Grand Prairie


By 1850, the majority of the arpent strips had been combined into larger tracts more suitable for purposes of subdivision. Among the larger land holders in the area at that time were John Lay, Thornton D. Murphy, Daniel D. Page, David H. Evans, the Papins and the estates of Robert Wash and Nathaniel P. Taylor. By the mid-fifties, two large subdivisions had been laid out in the area, Cote Brilliante in 1853 and Prairie Place, along Belle Glade Avenue, in 1855. In 1857, Lay's property was platted as Aubert Place, surrounding Fountain Park.

Real estate activity was temporarily slowed by the Civil War, but resumed quickly following the conflict's end. As a result the Grande Prairie Area was well plattted by the mid1870's. Subdivisions developed during this period included Thornton Murphy's Additions, Subdivision of the Wash Estate, Evans Place, Taylor Place, Vandeventer Place, Delmar Place and additions by Pierre Chouteau and Hezekiah Claggett.

By this time Cote Brilliante had developed into an exclusive residential suburb. Among its residents were General William T. Sherman, Samuel Cupples, and Giles F. Filley. It was originally platted in 1853 by Charles Gibson, James C. Page and Felix Coste on the tract bounded by St. Charles Road, Euclid, Ashland Avenues, and Kingshighway, but it did not develop substantially until after the Civil War. Vandeventer Place, laid out by Julius Pitzmanin 1870, contained only three houses in 1875 and reached its fashionable zenith in the 1890's.

A well known suburb of St. Louis in the period after the Civil War was Elleardsville on the St. Charles Rock Road at Goode Avenue. It was named after Charles M. Elleard, a florist and horticulturist, who maintained a conservatory and green houses on a tract which he purchased from George W. Goode about 1858. Elleard's property was bounded by the present Martin Luther King Drive and Goode, Cote Brilliante and Newstead Avenues. By 1870, a small town had grown up around Elleard's floral nursery, containing such local landmarks as the Elleardsville Hall at St. Charles Road and Whittier Street and the adjacent Abbey Trotting Race Track, which occupied a tract bounded by Page, Whittier, Easton and Taylor.

Ellearsdville which later was known as the Ville, was annexed to the City in 1876. The Abbey Track area was subdivided as Evans Place about 1877 when the track moved westward to an area bounded by Page, Union, Easton and Kingshighway. Elleard's nursery tract was platted and developed in the early nineties. At the turn of the century the Grande Prairie Area was completely built up and urbanized.