Maplewood History: Cora Clamorgan – Part Three

As the reader may or may not recall my first two posts about this unfortunate but important tale of the Clamorgan family were copies of the articles carried in two St. Louis newspapers the day the story broke, June 9, 1911. This post is a copy of the article that appeared the next day in the St. Louis Star. It contains one of the only rays of light I’ve found in this dark tale.

Cora Clamorgan – Part One

Cora Clamorgan – Part Two

The one ray of light I mentioned was when the Board of the Maplewood Church of Christ decided not to ask Cora’s sister, Blanche, to leave the church.  This was reported by Mrs F. Wiss.

The Wiss family was the subject of a blog post, Early Photographs from the Wiss Family, back in June of 2018.  We actually have several images of Mrs. Frank (Jennie) Wiss! What tremendous good fortune for us to be able to identify this brave woman.  I take my hat off to the other forward thinking board members of the church as well.

Jennie Wiss, you are a role model for us all. We are learning of your act of decency 109 years after the fact.  Thanks again to Larry and Jean Wiss McDaniels for sharing these images with us.

An early image of Jennie’s church which was built in 1891.

An early program from the same.

An image from a 2015 PowerPoint presentation.  The historic church images are courtesy of Donna Ratkowski.

In this image from the early 1960’s the church steeple is still intact. Courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library.

By the time this image was made in 2010 the steeple was long gone.

A straight-on view from 2016. The building is owned by Michael, the owner of the restaurant of the same name just a few doors to the east. I don’t know his last name.

Today the church (now known as the United Church of Christ) is located at the corner of Bellevue and Bruno.


It is very satisfying when a connection like this from across time can be made.  Jennie Wiss could never have dreamed that she would someday be admired by who-knows-how-many folks today.  She probably would know about a pandemic.  The 1918 one was just seven years after this incident took place.  She may have experienced many of the same fears that we are all facing today.

With that in mind, don’t let your guard down.  We’re not out of this yet.

Stay healthy.

Doug Houser            May 30, 2020





7 thoughts on “Maplewood History: Cora Clamorgan – Part Three

  1. Glad her friends also stuck by them, what eventually happened to her, and her child?
    Did they get awarded the millions? did she remarry. What about the jerk who left her. I have more questions now! LOL

    • Hey Mary, I’m spreading out these posts on the Clamorgans but there will be several more. It’s a lot to read. I’m afraid if I post too much at one time most folks won’t want to wade through it. Stay tuned. All will be revealed before it’s over.

  2. Sorry to be so late in responding to this. The church you are depicting here was part of the German Evangelical denomination, the “other” German Protestant denomination along with the Lutherans. in the 1930s they merged with the German Reformed denomination to form the Evangelical and Reformed (E & R) denomination, and in 1957 they merged with the Congregational Christian denomination to form the United Church of Christ (U.C.C.). The Church of Christ, Scientist, was an entirely different denomination, founded in Boston by Mary Baker Eddy and initially very strong in St. Louis, which is why the Principia Upper School and Principia College are in this area. There were eight congregations in the City alone, only two of which are still active (barely).

    • Esley, So apparently this church was not the Church of Christ, Scientist? Correct? Thank you for all of the infromation you have provided.

  3. The church referred to in the news article was Church of Christ, Scientist, which is Christian Science. Christian Science had a lot of churches at the time, but dwindling now. They also had “reading rooms”.

    Church of Christ is a different denomination.

    Was there a Maplewood Church of Christ, Science, as well as a Church of Christ? Just wondering. In any case this is fascinating history and thanks for presenting it.

    • Hammerhead, I don’t know and you’re welcome. I’m wondering if the reporter who wrote the article misidentified the church?