Grand Prairie


A popular method of commemorating early landholders and real estate men was by giving their names to streets in their subdivisions. Consequently, many thoroughfares in the Grande Prairie Area derived their names in that manner, honoring Peter L. Vandeventer, John W. Finney, David H. Evans, and Daniel D. Page. Marcus Avenue is named for Marcus A. Wolff, an early resident of the Cote Brilliante area, where Samuel Cupples and Jewett Wagoner are similarly honored. Newstead Avenue is so named because it was the name of the English country home of Lord Byron, a favorite poet of Nathaniel Pendleton Taylor, an early land owner, who also bestowed his own name on two streets. Women were also remembered, as in the case of Sarah Street for Sarah C. Coleman, an heir of the Lindells, and Theodosia Hunt Patterson of the Lucas family. Prairie Avenue is named for the Grande Prairie Commonfield and Spring Avenue for a nearby spring.

Quite a few streets formerly bore names other than ones they now carry. In Thornton D. Murphy's Addition, west of Grand and north of Easton, Aldine, Cote Brilliante, Garfield, Vandeventer, Warne and Sarah were formerly Victoria, California, Boston, Baltimore, St. Louis and Glendale Avenues respectively. North Market was originally called Parsons Street west of Grand. St. Louis Avenue once bore the name of Claggett in honor of Dr. Hezekiah Claggett whose land adjoined that street. Many street names in St. Louis were changed by ordinance in 1881, in the interest of street name continuity and to avoid duplication.

Cozens Avenue was named for an early surveyor, Leduc for an old St. Louis judge and notary Kennerly Avenue for James and George N. Kennerly, landholders. Maffitt Avenue honors Julia C. Maffitt, Goode Avenue is named for George W. Goode and Belle Glade Avenue was so titled because of its pleasant prospect in the Prairie Place subdivision. Strangely, the name of Charles M. Elleard did not survive as a street title.

Cote Brilliante, meaning "bright hill" is saicl to be derived from an Indian mound at the present intersection of Kingshighway and M. L. King Drive. An interesting side light on neighborhood street names is that Aldine Avenue was once called Lucky Street. Principal thoroughfare through the area was what was first called St. Charles Road, later renamed in honor of Rufus Easton, St. Louis' first postmaster. This was the main road to the west connecting with the Santa Fe trail at Independence, Mo. It is now named for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Image - Kingshighway, north from Easton Avenue in 1916
Image - Kingshighway Memorial Boulevard north from Easton Avenue in 1926