Archiver > MOSTFRAN > 2002-09 > 1033360033

From: "Melanie Rickmar" <>
Subject: [MOSTFRAN-L] Firmin V. Desloge - St. Francois County Mining Executive
Date: Sun, 29 Sep 2002 23:27:13 -0500

LEAD BELT NEWS, Flat River, St. Francois Co. MO, Fri. May 23, 1952


Firmin Vincent Desloge, 73, mining executive and member of an old French
family in St. Louis, died of virus pneumonia Sunday at Santa Barbara,
Calif., where he had resided for the last five years.

He was vice president of the Desloge Consolidated Lead Company until its
merger with the St. Joseph Lead Company, president of Smokey Oil Company and
had other wide business interests.

With his brother, Joseph Desloge, he was responsible for carrying out the
plans for building Firmin Desloge Hospital, which originally was provided
for by their father in his will.

The Desloge family operated lead interests in Missouri for more than 100
years, the first Firmin Desloge coming to the United States to establish the

The family settled first at Ste. Genevieve. Firmin Vincent Desloge was born
at Bonne Terre. He attended Christian Brothers College, St. Louis.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a member of the American
Institute of Mining Engineers and of other mining societies. For more than
30 years, he was a member of the Noonday Club and the St. Louis Country

Since he moved to Santa Barbara, he had made frequent visits to St. Louis
and maintained a farm at Gray's Summit in Franklin County. When he lived in
St. Louis, his home was at 8900 Clayton Road.

Surviving are his widow, the former Rebecca Plumer of Nashville, Tenn., and
three sons, Firmin Desloge IV, William and Theodore. The sons all reside in
St. Louis.

After graduating from college, Mr. Desloge was placed in charge of the
mining property at Desloge and remained in that capacity until the company
sold out to the St. Joseph Lead Co. For many years he made his home in
Desloge before moving to St. Louis. After moving there he usually made
weekly trips to Desloge and his father did before him. The company
maintained offices in the Rialto Building in St. Louis as well as at

Firmin Desloge II, his father, operated mines in Washington County on a
shallow diggings basis before going into the deep mining in Bonne Terre.
Their company owned the property east and north of the present highway going
through Bonne Terre, known as Benham Street. Shaft Nos. 3, 4 and 5, now St.
Joe property, were the original Desloge holding. The company built a
railroad from Bonne Terre northeast to Big River over which sand and mine
ties were hauled into Bonne Terre, parts of the old road bed still
remaining. A concentrating mill was built on the western side of the hill
across the highway from the present Murphy Concrete Block Factory, as well
as calcines and a slag furnace. The old slag dump was somewhat north of No.
3 shaft and may now be covered by the huge chat dump. The mill was
destroyed by fire during the late 80's and Mr. Desloge sold his Bonne Terre
property and secured the present Desloge mining property in and near

The deceased, like his father, was for many years a member of the Board of
Trustees of St. Joseph Lead Co., in which they were heavy stockholders.

Funeral services will be held Friday in the Little Chapel at Firmin Desloge
Hospital. Interment in Calvary Cemetery.

Mr. Desloge was a rugged individualist, probably because he saw his father
come up the hard way and provide for him an education which was of so much
value to him, his family and employees of the company. The Desloge
Consolidated Lead Co., while in operation, never dismissed one of its old
employees because of age or disability. He was also a devout Catholic, as
were his forebears, and a monument on Grand Avenue in St. Louis today stands
as evidence as to what their wealth, so hardly earned, means to those who
suffer--The Firmin Desloge Hospital. Those who enter there can have the
best without charge, if they are unable to pay.

Many of the oldtimers in the Lead Belt remember the deceased when he was
quite a young man, likewise his father, and all join The News in extending
sympathy to the family.

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