Herculaneum, Missouri

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Herculaneum, Missouri
City
Nickname(s): Herky
Location of Herculaneum, Missouri
Location of Herculaneum, Missouri
Coordinates: 38°15′33″N 90°23′16″W / 38.25917°N 90.38778°W / 38.25917; -90.38778Coordinates: 38°15′33″N 90°23′16″W / 38.25917°N 90.38778°W / 38.25917; -90.38778
Country United States
State Missouri
County Jefferson
Incorporated July 27, 1819 (April 1972)
Government
 • Type Mayor and Board of Aldermen
 • Mayor Bill Haggard
 • City Administrator Jim Kasten
Area[1]
 • Total 4.10 sq mi (10.62 km2)
 • Land 4.06 sq mi (10.52 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.10 km2)
Elevation 422 ft (129 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 3,468
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 3,688
 • Density 854.2/sq mi (329.8/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 63048 63028 63070
Area code(s) 636
FIPS code 29-31708[4]
GNIS feature ID 0719395[5]
Website www.cityofherculaneum.org
Depiction in mural at Missouri State Capitol
Doe Run Company lead smelter

Herculaneum is a city in Jefferson County, Missouri, United States. The population was 3,468 at the 2010 census. The City of Herculaneum was the first county seat of Jefferson County from January 1, 1819 to 1839. The city celebrated its Bicentennial throughout the year in 2008. The City of Herculaneum has received the Tree City USA designation by the Arbor Day Foundation for the past five years - 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The City of Herculaneum is also the "honorary" hometown of the 40th Airlift Squadron "The Screaming Eagles" from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas.

Geography[edit]

Herculaneum is located at 38°15′33″N 90°23′16″W / 38.25917°N 90.38778°W / 38.25917; -90.38778 (38.259247, -90.387790).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.10 square miles (10.62 km2), of which, 4.06 square miles (10.52 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.[1]

Origins[edit]

Herculaneum was laid out by Moses Austin and Samuel Hammond in 1808 as a shipping point on the Mississippi River closer to Austin's lead mines in Potosi than was Ste. Genevieve. The town was named after the ancient Roman town of Herculaneum, destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, and Austin is said to have chosen the name because the limestone ledges overlooking the Mississippi River resembled a Roman amphitheatre. Shot towers were constructed next to the bluffs to manufacture lead ammunition, and lead cannonballs from Herculaneum were used in the War of 1812. Lead smelting by the Doe Run Company is still the major industry in this town.

Brief history[edit]

In 1798, Moses Austin, a settler from Connecticut, obtained a Spanish land grant of one square league (approximately 3 square miles) of land after learning of the richness of the area’s rich mineral deposits. After bringing in equipment and workmen from Virginia, Austin began mining and smelting lead despite frequent problems with the neighboring Osage tribe.In 1808 Moses Austin and Samuel Hammond laid out a town at the mouth of Joachim Creek. The purpose of the new town was to serve as a shipping point for the lead smelted at mines in Jefferson and Washington Counties. It is believed the town was named by Moses Austin, who called it Herculaneum because the limestone strata was so eroded that they resembled seats in the amphitheater of the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum buried by Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D.[7]

The first post office in Jefferson County was at Herculaneum, established soon after the town was laid out, and it remained the only post office in the county for nearly thirty years.

By 1813 three shot towers had been constructed on the bluffs. A shot tower is designed for the production of shot balls by dropping molten lead through copper sieves. The balls were then caught in a water basin and taken to an adjoining building to be turned through cylinders to round and smooth the pellets for use as projectiles in firearms. On December 8, 1818, Jefferson County, along with seven other counties, was formed from parts of Saint Louis and Ste. Genevieve Counties by an "Act of the Territory" by the Missouri State Legislature and in 1819 Herculaneum was named as county seat.

At this time Herculaneum was described as a town having between thirty and forty homes, three stores, a post office, a jail, a court building, and a school. Herculaneum's fortunes declined when the county seat was relocated to Hillsboro in 1839 and when the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway bypassed Herculaneum in the early 1850s. The community experienced a revival starting in 1887 when the St. Joseph Lead Company chose Herculaneum as a lead smelting site and the Mississippi River & Bonne Terre Railroad ran track into town.

In 1892 the first operation of the smelter begins with the operation of calcine furnaces, two blast furnaces, a refinery, and a powerhouse for the generation of steam and electricity. The smelting operations are the largest in the United States producing approximately 225,000 tons of refined lead annually and are operated by the Doe Run Company, which bought the operations in 1981.

In 1970, acting on an incorporation petition from 1819, a committee for the incorporation of Herculaneum filed a petition with the Jefferson County Circuit Court asking the court to order Herculaneum incorporated and to appoint commissioners to oversee an election of Board of Trustees. On September 15, 1971, the Jefferson County Circuit Court took under advisement the petition to reactivate the incorporation of Herculaneum. Attorneys presented evidence that Herculaneum was incorporated on July 27, 1819, two years before Missouri became a state. Attorneys also claimed that the boundaries of the town were well established by common knowledge. On January 7, 1972, the Jefferson County Circuit Court notified the Herculaneum incorporation committee that the 1819 incorporation was being reactivated and that Herculaneum would officially function as a city.

An election was held on April 4, 1972,for the purpose of electing a five person board of trustees. On April 9, 1972, the five elected trustees were sworn into office. Donald Stotler was unanimously elected to serve as the first chairman of the board of trustees. On September 5, 1972, the City of Herculaneum officially opened the doors to city offices located in old Douglass School building at the end of Wedge Street. On April 3, 1973, the first board of alderman and mayor were elected.

In 2013, Doe Run Company announced it will cease operations of its smelter in Herculaneum,citing rising regulatory costs. The Dec. 31 closing of the smelter on the west bank of the Mississippi River, south of St. Louis, marks the end of an era in a region that has supplied most of the nation’s lead since the 1700s.[8]

Demographics[edit]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 3,468 people, 1,309 households, and 927 families residing in the city. The population density was 854.2 inhabitants per square mile (329.8/km2). There were 1,449 housing units at an average density of 356.9 per square mile (137.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.4% White, 1.8% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.1% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

There were 1,309 households of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.3% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.2% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.00.

The median age in the city was 37.8 years. 23.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29% were from 25 to 44; 24.4% were from 45 to 64; and 16.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 2,805 people, 1,028 households, and 736 families residing in the city. The population density was 815.8 people per square mile (314.8/km²). There were 1,078 housing units at an average density of 313.5 per square mile (121.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.65% White, 2.60% African American, 0.18% Asian, 0.04% from other races, and 0.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.64% of the population.

There were 1,028 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.0% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.4% were non-families. 25.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.6% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 21.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 88.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,365, and the median income for a family was $50,615. Males had a median income of $33,603 versus $25,581 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,613. About 2.4% of families and 5.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.0% of those under age 18 and 14.3% of those age 65 or over.

City government[edit]

The City of Herculaneum is a fourth class city in the State of Missouri governed by a six person Board of Aldermen and a Mayor. The day-to-day operations of the city are under the direction of a City Administrator.

The current City Hall is located at #1 Parkwood Court and includes the offices of the Mayor/City Administrator, City Clerk, Building Department, Public Works Supervisor, Water Department, Municipal Court and Police Department.

Bill Haggard is the current mayor.

Churches and religion[edit]

The City of Herculaneum is home to several churches including Assumption Catholic Church, Buren Chapel AME, United Methodist Church, Assembly of God Church, Journey Community Church, New Testament Baptist Church and the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints.

The first Protestant service west of the Mississippi River took place in 1793 as a group of settlers stood on the river bank and listened to John Clark, a Methodist minister, preach from a boat in the river. The sermon was delivered, not on Missouri soil, but near Bates Rock at the mouth of the Joachim Creek as it flows into the Mississippi River. The Bates Rock location is in present day Herculaneum.

Cemeteries[edit]

Cemeteries located in Herculaneum include the Herculaneum City Cemetery (established December 3, 1915) on North Scenic Drive, Assumption Catholic Cemetery (established 1916) on Scenic Drive, Rankin Memorial Cemetery (established June 29, 1881) on Short Street, Daniel Dunklin family gravesite (established 1866) at the end of Dunklin Drive and three smaller family cemeteries.

Education[edit]

Dunklin R-5 School District (Herculaneum, Pevely and Horine) is based in Herculaneum with Administrative Offices located at 400 Joachim Avenue. The Herculaneum High School and the Senn-Thomas Middle School (grades 6-8) are both located in the city of Herculaneum. The Pevely Elementary School (grades K-5) are located in Pevely, Missouri. The original Herculaneum Public School (built in 1912) housed all grades until a Christmas Day Fire in 1947. Following renovation, the building reopened as the Herculaneum High School in 1949 and housed the high school students until demolition during the summer of 2010. The current high school was built on the same location as the 1949 building and opened in August 2011. One of the most prominent features of the Herculaneum High School Campus are the stone bleachers at the football and track field. The bleachers were a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project that began in 1935 and were completed in 1936. The Roy E. Taylor Elementary building also located in Herculaneum is owned by the district and is currently used by the Early Childhood Learning Center. Herculaneum had its own Douglass Elementary School (closed in 1957) that was operated by the public school system prior to integration in the mid 1950s. A school building was also in operation from 1937 to 1966 as part of the Herculaneum Assumption Catholic Church. Today, a large portion of the school age children in Herculaneum attend the neighboring Festus School District and Crystal City School District.

Fire department[edit]

The Herculaneum Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 1951 and celebrated its 60th Anniversary during the year 2011. The fire department contracts with the City of Herculaneum to provide fire protection to most of the city. The fire department operates from one fire station and has 16 volunteer firefighters and 1 paid firefighter. The City of Herculaneum has an ISO rating of 5. The fire department is dispatched by the Jefferson County 9-1-1 Dispatch Center.

The fire department provides fire/rescue/EMS service to the residents of Herculaneum. The fire department fleet includes a 2012 Rosenbauer Pumper/Rescue, a 2009 Rosenbauer rescue/brush apparatus, a 1989 American Eagle pumper, a mobile command/technical rescue trailer, a water rescue boat and a 2007 Gator utility vehicle. The fire department supports the Joachim-Plattin Ambulance District on all calls that are of life-threatening nature.

Police department[edit]

The City of Herculaneum provides police protection through a city Police Department. The Herculaneum Police Department Office is located at Herculaneum City Hall, although dispatch and jail services are contracted through the City of Pevely, Missouri.

Parks[edit]

Herculaneum City Park located on South Joachim Avenue is the largest park in Herculaneum. The park is home to three baseball fields, the Joachim Loop Trail and All Bark Village Dog Park. The universally accessible playground, Kade's Playground, is slated for construction beginning in 2013. The annual "Movies in the Park" series are shown on an outdoor cinema screen in the park. The City Park is host to the annual Jeffco Fire Engine Rally that is held annually in September. Other annual events held at the park include the city Easter Egg Hunts, Evening with Santa, Things That Go, the City Festival and 4 July Celebration, Veterans Day Program and other events sponsored by various organizations.

Bates Memorial Park located on each side of the Joachim Creek on South Joachim Avenue. The park named in honor of former Municipal Judge Nicholas Bates includes a boat ramp, a pavilion, fishing areas and a portion of the Joachim Loop Trail. the park contains large open spaces on each side of the creek for the establishment of wetlands.

Dunklin-Fletcher Memorial Park is located on North Main Street and overlooks the Mississippi River. The park is dedicated in honor of Missouri Governors Daniel Dunklin (who is buried in Herculaneum) and Thomas C. Fletcher (who was born in Herculaneum). The park contains a scenic view of the river and contains benches and picnic tables.

Shot Tower Memorial Park is located at the intersection of Dunklin Drive and North Main Street. The park was officially dedicated in 2003 in honor of the three shot towers located in Herculaneum during the early 1800s. The park sidewalks are lined with memorial bricks celebrating the history and townspeople of Herculaneum. Park benches and parking are available at the park.

Governor Daniel Dunklin State Park is located at the end of Dunklin Drive and overlooks the Mississippi River. The park includes the grave of Governor Dunklin and family members. The park was established in 1965 and is under the supervision of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The park is the smallest park in the Missouri state park system. The park has been designated a state historic site by the Department of Natural Resources. The grave site underwent extensive improvements in 2011-12 that includes improvements to accessibility, ADA accessibility, new parking area and numerous plantings of trees and vegetation.

Attractions[edit]

Herculaneum is home to the Joachim Golf Course located on 959 Scenic Drive. The nine hole golf course was built in 1934 by the St. Joe Lead Company. The course is now owned by the Doe Run Company and is leased to the Joachim Golf Club. The course is a regulation nine hole golf course with four sets of tee boxes to accommodate golfers of all skills. The course is noted for having some very difficult par 3 holes. The course contains 11-20 sand bunkers, one lake and one small pond that comes into play on three holes. The fairways grass type is zosia grass and the greens grass is bent grass.

Missouri Governor Daniel Dunklin's gravesite is located at the end of Dunklin Drive overlooking the Mississippi River. Daniel Dunklin served as the 5th Governor of Missouri from November 19, 1832 to September 30, 1836. Other family members buried at include Emily (the Governor's wife), James F. Dunklin (the Governor's great grandson), James L. Dunklin (the Governor's son), Emily McIvan (the Governor's daughter) and Daniel Dunklin (the Governor's grandson). The Dunklin gravesite is the smallest state park in the Missouri State Park system and is designated as a State Historic Site under the Department of Natural Resources.

Herculaneum is bordered on the east side by the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River can be viewed by the public from the Daniel Dunklin Grave Site on Dunklin Drive and the Dunklin-Fletcher Memorial Park on Main Street. Access to the river is by way of Ferry Road off of North Main Street.

Notable people[edit]

  • Rick Burchett (born March 9, 1952) is an American comic book artist known for his work on such characters as Batman and Superman.
  • Daniel Dunklin, the 5th Governor of Missouri, died in Herculaneum on August 25, 1844 and was buried in the family plot in Herculaneum.
  • Thomas Clement Fletcher, the 18th Governor of Missouri, was born in Herculaneum on January 21, 1827.
  • Campbell Morfit, a noted chemist was born in Herculaneum on November 19, 1820.
  • Tony Stevens (May 2, 1948 – July 12, 2011), born Anthony Pusateri, was an American choreographer, dancer and director

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-05-30. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. p. 180. 
  8. ^ AP (25 December 2013). "End Of An Era As Smelter Closes In Missouri Town". Daily Digest. Retrieved 25 December 2013. 

External links[edit]