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Please sign petition here

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On 21 May 2013 this house was placed on Missouri Preservation's historic homes endangered list.

Local legend says that this house was built for Gen. William T. Sherman or somehow has a connection to him.   I was told that when the Foree family moved into the house they found some papers mentioning  Wm. T. Sherman in the attic but other than that no one yet has found a specific connection to Gen. Sherman.

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1878 Pitzman's Atlas of St. Louis showing Kaes, Pruitt, Lewis & Andrae properties.
Submitted By: Dave Lossos webmaster of "Genealogy in St. Louis"

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Philip Kaes House

This beautiful antebellum house was built in the 1850's & is listed as a St. Louis County landmark.   Esther Carroll's step-father, Rudy Foree,  lived in this house from about 1947 - 1980.


This is the west end of the house. Photographed: November, 1990.   



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Old corn cribs east of the house.
Photographed: November, 2005

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Spring house & entrance to cave.
Photographed: November, 2005

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This picture was taken from the entrance to the
cave looking towards the second room. At one time there were metal eye hooks in the wall where Confederate prisoners were supposedly kept chained.
Photographed: November, 2005

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This appears to have been a well at
one time. Photographed: November, 2005

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In the second room of the cave are these
crevices which narrow down &
continue for some distance.

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Photographed: November, 2005

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Lizetta wife of Phillip Kaes
Photographed: November, 2005

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Tombstone of Phillip Kaes & his second wife Emilie J. Loest.
Photographed: November, 2005


Contributors of the information below besides myself are:  Greg Myers;  David "Buck" Heth;  Pearl Foree; Park Superintendent Richard Love;  Julia; Pat Chitty; Gary Foree;  St. Louis Public Library;  St. Louis Post Dispatch;  Ron Coffman; Census;  Ancestry.com;  Missouri in the Civil War Message Board;  Tarney Smith;


Samuel Pruit

Early Settlers of Missouri As Taken From "Land Claims In Missouri Territory"

Samuel Pruit, claiming nine hundred and six arpents of land, situate on the river Merrimack, district of St. Louis; produces to the Board a survey of the same, dated 21st, and certified 26th of February, 1806.

Testimony taken, August 29th, 1806. George Sip, sworn, says that one Joseph Horn moved on said tract of land in the beginning of 1803; that he raised crop on the same and actually inhabited it until the 1st day of October, 1803, when claimant, having purchased the same, with one half of the crop on it, moved thereon, and has actually inhabited and cultivated it to this day; that he did that year plant trees; had, on the 20th day of December, a wife and four children, and has now about nine or ten acres under cultivation.

June 26, 1810: Present, Lucas, Penrose, and Bates commisioners.  It is the opinion of the Board that this claim ought not to be granted. 

Testimony taken, October 26, 1808.  In the above claim omitted Joseph Kiver, who being sworn, says that he, witness, was present when claimant paid Joseph Horn the consideration money for the purchase of the above claim.

See Joseph Horn's permission to settle, on Mackay's list.


The site of the Kaes house was listed in the Dupre Atlas of 1838 as the property of Samuel Pruitt.  Pruitt was one of the first English-speaking settlers west of the Mississippi River, settling in west St. Louis County in the late 18th century.  Pruitt reportedly lived to be quite old.  By 1862, most of Pruitt's holdings had been divided between the Lewis, Kaehs, and Coons families.


In the 1830 census for St. Louis County, Bonhomme Township there is: Osburn, Lburn & John Pruitt.  Also an Osburn Pruett.  Could not find any Pruitts in the 1840 census in the St. Louis area.

Frederich Ehlert                             11/23/1848 ~ $1,000

Could not find a Frederich Ehlert in the 1840 or 1850 census in the St. Louis area.  But did find a Wm. Ehlert living in St. Louis age 19, occupation cigar maker.

Pacific Railroad

1851 ~ Pacific Railroad acquired right-of-way.

Bernard Thieb

9/16/1853 ~ Bernard Thieb ~ $5,000

Frederich & Charlotte Ehlert


Ehlert to Kaes

11/6/1857 ~ Deed of Trust Ehlert to Kaes ~ $2,000

Phillip Kaes ~ Matlaus Menthrop

2/8/1858 ~ Phillip Kaes ~ trustee sale by Matlaus Menthrop, trustee for Ehlert ~ $2,100


Kaehs was born in Prussia in 1820. He came to America prior to 1858. Philip Kaehs purchased 276 acres of the Pruitt property in 1858.    His occupation was farmer.  He married Lissette Andrae in St. Louis 30 DEC 1858.  He changed the spelling of his name from Kaehs to Kaes sometime between 1862 & 1868.

His second wife was Emelia J. Loest.

1850 Census - found a Philip Kaase in Franklin County, Missouri living with the Gustaver Hupschmidt family & working as a laborer.  Gives his age as 60 & birthplace Germany. This would put his birth year as 1790.  This might be Philip Kaes Sr.????

In the 1860 Census it lists Phillip Kaes, age 39,  farmer, living in Bonhomme Township, Post Office: Fenton, St. Louis County, Missouri.  There are eight people besides him living in his household:  his wife Elizabeth age 21 born Missouri,  Henry age 2 months,   Phillip Kaes age 69 (this is probably Phillip Kaes father),  Shophie Andrae age 61(probably his mother-in-law),  Joseph Miller, laborer, age 40,  Frederick Burtz laborer age 39,   John Leafenburg laborer age 27,  August Gotschalk tenent farmer, age 40.

In the Civil War

The Kaes house may have been part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War.

Philip Kaes served as a Private with Company H in the1st Regiment Enrolled Missouri Militia (Union Army). He enrolled 29 September 1862 at Pond Store (St. Louis County).  On his military record in 1864 he is listed as exempt physical disability 28 September 1864 to Nov. 1864.  In Dyer's Compendium it states about 1st Regiment Enrolled Missouri Infantry:   Called into service September 25, 1864, to repel Price's invasion of Missouri.  Relieved from active service October 31, 1864.  Actio at Middle or Mill Creek Bridge 24 July 1864.

In the 1870 census Phillip is in Bonhomme Township, Ballwin Post Office, St. Louis County, Missouri. His occupation is given as farmer.  Value of real estate is $12,000 & personal estate is $2,000.He is listed as 50 years old birthplace Prussia.  There are seven people in the household besides Phillip:  His wife Elizabeth age 31 born Missouri, Julia Kaes age 8 born Missouri,  Augusta age 17 born 1853 in Pa.,   Bertram age 14 born in 1856 in Pa.,  Fred Moog age 50,  ? Barts age 50,  John ? age 53.

The 1880 St. Louis County census has Phillip residing in Bonhomme Township, no post office given.   He is listed as a widower with three daughters: Julia age 18, Lulu age 7 & Johanna age 6.  This would put mother Elizabeth's death at 1874 or after. One uncorrabuated source gives his second wifes name as Emelia/Emilie Loest however in the St. Louis marriage records it lists a Phillip Kaes marrying an Emilie Hufschmidt 25 AUG 1880.  Also listed is a Philip E. Kaes to Loula E. Kaes.

Philip Kaes sold his property  in 1908.  In the 1910 census - St. Louis - Bonhomme T. - Philip Kaes is living on St. Paul Road with wife Emelia & daughter Emma.  They are living next door to daughter Julia & her husband Henry Ruwwe & son Oscar.  Emma's age is given as 20 putting her birth date at 1890.  Her father, Philip, would have been 70 years old when she was born. Emelia's age is given as 62 which would make her birtdate 1848 which would have made her 42 at Emma's birth.

PHILLIP KAES - Entered into rest on Saturday, April 13, 1912, at 12:30 p.m. Phillip Kaes at Sherman, Mo., beloved father of Mrs. H.C. Ruwwe, Mrs J.B. Miller, Mrs. E.L. Kern, Walter & Emma Kaes, after a brief illness, in his ninety-second year.  Funeral Thusday, april 16, at 9:30 a.m. from residence of his daughter Mrs. H.C. Ruwwe, Sherman, Mo., to private burial grounds.  Deceased was a member of Columbia Lodge No. 534, A.F. and A.M., Pacific, Mo.

EMELIA KAES - Entered into rest on Monday, Jan. 9, 1911 at 8:15 p.m. Emelia J. Kaes (nee Loest), dearly beloved wife of Philip Kaes, aged 64 years, 9 months and 14 days.  Internment will take place Thursday, Jan. 12, at 11:00 a.m. at the family burial ground, Sherman, Mo.
ANNA KERN - (nee Kaes) - 1107 Bellvue av., entered into rest April 26, 1943  wife of the late Emil L. Kern sister of Emma Mangrum and the late Walter Kaes, Julia Ruwwe and Llulu Miller and sister-in-law and aunt.  Funeral Thurs., april 29 1:30 p.m. from the Bopp Funeral Church  -----Rd. and Forsythe bl.Clayton.   Entombment Valhalla Mausoleum.

JULIA RUWWE - (newspaper obit is very difficult to read)  On Wednessday July 12, 19__  Julia ? Ruwwe (nee Kaes) at ____ Street, beloved wife of Henry Ruwwe and dear mother of Oscar __________   mother-in-law, aunt, grandmother in her eighty ___ year.  Funeral Friday July 14, 19 __  at 10:00 a.m. from ?Feetz? Bros. chapel, _________  Lafayette avenue to St. Matthew's Cemetery.

Children of Philip Kaes

Henry - born April/May 1860

Julia S. - born 1862/63 - birthplace Missouri - birthplace of father Germany - birthplace of mother Missouri - Julia married Henry C. Ruwwe born 1857 - In the 1910 census Julia & Henry are living in Bonhomme T., on St. Paul Road, next door to Julia's father Philip Kaes. Henry Ruwwe's occupation is given as proprietor retail grocery.    Julia & Henry are listed with one son, Oscar, age 20 which would put his birthdate at 1890.  In 1920 Julia & Henry were living in Bonhomme T., St. Louis Co., Mo.

Lulu - born 1873 - married J.B.Miller

Anna - born 1874 in Missouri - birthplace of father Germany - birthplace of mother Missosrui - Anna married Emil L. Kern - Anna's age at marriage was 20 years old - Anna & Emil in 1930 were living in St. Louis (an independent city) district 151.

Walter Philip - wife Steffanie Schwab - were living on Tennessee Ave., Palestine, Anderson  County, Texas - age given as 31 which would place his birth year 1889, birthplace Missouri - children 1 daughter listed Anna Amelia birthdate 11 August 1920 birth place Palestine Texas USA - Anna Amelia Kase married Charles William Reynolds 28 Feb. 1959 in San Diego, CA. Charles died 2 June 1994 in Merced, California  - Walter Philip Kaes died prior to 1943

Emma - born 1890 in Missouri - birthplace of father Germany - birthplace of mother Germany - married Ben F. Mangrum - In 1920 Emma & Ben were living with the Carl C. Shaw family three houses from Julia & Henry Ruwee in Bonhomme T. St. Louis Co., Mo. Ben is listed as Carl’s brother-in-law & Emma is listed as Carl’s sister-in-law.

Richard Ralph ~ Meramec Portland Cement

2/24/1908 ~ Richard Ralph ~ shareholder of Meramec Portland Cement & Material Company, for such ~ used as a boarding house during part of this time.

Meramec Portland Cement ~ H.S. Albrecht ~ Jaycox

3/6/1936 ~ Trustees deed from Meramec Portland Cement & Materials Company to H.S. Albrecht  Leased to Jaycox for farming.


Golden Jaycox was born 1911/1912 & came from a  large family.   His parents were William & Mamie Jaycox & his grandparents were George & Nancy Jaycox.  Golden had eight siblings:  Alma, Burlan, Edna, Nana, Edward, Doyle, Geraldine, & Lucille. In 1920 the family was living in Lesterville, Reynolds County, Missouri.  The family consisted of William age 37 born Missouri, father born Ohio, mother born Missouri.  Mamie age 28 born Missouri, father born Missouri, mother born Missouri.  All of the children were born in Missouri: Alma age 10, Golden age 8, ?Berlin? age 6, Edna age 4, Mamie age 3 & Edward 5 months.  In the 1930 census the family is living in Meramec Township, St. Louis County, Missouri.   The family is:  William, Mamie, Alma, Golden,  ?Burlan?, Edna, Nana, Edward, Doyle, Geraldine, Lucille. George age 72 & Nancy age 70 are listed as parents to William Jaycox.


Golden Jaycox enlisted 24 October 1942 at Jefferson Barracks in Missouri.  His military papers say:  Enlistment for the duration of the War or other emergency, plus six months subject to the discretion of the Presidnet or otherwise according to law.  Gave his rank a Private.  Education: Grammar School.   Occupation: Automobile Serviceman.  He is listed as single, without dependents.  Height: 69.  Weight: 145.  Although the year is unknow Mr. Jaycox died out by the corn cribs.

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Loehr sisters

Leased to Rudy Foree

26 May 1954

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The Foree family rented the Kaes house from approx. 1947 to 1980.  It was leased to Rudy Foree who lived there with his parents Lurissa Barrow  & Francis Foree & other family members. When the Foree’s first moved into the Kaes House they found some documents in the attic pertaining to the Civil War & Gen. Wm. T. Sherman. Several Civil War artifacts among other items have been found on the Kaes property. Gary Foree found an old musket pistol by the spring house, a Confederate marksmanship medal with two rifles crossed on it & a cannon ball. Also found at the spring house right outside the doorway were two milk jugs. Gary also states that there was at one time hooks in the cave wall of the spring house where Confederate prisoners were supposedly kept chained. There were 2 hooks on the left wall & two hooks on the right wall.  

In 1958 a tornado came through & blew out the windows & ripped off the front of the house. The barn exploded & collapsed but fortunately no livestock was lost. This was attributed to the fact that the tractors were parked in the middle of the barn & took the brunt of the collapse & the livestock were all laying down in their stalls. The tornado sounded just like a train.

Lurissa died in the house in 1973 when she choked on a piece of apple. It took the ambulance 45 minutes to get to the house then she was conveyed to County Hospital where she was pronounced.  It is said that Laurissa was always a happy outgoing person. It would be interesting if she turned out to be related to Clyde Barrow of Bonnie & Clyde fame. The Foree family did raise a relative by the name of Clyde Barrow but it is not known if he was THE Clyde Barrow.  I was told that other relatives wondered the same thing & when they would ask Lurissa if the Clyde that she raised was the gangster she would never answer them but would just start crying.

The Foree family also raised a lot of cattle, horses & pigs on the old Kaes Property.  Gary Foree would train the horses & Rudy would take them to horse shows. Gary also remembers he & his grandmother chasing pigs off of the railroad tracks.  Tarney Smith remembers when her family first moved to Sherman in the 1960's:  " Evidently, some of Rudy's pigs got loose and were wandering around, and our daughter Mona, then about 4 years old, was supposed to be taking a nap.  She was looking out the window and got all excited and told me there was a "little pink cow with a curly tail coming up the road."  For several days she kept seeing this little pink cow, and when we finally got to see it too, it was a pig.  Later we learned it was one of "Rube's" pigs."

Purchased by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources 1/9/1980

Article below was published circa 1989

NOTE:  The persons who were in charge then are not the ones who are in charge now.

Park House Is Overdue For Facelift
Wayne Crosslin/Post-Dispatch

The Kaes House in Castlewood State Park. Its renovation has been in a nine-year holding pattern.

By Florence Shinkle Of the Post-Dispatch Staff

Everybody procrastinates in fixing things around the house. The Missouri Division of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has had nine years of good intentions for the Kaes House in Castlewood State Park in southwestern St. Louis County.

The house, approximately 130 years old, was acquired in 1980 with land near the Jedburg area that became part of the state park.

One year later, the first proposal to pay for its restoration started through the bureaucratic maze. And in 1986, the Missouri Legislature actually gave the agency $172,000 for the house.

But officials shifted the money to other needs at the park, such as building a parking lot and refurbishing a restroom.

In 1989, the house, visibly the worse for the wear, is in line for stabilization money, and almost everyone is confident of Castlewood State Park.     "Anyhow, there is money somewhere in the department for the project - it's in there.  Somewhere."

Baffled by his own bureaucracy, he condluded, "It does take quite a while to get funding for somethin.  It goes through numerous reviews - Numerous.  Finally it gets reviewed by the final people who get to review these things in the final stages for final approval.  And I'm guessing we're about there now."

The delays inspired Cathy Nagel, once a summer employee of the Parks Department and now a real estate agent, to refer to the division of historic prservation as "the division of historic reservation."

Nagel, quesstioned whether responsibility for historic preservation ought to rest with an agency that is perennially short of money and that requires all proposals for spending what little money it has to go through a bureaucratic circuitry of medieval complexity.

She pointed our that the parks division was negotiating with the Missouri Alliance for Historical Preservation to buy the so-called Pelstser-Panhorst house-barn in Franklin County, a half-timbered structure thats is the only one of its kind in Missouri.

"Should they be buying these houses if they can't care for them?" she asked.

Richard LaChance the architect in charge of the Kaes House project, conceded, "It takes so-o-o long to get anything done.  There is no way you can get money quickly for anything," he said.  "Three to five years elapse regularly. This is a bureaucracy, after all."  LaChance defended the decision to build the parking lot and upgrade the restrooms before improving the house.  The Kaes House wasn't "something that had to be done immediately," he said, and the facilities were things the public was "clamoring for."

We do care, but we do not have the resources to do it all." LaChance said, "and we don't have a different policy for funding historic buildings than for anything else.  Latrines or log cabins, they're all funded the same way."

It is a funding procedure of exquisite deliberateness - so deliberate that, as LaChance indicated, the mechanics of government sometimes get in the way of the intent.

Three tiers of park department officials review a request for financing as do two levels of personnel in the Office of Administration.     Then the proposal goes to the Legislature and the governor.  If it evades the governor's redlinings, park department officials say the money should reach them sooner or later, like a Jetter with a 5-cent stamp.

But first the project has to be reviewed by outside consultants.  Then the consultants' bids have to be approved.  Or maye they aren't.

Since 1986 the Kaes House project has been somewhere in the last section of the labyrinth.  A consultant recently was asked to submit work estimates.

"In the next few months we should see an improvement," LaChance said.

The Kaes House named for its builder, Phillip Kaes, dates between 1850 and 1860. It derives its architectural interest from the fact that it many be one of Missouri's first split levels..  Kaes added a two-story frame addition to the original three story stone house; rather than match the floor levels of the two structures, he staggered them, making a total of five half-levels. The homestead boasts a stone spring house as well, but its prospects for complete restoration are still dim because nobody famous slept there.

Lacking broad historical interest, the house needed a function to justify its restoration.

At one point, the parks division thought the American Youth Hostels would be interested in operating a unit in the Kaes House.  When the hostelry organization showed no enthusiasm, the restoration of the house lost priorty.

"Well, would you spend umpteen hundred thousand dollars on a building you had no purpose for when you've got a dozen other public facilities that need maintenance now?" asked a state park superintendent who requesteed anonymity. 

Said LaChance of his department's white elephant, "It's a real problem with us.  We acquire land and there are these building on them.  Sometimes you don't really want them.  It's like my buying a car with mud flaps, and you call me up and complain about the way I'm taking care of my mud flaps. Well, I didn't buy the car for the mud flaps.

"But historic preservation is one of our duties.     We've got to get the money. Or we've got to work out some sort of two-way funding with the private sector, where if they wanst us to keep a house, they help with the cost.

Or....Hey, you know, this building has been one of my nightmares for the longest time."


From Ron Coffman - Contractor: 

14 February 2006:  Gene, I went down to the Kaes house today.  A few things you should know and let others know.  The directions were correct but,  This road turns private at one point and the people who own it strictly forbid crossing their land.  So you must pull your car over at the landscape place and walk the tracks down to the property.  The mans name that owns the property leading to the Kaes house..................will call the police and prosecute you.................  Anyway, the Kaes house at this point seems to be stable.  Some of the mortar joints are crumbling but I did not see any stress cracks or bulging of the walls.   They are all still for the most part level and straight.  The roof seems to be stable as well.  There are no peep holes to look inside anymore.  The corn cribs are falling down and so is the spring house and another rock building up on the bluff behind the cribs.  It was still a very impressive structure that filled a sense of adventure and wonder of the rich history it surely has endured.  And it most certainly should be preserved for future generations.  This is a massive structure that can only be appreciated by a up close personal viewing.  Now on to my opinion.   Yes it should be preserved.  With a few low cost preventative measures this house could sit for 20 years without significant damages  For the next ten years I believe that the house would be stable enough to withstand the elements. Minus a few needy fixes.  I believe that the money should go towards the acquisition of the property directly in front of the Kaes house.  This would be good for the state of Missouri and more worth their time to keep up a building that has limited access except by train tracks. Walking the tracks of course is against the law and not a wise choice because of heavy train traffic.  So I understand why it has been put on hold.  I wonder if there is a right of way attached to the property.  But it has to be kept in the public eyes as to not let it go to far into a state of abandon.  Thank you Gene and everyone else keeping this alive.  I'm not trying to be negative.  Money still needs to be put aside for all of it.  This would be a tragedy to lose.

From:  Castlewood State Park

Thank you for the research on and your interest in the Kaes House.  We have been receiving a few calls lately concerning rumors surrounding the Kaes House.  I wanted to reemphasize the status of the house.  We have no plans to demolish or remove the Kaes House.   In fact, a stabilization project was completed in the early 1990s to help preserve the house.   We plan to continue the preservation of the house as recommended in our Cultural Resources Management Plan.  Maintenance will be addressed as needed to help preserve the integrity of the structure. At this time, there are no uses associated with building and  no development or restoration is planned.   A project of this nature would be extremely costly since the house is in an isolated area with no public access,   utilities or other infrastructure.   Because there is no public access, the rights of adjacent property owners in the area  should be respected. Private property should not be crossed to access the park.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call.

Richard Love
Park Specialist III

21 February 2006

Esther M. Ziock Carroll:      I am confused about the statement in above letter   "...........the house is in an isolated area with no public access, utilities or other infrastructure."   When my step-father lived there there was electicity to the house & water was piped to the kitchen.  I don't know why this couldn't be done again.  I think this house would make an excellent Bed & Breakfast place, museum, or residence for a park employee. Maybe a public easement could be negotiated with the owner of the adjacent land. 

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The section concerning the Kaes House from above article:  A new effort also is under way to turn public attention to the 148-year-old Philip Kaes House in Castlewood State Park in southwest St. Louis County. Kaes owned the house during Civil War days, when he served in the Union Army.  In 1986, the state allocated $172,000 for repairs, but the money was spent on other park needs. The state made some repairs in the early 1990s.  Esther M. Ziock Carroll is one of the people trying to preserve the antebellum house. Her stepfather lived there.   Carroll said she has been told by a state parks official that the state has no plans to tear down the house, but that there is no state money available for a major restoration of the house, which is in an isolated area without public access or utilities.   The county's Historic Buildings Commission agreed last week to urge the state Department of Natural Resources to take action and ask the state legislative delegation to seek more funding.  "The state's shortage of funds is not a temporary embarrassment but a long-term policy," St. Louis County Preservation Historian Esley Hamilton said. "We're talking about more than 20 years of the same excuse."


The 1974 article below is submitted by:  Tarney Smith

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The 1974 letter above & below were submitted by:  Tarney Smith

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To:  castlewood.state.park@dnr.mo.gov
04/22/2006 06:26 AM
Subject:  To Richard Love, RE: Kaes House

Mr. Love:
I was reading about the Kaes House on-line (see below), and it's current state of disrepair.
If the State or DNR is interested in perhaps selling it, with covenants to restore and preserve it, I would like to take a look at it.
I will be back from Iraq in about 2 weeks, and would be happy to discuss this with you.
A. Harry Chakides, CPT, EN

From: Castlewood State Park
To: CPT Adonis Harry Chakides
Cc: Esther M Ziock
Sent: Thursday, May 04, 2006 3:58 PM
Subject: Re: To Richard Love, RE: Kaes House

There are no plans to sell any park property.   Land, water and conservation funds were used to purchase the park.  The LWCF is a cooperative effort by State agencies and the United States Department of the Interior for outdoor recreation.  There are very restrictive rules concerning use and transfer of ownership.  Thank you for your interest in the park and thank you for your service to this country.  Please feel free to come by the office when you return home and we can discuss further.

Richard Love
Park Specialist III

Hi Esther,   I've been trying to remember what I learned from Emma Mangrum, daughter of Phillip Kaes, when I talked with her.  I just don't remember much, but I know I related to her the stories and legends about slaves being hidden in the wine cellar, and she said nothing like that ever happened there.  She also said the cave didn't go back very far.  She said the cellar was used to store fruit, wine and cured hams.  I guess one of the things you are hoping to find is that General Sherman spent some time there.  I, personally, doubt that he stayed at the Kaes house, but it would at least be possible that he visited the town.  If he did, I think it probably would have been as a guest of the Minckes.  I've been searching around to find out more about when Gen. Wm. T. Sherman was in St. Louis.  From this sight


I learned he was in St. Louis 1850-1852.  He was on the 1850 census at Jefferson Barracks, as a First Lieut.  When his family came out, they rented a house on Chouteau Avenue near 12th Street.  George Ferdinand Mincke (1794 GER - 1878 MO) had come to St. Louis in 1834 and bought 11 acres on Chouteau Ave.  The Mincke's lived at 1709 Chouteau Ave (still there as late as 1890s.  The groundbreaking ceremonies for the Pacific Railroad were held July 4, 1851 at, as I remember, Mincke's Grove on Chouteau's Pond (long since filled in and gone).  I feel it is quite possible that Wm. T. Sherman could have met the Minckes around that time.   George F. Mincke became quite wealthy from his real estate holdings (1860 census, real estate value $60,000).  His sons, Julius H. Mincke (1827 GER - 1887 MO) and George F. Mincke (born ca1830 GER - 1901 MO) started a lumber business.  Their sawmills were located at (near?) St. Paul, Missouri.  (Before the town of Sherman was named Sherman, it was the Village of St. Paul and it was also known as Lewisburg.)  Some of this is guess work, but I think Julius H. Mincke lived part of the time in the City of St. Louis, and part of the time at his farm, known as Bellevue Farm, in Sherman. Some of the Mincke's were still living on Chouteau Ave as late as the 1890s and perhaps well beyond Wm T. Sherman lived in St. Louis again in 1861...I think for just a few months.  They rented a house on Locust Street between 10th and 11th streets.  Locust Street is just a few blocks north of Chouteau Ave.  After the end of the Civil War, General Sherman was put in Command of the Missouri Division of the military with headquarters at St. Louis.  From his "Memoirs" it sounds like the family may have lived in St. Louis for at least the next couple of years.  I'm not sure, and I'm not that up on General Sherman's history.  In Vol. II, Chapter XXVI of his "Memoirs" he mentions a piece of property he owns: "at Cite Brilliante, a suburb of St. Louis."  There is a St. Louis street by name of Cote Brilliant, so that is probably where it was.  I think he also lived in St. Louis again about the time he retired in 1883/1884 and perhaps for a few years after that.  He was on the 1890 veterans schedule living in New York.   I want to double-check about the Pacific RR groundbreaking ceremonies at Mincke's Grove and am going to try to get a newspaper article about it from the State Historical Society at Columbia.  If they still have their policy of  3 requests at a time, I'll also ask for any articles containing Wm. T. Sherman during the 1851/1852 timeframe.  With luck, maybe they will find an article that mentions both names in the same article.  Mincke's also owned land across the Meramec River from Sherman where at one time there was a community or small town named Mincke in the area where topo maps show Mincke Hollow.   I see  also from the 1878 map you posted that Philip Kaes and Christian Morschel were joint owners of a parcel across the river.  Morschel owned quite a bit of other property in the area.  The Lewises started buying land there around 1846.....John Lewis on the north side (Sherman) and his brother Martrom Lewis on the south (Crescent).  In a history of St. Louis County I read that where the Meramec makes a big bend from about Times Beach to Sherman it was called Rebel Bend, and if memory serves correctly, the Hildebrands were mentioned as the Rebel Guerillas.  We used to hike in the fall and winter, and from one point on the hills above Crescent we could see the Meramec River off in the distance in three different directions.   John Lewis' first wife was Sarah Jordan, a niece of my husband's ggg grandmother Catherine Jordan Watson, so I've gathered quite a bit about the Lewis family.  John Lewis' sister Sarah married Daniel Morgan Boone, son of Daniel Boone.  In 1817, John Lewis operated a ferry across the Missouri River about where Daniel Boone bridge is located.  John Lewis died in 1852 and is buried at the other cemetery in Sherman.  You may already know this, but a Philip Kaes arrived in New Orleans in February, 1840.  Per Ancestry.com:

New Orleans, 1820-1850 Passenger and Immigration Lists Record

Name: Philip Kaes
Arrival Date: Feb 20, 1840 
Age: 40 
Gender: M 
Port of Departure: La Havre 
Place of Origin: Germany 
Ship Name: Adelis 
Family Number: 1264 
National Archives' Series Number: M259-20 
Port of Arrival: New Orleans 

Philip Kaes was listed in the Missouri State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1881-82  (see attachment).   Samuel Pruitt died around 1818 and his probate records can be viewed under the spelling Prewitte from this site:  http://www.sos.mo.gov/archives/stlprobate/#search  (I used to have a copy of his probate records, but they must have gone along with my other notes.)   There are some Mincke probate records there, too, under spelling Mincke and Minicke.  They are big probate collections and, for lack of time,  I haven't looked at very many of the documents. I used to have xerox pages of the Sherman area from a St. Louis County plat book (1909, I think).   It showed Portland Cement as a big landowner at that time.  It also showed locations of churches, blacksmith shops, etc.  There was also a "confectioner."  I think the book was at the Kirkwood City Library.  I've e-mailed them asking if they have that book and if they will copy and send me the pages.   I've probably rambled on long enough for now.  I've sure got myself interested in researching Sherman again!    Thanks for posting the data I sent to you on your website.  I hope St. Louis County Parks Dept. will restore the Kaes house or sell it to that man who would do the restoration.  It would be a shame to let such a grand old structure go to ruin.  It was probably the finest place around for many, many years. 

Tarney Smith

How Small Towns Affect Big Cities

By:  Stephen Rusbarsky

The history of the towns that sprang up on the banks of the lower Meramec River should be more known to everybody. They are significant because the first railroads coming out of St. Louis and leading far west ran through this area of Sherman, Glencoe, and up in to Eureka, Missouri. Although this paper will focus mostly on the history and happenings of the Sherman area, no historian will ever say that history happens in a vacuum. The histories of towns surrounding Sherman, MO have been examined, and happenings relevant to the Sherman area are included in this paper.

Although there are no written records on the area of Sherman’s first inhabitants, only 10 miles up the Meramec is the town of Eureka. The Eureka Historical Society has compiled a nice quantity of documents that point to the first inhabitants of their area being the Shawnee Indians. The Shawnee lived on the banks of the Meramec, "and even today artifacts can be found as evidence of their past occupation of the area." (http://www.eureka.mo.us/history.htm) It would be no stretch to say that the Shawnee frequented or even inhabited the areas downriver of Eureka, thus inhabiting the Sherman area. The fish and wildlife of this area are abundant now, and most likely were even more abundant during the time when the Native Americans lived there. They would be attracted to present-day Sherman in search of food.

The town of Sherman is famous simply for its namesake, Sherman. There has been speculation that General Sherman owned the Kaes house, and some older people in the town still call that house the "Sherman house." Although the town was founded during the time when General Sherman was alive and traveling around the general area of St. Louis, it is doubtful that Sherman owned and lived in the Kaes’ residence. First of all, gen. Sherman was on the north side of the Civil War; he wanted to see slavery ended. The people in the area of Sherman were strong southern sympathizers and would have made General Sherman very uncomfortable if he lived among them. Furthermore, there is no documentation to support the claim that general Sherman owned any land in that general area. (French)

The Kaes House had a separate outhouse on its northeast corner, and a separate kitchen and springhouse about 20 yards to the east. Houses during this period were made of wood frames and not usually able to prevent fires very well. Therefore, most houses had separate kitchens near the house that were made of stone. The Kaes house is no different. The separate kitchen and springhouse was a two-story stone building. There is a hole in the floor of the upper level that has access to the small, circular spring in the floor of the lower level. The most interesting fact about the lower level of this building is that it backs up to a decent size cave! The cave in the springhouse has a secret passage to a larger cave where slaves may have been kept prisoner (Love). There is more reliable, first-hand evidence that the cave possesses a passage to an old schoolhouse that stood ¾ of a mile up the hill to the northwest. Mrs. Haevara Day, the granddaughter of Emile Kaes and daughter of Louise Hufachmidt, stated that, "The spring house was one thing my father did talk about…through this cave was his path to the school house." (Day).

Phillip Kaes, the owner of the Kaes house, was born in 1820 in Kassel, Germany, and came to the St Louis area to escape religious persecution. (Day) Kaes worked as a farmer and farmed much of the then-unforested land surrounding his home. (French) He used the help of slaves, and although the number of slaves that worked for him is probably lost forever, there are two slave cabins next to the Kaes house. It might be safe to say that at least two families worked for Mr. Kaes, although this is only a speculation and not fact. The mere fact that these cabins exist is a first-hand sign that there were slaves in Missouri. It is a wonderful thing to be able to walk in these cabins and see first-hand the artifacts laying around that the slaves farmed with, and see where they lived.

Near the town of Sherman resided James E. Yeatman, one of the greatest philanthropists of St. Louis in the nineteenth century. James E. Yeatman was born in 1818 and died in 1901. Although he lived in St. Louis City, he built a summer home in the hills of what is now Glencoe, MO, only a few miles upriver. (Hamilton) His land, only a few miles downriver from Castlewood State Park and Glencoe, MO, has had only a few documented owners. (Hamilton) He came to St. Louis from Tennessee and founded the Merchants Bank, which later became known as the Merchants-Laclede National Bank. His residence was on East Grand Avenue near Bellefontaine Road1. In addition, he was one of the founders of the Mercantile Library Association (Wayman).

Although not directly related to the land, the city home of James E. Yeatman had a few prominent landmarks. One was the Veranda Garden Road house at the Easton-Franklin wedge of land (mopac), St. Mark’s English Lutheran Church, which was then on a street called "Elliot Avenue" and is now at present day Cole Street. Finally, on Garrison north of Franklin Avenue was the big house of General William T. Sherman, a contemporary of James E. Yeatman. (Wayman)

There are two graveyards in the area that are of some historical significance, especially in the town of Sherman. The more obvious and well-known graveyard is about 100 yards west of the Kaes house. This graveyard is now forested, but the trees are young, which leads one to believe that at the time when it was most widely used, in the late 1800’s, there was a clear view of this graveyard from the Kaes house. The gravestones also face the house. The gravesite isn’t more than 100 feet long by 50 feet wide. Its length extends toward the uphill direction. Most of the gravestones are rounded on the top and have simple inscriptions on them such as, "our son", or "Phillipp Kaes and his wife." Stoddard states that he witnessed a gravestone of a slave in the same cemetery as Mr. Kaes. Upon it was a carving of a hand with the words, "A lifetime of servitude." However, I did not find this stone, and may want to do more careful observation to see it.

The second graveyard in the Sherman area is about ¾ of a mile up the hill from the Kaes house northwest. Upon looking for this site, the old schoolhouse site was found, as was the entrance to the cave that led to the Kaes’ springhouse. Once the gravesite was found, immediately a man shouted, saying that he didn’t want anyone in there. The man’s name was Mr. Kerber, and he allegedly owned the graveyard, which is only 20 feet from his driveway. Although the man was stern and stubborn about never going in the graveyard again, he offered some interesting clues and facts pointing to the graveyard, the railroad and to how Phillipp Kaes farmed back in the late 1800’s. Kerber said that a Presbyterian church used the old cemetery in late 1700’s. The one gravestone that was seen before Kerber noticed bore a 1700’s birth date for the woman buried there. This gravesite is much older than the one wherein Phillipp Kaes is buried. Kerber doesn’t want the public to know about this gravesite. Some interesting evidence pointing to how Phillipp Kaes could have farmed the Sherman area was found when Kerber went in his house and brought out a picture showing an aerial view of the Sherman area in the late 1800’s. The snapshot showed that there were no trees where forests presently inhabit. This makes it easier to think that Kaes had farms in the area, which are now covered w/trees.

The "St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad", or "Frisco Line" had its origin in the southwest branch of the Pacific Railroad. (Mopac) Although no records show when the line was being worked on in the town of Sherman or Glencoe, the Glencoe Historical Society says that the Missouri Pacific Railroad was opened to Franklin (now Pacific) on July 19, 1853

Another important part of history that is directly related to the railroads is the incredible entertainment and recreational value of this area from the early nineteen hundreds to present day. First, from 1915 until the early 1940’s, the Meramec River hosted about 14 thousand people every weekend as they flocked onto the train affectionately named "Sparky" by the riders. The people would come from St. Louis city and travel to the Castlewood and Sherman area where large beaches existed along the river. (Love) The most famous beach was Lincoln Beach. (Love) these white sand beaches brought with it clubhouses, bars, and in the 1920’s, even speakeasies were common, as people sought out illegal alcohol and gambling. (Love) Entertainers and musicians would often come out to perform from St. Louis, attracted by the large crowds. (French) After the 1940’s, the beaches were eroding and becoming grown over with plants, but that didn’t stop more people from coming out. Only, this time people flocked to an 18,000 square foot swimming pool that was spring fed and in the Castlewood area. (French) Love states that the pool would be filled up with cold spring water on a Monday and by the weekend the water was warm enough to swim in. The pool would be emptied out the following Monday and refilled. This pool was a major attraction and competed for popularity with Lincoln Beach. (French)

The Castlewood, Glencoe, Sherman, and Eureka areas all are a major part of history in St. Louis. The immigrants, slaves, railroads, speakeasies, and recreation have all played a major part in helping shape present-day St. Louis culture. Immigrants such as Mr. Kaes brought farming techniques and religion with them. Railroads brought hoards of people seeking a weekend of fun and carousing on beaches like Lincoln Beach. Finally, slavery in the St. Louis area reminds us of how our ancestors treated people and how different we act today. Although these places are not directly in St. Louis, they have all affected and are tied to the rich culture, heritage, and history of St. Louis.

Works Cited

Day, Haevara. Original letter to Mrs. Catherine French. Feb 17, 1981.
Foster, Al. Glencoe: From the beginning. Unpublished. May 15, 1983.
French, Catherine. Recreation History of Castlywood and Surrounding Meramec River Area. Unpublished. 1981.
Glencoe Historical Society. http://www.eureka.mo.us/history.htm. Online
.Hamilton, Esley, historian, St. Louis County Parks Department. Email correspondence.Esley_Hamilton@stlouisco.com
Kerber, Mr. Interview. June 29, 2001.
Love, Richard. Interview. June 26, 2001.
MoPac’s First 125 Years. www.geocities.com/~mopac/mphist01.htm. Online.
Stoddard, Dave. Interview. June 26, 2001.
Wayman, Norbury L. History of St. Louis Neighborhoods. Online. http://stlouis.missouri.org/neighborhoods/history/index.htm


I am still concerned about the future of the Kaes house & wish some funding could be found to restore it.   It would make an excellent Bed & Breakfast place or museum, or housing for a park employee.  Anyone wishing to inquire more about this please address your concerns to Castlewood State Park and / or Missouri PreservationAlso anyone wishing to visit this house MUST contact Supt. Richard Love at the Castlewood State Park Office.  I will continue researching the history of the house from time to time & will post whatever I find on this web page. If you would like to help preserve the Kaes House please sign the petition. Thanks ~ ~ Esther Carroll