September 18, 2011 - Eugene Field House and St. Louis Toy Museum's An Afternoon at Greystone
What: 75th Anniversary Celebration
Where: Private Family Residence of Jane Gleason and Bill Piper, Pevely, MO
When: September 18, 2011
Time: 1:00 PM Reception, 2:00 PM Lunch/Auction
Ticket Prices: By Invitation Only.
Beneficiary: Eugene Field House and St. Louis Toy Museum
Host(s): Jane Gleason, Bill and Susan Piper
Executive Director: Kimberly Ann Larson
President(s): William R. Piper
Staff: Barbara Faupel, Assistant Director, Stephanie Bliss, Education & Volunteer Coordinator
Catering: Something Elegant
Information: Kimberly Larson, (314) 421-4689
Board of Directors: Officers-William R. Piper, President, Karen L. Klohr, Vice President, Taylor C. McMullin, Treasurer, Brian A. Ragen, Secretary; Trustees-Patricia Burns, Robert P. Compton, Gerald Early, Susan Favazza, Sally Menke, Soraya Nouri, Maurice E. Quiroga, Christopher M. Smith; Emerita Trustee-D.J. Moore; Ex-Officio Trustees-Phyllis Young, Charles Brennan; Executive Director-Kimberly Ann Larson
Blacktie Photos by: Diane Anderson
Eugene Field House and St. Louis Toy Museum's An Afternoon at Greystone
On a foggy Sunday afternoon, September 18, 2011, guests came together at the Greystone Estate, overlooking the Mississippi River, to support and celebrate the Eugene Field House and St. Louis Toy Museum's 75 Anniversay. Jane Gleason and her brother and spouse, Bill and Susan Piper, kindly hosted the day at their country estate.
Friends of the museum wined and dined on a sumptuous picnic lunch with gelato for dessert, catered by Something Elegant. They also had the opportunity to bid on many wonderful silent auction items as well as unique objects in the oral auction.
The Eugene Field House & St. Louis Toy Museum was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2007. It opened December 18,1936 as the first historic house museum in St. Louis. The Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and also has been named a City of St. Louis Landmark.
The Eugene Field House & St. Louis Toy Museum represented the boyhood home of Eugene Field, who is beloved to this day as the "Children's Poet" and widely known as the "Father of the Personal Newspaper Column".
Eugene Field was born in St. Louis at 634 South Broadway, on September 3, 1850. His father, Roswell Martin Field, was considered a well-known attorney.
In 1853 Roswell served as the attorney for the slaves Dred and Harriet Scott and their daughters, Eliza and Lizzy, when they brought action in federal court for their freedom. The Scotts were denied their freedom on the grounds that African-Americans were not regarded citizens and therefore could not sue in federal court. The refusal of the United States Supreme Court to treat Dred and Harriet as citizens is believed by many to constitute a factor that precipitated the Civil War.
In November 1856, Frances Field, Eugene's mother, died, and the next year, Eugene and his brother, Roswell, were sent to Amherst, Massachusetts, to attend school and live with their paternal aunt, Mary, and their cousin, Mary Field French, until they entered college.
While a student at the University of Missouri, Eugene was co-founder and literary editor of The Mis-sourian, the campus newspaper. In May 1873, Mr. Field joined the staff of the St. Louis Journal and the following October married Julia Sutherland Comstock in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Eugene's first published children's poem, "Christmas Treasures" was written in St. Louis. His career took him to St. Joseph, Missouri, back to St. Louis, and then to Kansas City and Denver, and finally to Chicago, where the Chicago Daily News hired him to write "exactly what I please on any subject I please."
Eugene Field died in his sleep on November 4, 1895, 62 days after his 45th birthday, a young man at the height of his career, famous for both his poetry and his column, and the father of five surviving children. He is buried in the churchyard of the Church of the Holy Comforter in Kenilworth, Illinois.
For more information about An Afternoon at Greystone or The Eugene Field House and St. Louis Toy Museum, please contact Kimberly Larson at (314) 421-4689 or visit the museum's website, http://www.eugenefieldhouse.org.