Mad in Pursuit Notebook

4251 Penrose

4251 Penrose

The north St. Louis address of 4251 Penrose represents the height of Kitty Mom's powers as a matriarch.

In 1926, Kitty Flanagan Barrett became a widow with four young children and a retail grocery business. In 1932, after her youngest child, Kathleen (my mother), was severely burned, she decided to lease the operation of Barrett's Market to Charles and Sidonia Winther until her boys were old enough to take over the family business. Somehow, as part of this deal, she purchased the Winthers' rental property, a four-family flat on Penrose.

In 1939, when her daughter Mary settled down with Lester Hohmann, Kitty set them up in one of the second-floor apartments. They had their first two children there.

In 1942, Kitty's son Bob died in an airplane crash, no doubt heightening her matriarchal insticts.

In the late '40s, when the Hohmanns wanted a house, Kitty negotiated a trade with the Corcoran family who lived down the street from her at 5835 Ridge. In exchange for their house, the four unmarried Corcorans (Irene, Rose, Dorothy, and Mike) got the upstairs apartment on Penrose.

In June, 1947, a first-floor apartment was freed up for Kitty's youngest, Kathleen, and her new husband Walter Price. Three of their four children were born here before they moved to south St. Louis in 1959.

In April, 1949, an upstairs apartment was freed up for Kitty's son Bill and his bride Lillian Demme. Their three children were born there before they moved to Overland at the end of the '50s.

When the Prices moved out in '59, Kitty sold the building. Her work was done.

1950 census ennumeration sheet for this address:

1950 census for 4251 Penrose

 

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Books by Susan Barrett Price:

THE SUDDEN SILENCE: A Tale of Suspense and Found Treasure (2015) Thailand: lovers of ancient treasure tangle with international black markets. Delia Rivera pulls Martin Moon back into the game and their quest turns deadly. In paperback and Kindle editions.

TRIBE OF THE BREAKAWAY BEADS: Book of Exits and Fresh Starts (2011) Time after time, Mary asks herself: Do I go or do I stay? She finds her power in her ancestors: Smart women turn discontent into action. An illustrated memoir in paperback and Kindle editions.

PASSION AND PERIL ON THE SILK ROAD: A Thriller in Pakistan and China (2008) The twin forces of revenge and redemption drive Nellie MacKenzie and Taylor Jackson on a crazed adventure into the heart of Central Asia. They grapple with issues of ethics, trust, rage, and bitter heartbreak -- as well as the intrigue of the international antiquities trade. In paperback and Kindle editions.

 

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