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Frederick L. Billon Papers

Identifier: A0122

Scope and Contents

The papers also include the diary kept by Billon on his travels from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to St. Louis in 1818; notes on outstanding citizens and events of St. Louis, from a village in the early territorial days to the latter part of the nineteenth century; two memoranda books containing Billon's original notes of early marriage, baptismal, and burial records; notes on Benito Vasquez and Joseph Motard; maps, plats, and additions of the town of St. Louis; early wills and documents; and material on the origin of St. Charles County, Missouri, the families of Vincennes, Indiana, and the transfer of Louisiana. Names of prominent citizens represented in the collection include William H. Ashley; Joseph Chauvin; the Chouteau family; Daniel P. Cook; Ninian Edwards; Charles Gratiot; Pierre Laclede Liguest; Peter Menard, Sr.; Joseph M. Papin; Dr. Saugrain; and General James Wilkinson. The collection also includes Billon's record book of orders for his 1894 book Territorial Annals of St. Louis in the American Days, which is notable for containing autographs of several prominent St. Louisans, and preservation copies of Billon’s memoranda and his Territorial Annals of St. Louis in the American Days.


  • 1673-1877; 1894


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, quote from, or reproduce material in this collection, please contact the Archives Reference Desk at Copyright restrictions may apply. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright.

Biographical Sketch

Historian Frederick L. Billon was born April 28, 1801, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and died October 20, 1895, in St. Louis. He came to St. Louis in the autumn of 1818, and soon became prominently identified with local affairs. He was a member of the Board of Aldermen in 1828, and thereafter was twice appointed city comptroller. In 1853, he was appointed first auditor of the Missouri Pacific Railway Company and held that position until 1858 when he became secretary and treasurer of the company. He resigned the last-named position in 1863, and from that time until his death devoted himself to collecting historical matter pertaining to the early settlement of St. Louis and the Mississippi Valley. He was long regarded as an authority on matters of this character, and published Annals of St. Louis in its Territorial Days. He married Miss E.L. Generelly, who was a native of Philadelphia. He had four children: Louis (born 1835), Clara (born 1840), George (born 1839), and Ada (born 1854).


0.94 Cubic Feet ( (1 box; 3 oversize folders; 3 volumes))

Language of Materials




The collection is arranged chronologically and by subject.

Physical and Technical Requirements

There are no physical or technical restrictions.

Donor Information

Not available.

Processing Information

Processed by Jennifer Roach, July 2005.

Inventory of Frederick L. Billon Papers
EAD by Jaime Bourassa using ArchivesSpace
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Repository Details

Part of the Missouri Historical Society Library and Research Center Repository

225 S. Skinker Blvd.
St. Louis MO 63105 United States