Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jacob Stein and William Graham

There are several hints that William Graham was a well-respected member of his community. But, having Jacob Stein /Stine as the executor of his estate is the best one. Although we don't know why William Graham died in Carondelet rather than in Jefferson County where his farm was, we have recently found a possible clue.

Jacob Stein (Click here for more information on him) and William Graham lived in Carondelet which was separate from St. Louis at that time.
It was a French river town. Although we don't know where William Graham lived, we do know where Jacob Stein lived in the 1840's.

It's between the railroad tracks and the river---a run-down, industrial section, but up the street are many wonderful examples of stone houses from the same era.
But, back to why William Graham may have been in Carondelet. . .David M. found a document at the Carondelet historical society which describes Jacob Stein's business venture---a shot tower.

Although it was "in rear of 5218 South Broadway on Scullin's Land", there are apartments being built, so nothing was there. But, it is on a high bluff which would be the perfect place to construct a shot tower. The document further states:
"Town of Carondelet leases a tract of land on bluffs. . .for a period of 25 years at $30 a year. . . to Anthony Wilkson and James C. Evans---Cave Spring is on the boundary line between Altenheim formerly Charles P. Chouteau mansion grounds and Scullin lnad, it still flows East of Iron Mountain Railroad tracks and the squatters there still drink its water today. It provided clear cool water for the Shot Tower, from which the molten lead was poured through a perforated skillet, to fall into a vat of water below the bluffs, the water to break the fall and keep shot from flattening."
This document further states that in 1839 James C. Evans borrowed $1900 from Jacob R. Stine---Evans gave a mortgage on the Shot Tower etc., to Stine.
The red roof is a park building, but the building behind the tree is part of the Altenheim property
Just as Jacob Stein was the executor of William Graham's will, James C. Evans was a creditor in his probate record. William Graham's property in Jefferson County was very near an area where lead was mined--Big River and Dry Creek. From Goodspeed's History of Jefferson County:

Mineral Wealth.---The mineral resources of Jefferson County have only been partially developed. Iron and zinc exist in considerable quantities, and the deposits of lead are so extensive as to appear inexhaustible. The latter is the great mineral product of the county, and the only one that has been developed to any considerable extent. Schoolcraft's list of mines in Southeast Missouri made in 1818, mentions two mines that were then worked in what is now Jefferson County, viz.: Gray's mine, on Big River, and McKane's mine, on Dry Creek. This author says "The price of lead at that time was $4 per hundred at the mines, with $4.50 on the Mississippi at Ste. Genevieve or Herculaneum; the cost of transportation, 75 cents per hundred. The same mineral was then worth $7 per hundred at Philadelphia."
So, since this lead shot tower was constructed in the mid 1800's about when William Graham died and this business involved two people that he knew well, I'm thinking maybe he was perhaps a supplier or broker of lead.

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