The Kuhs Estate

The Kuhs Estate
13080 Spanish Pond Road

This land was part of a Spanish land grant claimed by Dennis Cavanna but never confirmed by the U S. Land Commission. Through the second half of the 19th century it was owned by Henry Wiese. After Wiese’s death, a survey of his property was made by his son William in 1915. In 1925 William and Sophie Wiese sold 64½ acres of their property including land in the Cavanna Tract (then spelled Cavenaugh) to the Muriel Realty Company, which was headed by Edward L. Kuhs.

In the next few years, Muriel Realty acquired most of the remaining property of the Wiese estate, plus the right-of-way leading from the north end of Spanish Pond Road to the Fugate and Carrico Cemetery, which is bounded on three sides by the Wiese-Muriel property. By 1931, Kuhs had amassed about 250 acres. At first Kuhs intended this property for the use of his family during the summer months only, living the rest of the time at 8538 Church Road, but by 1935 he began to live here permanently.

Born in 1877, Edward L. Kuhs was the son of Henry W. Kuhs, who ran a grocery store at 3rd and Walnut, opposite the old Catholic Cathedral. After graduating from Commercial College, he entered the real estate business in 1905. In 1910 he erected the Kuhs Building at 8321 North Broadway in Baden. There he also sold fire and automobile insurance and made farm loans. In 1923, he located at 2831 North Grand. In 1925 he also owned both Buick and Ford dealerships in those neighborhoods. In 1921 he was elected to the Board of Aldermen.

By his first wife, Rose Oberbeck, he had two children, Lester Kuhs, who joined his father’s business, and Muriel K. Soest. The well-known graphic designer Jan Boleto, who died in 2009, was Muriel’s daughter. Later Edward Kuhs married Lorraine M. Edward Kuhs who died in 1973. Lester Kuhs built a house on Indian Bluff Lane, a street overlooking the Missouri River on part of the Wiese property. He died in 1985. A second subdivision, called Kuhs Acres, was laid out south of the main house.

The stone sunken garden on the bluff near the house was the subject of an article in the Union Electric Magazine in 1931 because of the elaborate system of night lighting. The stones for the terrace walls and pond edgings were said to have been brought from Fenton. The house was described in the same article as “unpretentious but lasting.”

Sources


St. Louis County Recorder of Deeds, Book 31, page 559; Book 716, page 43; Book 831, page 299; Book 913, page 211; Book 991, page 342; Plat Book 12, page 64.
City and County Directories
Who’s Who in North St. Louis (1925), p. 350
Watchman-Advocate, History of St. Louis County (1920), pp. 182-183
Phil V. Brown, “A Garden of Flowers and Lights,” Union Electric Magazine, Vol. 19, No. 8 (August 1931), pp. 3-5
St. Louis County Probate Court, cases 46528 and 20542 (W90)

Esley Hamilton
June 1988