Maplewood History: Memoirists Are Made of This – More Bill Jones

First used as the High School and then the Junior High after the present High School was constructed ca. 1929. Located where Junior High Park (Now Ryan Hummert Park).

Forget stopping, he’s not even slowing down. Just in time for what is left of Valentine’s Day, here is not one but two new historic sketches from the life of Maplewood’s premier memoirist, Bill Jones. A doubleheader!  And keep in mind…they’re typed by Barb.


Lyndover Grade School – Maplewood

Our 4th grade was invited to write a tribute to George Washington for his birthday at a program on February 22nd.  KFUO was our Lutheran radio station and the manager’s little daughter, my classmate. I was an avid reader and my sister loaned me a high school book, “Valley Forge”, to read.  I loved reading and went through “Valley Forge” in five days. I didn’t understand all the long words but my sister helped me and was proud of me.

Our teacher proudly invited each of us to compose a tribute to George Washington, the father of our country.  I worked on mine for eight days. My sister said, “Give the last page a little punch!” I was glad I didn’t let her read my finished words.  She might have tossed it out!

My Composition

George Washington was the father of our country.  He led his armies across the Delaware River and defeated a larger British and Hessian army to save our country.  America forgave him for leaving thousands of sick and wounded soldiers to die at Valley Forge.

Billy Jones, 4th Grade

Lyndover Grade School

Maplewood, MO

My composition was not among the teacher’s top three she sent to KFUO but we were each allowed to read our work aloud to our class.

The KFUO manager’s daughter, Angie, my classmate, said “Billy, I would like to show your page to my Dad.”  She slipped my writing into her work book and the teacher gave her the top three she had chosen.

On February 22, my sister called me out of the bathroom to listen to KFUO on our little radio.  The announcer was saying MY name and the manager’s daughter read MY composition.  My sister slapped my rear and it really stung!  “My baby brother is a writer! Hooray!” My sister said,  “You made your classmate Angie’s top three!”

Billy Jones

First used as the High School and then the Junior High after the present High School was constructed ca. 1929. Located where else…in Junior High Park (Now Ryan Hummert Park).


“To a father there is nothing as dear as a daughter” Euripidies

Rosemary and I were married at mass at the Naval Training Base Chapel in San Diego in 1946,  I was an instructor in the Navy Reserve. When the Navy sent most of the Reservists home, we headed back to St. Louis.

Rosemary was a real St. Louis Cardinal fan and never failed to listen to their games.My aunt and uncle decided to take us to the Cardinal game on July 4th (1947).  Rosemary was very excited. Our aunt waited in line at Sportsman Park, north Grand and Dodier. After a couple of hours, she had excellent tickets.

July 4th, 1947, rolled around and Rosemary was up early.  She hugged me and awakened me with “NO BALL GAME TODAY. BABY COMING!”  I jumped out of bed and asked “Boy or girl?” She smiled and said, “They don’t tell us.”  I called my aunt and uncle and they arrived in thirty minutes. We drove to Josephine Heitkemp Ladies Hospital at Grand and Lafayette and she was inside in 10 minutes.  I was sitting on the curb. My aunt put a damp cloth on my forehead and told the nurse “First-time Daddy” and they both came over and blessed me. The nurse took us upstairs and my uncle took his small radio out of the car and brought it up.  They were “prepping” Rosemary but she wanted to listen to the Cardinal game! The nuns settled us down in Rosemary’s room. They asked if we would like to pray in the chapel but we thanked them and stayed in her room until our doctor came in behind Rosemary smiling and said, “You and Rosemary have a lovely daughter.”  Rosemary squealed “Cindy Lou” and smiled as the nurse put my daughter in her mother’s arms–six pounds, 7 ounces and definitely the most beautiful baby ever!  Rosemary said, “I’ve been a bit busy but if Uncle Buddy plugs in that radio, I’m sure the nuns would like to hear about the Cardinal game!”

The head nun came into the room and I shook her hand and said “My firecracker is a baby girl.”   She laughed and said “Obviously your first child.”  Everyone laughed and I asked, “When can we take her home to show her off?”  She laughed and said, “Soon.” The other little nun said, “That’s the first time anyone has ever shaken the hand of Mother Superior.  She seemed pleased though.”

A few weeks later we were “toured” around town to show off our baby to the family.  Rosemary and I did not own an auto.  Our daughter was our Lord’s finest blessing.  As I held Cynthia Louis Jones in my arms, I could never foresee or hardly dream that half a century later I would hold Cynthia Louise’s great-grandson and our fifth generation, Isaiah Richard Caudel, now age 3.  He is truly our family’s only fifth generation in many centuries.  We praise our Lord for our many blessings.

Bill Jones


  1. I attended Lyndover school from 1st grade (1961) through the 8th grade. The elementary classes were on the east side of the building on the first floor. We always played in the small gym. I don’t recall seeing any Jr High kids, but moved to the second floor in the 4-6th grades. We watched the Arch being built from the 2nd floor windows, the elevation is really high there. One of my fondest memories was knowing that the neighbors watched out for us, Mr. and Mrs. Ray were always out on their front porch next to Bob’s Market. (Stone Spiral now). They owned a beauty shop in downtown Maplewood. We had safe havens, Bob’s Market and Bagby’s Store on the corner of Lyndover and Bellevue. I remember that the cafeteria was new, probably remodeled in the early 60’s. Many of the nearby one bedroom apartment buildings were condusive for teachers, probably for the high school when constructed. Many of our teachers lived in the neighborhood, so you watched your behavior walking home. Our elementary school principal was Mr. Elsberry, I recall that he was a kind man. It was a great place at the time to grow up. Walkability wasn’t a score, it was a lifestyle.

    • Kay Basta, I love that you posted the names of the shops and their locations! I have often wondered what was originally located in the Stone Spiral and many of the other interesting Maplewood buildings. What was on the corner of Bellevue and South, in that nice square-ish two-story building that is now (I think) a private residence? And the tiny (adorable) building on Bellevue across from the Peppertree Apartments? Any idea?

  2. It was always interesting to me how the building held a junior high and an elementary school. I went to 7th and 8th grade there but never saw an elementary kid that I can remember. I do know that we had separate entrances (1960, 1961-62). (Maybe one class of each grade?) It was the “old” high school building and would have had about 450 junior high kids, a small gym, cafeteria, library, etc. Lyndover would have been the 6th elementary school and smaller than most of the others, I believe. Sutton School on Cambridge in Maplewood (now gone) had two classes of each grade level-22-23 or so kids each grades K-6 (I was in them). So, about 150 kids in that one in seven grades. (Elementary schools 1960: Sutton, Valley, Lyndover, East Richmond, West Richmond, Lincoln.) Thx for the memories Bill, Barb and Mark!

  3. Love these stories that they share with us. The one about his daughter is a keeper. I moved here when the junior high was still standing. For some reason, maybe they opened up the building and let us walk thru it before it was torn down, I was inside it. I know I did not break in or climb in thru a window. My kids were little, maybe 3 and 5 and I remember finding some of the old first readers that were used back then, you know Dick and Jane go outside or some such title, and was able to pick them up and bring them home. My kids looked thru them, we probably read them to them.

    Funny but I did not remember it being such a large building.

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