Biography of William L. Balson

The development of the western district of St. Louis is largely attributable to the labors, the progressive spirit and the broad business vision of William L. Balson, now deceased, who for many years was a prominent factor in the real estate circles of St. Louis. He saw possibilities and recognized opportunities which he utilized, not only in the upbuilding of his own fortunes but in the development and improvement of the city as well. A native of England, he was born at Bridport, Dorsetshire, October 8, 1842. His ancestors had lived for several generations in Dorsetshire and although some followed the sea most of them were farming people. Both of his parents, Lewis and Susan (Wheadon) Balson, were also born in Dorsetshire, the former in 1817. For a quarter of a century the father sailed the sea before coming to America in 1853, in which year he established his home in St. Louis and entered the employ of James White, a lumber dealer, with whom he remained until the outbreak of the Civil war. During the hostilities between the north and south he assisted in the building of gun-boats for use on the Mississippi and southern rivers. Later he retired from business and passed away in November, 1877. For two years after arriving in St. Louis, William L. Balson attended the public schools and then at the age of...

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