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St. Louis Regional history comes alive in this joint production by KDHX and the Missouri Historical Society. Stories of our past are connected with the present in these well researched and entertaining short presentations about the people, places, and events that have shaped who we are and who we are becoming. 

Mar 17, 2023

Some find it easy to adjust to St. Louis when moving here. Others find it quite the experience. A Young medical student named F.M. Pepper had quite the rough experience when first coming here. Just press play to hear the whole story. ------

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Podcast Transcript: I’m Katie Moon, Exhibits Manager at the Missouri Historical Society, and Here’s History on eighty-eight-one, K-D-H-X. ———

When I moved to St. Louis from Ohio over 20 years ago the first thing I remember is being overwhelmed by how hot it was, especially during that first weekend in July. But my initial experience of St. Louis doesn’t even begin to compare to that of medical student F.M. Pepper, who, in his first 3 weeks in the city, experienced not just scorching heat but also an earthquake and a city-wide fire. ———

He wrote this letter to his family on October 1st, 1891, and despite his optimism, it sounds like a rough start to the school year. ———

Dear Sir and Brother, This writing leaves me in St. Louis attending medical college. I have been here three weeks today, and am very well satisfied with my school. Our school is the largest in the city, matriculating at present over 200. I attend eight lectures a day: from 9 to 12: from 1 to 6, and dissection from 8 to 10, when it gets cooler. You will very readily infer from this that I have no time to gossip around town. ———

The heat has been dreadful since I have been here, excepting the last few days. Last Saturday night, St. Louis was visited by an earthquake, which was something dreadful. It shook bottles from off the shelves in the drugstores, and threw persons out of their beds, and shook things up generally. ———

Sunday eve, at about 9 o’clock, fires broke out and before morning 23 had broken out; every fire department in the city was out several times. I saw a 9 story building burn; it covered one whole block. It was a grand, magnificent night, yet fearful and appalling in consequences. You have seen heavy hail storms—if you will imagine the hail to be balls of fire you can form a meager description of the fire. ———

It is very nearly lecture time so I will close hoping this will find you all well and happy, and expecting to hear from you soon. With love to all I remain
Your Brother, F.M. Pepper . ———

Here’s History is a joint production of K-D-H-X and the Missouri Historical Society. I’m Katie Moon, and this is eighty-eight-one, K-D-H-X, St. Louis.  ———