Charles L. Connoley was born 17 August 1858 in Illinois to Alexander Connolly and Mary Anne Quin, both from Northern Ireland. His parents immigrated in 1849 via New York, and the family arrived in St. Louis by 1859. With the death of Alexander in 1861, Mary Anne married John B. Cantwell on 5 January 1862 at St. Ann Catholic Church in Normandy. As a result, Charles Connoley was also known as Charles Cantwell in his youth.

On 26 May 1881, Charles married Elizabeth Steinkrueger at St. Ann Catholic Church. Elizabeth was born 10 November 1860 in St. Louis to Christian Steinkrueger and Barbara Hecker, both from North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Her parents immigrated prior to 1851 via New Orleans, lived in Louisville, and arrived in St. Louis about 1855. Christian also died in 1861, and Barbara married Peter Steinkrueger on 1 January 1862 at St. Mary of Victories Catholic Church in St. Louis. Peter was Christian’s younger brother who immigrated in 1854 via New Orleans following the death of his wife in Germany.

Following Charles and Elizabeth’s wedding in 1881, they purchased a twenty-five-acre farm that was part of Absalom Link’s homestead containing the old log house built by the Links. Absalom Link was one of the earliest settlers in St. Louis County. Following the death of Absalom’s wife, Magdalena, in 1872, portions of their estate became available by 1880. The Connoley farm was located on the east side of Link Road just north of what is now Midland Boulevard and contained the curved roadway, Van Cleve Court.

By that time, this area of St. Louis County was called Mount Pleasant. When St. Louis became an independent city, St. Louis County became responsible for public school districts. In rural areas, school districts were established within each survey township. There were five rural school districts in Township 46 North, Range 5 East, and Mount Pleasant was Rural School District #4. With increasing population and redistricting, some of this school district became part of Maryland Heights in 1924 and the rest became part of Pattonville in 1951, at which time the name Mount Pleasant disappeared.

Charles and Elizabeth had three children: Robert Frank, Frances (Connoley) Grote, and Mary Barbara (Connoley) Bruno. As the family grew, the farm contained a house for the parents, one for each child, plus the original log house. Elizabeth died on 25 October 1947 in Richmond Heights and is buried in Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis. Charles stayed on the farm until 1950, before moving to St. Charles County. He passed away on 14 July 1953 and is buried in Calvary Cemetery.

Charles lived in St. Louis County for ninety of his ninety-four years, owning that farm for seventy years. The property was sold to developers in July 1954. Link’s original log home, built in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, was so strong that it was burnt to the ground rather than torn down, and it took several days to completely burn.

(Sources for the above essay include church marriage records, death certificates, family knowledge, immigration records, and U.S. censuses.)

Written by C. E. Connoley
March 2020

© 2020 St. Louis Genealogical Society


Charles Connoley
Charles Connoley, 1952
Photo in the collection of C. E. Connoley
Used with permission
Link Cabin
The Link Cabin
Photo in the collection of C. E. Connoley
Used with permission

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Last Modified: 26-Jun-2020 11:24