original Brentwood Bank in 1925. He was also a builder, and was responsible for the construction of several houses on Bremerton Road, south of Madge Avenue.  He died in 1945, after having lived on Cecelia Avenue for 29 years.

1417 Cecelia (c-1917) Nelson Skylor and Nelson Gilbert

Nelson Skylor Morgan and his son Nelson Gilbert in front of home on Cecelia c.1917

Sallie Jay (Gilbert) Morgan was born in 1876 in Carrollton, Alabama. She and Nelson were married in 1906.  She had moved to St Louis, from Texas, to find work.  She was employed at a boarding house where she met Nelson.  She enjoyed sitting on the front porch on Cecelia, and her favorite place to eat was the Green Parrot Inn in Kirkwood.  She was popular and active in the community. Sallie died in 1960.  She had lived on Cecelia for 50 years.

Sallie Jay (Gilbert) Morgan and Nelsone Gilbert Morgan (B 1909)

Sallie Morgan and son Nelson Gilbert Morgan

Nelson Gilbert Morgan was born in St Louis in 1909.  He moved to Maddenville around 1917.  His early friends included the Wartenbe brothers, who lived at the Cecelia Lake property, Alberta Herold, whose family owned a store on Manchester Road, across from Cecelia Ave, Naomi Cooke, who lived next door, and his life-long friend, Russell McLaughlin, who lived on Helen Avenue, north of Florence Ave.  The hilly part of Florence Ave, between Cecelia Ave and Helen Ave, a popular sledding hill, was called “Mac’s Hill” after the McLaughlin family.

Nelson Gilbert Morgan attended school at the old Brentwood #1.  He was interested in mechanics and he was tutored by his neighbor Mr. Cooke, who was a steam engineer.  He eventually built a large three car garage to work on cars.  The garage, built behind the house, is still there today. Nelson also was trained as a surveyor.  He practiced this craft by drawing maps of Brentwood.  He enjoyed many different jobs.  On one of his stops in Farmington, MO, while driving for the Missouri Pacific Bus Line, he met a waitress named Vera Shoults.  They were married in 1943. Nelson soon entered the service and was sent to Europe in 1944 as a steam engineer.  When he returned in 1945, he and Vera lived on Cecelia Avenue.  Nelson worked for St Louis Terminal Railroad until 1974. Later he and his wife retired to Bismarck, Missouri, near Vera’s hometown.  He had lived in the house on Cecelia for 62 years. Nelson died in 2015 at the age of 105.

Nelson Gilbert MORGAN and Vera Virgilene (Shoults) MORGAN

Nelson G. Morgan and his wife Vera

Nelson Shoults Morgan was born in 1948. He would be the third generation to live on Cecelia Avenue.  He remembers Brentwood as an idyllic place to live.  Everything was close by, the people were exceptionally nice, and there were lots of trees.  Nelson went everywhere on his bicycle.  He still remembers the smell from the Cardinal Potato Chip Co. on Manchester Road between Cecelia Ave and Helen Ave.

Nelson lived across the street from Wartnebe Lake, as it was called back then.  He remembers childhood friends Barbara Combs and Mike and Carol Kurtz, who lived across the street on Cecelia Ave.  He recalls Laren Langguth, who lived next door, the Miller brothers and Randy Weber.  Other families on the street included the Stoverink’s, the Dayton’s, and the Braun’s.

When the lake would freeze in the winter, the whole town would come to skate.  Nelson got a pair of skates on his tenth birthday (hand-me-downs from Laren Langguth). Older boys would play hockey on the ice. One time, Nelson remembers getting hit above the eye with a puck.  He had a scar for years.  If you got cold, there was always a bonfire on the Salem Road side of the lake.

Nelson remembers mowing lawns as a kid to save money for a car.  He worked at Cosmo’s Fruit Stand between Cecelia Ave and Helen Ave. It was owned by Cosmo Catanzaro.  Before that, it was owned by the Brengard family.  Cosmo, and his wife Hazel, were great people to work for.  Eventually Nelson earned the money for his first car, a 1953 black Ford four door, six-stick.  It cost $95. For the next three years, Nelson worked at Hounsom’s Pharmacy on Manchester Road.  He remembers working with Bob and George Clements, Sam Lee, Donny Weiblen and Roland James.

Nelson Shoults MORGAN - b-1948

Nelson Shoults Morgan

Nelson attended Mark Twain Elementary school from kindergarten through sixth grade.  His good friends were Jim Dobernic and Bill Fortner.  His most memorable teacher was Pauline Heflin in sixth grade.  Junior high was new experience with students from Frazier and McGrath in the mix.  Nelson enjoyed history and world geography taught by Mrs. Martin and Mr. Brown.  His senior year, the Burger King opened on Brentwood Blvd, just north of Highway 40.  A Whopper, fries and a drink cost 75 cents. Nelson remembers dances at the high school, an undefeated football team his senior year, State championship track teams and parades to football games at Principia and Maplewood.  It was a great time and place to grow up.

Nelson S and Sallie

Nelson S. Morgan and his grandmother Sallie

Nelson S and Vera

Nelson G. Morgan with his wife Vera

Nelson S. Morgan is retired and living in Smyrna, Tennessee. We thank Nelson for sharing his Brentwood memories.  Hopefully his story will bring back pleasant memories of growing up in Brentwood for you.

Published in: on December 14, 2018 at 1:57 am  Leave a Comment  

William White House – 8815 Litzsinger Road

8815 litz

A few months ago, this house at 8815 Litzsinger Road was torn down.  It was a very unique residence.  Large lot, several porches, an old tennis court in the back.  This house saw a lot of changes over the years.

I sat down with Richard White a few weeks ago.  His grandfather, William Lewis White, built the house.  Actually, his grandfather built every house on the north side of Litzsinger Road, between Brentwood Blvd and High School Drive, and a few on Harrison Ave.  A few years ago, many of those houses on Litzsinger were replaced with new, modern homes.

William White was a home builder. He and his family moved to Brentwood in 1919.  They owned a large parcel of land.  Their first home was near the current day location of McGrath School. In 1920, William White built this house at 8815 Litzsinger.  The old Brentwood #1 school was across the street.  His kids had the shortest walk to school in the district.

Back then, the street in front of his home was called Warren Avenue.  It ran from North and South Road (Brentwood Blvd.) to Annalee Avenue.  Everything west of Annalee was woods.  There was a path through the woods.  Back then, Van Horn’s Farm was a popular place for dinner “out in the country”.  Van Horn’s was on the current day Mt Calvary Church property.  People would take the streetcar, get off at the top of Eulalie Ave, and walk to Van Horn’s.  They often stopped at the White house asking how to find the farm through the woods.  White said the area at Warren and Annalee would flood so often that during the winter they would skate on the make-shift pond.

William White sold part of his property to the newly formed Brentwood School District in 1926 to build a new high school.  White Avenue is named for William White. His son, William Richard White graduated from Brentwood High School in 1933. His grandson, Richard White is a Brentwood High graduate.  Richard still lives on Litzsinger Road, just west of his grandfathers house.

Published in: on September 12, 2018 at 9:10 pm  Comments (1)  

Audubon Park Apartments









Published in: on July 24, 2018 at 9:39 pm  Comments (1)  

Basch Brothers Filling Station

Basch Bros Gas Station

This building was located at 3145 Brentwood Blvd.  It was built in 1931 by Anton Basch, and his sons Edward, Walter and George. The rock was taken from various creek beds and highway construction projects throughout southeastern Missouri.  Anton hauled the rock on his 1926 Chevrolet truck. The Basch family lived in Webster Groves.

For many years it was a filling station and later a liquor store. In 1970, Walter Basch closed the liquor store and operated a real estate office.

For several years the building was vacant and in 1982 it was demolished when St Louis County made road improvements and re-routed Deer Creek near Marshall Avenue.

Published in: on June 14, 2018 at 7:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

9124 Madge Avenue

9121 Madge Ave(1924)

This home at 9124 Madge Avenue was taken down this week.  It was built in 1924.

Published in: on May 30, 2018 at 7:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Brentwood High School

Brentwood High School

Published in: on April 27, 2018 at 4:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

Brentwood High School

Brentwood High

Published in: on April 27, 2018 at 4:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

From Three to Four


Post Dispatch, January 1952

Published in: on April 11, 2018 at 9:03 pm  Leave a Comment