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Heny Vahlkamp and St. Matthew’s Cemetery

I recently wrote about the fascinating figure of Henry Vahlkamp, who worked for the Lemps from 1870 into the 1920s, making him one of the longest serving member of the brewery, far longer than every member of the family save William J. Lemp, Sr., whose length of service is a bit cloudy since he arrived in St. Louis in 1848, but we don’t know exactly when he started in the Western Brewery with his father Adam, and he also worked at the Stifel Brewery (which would eventually relocated to the future site of Falstaff Plant No. 10) for a little while before taking over his own family’s in 1862. Regardless, Vahlkamp beats everyone else by far, including John Baitinger, a brewmaster who started under Adam, as well.

Henry Vahlkamp’s family plot in St. Matthew’s Cemetery is large, and looks to be mostly empty still, despite having a huge family.

Rather appropriately, there are barley or wheat sheaves draped on the top of the monument, as would be fitting for a man who worked for a brewery for over half a century. The Busch Mausoleum also features barley, and also hops blossoms.

Henry and his second wife’s names are carved into the base below his name.

While other members are carved into the body of the monument. Other descendants are memorialized with plaques in the grass.

St. Matthew’s Cemetery, like many of the Protestant cemeteries in St. Louis City, was affiliated with the church of the same name, which I’ve looked at before at the northwest corner of Jefferson and Potomac. The cemetery is relatively new, only dating back to 1877, a year after its founding. Interestingly, the original location of St. Matthew’s is still standing on Cave Street, only a stone’s throw from the cave that made Vahlkamp’s employer so successful back in the 1840s. The cemetery became independent when the St. Matthew’s congregation folded in 2014.

There is a beautiful funerary chapel near the entrance on Bates Avenue (though the longest exposure is along Morganford), that almost surely had a taller spire over the entrance that was removed due to deterioration.

2 Comments

  1. You might stay be aware, but St. Matthews also is the final resting place of “Louisiana Purchase”. Wampler (O’Leary). She was the first person to be born on the grounds of the World’s Fair (though in 1902, before the fair actually began; she was the daughter of a tradesman who was working there), hence the unusual moniker. She had some teachers growing up who tried to get her to shorten it, but she was apparently quite proud of it. She died in 2003, just shy of her 101st birthday.

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