The Old Chouteau Trading Post / Le Vieil Etablissement Commercial Chouteau

The Old Chouteau Trading Post / Le Vieil Etablissement Commercial Chouteau (HM15M8)

Location: Kansas City, MO 64106 Jackson County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 6.581', W 94° 34.873'

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(Side A)
In 1821, Francois and Berenice Chouteau arrived from St. Louis to establish Kansas City's first commercial emporium, the "Chouteau Trading Post", and in effect to found Kansas City. Francois was the grandson of Pierre Laclede, founder of St. Louis, and his wife Berenice was the daughter of Pierre Menard, a prominent man of French descent. French traders and soldiers had gone upriver as far as the Platte, starting as early as 1680. In its earliest years, the location of the Post was called "Chez les Canses" — meaning "at the village of the Kansa" — and later it was referred to simply as "Chouteau's." The first Chouteau personnel, including Francois' assistant, Louis (GrandLouis) Bertholet, who arrived in 1820, located on the North bank of the Missouri River. Some remained there after the Post was erected on the South bank.

Chouteau descendants say the first religious services here were held at the Post, and the first burials were made nearby. The first Chouteau Post was located near the South end of the Chouteau Bridge considerably down river. It was soon swept away by a flood, and after each ruinous flood the Post was relocated further up the river bank, and to the West. Berenice Chouteau, the "mother and Grand Dame of Kansas City," was a woman of great courage and compassion. When young Francois was killed by a stampeding horse in 1838, Berenice continued on at the Post. An 1841 map drawn by Fr. Point, priest of the French-speaking Church of St. Francis Regis, founded by Berenice, shows the home of "Madame Chouteau" at the eastern tip of the settlement (nearby, at Third and Grand). During a severe cholera epidemic, she nursed the severely ill and dying children - black, white, and Indian, and made shrouds for those who died, including two of her own children, from her linens and her silk wedding gown! She outlived her nine children, and died in 1888 at the age of eighty seven, having gained the love and respect of all Kansas Citians.

(Side B)
En 1821, Fran?ois et B?r?nice Chouteau arriv?rent de St. Louis, afin de cr?er le premier ?tablissement commercial, "la Maison Chouteau" et par l? m?me pour fonder Kansas City. Fran?ois ?tait le petit fils de Pierre Laclede, le fondateur, de St. Louis, et son ?pouse B?r?nice ?tait le fille de Pierre Menard, un homme important de souche fran?aise. D 1680, commer?ants, et soldats fran?ais avait d?j? remont? la rivi?re jusqu'? ce qui est aujourd'hui la rivi?re Platte. Durant les premi?res ann?es de sa cr?ation, l'?tablissement s'est appel? "Chez les Canses" ce qui signif?e "le village des Kansa" - plus tard on l'appela simplement "Chez Chouteau." Les premiers employ de la Maison Chouteau, y compris l'adjoint de Fran?ois, Louis Bertholet (dit Grand Louis) qui arriva en 1820, s'install?rent sur la rive nord du Missouri. Quelques uns rest?rent sur place m?me apr que l'?tablissement commercial fut construit sur la rive Sud.

Les descendants des Chouteau ont rapport? que les premiers services religieux ont ?t? c?l?br dans l'?tablissement et que les premiers enterrements ont ?t? faits non loin. Le premier ?tablissement Chouteau fut construit pr de l'extr?mit? Sud de l'actuel pont Chouteau, tr en aval de la rivi?re. La premi?re construction fut rapidement emport?e par une inondation, et apr chaque crue d?vastatrice l'?tablissement fut reconstruit plus haut sur la rive et vers l'ouest. B?r?nice Chouteau "la m?re et la Grand Dame de Kansas City" fut une femme pleine de courage et de compassion. Lorsque son mari Fran?ois, encore jeune, fut tu? par la ruade d'un cheval en 1838, B?r?nice continua ? tenir l'?tablissement. Une carte de 1841, ?tablie par le r?v?rend Point, pr?tre ? la paroisse St. Francis Regis fond?e par B?r?nice (o? l'on parlait fran?ais), montre la maison de "Madame Chouteau" ? l'extr?mit? Est des installations (pr du carrefour de la 3?me rue et da l'avenue Grand). Durant une grave ?pid?mie de chol?ra, elle soigna les enfants mourants et les plus s?v?rement atteints - noirs, blancs ou Indiens et confectionna des linceuls pour les morts y compris deux de ses enfants avec ses v?tements et m?me avec sa robe de mari?e en soie! Elle surv?cut ? ses neuf enfants et mourut en 1888 ? l'?ge de 87 ans, en ayant acquis l'estime et le respect de tour les habitants de Kansas City.
HM NumberHM15M8
Placed ByThe Chouteau Society and The City of Kansas City
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 6th, 2014 at 4:44pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 363287 N 4330138
Decimal Degrees39.10968333, -94.58121667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 6.581', W 94° 34.873'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 6' 34.86" N, 94° 34' 52.38" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)816, 913
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 400 Grand Blvd, Kansas City MO 64106, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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