Built by Louis Schaaf, the founder of St. Mary's Mill Co.
Louis Schaaf, married Miss Harriet Brown, April 16, 1863. They lived a life made rich from the bounty of the Mississippi Steamboat Era, one of the most colorful and romantic periods in our country’s history. Harriet's, French Colonial ancestors were among the earliest adventurers to navigate the Mississippi River south from Colonial French Quebec in search of new lands in the late 1730's. Here in the fertile valley of French Kaskaskia, they found established trading posts and small farms among the indeginous peoples of the Illinios. By 1840 there were emerging river towns and commercial centers such as St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans. Among these sprawling cities were the smaller but thriving villages of St. Mary, Kaskaskia, Praire Du Rocher,Ste. Genevieve and Alton. St. Mary's Landing linked newcomers to Perryville by stagecoach and supported export of produce and flour south to New Orleans. This great valley of the mid Mississippi River is where we first find young Louis & Harriet enjoying their well cared for childhood's during the Antebellum years of the Old Creole South among the remains of the vanished Provence de la Nouvelle France.
Harriet, was born on December 31, 1839 and was the eldest daughter of Walter L. Brown, son of Robert Tarver Brown and Catherine Valle, the daughter of Commandant Francois Valle II. Francois Valle ll, was born into the provincial gentry of a wealthy and well connected French Colonial family. He was a French Creole political leader, founding citizen and known to have been the wealthiest and most influential gentleman in 18th Century Upper Louisiana. Commandant and Madame Francois Valle II are buried beneath the nave of the Catholic Church of Ste. Genevieve. Much has been written about this prominent Ste. Genevieve family. Their lives played a major role in the successful settlement of the Mid-Mississippi River Valley during our French and Spanish Colonial period 1703 to 1803.
The Brown and Valle families are among the oldest and most respected of the earliest settlers to French and Spanish Ste. Genevieve.
An excellent study of the Valle family genealogy can be obtained at the Missouri Historical Society in St. Louis. Housed in "Missouri Historical Collections" Volume ll, No.7, October 1906. The study shows the geneological relationships of many French Creole families primarily in Kaskaskia, Ste. Genevieve and Perry Counties and include: Valle, Rozier, Pratte, Chouteau, Menard, Beauvais, Carpentier, Billeron, Bogy, La Counte, & many, many more.
Louis Schaaf, was born on February 5, 1840 in Alton, Illinois. He was the son of John Frederick and Caroline Bauer Schaaf who arrived in St. Louis from Prussia in 1837. Louis was the seventh child of eight born to their union. He came to St. Mary in 1856 with his parents at the age of 16 where in that year a Flour Mill was established by his Father. Like his Father, Louis became an expert Miller and benefactor to many wheat producers in our community. Later Louis, bought the Mill and established it as St. Mary's Mill Company. He expanded the Mill and built elevators along the Frisco Rail Line in Ste. Genevieve, Perryville, McBride, and many other points along the line offering a splendid market for area wheat producers known for growing the highest grade of wheat in the world.
Built their home on twenty acres along the bluff's of Saint Mary, overlooking the Mississippi River and Historic Kaskaskia. The Mississippi River was more than an inspiring vista for Louis and Harriet. Its waters transported their Wheat Flour to market, brought their guests to them, delivered life's necessities and many luxuries from as far away as England and France.
"It is one of the prettiest locations for a home in this section of the State"
Fair Play News · 1878
Unchanged by time the interior of the home features period high ceilings, six fireplaces, beautiful hardwood floors, graceful staircases and outstanding woodwork.
Louis & Harriet, moved into their new home on October 23, 1879.
Here they would live in the nobility of an ordinary life for over 40 years.
Edward, Walter, Mary, Cecelia, Carl and Caroline,
were educated at Jesuit Boarding Schools and married into prominent first families of the valley during the late 19th century.
Louis, passed to his final resting place on January 30, 1922, a few days shy of his 82nd birthday. His body laid in repose at Schaaf Hill. His remains were placed by the side of his wife Harriet, who had proceeded him in death nearly 30 years earlier. So closed the life of a man who lived the American Dream. A man of honor and uprightness who was revered and respected by all who knew him. He was generous to his family, kind to his employees and courteous to his neighbors. He was a substantial citizen whose interests were identified with those of Saint Mary's Landing and a Civic leader whose dedicated support helped the successful settlement of this section of the Mid-Mississippi River Valley.
Thank you for sharing your recollections, mementos, narratives and documents pertaining to the Life & Times
Louis & Harriet Schaaf of St.Mary, Missouri
· Especially Mary Ann Schaaf · William Schaaf · Kris Schaaf Kirby · Dr. Wilber Rehm · Charmaine & Marie Haunert · Charles Schaaf · Louis Schaaf V
Mrs. Miriam Youngkamp Gentry · Mrs. Marcia Gentry Richardson
Mrs. Eloise Tlapek · Mrs. Natalie Lawbaugh · Mrs. Judy Worley · Mrs. Birchler
Sir Walter Scott
Mr and Mrs John G. Jordan
request your presence at the marriage
of their daughter
Tuesday Evening, October 23d, 1888
at their residence, St. Mary's Mo
CEREMONY AT 5:00 PM.
"I'll never love again as much as I love you in this moment."
Walter & Tillie Schaaf
The first wedding for the children of Louis & Harriet Schaaf.
Reservations (573) 543-5445
The photo gallery below traces the History of Louisiana from exploration to settlement by French Jesuit's, to French Fortification, Jefferson & Napoleon, Louisiana Purchase, Lewis & Clark, Anglo Saxon Settlement and Westward Expansion.
Learn more about our French and Spanish Colonial past and its influences on the settlement of the Mississippi River valley during your visit to
White Cliff Manor Bed & Breakfast and Gardens