Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Henry von Phul 1784-1874


Aug. 14, 1784


Sep. 8, 1874

Businessman. Henry Von Phul was one of the most successful of the pioneer businessmen in St. Louis' early history. In 1811, von Phul came to St. Louis from Philadelphia. Shortly thereafter, he took a keel boat to New Orleans, then to Madeiras.

He returned to St. Louis and established a general store. After steamboats started to land in St. Louis, he became owner of some of the largest boats. While he had started out on his own in business, he later took on partners and ultimately built a business that was one of the largest in the West.

Von Phul held many distinguished positions in St. Louis, and his honor and trustworthiness were never questioned. Any action or plan to build up the city, expand its commerce or promote its attractiveness received his encouragement and support.

He married Rosalie Saugrain in 1816, and in 1874, he and his wife celebrated their fifty-eighth anniversary. They received congratulatory letters from all quarters. Shortly thereafter, he was taken ill and died. Before he died, he insisted upon paying every dollar he morally or legally owed, with interest. Final settlements were made in accordance with his notion of right, despite its significant impact on his fortune.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Charlie -

    I would very much like to correspond with you about the miniature of Henry von Phul posted above.

  3. Awesome. Thank you for posting this information. Do you have any information, or photograph of their son Benjamin?