Compton and Dry Description and Assessment of the City

Saint Louis was a vibrant, growing city in 1875. As the 4th largest city in the United States, it had roared back from the challenges of a divided state in the Civil War and was again reattaining its place as one of the world’s preeminent cities. Dry and Compton’s “Pictorial St. Louis, the Great Metropolis of the Mississippi Valley” is renowned for it’s topographical survey of the city. Lesser known is the commentary that includes the maps. The prologue to the 110 plates is an overview of the city and city statistics for 1875. Rather than recreating the wheel, and in order to capture the editorial flair of the writer and the times, several pages from the Compton and Dry work are reprinted below: