Arthur A. B. Woerheide was born in St. Louis on 24 October 1864 to Jobst Heinrich Woerheide (1820–1871) and Anna Laaker Woerheide (1827–1898), who emigrated from Germany to St. Louis in 1851. Jobst owned a planing factory on Cass Avenue near Ninth Street in St. Louis that made crates and boxes for shipping goods.

After attending St. Louis public schools, Arthur began his business career with the firm of August Gehner, as examiner of titles from 1880 to 1888. In 1889, he established the firm of Woerheide and Garrell Co., title examiners and financial agents, which he and Garrell operated for six years. This led to a career in banking and real estate development. He founded Lincoln Trust Co., the first trust company west of the Mississippi, in 1894 and was secretary and president until that institution merged with the Missouri Trust Co. in 1905. His influence in the financial affairs of the City of St. Louis was significant, owing to his integrity and business acumen. He was prominent in his connection with many notable enterprises undertaken for the benefit and advancement of St. Louis. He married Ida Zelle (1869–1959) of St. Louis in 1889 and they lived in a beautiful seventeen-room home at 4929 Wabada Ave in St. Louis. Four children were born there: Berenice, Edith, Ralph, and Arthur William.

In addition to banking, Arthur was a real estate developer. At age twenty-seven, he formed the Woerheide Realty and Improvement Co., a corporation which developed the residential area known as Wagoner Place in St. Louis.

In 1903, Woerheide was an investor and instrumental in the creation of the Parkview residential development across from the grounds of the 1904 World’s Fair. The initial corporation, Parkview Realty, headed by Woerheide, purchased the land, graded the site, regulated the Des Peres River, and sold the land to Beredith Realty, whose president was also Arthur Woerheide. Lots were sold to other builders, and two hundred and fifty-four homes were built there.
Woerheide was a director of the 1904 World’s Fair and a member of two committees for the Fair. He, with other businessmen in St. Louis, each put up a $10,000 bond to guarantee funding for the Fair. In 1910, Governor Hadley of Missouri, appointed Woerheide as president of the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. He served until 1912.

Arthur Woerheide
Arthur Woerheide
Photo in the collection of Robert B. Woerheide
Used with permission

He was a director of two banks and numerous corporations. He was president of the St. Louis Republican Club and hosted President Teddy Roosevelt on an occasion when Roosevelt came to St. Louis to give a speech on 1 October 1907.

In 1915, Woerheide moved to the Chicago area, where he bought a 500 acre farm in an area later to become a town named by him as Midlothian. Woerheide died there in 1926, with burial at Valhalla Cemetery in St. Louis in the family plot. He was survived by his four children and his wife Ida W. F. Zelle Woerheide.

Submitted by Robert B. Woerheide.
May 2017

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