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Winter 2001
A Publication of the St. Louis Public Library

Vol. 1   No. 1


Help!! is a feature in which we attempt to solve our readers' research questions. We will attempt to solve the problems with research materials available at St. Louis Public Library. We also invite our readers to contribute solutions to questions featured in this section. Send your problems and solutions to Gateway Family Historian, St. Louis Public Library, History & Genealogy Department, 1301 Olive Street, St. Louis, MO 63103. You can also e-mail us questions at Put GFH-HELP!! in the subject line.

Question: A Civil War soldier relative of mine is listed as having died in the "House of Refuge" in St. Louis on May 15, 1863. Was this a military hospital in St. Louis?

Answer: Yes, The House of Refuge was used temporarily by the Union Army as a hospital for sick and wounded soldiers. The House of Refuge was established in 1854 as an institution for the detention of homeless, abused, and neglected boys and girls. The mission of the House of Refuge was to educate its wards, teach them discipline, and enable them to care for themselves after discharge. On the 14th of February, 1865, the center and east wing of the House were destroyed by a fire. The House was located at 3300 Osage Avenue, at the corner of Osage and Louisiana Avenues. That address is in the Carondelet neighborhood in south St. Louis, near the Mississippi River. (Source: Hyde & Conard, The Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis. New York, Louisville, & St. Louis: Southern Historical Company, 1899, vol. II, p. 1063.)

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