Nikylan Knapper makes history becoming 1st Black mayor of Maplewood

Nikylan Knapper has become the first African American in the history of Maplewood, MO, to be elected its mayor. With all polling places reporting, Knapper defeated incumbent mayor Barry Greenberg 822 to 588 votes, winning 58.3% of the vote, according the St. Louis County Election Board. Knapper posted on Facebook: “We made history tonight, I am honored and so excited to be the next Mayor of Maplewood! Tonight we celebrate, tomorrow we get to work!”

Kerry Cottage closes, MRH golfer wins tourney: in the news

From various sources recently: the Kerry Cottage has closed in Maplewood after 33 years in business, an MRH junior golfer wins, and more. Fox 2 — Tim’s Travels: Cure your sweet tooth at Sweet Tooth Bakery in Maplewood
KMOV — Creve Coeur man fatally shot in University City; arrest made
Riverfront Times — St. Louis Restaurant Openings and Closings: March 2021
St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Maplewood’s Kolar grows back into his game, wins Bantle Memorial medalist title
St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Affton 10, Maplewood-Richmond Heights 1

Maplewood History: A Followup to Rarer than Rare (Updated)

The long unseen image of James C. Sutton, first published in my last post Rarer than Rare, took my breath away.  Hope it did yours as well.  Far too many times to recall I have been able to share with my readers images and documents that have never been seen in public.  Often they have never even been photographed prior to their being posted in my blog. This is all due to the incredible generosity of the owners.  Laura Varilek, of Rapid City, SD, was doing some research on her multiple greats grandfather James Sutton when she found some of my earlier posts.  In this way we connected and the rest is, as they say, Maplewood history.  (Sorry.  Sometimes it’s hard to think of anything unusual to put in these lead-ins.)

Ms. Varilek was kind enough to include some other items that I believe you will find interesting.  Let’s have a look at them.  First is a typewritten letter that was a little difficult to read.  I retyped it as accurately as possible.  (The errors are somebody else’s this time.)

Trip of Maplewood, Mo. Natives to Montana – 1864

Marshall Phillips and Chas. W. Sutton left on train and joined others at St. Joseph.  Crossed Missouri River at Brownsville.  Laid between Brownsville and Nebraska City 10 days to rest cattle.  Loaded provisions at Nebr.

Commenter posed as Jackie Hummert

I feel that the following information is an accurate account of what happen on 40 South News. The “Jackie” commenting implies that she is the mother of Ryan Hummert. The actual Jackie Hummert said she did not make the comments. This was posted 2 days ago on 40 South News:

“Jackie” on March 23, 2021 at 10:03 pm said:
1. The Maplewood Fire Dept endorsed your opponent.

IAFF official responds to Mayor Greenberg article

The following is an email sent to 40 South News editor Doug Miner, unsolicited, received March 24, from Kurt Becker, 4th District Vice President, IAFF (International Association of Fire Fighters) Local 2665. Mr. Miner,

On behalf of IAFF Local 2665 and the Professional Firefighters of Maplewood, can you please kindly publish the attached in response to the comments from Mayor Greenberg that you published yesterday? Yours,
Kurt Becker
4th District Vice President
IAFF Local 2665
Firefighters Set the Record Straight
March 24, 2021
By: Kurt Becker, District Vice-President – IAFF Local 2665

I was surprised and disappointed to read the missives Mr. Greenberg published in the South 40 News on March 23, 2021. His article, and his subsequent comments are full of misinformation, half-truths, and in some cases are outright duplicitous. Before I address that, however, let’s point out the accuracies in the Mayor’s diatribes:

First, it is absolutely true that the Maplewood Firefighters Association and IAFF Local 2665 have enthusiastically endorsed his opponent, Ms. Nikylan Knapper.

Maplewood artist exhibits paintings of immigrant women

Maplewood resident and artist Bill Perry has opened a exhibit of life-size portraits of immigrant women living in St. Louis. The portraits celebrate the women’s “fortitude, ambition, dedication and resilience,” Perry says. It took him two years to complete the work. The exhibit runs through April 23 at the Intersect Arts Center, 3636 Texas Avenue, St.

Mayor Explains Fire Fighters Endorsement

The International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Union, Local 2665 has endorsed my mayoral opponent, Nikylan Knapper. IAFF has also published a document stating that it has a mission to create a Central Metro Fire and Rescue Fire Protection District (FPD). The geographic boundaries encompass 20 municipalities and 15 municipal fire departments, covering 188,010 residents and 57.54 square miles. Item number 5 on their action plan is to obtain buy-in from Shop Stewards and Fire Chiefs. This task is listed as DONE.

Maplewood History: Rarer Than Rare – A Third Image of James Compton Sutton Found!

Depending on how long you have been following Maplewood History, you may recall the heaping chests of artifacts from the legacy of William Lyman Thomas? Or all of the terrific Kalb Electric stuff rescued from a tag sale by Marty Fischer.  Or how about the many Slavik/Irwin family images lent by Matt Irwin-Perkins?  It would be a crime not to mention the Fennell trove recently donated by Nancy Fennell Hawkins. If you go back far enough you may recall the historic material that set me off on this journey, the many documents and images and even the home, Woodside, of the Rannells family. Many of these items are now in the collection of the State Historical Society of Missouri, (SHSMO). I am very happy to have had a part in directing these fine folks to what is the best way to preserve their items and also share them with anyone who is interested for many years to come.

Richmond Heights ranked 9th best place to live in America, KSDK reports

According to, Richmond Heights was voted 9th best place to live in America and the best place to live in Missouri, KSDK reports. Also, the Post-Dispatch reports on MRH sports starting back up. Fox 2 — St. Louis area libraries plan to reopen in March
KSDK — Richmond Heights voted one of the best places to live in America
KSDK — 7 St. Louis-area businesses named finalists in competition for free rent in Richmond Heights
Riverfront Times — Boardwalk Waffles Launches Brunch Service This Weekend

Mayor Advocates for Equity Commission

A year ago, with the country undergoing major social change, I proposed that Maplewood create an Equity Commission. In my experience of 18 years as an elected official, I have seen the benefits that our boards and commissions have brought to our community. We have an abundance of intelligent and engaged citizens who can help coordinate issues of diversity, social justice, transparency and inclusion between Council, City staff and the other boards and commissions. Most of our commissions act in an advisory capacity, leveraging citizen expertise and enthusiasm to make recommendations that traverse and connect the different governmental entities listed above. An example of this is the Sustainability Commission I initiated.

Maplewood History: A Fraser Park Discovery – The Johansen Home – Part Two

While researching these Maplewood stories I have found that it is extremely rare to find one that filled out a whole page in one of the larger of the St. Louis newspapers.  This is one of those cases. A more accurate title for this post would be the Johansen Shoe Manufacturing Business.  Too bad I didn’t think of that earlier.  If you missed Part One about the lovely Johansen home, you can find it here. What follows is the aforementioned full page story about the Johansen family and business. Out of curiosity, I googled 3642 Laclede to see what occupies the site today where the very modern Johansen Shoe factory once stood.  A parking garage for St.

Re: Maplewood Small Business Hub – Federal Grant Writing Services

In 2020 Congress passed the CARES Act that allocated funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which are forgivable loans. But a substantial number of small businesses were not able to apply for the PPP before the program’s funds were depleted. Because of this, many Maplewood small businesses missed an opportunity for a lifeline in the form of federal funding during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. If elected mayor, I will work to ensure that does not happen again. Recently the Senate passed the American Rescue Plan Act.

Maplewood mayor details city’s attempts to hire a city manager

Maplewood Mayor Barry Greenberg, at the request of 40 South, described what he and the city council have gone through as they have tried to hire a new city manager. The city has been without a permanent city manager since 2019. Maplewood Public Works Director Anthony Traxler has also been acting city manager since then. The account below is from Mayor Greenberg. The selection of a City Manager is critical to the operation of the City.

Maplewood History: A Fraser Park Discovery – The Johansen Home – Part One

When the artist, Margaret Keller, and her husband, Rick Puller, bought their late Victorian home in Fraser Park 25 years ago, they knew they were getting a high quality home but little else.  It was one of their neighbors, Dick Walker, who had lived across the street for many decades who gave them an interesting clue to the history of their new/old digs. He told them that it had been built by a shoe manufacturer named Johansen.  He even had a 1997 catalog with information that the company had been founded in 1876. Dick also thought that Mr. Johansen once had a building behind the home in which shoes were made and had loaded shoes on the railroad right there.  Margaret, who has a background in historic preservation, was intrigued.  From the Maplewood City Directory of 1912, she learned that a family of Johansens lived at 7211 Moller.  Her address is 7215.  More searching revealed that the much newer home of her next door neighbor was built on what was once the lawn of the Johansen’s home at 7211.  About 1950 the address was changed.  The new home got 7211 and the older one became 7215. A little while ago, Margaret and I got on the subject of graining.  That is the process of making a piece of wood (or whatever) look like it is a piece of a different kind of wood than what it actually is. There are numerous reasons why one might want to do this.

Maplewood History: Remembering Bill Jones, Maplewood’s Premier Memoirist

Bill Jones, who passed early this year, and his wife Barb are certainly familiar to followers of this space. Nothing lasts forever.  Not trees, not rocks and certainly not people.  Bill lasted longer than most.  He left us his memories of early parts of his long life here in Maplewood.  I know that I am not alone in saying that I truly appreciate and enjoy them. Not too long ago, as I sat with them at their dining room table, the conversation turned to the singing that they both had done in church.  They asked if I might care for a demonstration.  I would so they did. Bill and Barb in their finest operatic voices sang for me a song that I’m ashamed to admit I don’t recall the name of.  Their voices were very clear and powerful, well suited to the large church spaces they were accustomed to singing in.  I remember thinking at the time that this was one of those occasions that one recalls frequently after they have occurred but might not realize the importance of at the time they are occurring.  I did and was happy to be there. Bill’s remembrances of early life in Maplewood are rare and fascinating.

Maplewood Mayor Barry Greenberg running for re-election

Maplewood Mayor Barry Greenberg is running for a second term in the April 6 elections, facing off against MRH School Board member, Nikylan Knapper. Greenberg has information about his candidacy on his campaign website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Greenberg listed his qualifications to be mayor of Maplewood on Instagram, mayorbarrygreenberg:
MY 8 MAYORAL QUALIFICATIONS! I have decades of experience serving as a leader in the Maplewood community in different capacities. Below is a list of what I would consider my most important qualifications for being mayor as well as some quick personal thoughts on each qualification (just below).

Vandal breaks Mauhaus Cat Cafe window media reports

A vandal broke a window in the front of Mauhaus Cat Cafe on Wednesday. No cats were harmed in the breaking of the window, Mauhaus reported. Also, donations came in to more than cover the costs from the damage, they said on Facebook.

Fox 2 — Vandal caught on camera smashing a Maplewood business’ windows

KMOV — Vandal uses snow shovel to bust window at Maplewood cat cafe

KSDK — Vandal damages Mauhaus cat cafe in Maplewood

Riverfront Times — Shovel Smashed into Mauhaus Cat Café Storefront in Maplewood

Alex Garcia leaves United Church of Christ Church after 3-plus years in sanctuary

According to multiple reports, Honduran immigrant Alex Garcia walked out the door of United Church of Christ in Maplewood on Wednesday, no longer afraid to be immediately deported. A change in immigration policy under President Biden made it possible.

Maplewood Sustainability Report

The Maplewood Sustainability Commission handles all sorts of topics, from architectural guidelines to native plants to inclusion and diversity. I presented this summary report to the City Council on February 23, 2021, but in the interest of openness, I wanted to share our accomplishments and goals with the 40 South News readership. The Sustainability Commission meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm. We currently use Zoom for video conferencing, and connection information is posted before each meeting at We would love to have you join.

Alex Garcia, Richmond Heights firefighters, more in the news

In the news: Rep. Cori Bush introduces legislation to give residency to Alex Garcia, Richmond Heights firefighters help with vaccination effort. Fox 2 — COVID vaccination effort in St. Louis County expands with firefighters help
KMOV — Rep. Bush’s newest legislation aims to help man in sanctuary at Maplewood church
Ladue News — Neighborhoods Near You: Top Picks in Richmond Heights
Ladue News — Neighborhoods Near You: Top Picks in Maplewood — Groth Guide to Ellendale — February Construction Photo Roundup
Riverfront Times — For The Garcia Family, a Filmmaker Returns Home to St. Louis
Riverfront Times — St. Louis County Partnering With Fire Departments to Get Vaccines to Long-Term Care Residents
STL Jewish Light — Lifetime of love: As 75th anniversary nears, couple reflects on long, happy marriage