Webb City home, Kingshighway district in St. Louis added to National Register

An 1891 house in Webb City, Missouri, and a commercial district on Kingshighway Boulevard in St. Louis each were added to the National Register of Historic Places last week. Both are on or very near historic Route 66.

The Elijah Thomas Webb home at 4 S. Liberty St. in Webb City (map here) is owned by Don and Becky Freeman, who have lived there for a decade and pursued the National Register designation. The home was built in a late Victorian-era Queen Anne style.

According to a recent article in the Joplin Globe, Elijah Thomas Webb was a banker and the son of the founder of the city, John C. Webb. The Webbs settled in the area about 1856 and acquired land that eventually would be used for the city.

A Facebook page about the house is maintained here.

The Kingshighway Hills Commercial District in St. Louis lies at 3701-3835 S. Kingshighway Blvd., just off the Chippewa Street alignment of Route 66 in that area.

According to the nominating petition, that district contains 11 historic buildings dating to the mid- to late 1920s. They were built in the Spanish Revival style. Cyrus Crane Willmore developed the area after developing residential tracts in nearby University City.

Newspaper advertisements promoted Kingshighway Hills as a mere 20-minute drive from downtown – the focus was on automobiles, rather than streetcars. South Kingshighway was strictly an automobile thoroughfare – connecting to Chippewa Street which served as U.S. Highway (Route) 66 during the mid-to-late 1920s.20 Unlike Willmore’s University City
developments, Kingshighway Hills was not undervalued at the time of its development. The neighborhood was within one of the city’s most desirable sectors for residential expansion. S. Kingshighway Boulevard was an improved route void of bumpy streetcar tracks and brick pavers
– this may also have attracted shoppers from outside of the neighborhood. As such, the district’s location at the intersection of Kingshighway and Chippewa Street (Route 66) was an added benefit to Willmore’s overall plan for the neighborhood.

(Image of the Elijah Thomas Webb home in Webb City, Missouri, via Facebook; excerpted image from Google Street View of the Kingshighway Hills Commercial District in St. Louis)

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