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Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum

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Bellefontaine Cemetery

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Headline: Apolline Alexander Blair (September 14, 1828 – September 5, 1908), the widow of Civil War general and later Senator Francis Preston Blair, Jr., was an American philanthropist. She received notoriety for being the organizer and first president of the St. Louis Children's Hospital Board of Managers.

In the winter of 1878, Apolline gathered 20 prominent women for an afternoon tea in her Chestnut Street home to discuss the plight of poor, sick children. Having lost two children to infectious diseases, Apolline recognized the need for a pediatric hospital. Though there were established hospitals to care for the poor, children were excluded because they lacked the staff and facilities to care for them. Apolline proposed to her friends that they begin a fund drive to establish a children's hospital to provide medical and nursing care for needy children. They organized themselves into a Board of Managers and raised $4,500 to purchase a building at 2834 Franklin Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri–the location for the first St. Louis Children's Hospital. The certificate of incorporation that was filed on May 6, 1879, named only women: Apolline Blair, Mary W. McKittrick, Caroline B. Treat, Margaret H. DeWolf, Rebecca Webb, Cherrell W. Parker, Virginia E. Stevenson, and M. Louise Norris. The 15-bed hospital opened on October 29, 1878, with two patients: a disabled boy and a girl who had become blind. The hospital's bylaws stated, "The object of the Board of Managers of St. Louis Children's Hospital shall be to maintain an institution; non-sectarian in its management and its benefactions; for the treatment of children from birth to 14 years." This was the first children's hospital west of the Mississippi River and is the seventh oldest in the country. Apolline served as the hospital's first president and led the Board of Managers from 1879 until 1883. She continued to serve on the Board, often as an officer, until her death in 1908 at the age of 80. Apolline is laid to res
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Bellefontaine Cemetery

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Headline: Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum is a key cultural institution in St. Louis, offering visitors a beautiful atmosphere for exploring history, art, architecture, and nature. We have a 3.7-mile newly-painted white line to follow while in your car, on your bike, or on foot for your own self-guided tour. An interactive map is available on our website, or you can find a paper copy outside of our office doors. The map highlights 38 historic stops along the white line.

Our sixth stop on the white line tour belongs to one of the featured areas inside Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum is Wildwood Valley Gardens, a beautiful, botanical jewel renowned for long, curving walls, grassy terraces, and serene fountains. There are many unique burial options in this area, including garden lawn crypts, cremation gardens, family cremation nooks, and lush family estates that accommodate entire families small to large.

The Cremation Gardens at Wildwood Valley accommodate in-ground scattering and cremation burial in bio-degradable urns. Benches and a paved pathway line the area between the cremation garden and the stream. Each cremation burial is memorialized via a dedicated panel on the adjacent garden wall.

Lakeside Columbarium, set between Cascade and Cypress Lakes in Wildwood Valley, has a fountain and an arbor with benches for contemplation. Niches are on the outside walls, overlooking the lakes, stream, and surrounding landscape.

We hope you enjoy this short video highlighting Wildwood Valley Gardens, stop #6 on the Bellefontaine Cemetery white line tour. Sign up to receive more information about all 38 stops along the white line at BCA: http://bellefontainecemetery.o
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Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum

193 Days

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Website URL: 170309409666124
Headline: Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum is a key cultural institution in St. Louis, offering visitors a beautiful atmosphere for exploring history, art, architecture, and nature. We have a 3.7-mile newly-painted white line to follow while in your car, on your bike, or foot for your self-guided tour. An interactive map is available on our website, or you can find a paper copy outside of our office doors, highlighting 38 historic stops along the white line.

Our seventh stop on the white line tour belongs to Susan Rassieur Buder. Susan's last name may sound familiar to St. Louisans; there is a park, school, community center, playground, and library named in her honor. A notable German immigrant, Susan owned a jewelry company with her husband, Gustavus, and raised five sons on her own after his early death. At the time, jewelry was a sideline to watches for St. Louis merchants. Susan revolutionized the jewelry business in St. Louis, a testament to her acumen that her enterprise prospered greatly. Susan became very wealthy and was able to focus on charitable works while living at 2025 Park Avenue. Susan was referred to as "The Little Mother of the South Side" because of her generosity and concern. Susan was genuinely interested in the welfare of children. According to her wishes, a public bathhouse, a swimming pool, a playground, and a community center given to the children of St. Louis. Later, her sons gave more than 100 acres along the Meramec River to the city for a recreational farm for the general public's use.

After her death, the South St. Louis community where she had lived petitioned the Board of Education to name a South Side school for her. Each member of the first graduating class of the Susan R. Buder School was awarded a scholarship to Washington University through a fund donated by her sons.

Like many great St. Louisans, Susan is laid to rest here at Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum. Please enjoy this short video highlighting Susan R. Buder, s
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