Maplewood History: When Did Sutton and Marshall Avenues Exchange Names and Why?

Those are two questions that I would like to know the answers to but don’t.  All I can say for sure is that sometime between 1893 and 1909 those street names were swapped.  Seven years ago I made a post about the Sutton/Marshall family connection.  You would do well to take another look at it because I don’t want to repost everything and the information is relevant, sort of, to this post.  So go ahead and take a look at The Sutton/Marshall Family Connection.  We’ll wait here.

OK, if you didn’t know about the Sutton/Marshall family connection, now you know.  That very first image of the Marshall family home is from the collection of the Maplewood Public Library.  It is very large for a tintype image at least in my experience.  I don’t think it is quite an 8×10 but approaching that.  The last image is lifted from the map of Maplewood in the 1909 Plat Book of St. Louis County.  You can see the footprint of their home still in its original location even though some commercial buildings have been constructed along the road frontage on Manchester and Sutton.

First, we’ll take a look at this 1925 copy of an 1881 Survey of James C. Sutton’s Estate. James had passed in 1877, four years earlier.  Courtesy of Marty Fischer.

It is pretty easy to see that in 1881 the names had not been switched. It makes sense in my mind that the street (if you could call it that) closest to the Marshall’s home should bear their name.

Within the large collection of images and documents that Mary Piles has shared with us is an interesting map from this 1893 Atlas of St. Louis County.  Mary Piles, as I’m sure you’ll recall, is the curator of things historic at CNB-STL. Their new name is certainly a lot easier to type than the former Citizen’s National Bank of Maplewood and St. Louis, 6 locations (Whew).

The original Maplewood subdivision (shown in green) had been platted in 1890 by a real estate company by the name of Papin and Tontrup. The corner where the Marshall home was located was apparently not included in that development.  The street names had not yet been switched.



Sounds pretty good to me. On the MO. PACIFIC R.R. (The electric streetcar line wouldn’t get here for another 5 years), GRANITOID SIDEWALKS, TELFORD STREETS and GOOD SEWERS.  The owners of those HANDSOME RESIDENCES must have been on to somethin’.

This article, written in 1890, illustrates why GOOD SEWERS would have been an attraction. The practice of running a home sewer into a sinkhole was common.


The good ol’ days?  Anyone wanting to go back to them is delusional.  It is up to us to make the days ahead as good as we possibly can… for everyone.  Our time on this planet is growing shorter.  2020 was in a lot of ways one of those years that stressed many of us to the breaking point.  In 2021, aim high, not low.

As always, I appreciate the support of everyone who contributes to or just enjoys this blog.  There is still no end in sight.

Doug Houser             November 23, 2020

Reader DJP has managed to add to the confusion by sending me this copy of Plate 49 that is also from the 1893 Plat book mentioned above.  Here Sutton Ave. is labeled in the manner with which we are familiar.  Then 4 pages later it is switched as you can see in Plate 53 above.

Muddying the water even further, Barry Greenberg reminded me that his home is described in this ad as being on the corner of Vine and Marshall in 1892.  Hmmm.

7 thoughts on “Maplewood History: When Did Sutton and Marshall Avenues Exchange Names and Why?

  1. OK, I’m baffled. It seems unlikely to me that the 1881 survey and the 1893 Plat Book could both be wrong. The 1881 survey is a copy made by a Sutton family descendant on Dec. 25, 1925. If that was an error do you think they would have left it? That it appears again in the 1893 Plat book makes me think it was correct. Why does the present name appear on Plate 49 in the same book? Beats me.

  2. Didn’t the Roaring 20s come in after the last pandemic? And here we are, in the 20’s again, soon to be out and about again (hopefully). Do you think the names were really switched? Or was that in error?

    • Hey Patty, Perhaps history will repeat itself with another roaring 20’s, 100 years later? Let’s just not repeat 1929. We are smart enough to avoid a repeat performance but we’ve got to elect smart people. I believe the names were really switched. We have evidence from a couple of different sources. Some more information has been put forth that clouds the issue. I’ll post it above.

    • Your idea of fun is different from mine, Margaret. I did a little cave exploring as a teenager. Thinking of some of the experiences I had back then causes me to shudder. Now I like lots of light and fresh air. Thanks for your comment. It is good to hear from you.