|1844 map of St. Louis|
|Kimball & James Business Directory|
The business was undoubtedly affected by the flooding of the Mississippi River in 1844 as its location was only one block west of the river. The winter of 1843-1844 was bitterly cold with heavy snowfalls to the north of St. Louis. When the snows melted, the river began to rise. The problem was compounded when St. Louis received seventeen inches of rainfall in the months of May and June, causing the Mississippi River to overflow its banks. Water was ten to twenty feet deep in the streets of downtown. The flood in St. Louis reached its greatest height between the 24th and 27th of June, and was thirty-eight feet and seven inches above the low water mark.
By 1847 an ad appears in the St. Louis Directory for the first time referencing the business as Murdoch & Dickson Auction & Commission Merchants. The men are now business partners, and this would prove to be a crucial turning point in the fate of John Murdoch and his family down the road. In August of the same year, 31-year-old Dickson married Mary E. Thomas, the 26-year-old daughter of United States Army Captain Martin Thomas and his wife Margaret. Captain Thomas built the United States Arsenal in St. Louis. Charles and Mary would go on to have seven children, one of whom they named John Murdoch Dickson, a testimony to the relationship between the Dicksons and John Murdoch.
Murdoch & Dickson as a firm did not limit itself to the auctioneering business, but expanded into real estate as well. The city limits of St. Louis were expanding due to the increased population, and in 1848, Murdoch & Dickson established the Fairview Addition. The addition was located between Sidney and Victor Streets, from Rosati to Morton.
|Fairview Addition, St. Louis|