Eugene Field Birthplace - St. Louis, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Chasing Blue Sky
N 38° 37.202 W 090° 11.525
15S E 744459 N 4278352
Quick Description: Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Eugene Field, Sr. (September 2, 1850 – November 4, 1895) was an American writer, best known for his children's poetry and humorous essays.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 6/12/2012 12:06:19 PM
Waymark Code: WMEM55
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
Views: 3

Long Description:
This historic building is the birthplace of Eugene Field, Sr. and was Eugene's boyhood home. During their residence here, his father Roswell M. Field, served as the Attorney who took Dred Scott's freedom suit into the Federal Courts, leading to the infamous Supreme Court decision in Scott v. Sandford. It currently houses the Eugene Field House & St. Louis Toy Museum and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2007.


"Field was an unusual poet. He was one of the few poets who wrote only children's poetry. That is how he got his nickname, The Children's Poet.

It all started September 2, 1850, at 634 South Broadway in Saint Louis. That's where and when Eugene Field was born. He had one brother named Roswell, who was one year younger than he, and a sister who died soon after her birth. He and his brother were very close, but very different. Eugene took after their mother, Francis, while Roswell took after their father. Eugene was afraid of the dark while his brother wasn't afraid of anything. Eugene hated studying while Roswell loved it. When the boys were six and five, their mother died. Mr. Field sent them to live with their cousin, Mary French, in Massachusetts until he could take care of them. While living on their cousin's farm, Eugene wrote his first poem . He was nine then, and the poem was about their cousin's dog, Fido.

At the age of fifteen, Eugene was shipped off to a small private school in Massachusetts. There were only five boys in the school, and Eugene loved leading the boys in tricks against the master of the school.

Eugene went on to William's College in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, his father died when he was nineteen and he dropped out after eight months. Next he went to Knox College but dropped out of college after a year. Then he went to the University of Missouri, where his brother was also attending. While there, he met Julia Comstock, who was fourteen. When Julia turned sixteen, she and Eugene married. They had eight children. Two died as babies, another died as a little boy. The remaining five grew up and had long lives.

While married, Eugene had many jobs. He worked for many newspapers until the Chicago Daily News offered him a job. He wrote a humorous column called "Sharps and Flats". His home in Chicago was near the intersection of N. Clarendon and W. Hutchinson in the neighborhood now known as Buena Park.

He first started publishing poetry in 1879, when his poem "Christmas Treasures" appeared in A Little Book of Western Verse. Over a dozen volumes of poetry followed and he became well known for his light-hearted poems for children, perhaps the most famous of which is "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod." Field also published a number of short stories, including "The Holy Cross" and "Daniel and the Devil."

Field died in Chicago of a heart attack at the age of 45. He is buried at the Church of the Holy Comforter in Kenilworth, Illinois. His 1901 biography by S. Thompson states that he was originally buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, but his son-in-law, Senior Warden of the Church of the Holy Comforter, had him reinterred on March 7, 1926."

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