Jefferson National Expansion
Administrative History
NPS Logo
Administrative History
Sharon A. Brown


1Luther Ely Smith to Bon Geaslin, 31 December 1935 JNEMA; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 30 December 1935. Coleman did appeal, but later withdrew his suit. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8 January 1936.

2Harry W. Blair to Smith, 28 December 1935, JNEMA; Geaslin to Smith, 2 January 1936, JNEMA; Memorandum, Arno B. Cammerer to the Secretary (of the Interior) 2 January 1936, JEFF.

3Telegram, E.M. Mathis to Smith, 30 January 1936, JNEMA; City of St. Louis Ordinance 40746, approved 1 February 1936, JNEMA. Harold L. Ickes to Dickmann, 15 February 1936, JNEMA; various lawsuits filed at this time attempted to halt the project. A suit filed by Harry Rothslaeger January 7 was thrown out of court on the 20th. Two more filed in February met the same fate. (Hole v. St. Louis; American Cone and Pretzel Company v. St. Louis). In the Hole v. St. Louis case an appeal was taken, but the case was dismissed when Mr. Hole failed to file a brief within the prescribed time. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8 January 1936, Smith to Charles P. Williams, 3 February 1936, JNEMA; Russell Murphy to Geaslin, 11 February 1936, JNEMA; Smith to Dickmann, 14 November 1936, JNEMA. In the district court where the city's motions to dismiss these two pending suits were argued, the judge treated the cases in a rather summary fashion. Smith met Mr. Robertson, attorney for the objectors, who commented, "I am going to take a change of venue to you — I think you would give me a fairer trial than Judge Davis is doing." Smith to Geaslin, 6 April 1936, JNEMA.

4Geaslin to Smith, 14 February 1936, JNEMA.

5Dickson Terry, "The Story of the Arch, A Monument to Thirty Years of Patience, Perseverance, and Determination" Cherry Diamond Magazine of the Missouri Athletic Club 57, no. 9 (September, 1964), p. 37; Lloyd Thurston to Smith, 8 February 1936, JNEMA.

6Geaslin to Smith, 14 February 1936, JNEMA.

7Smith to John L. Nagle, 13 March 1936, JNEMA.

8Nagle to Smith, 13 March, 1936 JNEMA.

9Geaslin to Smith, 27 March, 1936 JNEMA.


11St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 23 March 1936.

12Smith to Geaslin, 2 March 1936, JNEMA.

13William Allen White to Smith, 3 April 1936, JNEMA.

14Smith to Geaslin, 2 March 1936, JNEMA; Geaslin to Smith, 2 April 1936, JNEMA.

15Smith to Geaslin, 4 April 1936, JNEMA; Murphy to Max O'Rell Truitt, 6 April 1936, JNEMA, Smith to Geaslin, 13 April 1936, JNEMA.

16Nagle to Smith, 8 May 1936, JNEMA; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 31 October 1965; John M. Robertson to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association, 9 May 1936, JNEMA; Smith to White, 23 May 1936, JNEMA; Nagle to Murphy, 27 May 1936, JNEMA. The private interests involved: Mercantile-Commerce Bank & Trust Co., Mississippi Valley Trust Company, First National Bank, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York Trust Company, General American Company, Francis Brothers & Company, Edgar M. Queeny, Boatmen's Bank, Associated Retailers, and the city of St Louis.

17Smith to Geaslin, 13 April 1936, JNEMA; Truitt to Smith, 30 April 1936, JNEMA.

18Smith to White, 7 May 1936, JNEMA; White to Smith, 9 May 1936, JNEMA.

19Smith to White, 23 May 1936, JNEMA; Geaslin to Smith, 26 May 1936, JNEMA.

20S.J. Bernheimer to Edgar H. Wayman, 12 June 1936, JNEMA.

21Geaslin to Smith, 26 May 1936, JNEMA; Nagle to Murphy, 29 May 1936, JNEMA. In June, Acting Secretary of the Interior Charles West formally asked the attorney general to institute such proceedings as necessary to acquire the memorial property, which he described by miles and bounds. Charles West to the Attorney General, 30 June 1936, JEFF.

22"Minutes of the Executive Committee Meeting of the United States Territorial Expansion Memorial Commission" 19 June 1936, typed meeting minutes, JNEMA. A person with a strong interest in or views on the subject matter of an action may petition the court for permission to file a brief, ostensibly on behalf of a party but actually to suggest a rationale consistent with its own views.

23Smith to William T. Kemper, 24 June 1936, JNEMA.

24Memorandum, Nagle to the Director, National Park Service (hereafter cited as NPS), 23 June 1936, p. 1, JEFF. Incredibly, John Nagle followed the St. Louis contribution through its various governmental channels: through the Treasury Department to the Department of the Interior, then back to Treasury, then to the General Accounting Office, then to Treasury, and finally to the National Park Service. By visiting the comptroller general's office he verified on June 4 that a signed warrant was sent to the Department of the Treasury the day before. Nagle checked with this department, found that the warrant had reached there, that a symbol number was assigned, and that a memorandum giving the symbol number was being routed through the Treasury Department. Obtaining this number, Nagle returned to his office, added the number to requisitions for equipment, and placed them in channels leading to purchase. Ibid. p. 2.

25Ibid. pp. 2-3.

26Ibid. pp. 4-5. By June 22, 1937 the National Park Service office moved from the Buder Building to the Old Federal Building (Post Office) at Eighth and Olive Streets. John Bryan, JNEM - Its Origin, Development and Administration, p. 13, JEFF.

27Geaslin to Smith, 13 July 1936, JNEMA; Smith to Geaslin, 29 July 1936, JNEMA.

28Geaslin to Smith, 23 July 1936, JNEMA. An entry of appearance is a leave to appear in court as party to a suit, either in person or by an attorney, whether as plaintiff or defendant.

29Arno Cammerer to Nagle, 26 June 1936, JEFF. The application of the plaintiffs for an injunction was denied on Wednesday, June 24, 1936 in the suit August Balter et al. v. Henry Morgenthau, Jr. as Secretary of the Treasury, et al. (in the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia). The suit was filed to enjoin the defendants from using any part of the funds made available for the memorial by Roosevelt's executive order. Findings of fact and conclusions were to be settled within a few days, and an order formally denying the application for an injunction was to be entered thereafter. Therefore, the Department of the Interior could find no reason to stop any actions appropriate to carrying out Roosevelt's order. Thus the advice to Nagle from Cammerer. Frank Chambers to Harold Ickes, 26 June 1936, NPS Central Classified File 1933-1949, file No. 0.35, Pt. 2, National Archives.

30Nagle to the Director NPS, 4 August 1936, JEFF.

31Smith to Dickmann, 17 August 1936, JNEMA. Max O'Rell Truitt wrote Smith that when Senator Alben Barkley heard of the court's decision he became very upset. "He is more anxious than I had appreciated heretofore to see the work commenced on the Memorial. I think that the European trip and the visits he made to the cathedrals and shrines of a lost civilization have given him quite an inspiration and burning desire to see that our great project goes forward at least in this generation." Truitt to Smith, 24 August 1936, JNEMA; Max O'Rell Truitt was Senator Barkley's son-in-law.

32Geaslin to Smith, 19 August 1936, JNEMA.

33Smith to Geaslin, 20 August 1936, JNEMA.

34Smith to Geaslin, 21 August 1936, JNEMA.

35Geaslin to Smith, 25 August 1936, JNEMA. Carrying out administrative duties under the injunction was permissible, but some thought photographing the site was not. When the newspapers reported that the National Park Service had contracted a photographer to take pictures of buildings in the memorial area, John Nagle received a letter from the plaintiff's lawyer wanting to know what the photographs were for. The lawyer believed this action to be in violation of the injunction. David H. Robertson to Nagle, 22 August 1936, JNEMA. Robertson's claim held no legal merit, and Nagle received orders to continue the work. Memorandum, Arthur E. Demaray for the Director NPS, 19 September 1936, JNEMA.

36Geaslin to Smith, 29 August 1936, JNEMA.


38Telegram, Geaslin to Murphy, 25 September 1936, JNEMA.

39Memorandum, Demaray for the Director NPS, 19 September 1936, JNEMA.

40Nagle to the Director NPS, 25 September 1936, JEFF.

41St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4 September 1936.

42St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 8 September 1936.



45St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9 September 1936, 10 September 1936, 11 September 1936.

46St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9 September 1936. The paper cried that the "honesty of the ballot in St. Louis" was at stake.

47St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 2 September 1936; 8 September 1936, 12 September 1936.

48St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 14 September 1936, 17 September 1936, 18 September 1936.

49St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10 September 1936.

50Smith to Geaslin, 25 September 1936, JNEMA.

51Ibid. One opposing businessman wrote association member L. Lionberger Davis, telling him to inform President Roosevelt of the "temper" of the St. Louis citizens regarding the fraud. Roosevelt should withdraw the executive order, the businessman thought. "I fear that the friends of the James Farley element in the Democratic Party are the ones who are misleading him [FDR] in this whole St. Louis proposition." See G.S. Robins to Davis, 2 October 1936, JNEMA.

52Geaslin to Smith, 24 October 1936, JNEMA.

53Smith to Geaslin, 23 November 1936, JNEMA; Geaslin to Smith, 23 November 1936, JNEMA.

54Telegram, Gleason to Smith, 28 December, 1936, JNEMA; St. Louis-Globe Democrat, 29 December 1936.

55Smith to Charles T. Russell, 3 December 1936, JNEMA; Smith to Russell, 7 December 1936, JNEMA.

56Peters to Smith, 26 November 1936, JNEMA.

57Peters to Smith, 9 December 1936, JNEMA.

58Smith to Geaslin, 27 November 1936, JNEMA; Peters to Smith, 18 December 1936, JNEMA.

59Smith to Geaslin, 10 December 1936, JNEMA. Title abstracts used for the project came from association member McCune Gill's Title Insurance Corporation of St. Louis.

60Carl P. Russell, A Museum of the American Fur Trade, Proposed Feature of the Jefferson Memorial, St. Louis, Missouri, 1 September 1936, typed report, JEFF.

61Charles E. Peterson, A Museum of American Architecture - A Proposed Institution of Research and Public Education Under Study by the National Park Service, United States Department of the Interior (Reprint from The Octagon, A Journal of the American Institute of Architects, November 1936), JEFF.


63Nagle to Murphy, 5 November 1936, JNEMA. In 1930 Henry Chouteau, a descendant of Auguste Chouteau, recommended preserving the courthouse as a historic landmark. He formally demanded that the mayor of St. Louis turn over the property to him as a representative of Chouteau's heirs. Henry Chouteau did not believe that the city's use of the structure as a home for the justice of the peace offices met with the approval of St. Louis' citizenry. In 1932 the Chouteau and John B.C. Lucas heirs sued for possession of the property on the grounds that the building's abandonment by the city courts constituted a violation of Auguste Chouteau's and John Lucas' stipulation that the building be used "forever" as a courthouse. The heirs lost the suit, with the city retaining title to the property. In 1937 Henry Chouteau stated he would not intervene if the city deeded the building to the Federal Government. St. Louis Star-Times, 30 June 1930; St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 8 January 1937.

64Memorandum, Peterson to Nagle, 25 November 1936, JEFF.

65Memorandum, Daniel Cox Fahey, Jr. to Nagle, 28 December 1936, JEFF.

66Thomas E. Tallmadge to Nagle, 28 December 1936, JEFF.


68Ibid. For a more complete history of National Park Service preservation efforts in St. Louis, see: Charles B. Hosmer, Jr., Preservation Comes of Age: From Williamsburg to the National Trust, 1926-1949, Vols. I and II Charlottesville, Virginia: University Press of Virginia, 1981.

69Smith to Judge Jesse McDonald, 26 January 1937, JNEMA.

70Smith to McDonald, 27 January 1937, JNEMA.

71Smith to Thomas C. Hennings, Jr., 11 February 1937, Luther Ely Smith Papers, Missouri Historical Society; Acting Deputy Commissioner of Internal Revenue to Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association, 9 March 1937, JNEMA.

72Geaslin to Smith, 2 April 1937, JNEMA; Smith to Bennett Champ Clark, 19 April 1937, JNEMA.

73Memorandum, Cammerer to Ickes, 12 February 1937, JEFF.

74Balter, el al. v. Ickes et al. In the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, No. 6827, decided 8 March 1937, p. 3; JNEMA.


76Ibid., pp. 4-5. By leave of the court, Bon Geaslin, Edgar Wayman and Clifford Greve all filed briefs as amici curiae, supporting certain contentions of the appellees. Greve filed the petition on behalf of one hundred and twenty five property owners. "Minutes of the Executive Committee of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association," 10 March 1937, typed meeting minutes, JNEMA. Bon Geaslin knew where to place the responsibility for the favorable court decision: "In my judgment, the result of the litigation can be attributed directly to the time when you [Luther Ely Smith] and I went to the Attorney General's office, and persuaded the attorneys handing (sic) the case to abandon their intention in filing a motion to dismiss, and convicing (sic) them of the necessity of filing a return to the rule to show cause, by which method the facts would be before the court, rather than an admission of the allegations in the bill of complaint." Geaslin to Smith, 13 March, 1937, JNEMA.

77Certiorari is a writ issued by a superior court calling up records of an inferior court in order to provide speedy justice, or so that errors and irregularities may be corrected. The latter was true in this instance.

78Smith to Geaslin, 22 March 1937, JNEMA.

79Memorandum, Cammerer to Ickes, 17 March 1937, JEFF.

80Nagle to the Director NPS, 29 March 1937, JEFF.

81Smith to Geaslin, 22 March 1937, JNEMA.

82Smith to Geaslin, 16 April 1937, JNEMA.

83A mandate is a formal order from a superior court to an inferior one. In most cases, the order contains a U.S. Appellate Court decision when final judgment is not entered and is sent to the court below.

84Geaslin to Smith, 14 April 1937, JNEMA; Geaslin to Smith, 28 April 1937, JNEMA; Smith to Geaslin, 4 May, 1937, JNEMA.

85Smith to Geaslin, 5 May 1937, JNEMA; Smith to Geaslin, 6 May 1937, JNEMA.

86Smith to William C. D'Arcy, 10 March 1937, JNEMA; Smith to D'Arcy, 1 June 1937, JNEMA.

87Acting Deputy Commissioner, Internal Revenue to Geaslin, 4 May 1937; JNEMA; Smith to Geaslin, 6 May 1937, JNEMA; Geaslin to Smith, 19 May 1937, JNEMA.

88U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Congressional Record, 75th Congress, 1st session, 1937, 81, pt. 91:5867.

89Ibid, pp. 5867-68.

90Ibid., pp. 5869-70.

91Smith to Lloyd Thurston, 17 May 1937, JNEMA.

92U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Congressional Record, 75th Congress, 1st session, 1937, 81, pt. 108: pp. 7099-7100.

93Ibid., pp. 7100-02. William D'Arcy was unruffled in his reaction to this public attack. "It hurts to be called a shyster — but reflecting on who did the shouting I simply smile." He believed the noise in Congress to be worse than the noise of a circus, and that what people see and hear in Congress made them shake their heads in shame and wonderment. D'Arcy further predicted that the project's opposition would soon recognize they had no more chance of winning their point than a bit of snow did becoming an icicle in hell. D'Arcy to Smith, 10 July 1937, JNEMA.

94Paul O. Peters to William Allen White, 4 June 1937, JNEMA.

95Smith to White, 16 June 1937, JNEMA.

96Ibid.; Geaslin to Smith, 8 July 1937, JNEMA.

97John Cochran to Dickmann, 4 August 1937, JNEMA.

98A list of the various railroads owning stock in and using the terminal service of the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis was as follows: The Alton Railroad Company; Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad Company; Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad Company; The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company; Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company; Missouri Pacific Railroad Company; The New York Central Railroad Company; The New York, Chicago, and St. Louis Railroad Company; the Pennsylvania Railroad Company; St. Louis Merchants Bridge Terminal Company; the Pennsylvania Railroad Company; St. Louis Merchants Bridge Terminal Railway Company; St. Louis Southwestern Railway Company; and the Wabash Railroad Company.

99Nagle to the Director NPS, 31 March 1937, JEFF; Nagle to Frank C. Wright, 19 April 1937, JEFF. John Nagle also made a personal contact with a railroad official, meeting on February 9, 1937 with Ralph Budd, president of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. Budd could not definitely advise Nagle regarding the railroad removal, but he volunteered to send an engineer to conduct preliminary studies. All the dealings were kept confidential. Cammerer to Nagle, 23 February 1937, JEFF.

100Nagle to Wright, 16 July 1937, JEFF.

101Thomas T. Railey to Nagle, 26 August 1937, JEFF; Nagle to Railey, 14 September 1937, JEFF; Demaray to Nagle, 20 October 1937, JEFF; Nagle to the Director NPS, 22 October 1937, JEFF.

102Telegram, Smith to D'Arcy, 25 June 1937, JNEMA; D'Arcy to Smith, 10 July 1937, JNEMA.

103Balter, et al. v. Nagle, et al. in the District Court of the United States For the Eastern Judicial District of Missouri, Eastern Division, No. 12241, decided 12 July 1937, JNEMA.

104U.S. Public Law 292 (49 Stat. 666) 74th Congress, 21 August 1935, JNEMA.

105Nagle to the Director NPS, 15 June 1937, JNEMA.

106Memorandum, Peterson to Nagle, 19 June 1937, JNEMA; Memorandum, Peterson to Nagle, 25 June 1937, JEFF.

107Cammerer to Dr. Hermon C. Bumpus, 12 July 1937, JNEMA.

108St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 17 July 1937; Nagle to Bumpus, 20 July 1937, JNEMA.

109Thomas Pitkin, Suggestions for the Participation of the Branch of Historic Sites and Buildings in the Development of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, Saint Louis, Missouri, 7 August 1937, pp. 3-5, and 7, typed report, JEFF.

110Stuart Cuthbertson, Proposed Temporary Historical Museum, General Development Plan, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, St. Louis, Missouri, National Park Service, August 1937, p. 1, typed report, JEFF.

111R.N. Elliott to the Secretary of the Interior, 7 August 1937, JNEMA.


113Hermon C. Bumpus, Herbert E. Bolton, Archibald M. McCrea to the Director NPS, 2 September 1937, JNEMA.

114Geaslin to Smith, 20 August 1937, JNEMA.

115Nagle to Director NPS, 25 August 1937, JEFF. The courthouse was structurally sound, but needed repair and restoration work. The National Park Service could not repair the building until it acquired ownership. Since most of the city courts abandoned the building in 1930, fire and water damage had taken its toll on the roof, walls and rotunda murals. For descriptions of the building's physical condition, see: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 4 November 1936; St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 8 January 1937.

116Geaslin to Smith, 11 September 1937, JNEMA. Executive Officer Daniel Cox Fahey, Jr. suggested to Nagle that the National Park Service should take the Old Courthouse immediately. If the memorial project did not materialize, the building could always be returned to the city with the restoration costs being deducted from the city's contributed funds. Memorandum, Fahey to Nagle, 10 July 1937, JEFF.

117Nagle to Director NPS, 30 November 1937, JEFF; Memorandum, Pitkin, Peterson, Fahey to Nagle, 30 November 1937, JEFF. John Nagle pursued many proposals during 1937 for the Old Courthouse's permanent use. He considered using some rooms for an exhibition of paintings, including portraits, views of historical events, and western development. He even considered having a temporary loan exhibition open when the building was rededicated. Nagle to Smith, 22 September 1937, JEFF.

118Dickmann to Smith, 25 August 1937, JNEMA; Smith to Geaslin, 26 August 1937, JNEMA.


120Letters protesting the Federal Government's land policy are located in the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association's files.

121Nagle to the Director NPS, 3 November 1937, JNEMA.


123Cammerer to the Secretary (of the Interior), 19 August 1937, JEFF; Nagle to the Director NPS, 15 November 1937, JEFF.

124Memorandum, Demaray for the Secretary (of the Interior), 29 November 1937, JEFF.

125Memorandum, McFarland to the Attorney General, 20 November 1937, JEFF.

126Memorandum, Demaray for the Secretary (of the Interior), 29 November 1937, JEFF; Charles West to the Attorney General, 11 December 1937, JEFF.

127Henry Miller to Frank C. Wright, 9 November 1937, JEFF.

128Nagle to Wright, 16 November 1937, JEFF.

129Memorandum, John Bryan to Nagle, 23 August 1937, JEFF. Order revoking Permit No. 8600, April 14, 1937, granted by the Board of Public Service of the City of St. Louis on July 13, 1937, to the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, JEFF. Daniel Cox Fahey, Jr. to Wright, 26 November 1937, JEFF; Fahey to Wright, 26 November 1937, JEFF.

130"Extract from Draft of Minutes of Executive Session, Advisory Board, National Park Service," 28-29 October 1937, typed meeting minutes, JNEMA.


132Ibid., Bumpus to Ickes, 26 November 1937, JNEMA; Nagle to the Director NPS, 30 November 1937, JNEMA.

133Demaray to Nagle, 6 December 1937, JNEMA; Nagle to the Director NPS, 9 December 1937, JNEMA.

134Cammerer to Bumpus, 17 December 1937, JNEMA.

135Nagle to the Director NPS, 9 December 1937, JNEMA; memorandum, Cammerer to the Secretary (of the Interior), 17 December 1937, JNEMA. In a letter to Luther Ely Smith, John Nagle described the historical research being carried out by his staff. Most of the research concerned buildings and the sites where buildings once stood within the riverfront area. Preliminary reports existed for the four most historic buildings in the area — the Old Courthouse, the Old Cathedral, the National-Scotts Hotel, and the Old Rock House. Minor buildings and sites were researched. Staff members compiled a map of the riverfront area using St. Louis histories as sources. Researchers looked for the exact location of the first road headed west from St. Louis; John Bryan researched the Robidoux family; and staff members collected all the information they could find in county court records and St. Louis newspapers between the years 1828 and 1862 on the Old Courthouse's construction. The latter information would be used in the building's restoration. Dr. Thomas Pitkin worked on the history of the Dred Scott case. Nagle to Smith, 27 December 1937, JNEMA.

136Nagle to Demaray, 22 December 1937, JEFF; Demaray to Nagle, 27 December 1937, JEFF.

137Complete lists of condemnation suits and the actions taken on them through January 1938 are filed in the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association's legal files; Smith to D'Arcy, 11 December 1937, JNEMA.

138Report of the Museum Committee Meeting, January 28-29 at St. Louis, 1 February 1938, typed report, JNEMA. An immediate project for the museum force was diorama production. Pitkin listed ten topics for depiction, which would utilize the $100,000 fund. Pitkin wanted these dioramas to form the core of a temporary museum. Pitkin to Ned Burns, 15 December 1938, JEFF.

139Bumpus to Nagle, 19 February 1938, JNEMA; Nagle to Bumpus, 3 March 1938, JNEMA.

140Nagle to Bumpus, 3 March 1938, JNEMA.


142Nagle to Demaray, 3 March 1938, JNEMA; Demaray to Bumpus, 3 March 1938, unsent draft, JNEMA. Memorial development was held up in 1938 when the Advisory Board decided that the Old Courthouse was not worthy of inclusion within the memorial. More historical research on the building had to be submitted by supporters before the Department of the Interior accepted the deed in 1940.

143Demaray to Nagle, 4 March 1938, JNEMA.

144Nagle to Bumpus, 12 March 1938, JNEMA.

145Frederic L. Kirgus to Secretary of the Interior, 21 March 1938, JNEMA.

146Memorandum, Cammerer to Secretary of the Interior, 1 March 1938, JNEMA; Cammerer to Dickmann, 19 March 1938, JEFF. To give an example of how dilapidated the building was, a National Park Service architect looking over the roof found huge holes that allowed further destruction by inclement weather. Since the city still owned the structure, Daniel Cox Fahey, Jr., and the architect had to approach the Board of Public Service to get the holes repaired at city's expense. Memorandum, G. Vietor Davis to Nagle, 13 January 1938, JEFF. National Park Service architects pursued much historical research on the building before the Federal Government accepted the deed. By March 1938, Charles Peterson had done research for over a year and a half. Original contracts dating from the 1850s were found, one of them being for the interior painting. Besides mural decorations, there once existed in the building imitation paneling painted on walls with marbleizing and artificial graining. In Peterson's opinion, "This promised to be a real headache before everything is done." Peterson to Thomas C. Vint, 8 March 1938, JEFF.

147Cammerer to Dickmann, 7 April 1938, JEFF.

148Radiogram, Cammerer to Nagle, 24 February, 1938, JNEMA; Ickes to Attorney General, 16 March 1938, JNEMA. Representative William Lambertson had long alleged that the memorial was a real estate scheme. In September 1938 the National Park Service took steps to avoid actions giving substance to these charges. Mayor Bernard Dickmann was president of a real estate firm, with his brother the vice president. It was suggested several times to Nagle that the Dickmann firm would be glad to help the Park Service in any way with real estate work. John Nagle avoided the offers. "For obvious reasons, and because the Post-Dispatch or some other St. Louis newspaper had previously voiced the charge, (which I believe to be unwarranted) that certain City officials had bought or taken options on most of the real estate in the Memorial area for the purpose of a later resale to the Government at a profit, I did not think it wise for the Service to have dealings with a real estate company so closely connected with the City administration." Nagle to Demaray, 2 September 1938, JEFF.

149Smith to W. Scott Hancock, 28 March 1938, JNEMA. The Barnidge condemnation case came to trial on June 27, 1938. D.E. Lee, special assistant to the assistant director, National Park Service, attended the trial. He discovered that the Barnidge family would appeal the constitutional questions involved irrespective of the jury award. Proper exceptions had been raised to take the case to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals. Lee was impressed by the wealth of material that the Real Estate Branch in St. Louis had prepared and by the complete preparation by the National Park Service witnesses. One problem arose because the Park Service officials believed that the Department of Justice special counsel who handled all the legal work incidental to the condemnation cases was of lesser quality and not aggressive enough during the trials. This posed a delicate situation, since the Park Service would not be warranted in charging that the man was incompetent, but they did consider asking the Department of Justice for a change of counsel. It became evident during the trials that independent realtors made the best witnesses for the Government, as regular Government consultants were subject to attack on the ground of bias. Many cases consisted of opinion evidence given by expert real estate people, resulting in a wide variance of values, since the property owners employed well-qualified experts to testify to high values. Lee thought it necessary for the National Park Service staff to be "on the alert" to have full information on each parcel. Memorandum, D.E. Lee to the Director NPS, 2 July 1938, JEFF.

150Memorandum, Demaray to Secretary of the Interior, 11 May 1938, JNEMA.

151John R. Kirk to Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association, 14 March 1938, JNEMA.

152Smith to John W. Cross, 17 March 1938, JNEMA; Smith to Cross, 15 March 1938, JNEMA; Cross to Smith, 25 March 1938, JNEMA.

153St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 14 April 1938, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 22 May 1938.

154St. Louis Star-Times, 6 June 1938.

155Smith to White, 8 September 1938, JNEMA; Smith to D'Arcy, 1 November 1938, JNEMA; Smith to Dickmann, 7 November 1938, JNEMA.

156St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 9 August 1938; Memorandum, Peterson to Nagle, 7 December, 1938, JEFF.

157Memorandum, Pitkin to Nagle, 19 November, 1938, JEFF.

158Thomas M. Pitkin, Robert D. Starrett, A Supplementary Report on Exhibit Planning in National Expansion, April 1939, typed report, JEFF. In a memorandum to John Nagle, Dr. Pitkin expressed his conception of the basic purpose in creating the memorial: "The visitor to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial should leave with a vivid impression of the sweep of the American people across a continent, taking possession of it and stamping upon it the impress of their character. He should be made to realize the magnitude of this achievement and to be made aware of his own responsibility in seeing that the promise of national greatness implicit in it does not fail." Memorandum, Pitkin to Nagle, 13 April 1939, JEFF. Museum plans called for fifty-eight cases of museum material. Charles Peterson knew this would fill the main hall of a memorial building, but what about other related museum buildings? More than one major monumental building would be needed to occupy such a large site. There currently was nothing to put in these buildings other than museum material to conform with the Historic Sites Act. More importantly, said Peterson, "This project was conceived with the notion that seven and a half million dollars for the site would be justified by improvements costing twenty-two and a half millions." Peterson believed the one-museum idea too small in scale to be suitable. The National Park Service had undertaken what was predetermined for them as the most extensive historical monument ever built. The precedent of building museums cramped the Service's outlook. Peterson's final thought: "If this project is successful — and I don't see how we can prepare plans with any other expectation — the museum program is going to be large. If all the program is packed into one structure it will be elephantine and the whole area will be embarrassed by its size." Memorandum, Peterson to Nagle, 16 May 1939, JEFF. Other historical research pursued in 1939 concentrated on examination of the site's justification under the Historic Sites Act. Dr. Thomas Pitkin and Dr. Alvin Stauffer considered each of Roosevelt's justifications in the Executive Order of December 21, 1935. They agreed with the statement of St. Louis' historical importance, but they held doubts about the accuracy of some of the other claims. The Old French Cathedral was not the earliest home of religion on the western bank of the Mississippi; St. Louis was not the first civil government west of the Mississippi; Lewis and Clark did not make primary preparations for their exploration trip in the city; and Dred Scott's landmark court decision came in Washington, D.C., not St. Louis. Nevertheless, they agreed that St. Louis played a significant role in westward expansion, and that the memorial site constituted the original heart of the city. Thomas Pitkin and Alvin Stauffer, Historical Problems Raised by the Executive Order Authorizing the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, St. Louis, April 1939, typed report, pp. 1-12, JNEMA.

159Telegram, Fahey to Nagle, 27 January, 1939, JEFF; McCune Gill to Nagle, 1 February, 1939, JNEMA; Barnidge v. U.S., 101 F 2nd 295, JNEMA.

160Nagle to Smith, 30 January 1939, JNEMA. William D'Arcy wrote to Smith following the decision, concerning the association's future course of action. He suggested re-establishing connections at the capitol, fixing up any "leaks" that may be in the "wires," and renewing the enthusiasm of friends of the memorial. He wanted to initiate a new public relations campaign to create a positive public opinion, and to articulate more clearly the memorial scheme. Obviously, association members worried about their effectiveness and image in promoting the memorial. D'Arcy to Smith, 27 January 1939, JNEMA. A report on the progression of condemnation at the time of the Barnidge v. U.S. decision declared the assessed valuation of the 40 city blocks at $5,300,000. Condemnation suits had now been entered on all 40 blocks, with the Court Commissioners returning their awards on 31 of them. The awards ran 35 percent above the assessed valuation and 17 percent above the National Park Service appraisal. Memorandum, Nagle for the Director NPS, 27 January 1939, JEFF.

161Memorandum, Department of the Interior for the Press, 10 February 1939, JNEMA.


163Ibid. Wide differences of opinion existed between the National Park Service and the Department of Justice at this time on the proper procedure to follow. To give an example of the wide spectrum of thought, on January 27 the attorney general wrote the secretary of the interior giving reasons why the National Park Service should not file declarations of taking. He believed all efforts should go into extending the time limit for availability of the funds. He knew that in a number of cases in which land was being acquired for the project, the awards had been in excess of actual value. Being advised that the court might require the deposits accompanying declarations of taking to be the equivalent of the amount of the awards, he wanted to avoid introducing this new problem, which could extend litigation. Additionally, disbursing deposits under the declarations of taking would put defendants into a position where litigation would be in their best interest, and not the Government's. Attorney General to Ickes, 27 January 1939, JEFF. John Nagle, on the other hand, believed the National Park Service should move ahead with the declarations. It was not at all certain that Congress would pass legislation extending the fund time limit, and if the Justice Department's judgment proved wrong, the consequences could be dire. Nagle believed the National Park Service should adopt every aggressive measure to acquire the land in view of the short time remaining before the lapse of funds. The recent court decision assured the commencement of land acquisition, but Nagle wanted this to happen as soon as possible to avoid losing any funds into the treasury. Memorandum, Nagle for the Director, 1 February 1939, JEFF. Nevertheless, the director took the attorney general's advice, and took steps to try and secure a reappropriation of the Federal funds. Memorandum, Demaray to Nagle, 21 February 1939, JEFF.

164Smith to Dr. Charles Merriam, 10 February 1939, JNEMA.

165Smith to Ickes, 14 February 1939, JNEMA; Blair to Smith, 16 February 1939, JNEMA.

166Smith to Blair, 17 February 1939, JNEMA.

167Ibid.; Smith to Geaslin, 18 February 1939, JNEMA.

168Smith to Blair, 20 February 1939, JNEMA; Smith to Blair, 22 February 1939, JNEMA.

169Memorandum, Demaray to Nagle, 4 March 1939, JEFF.

170Blair to Smith, 3 March 1939, JNEMA; Blair to Smith, 10 March 1939, JNEMA; Smith to Charles R. Denny, Jr., 6 March 1939, JNEMA; Denny to Smith, 13 March 1939, JNEMA.

171U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Congressional Record, 76th Congress, 1st session, 1939, part 3:2727-28.

172U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Congressional Record, 76th Congress, 1st session, 1939, part 3:2891-92. In a letter to Harry Blair, Luther Ely Smith stressed that Representative Lambertson's Kansas district included Atchison, home of the original place of business (clover and seed) of the Mangelsdorf family. The Mangelsdorfs owned property located in the area designated for the memorial, and had made appeals to the National Park Service to stop the project at Clark Avenue, thereby excluding their property. Smith to Blair, 11 March 1939, JNEMA.

173Smith to Geaslin, 20 March 1939, JNEMA.

174Smith to Geaslin, 18 March 1939, JNEMA; Smith to Geaslin, 20 March 1939, JNEMA; Blair to Smith, 29 March 1939, JNEMA.

175Memorandum, G.A. Moskey for the Director NPS, 31 March 1939, JEFF.

176Telegram, Clark to Smith, 7 April 1939, JNEMA; telegram, Clark to Smith, 18 April 1939, JNEMA; Blair to Smith, 19 April 1939, JNEMA; telegram, Clark to Smith, 20 April 1939, JNEMA.

177For representative letters written supporting and opposing the Clark amendment, see: Smith to Amon Carter, 21 April 1939, JNEMA; telegram, Smith to William Allen White, 21 April 1939, JNEMA; Kent Keller to Smith, 21 April 1939, JNEMA; Smith to Harry Truman, 22 April 1939, JNEMA; Officers and Employees of the A.C.L. Haase Company to C. Jasper Bell, 20 April 1939, C. Jasper Bell Papers, file no. 4079, Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, (hereafter cited as WHMC); W.H. Gage to Bell, 18 April 1939, C. Jasper Bell Papers, WHMC, file no. 4079; W.A. Smiley to Bell, 19 April 1939. C. Jasper Bell Papers, file no. 4079, WHMC.

178Cochran to Smith, 24 April 1939, JNEMA; Fred H. Brown to Cochran, 25 April 1939, JNEMA.

179Ralph Gilbert to Smith, 27 April 1939, JNEMA. Judge Gilbert was a former member of Congress and a member of the George Rogers Clark Commission.

180Smith to Truitt, 5 May 1939, JNEMA; Truitt to Smith, 6 May 1939, JNEMA.

181Blair to Smith, 6 May 1939, JNEMA. William D'Arcy asked Smith at this time if it would be proper to establish a committee in St. Louis to see that the real estate was acquired quickly by insuring that nothing would come into the picture which would mar the program's reputation. He considered this because of current gossip about "deals" and "certain personalities." A committee of this kind would stand above "all contaminated interests." D'Arcy to Smith, 8 May 1939, JNEMA.

182Memorandum, Nagle for the Files, 10 May 1939, JEFF. Acting National Park Service Director A.E. Demaray informed Secretary Ickes that for legal reasons it was desirable to file all forty declarations at the same time. The Department of Justice informally requested that Ickes or the Acting Secretary sign these. John Nagle was securing options (offers to sell) in the meantime. If the Department of Justice approved an option for a particular parcel before a declaration of taking for that block was signed, the estimated compensation was the approved option price. Otherwise, stipulations were entered in the proceedings after the declarations were filed; the stipulated price for the parcel covered by the option in such cases being the option price. In the cases where acquisition was in the judgment stage, vouchers were submitted to Ickes for his signature. Checks were obtained and paid into court, and title to the first of the memorial property was handed over to the United States. Memorandum, A.D. Demaray for the Secretary (of the Interior), 12 May 1939, JEFF.

183Blair to Smith, 24 May 1939, JNEMA; Memorandum, Nagle for the Director 23 May 1939, JEFF.

184Blair to Smith, 24 May 1939, JNEMA; Blair to Smith, 25 May 1939, JNEMA.

185Smith to Blair, 2 June 1939, JNEMA.

186Smith to Blair, 8 June 1939, JNEMA.

187Smith to Blair, 14 June 1939, JNEMA.

188Blair to Smith, 1 July 1939, JNEMA; Wayman to Clark, 4 May 1939, JNEMA; Wayman to Clark, 4 May 1939, JNEMA; Smith to Wayman, 26 July, 1939, JNEMA.

189Acting Secretary of the Interior to Comptroller General of the United States, 3 August 1939, JNEMA.

190Fred H. Brown to Louis Nolte, 13 September, 1939, JNEMA; Brown to Meyers, 28 September, 1939, JNEMA; Meyers to the Department of the Interior, 6 October 1939, JNEMA; Cammerer to Meyers, 12 October 1939, JNEMA.

191Memorandum, D.E. Lee to Director, National Park Service, 31 October 1939, JNEMA. Discussion started at this time regarding disbanding the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Association. Members themselves started this discussion, but Daniel Cox Fahey, Jr., urged Luther Ely Smith not to let it happen. He encouraged the association to provide continued assistance to the National Park Service. Fahey to Smith, 25 October, 1939, JNEMA.

192John Nagle, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Progress to Date, 1 November 1939, typed report, pp. 2-3, JNEMA. Specifications for the first demolition in the memorial area were issued November 29, with amendments being added on December 12, 1939.

193St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10 October 1939.

194Cammerer to Blanton, 8 November 1939, JEFF; memorandum, Nagle for the Director NPS, 24 November 1939, JEFF.

195Nagle to F.E. Lawrence, Jr., 18 October 1939, JNEMA. In the November 29 specifications written for the demolition work, John Nagle listed all materials and objects that were to remain the property of the United States. Particular specimens were to be stored by the contractor. In addition, all markers designating historic sites would be removed and stored. There followed a complete list, block by block, of architectural specimens for salvaging. John Nagle, Specifications for Demolition Work in the Memorial Area, St. Louis, Missouri, 29 November 1939, typed report, JNEMA.

196Report of the Public Buildings Committee to Members of the Council on Civic Needs, 6 November 1939, typed letter, JNEMA.

197Memorandum, Bumpus to Acting Secretary (of the Interior), 19 November 1939, JNEMA.

198Memorandum, Nagle to the Director National Park Service, 14 November 1939, JNEMA.

199Memorandum, Nagle to Director NPS, 8 September 1939, JNEMA.

200Memorandum, Bumpus to Acting Secretary (of the Interior), 10 November 1939, JNEMA.

201Memorandum, Nagle to the Director NPS, 14 November 1939, JNEMA; Smith to Geaslin, 2 December 1939, JNEMA.

202St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 16 November 1939; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6 December 1939.

203Memorandum, Cammerer to Secretary (of the Interior), 4 December 1939, JEFF; Geaslin to Smith, 14 December 1939, JNEMA.

204Smith to Geaslin, 21 December 1939, JNEMA.

205Nagle to Wright, 31 January 1939, JEFF; Nagle to Wright, 8 February 1939, JEFF.

206Fahey to Wright, 17 March 1939, JEFF.

207Blair to Smith, 17 April 1939, JNEMA.

208Memorandum, Fahey to Nagle, 5 April 1939, JEFF; Memorandum, Nagle for the Files, 24 April 1939, JEFF. Those in attendance: Mayor Dickmann, Edgar Wayman, and Baxter Brown for the city; for the TRRA, P.J. Watson, Jr., president, C.S. Millard, director, E.M. Durham, Jr., director; for the National Park Service, Frank Wright, John Nagle; Watson to Nagle, 24 April 1939, JEFF.

209Ralph Budd to Wright, 10 May 1939, JEFF; Wright to Budd, 17 May 1939, JEFF; memorandum, C.E. Howard to Nagle, 31 May, 1939, JEFF.

210Memorandum, Nagle for the Files, 26 June 1939, JEFF; Wright to Nagle, 11 July 1939, JEFF; Memorandum, J.B. Rasbach to Nagle, 12 July 1939, JEFF.

211Memorandum, Fahey to Nagle, 10 August 1939, JEFF.

212Nagle to Wright, 28 August 1939, JEFF.

213Memorandum, Fahey to Nagle, 28 December 1939, JEFF.

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004