Friday, February 27, 2015

Family History Writing Challenge Day 27

Shrewsbury Park 1909
By 1909, the First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth Subdivisions of Shrewsbury Park had been platted. They are outlined in blue on the 1909 map to the left.

On March 21, 1913 a petition signed by 116 residents of Shrewsbury Park was filed with St. Louis County, asking that Shrewsbury be incorporated as a city of the fourth class. It is possible that Shrewsbury Park had previously incorporated as the village of Shrewsbury. If that was the case, then an incorporated village in the State of Missouri was required to have at least 200 residents in order to file for incorporation. If the town had not incorporated as a village first, a minimum of 500 residents was required before filing to become a city. There needed to be at least 3,000 residents in order for it to file as a Third Class city. The population of Shrewsbury did not reach 3,000 until the 1950 census. Signatures of two-thirds of the adult population were required for incorporation. Those favoring incorporation believed that the town was not getting sufficient fire and police protection, and that they would not get better streets, if they were only served by St. Louis County.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that a formal protest containing the signatures of 38 residents was filed on April 14th in opposition to the signed petition. Those opposing incorporation felt that St. Louis County could do more for the citizens than they could do on their own. It is interesting to note that 116 (the number of citizens who signed the petition to incorporate) is not two-thirds of 200, assuming that Shrewsbury was a village and had a minimum of 200 residents in 1913. Because it was not yet incorporated, the town does not appear in the 1910 census so there is no good indicator of the population in 1913. Protest notwithstanding, Shrewsbury was incorporated in 1913. By 1920, its population had reached 845.

Shrewsbury incorporation

For all of his glowing remarks about the beauty, convenience, and health benefits of living in Shrewsbury, Charles Farrar, one of the founders of Shrewsbury Park, never moved out of the City of St. Louis. He died in 1947 at the age of 90.

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