Brickeys

Quickfacts:

  • Township: Jackson
  • Also known as Brickeys Landing

Quicklinks:

History:
        John Compton Brickey,
the founder of the Brickeys area, arrived in 1837 at age 21. 
He purchased, from Toussant Lakier and Henry Bequette, 83 acres;
later purchasing another 40 from the United States government. 
He set up a landing at which many boats stopped.  Later, in
1869, John also built a flour mill with stone imported from Ozora.
        Sometime after the Civil War, the
area fell on hard times and John had to sell part of his land. 
The rest was later foreclosed on by Chad Brooks and the Foster Land
Company.  In 1888, the mill and landing closed.  (The mill
was again reopened sometime in the early 1930’s by a Mr. Doerge and
produced and sold Ste. Genevieve Brand White Flour.  Fire
destroyed the mill and a store building on January 12, 1986.)
        John’s son Franklin later bought back
the land (1897?), but in 1902, he sold it to Justin Potter; sometime
later the land was again sold, this time to Judge E. J. Rombauer.
        Early in the 1900’s the Frisco
Railroad came through the area, adding to business, Weldon Pinkley
running the depot.  John Brickey’s home was turned into a
boarding house and a store, post office (abt 1905), quarry, and lime
kiln were also all built.  Mrs. Theodore Carron ran the
boarding house while her husband ran the others.
        The main road through Brickeys, known
as "String Town," was a long row of houses in Brickey Hollow, later
to which were added a saloon, dance hall, barber shop, and school. 
The school, opened about 1908 at the end of String Town ran until
1949 when it was merged into the school at Bloomsdale.  Some
early teachers were Armella Peterson, from Ste. Genevieve, riding
the train to Brickeys everyday; Mrs. Morice, Ste. Genevieve; Mr. "Juddy"
Ditch, from Kinsey; Louis Drury, was also a state representative;
Elmer Holst; Pershing Bayer; and Manella Ritter.
        Sometime in the 1930’s, the trains
stopped getting passengers at Brickeys and the depot was closed. 
The post office, having been moved to the boarding house by this
time, remained open with trains only dropping mail at the now flag
stop.  This continued until 1951 when the post office was
closed.  An early postmaster was Albert Reed who ran the post
office for many years.  when he passed away, his
daughter-in-law Dorthey Reed took over, carrying the mail from
Brickeys to Bloomsdale to Lawrenceton and back again.
        Also in the 1930’s the lime kiln and
rock quarry were also closed.  Charles Bussen of Ste. Genevieve
reopened and again closed the quarry and a marble quarry was opened
and closed by a Mr. Weiler.  However in 1960, Albert and Velery
Menefee bought and reopened the quarry.  The last residents of
Brickeys were Henry and Mamie Aubuchon who were also the caretakers
for Albert Menefee.  (I do not know who owns the quarry today,
but it is still in operation and is the only thing in Brickeys).

Other Buildings and Businesses:
The Fair View: Chism’s Store
        The Fair View was a
store opened by Elijah and Mildred Chism in April of 1940.  The
building still stands today, although unoccupied, at the junction of
Brickey Road and Highway 61.  (However, at that time there was
no Hwy 61, but a Hwy 25, a bit further east.)  The store opened
with $50 and sold bread, ice, soda, beer, cigarettes, and gas. 
They later added a feed store, icehouse, and bar, and opened a small
motel in the 1950’s.  Since business was not booming right
away, the Chisms bought two little black bears from a zoo in
Wisconsin to help – and it did the trick.  (Later however,
after one of the bears died, they tried to give away the other bear
to zoos, but none would have it.  Their daughter Wilma, age 16,
shot the bear with 50 spectators watching and it was butchered, and
a shooting match held to sell the meat, 120 choices.)  The
store had the most business when Interstate 55 was under
construction, but afterwards, it fell upon a slow decline until it
finally closed in 1980.  Elijah died in 1972 and Mildred in
1997.

Image

The Fair View as seen by the webmaster January 2005.

The Alice Inn
       
The Alice Inn was a store, gas
station, and tavern built by William Lewis in the late 1920’s at the
junction of Highway OO/DD and old Highway K.  Later, he added a
large dance hall.  It also served as a bus stop for the St.
Louis-Cape Girardeau bus line.  However, in the 1950’s it was
destroyed by fire and was torn down by Eunice Grundmeyer who bought
the property.  She rebuilt a large tavern and dance hall (one
building) and later a small restaurant that was run by Charles and
Leona Grundmeyer.  Later, the building was used as a bicycle
repair shop, a pizza parlor, but is now a private residence and
trailer court.

The Beacon
        Built in the 1930’s
along Highway 61, north of Brickeys by Charles Grundmeyer, it served
as a gathering place for dance and card playing.  Still
standing, it has had several owners and been many businesses since.

Brands Place
        Brands place is an
old farm home built about 1850 on Holsts Rd about one mile from 61. 
The upstairs at one time served as the office for Dr. Albert Brands
(1856-1909) who was born near Bloomsdale.

Lebanon Baptist Church, 1859
       
The land for the church was given
by John Lee and his slaves helped build the original building (which
is now gone).  In its early days, the church served as a
community meeting house with sermons from different denominations
each week.  "Frame, remodeled and joined to church built
1957-1958.  In use as educational building.  Church
[congregation] organized, 1833, as members of Jefferson County
Baptist Association."2
 

Various Newspaper Articles:

The Ste. Genevieve Herald
August 13, 2003
122 Years with the Ste. Genevieve Herald
75 Years Ago – 1928
A group of Republican women voters from Brickeys and that
neighborhood met at Brickeys Wednesday, October 31.  Mrs. A. P.
Stelter of Ste. Genevieve spoke to them about the value of voting
and demonstrated to them the proper manner of making out their
tickets.

Maps:


Image

1920, Clason


Sources:

1. The Early History of Northern Ste. Genevieve County; Juanita
and Pat Holst
2. Missouri Historic Sites Catalogue; edited by Dorothy J. Caldwell;
published by the State Historical Society of Missouri; Columbia, MO;
1963

8 Comments

  1. The Menefee family still own the quarry and they lease it to the current operators APAC which is owned by Old Castle.

  2. My grandfather, Millard Barebo, was the manager of the limestone quarry when my mother was growing up (She was born in 1916). I have a photo of the limestone operation. I can send you a jpg of it to add to this entry.

  3. My grandparents lived at Brickey’s . Two of their daughters use to get up early and walk to the school and start the fire to have the building warm by the time school started. My grandfather worked at the landing where the boats came in. They had ten children. My mother was the last child born while they lived there. They moved to Crystal City shortly after my mother turned a year old. My grandparents wanted to give their children a better education. The school at Brickey’s on went to the eighth grade.

  4. There is a road named Brickey headed west and I can follow it to French Village over toward Bonne Terre. Do you know what its intended destination was? Please.

    1. Author

      Please send a link to the beginning of this road in Bonne Terre as I’m unable to find it. There is one Brickey Rd that goes from Hwy Y then pretty much North, turns into French Village Rd and connects to Dry Fork near DD. My guess would be maybe an original road from wherever it started to the Brickey area because if you then got on DD and followed it toward the Mississippi River, it turns into OO then at 61 it is no longer highway and is Brickeys Road.

  5. My name is Dennis Carron, In the 1970s my family lived in brickeys hollow by the old rock crusher. My parents was Raymond and Mary Carron. I have two brothers Larry , and Tony, and a sister Tracy Carron. My Aunt and Uncle also lived there Henry and Mamie Aubuchon. They were the caretakers at that time. My brothers and sister and I always talk about what a great place Brickeys Mo . was to grow up in. We had 3000 acres to run around in. and all the wildlife to hunt and fish. Plus it was right next to the Mississippi river. We can literally say we grew up in the boondocks ! Its a shame what the Quarry has done to the place. None of us can drive back Brickeys road without crying , its way too hard ! but the memories remain. We feel lucky to have grown up there. it was as close to heaven as weve ever felt . Id really appreciate it , if anyone can contact me with some pictures of the old town, Prior the the 1980s A lot of my relatives from the older generations grew up there as well !

    1. My grandparents, Ralph & Selma Nugent, lived in the main house of Brickey’s from the early 40s – 1970.
      Grandpa was overseer of the property for Mrs. Rombauer. He had also worked on the railroad and read the river gauge for the Core of Engineers.
      I have a lot of memories to share, but will wait until I see this posted as I previously had written a more lengthy article that has not been posted.

  6. My grandparents, Ralph & Selma Nugent, lived in the house referred to in the history as a boarding house from the early 1940s until Grandpa moved to WI in 1970, shortly after Grandma passed away. He was the over-seer of the property which I had always understood to be 5000 acres. I also believed that the big house had been a hotel during the riverboat days.

    My Uncle Richard Nugent went to the little school and I remember riding with him on his horse, Nellie, to go to the school for an Easter Egg Hunt or something. I was very small then.

    Grandpa worked for Mrs. Rombauer, a lovely lady who lived in a house way up on the cliff overlooking the river and the IL side. Mamie and Henry Aubuchon, children Melvin and Betty, lived up on a hill from the little area I now know was called String Town. I enjoyed many hours there with them. We kept in touch until we were all married.

    I spent many summers in Brickeys, my favorite place on earth. I truly believed it to be a magical place!
    The Post Office was in one end of my grandparent’s house and Grandma & I spent time visiting with Post Mistress, Dorothy Reed. I was fascinated with how the mail was put into a canvas pouch to be snatched by a train conductor with a big hook. Another bag was thrown off the train to be picked up by Dorothy.

    Grandpa had to read the river gauge and put info. on a post card to be sent to the Cor. of Engineers. I remember one summer when the river got so high it surrounded the big house and I was sent to Flat River to stay with other relatives until the water receded.

    I loved being right on the river, watching the barges, listening to the water lapping up on the rocks, the big horns to warn other river traffic. At night, it was an awesome sight to see the lights from a passing barge as they swept the night sky. The trains were another fascination for me. I believed it was my duty to rush outside to wave to the engineer and the man in the caboose. I believed they knew I would be waiting for them!

    Grandpa also worked on the railroad. There was a bldg. across the tracks from the house that housed what we called a “put-put.” It was hand driven cart that would be pulled out and onto the tracks. Another man would come and he and Grandpa would pump the handles up and down to make it go. One night in particular, it was storming so badly and they had to go out on the tracks. I was so afraid they wouldn’t come back.

    I have so many more memories to share about this beautiful place so many of us remember. I’m glad to have found this site and hope to read & share more in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *