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Reading: Clayton Missouri: An Urban Story

October 20, 2012 Books, Featured, St. Louis County No Comments

A beautifully illustrated book recently came across my desk, Clayton Missouri: An Urban Story by Mary Delach Leonard with Melinda Leanard:

In 1878, Ralph Clayton and his neighbors Martin Franklin and Cyrene Hanley donated 104 acres of farmland so that St. Louis County could build a courthouse and county seat. The townsfolk who pushed to incorporate Clayton, Missouri, in 1913 had little reason to suspect that their rural outpost of small frame buildings and plank sidewalks would later be recognized as a progressive metropolitan hub-one carefully buffered from quiet tree-lined neighborhoods and gorgeous parks. Clayton, Missouri: An Urban Story reveals the making of a city and the people who built it as a community. This lavishly illustrated book tells Clayton’s story through historical anecdotes and the voices of residents, timelines, and pullout sections on key facts and figures, plus stunning photographs of modern street scenes and nostalgic images of the city’s past. Also highlighted are important city leaders and residents who looked to the future at critical moments. Their efforts helped yield the Clayton of 2013, where magnificent steel and glass high-rises reach to the sky within blocks of historically splendid homes, many of them designed by noted architects of the twentieth century. (Reedy Press)

Clayton became the county seat for St. Louis County when St. Louis divorced itself from the county in 1876. I’ve only skimmed this hardback book so far but I look forward to reading more about this municipality on the west edge of St.  Louis.

— Steve Patterson


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