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Biddle and Kerens Mausolea, Calvary Cemetery

Tower Drove Park, Downtown and Calvary Cemetery 106

Update: See the Biddle Mausoleum from March of 2015.

I know many people, myself included, have been guilty of saying Bellefontaine Cemetery is better than Calvary because there are more cool mausolea in the former.  But Calvary still represents with a couple of interesting mausolea I discovered last week while I searched for Dred Scott’s grave in vain.  The Biddle Mausoleum, which I garnered from its text panel on the front entry, was originally downtown but was moved with other graves after the infamous cholera epidemic.  I don’t know if that is correct or not, but the two spouses interred here: Thomas Biddle, and Anne Mullanphy Biddle, represent the wedding of two prominent early St. Louis families.

Tower Drove Park, Downtown and Calvary Cemetery 107

Thomas Biddle died in a duel on Bloody Island, after serving with distinction in the War of 1812; there is a rump of a street left named after him.

Tower Drove Park, Downtown and Calvary Cemetery 108

The Mullanphy family has left a built legacy throughout the city, in buildings that reached out to immigrants: the Mullanphy Tenement, and the Mullanphy Emigrant Home.  The mausoleum is in desperate need of restoration funds.

Tower Drove Park, Downtown and Calvary Cemetery 109

I had never heard of the Kerens family, so I looked into their history in St. Louis.  It turns out that it refers to Richard C. Kerens, a successful Irish-American, judge, railroad baron, ambassador, as well as other professions.  He died in 1916, which would stylistically corroborate with the architecture of his august mausoleum.

Tower Drove Park, Downtown and Calvary Cemetery 110

2 Comments

  1. THE BIDDLE MAUSOLEUM WAS IN THE GROUNDS OF THE HOME OF ANN MULLANPHY BIDDLE ON CASS AVE. THE HOME WAS DONATED TO THE VISITATION NUNS WHO LATER MOVED WEST TO A LARGE CONVENT ON CABANNE AVE . SOMETIME IN THIS PERIOD 1860s – 1890s IT WAS MOVED TO CALVARY CEM.

    • That is really helpful! I was just looking at a picture of the old Visitation Convent last week! I did not realize that was Ms. Mullanphy Biddle’s land.

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