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One of the first settlers of what was to become Webster Groves was pastor Rev. Artemus Bullard. In 1845 he was invited out from St. Louis by John and James Marshall to establish a Presbyterian church at Manchester and Jefferson Barracks (now call Rock Hill) Roads. The Marshall's had moved here from Virginia and had acquired 800 acres of land mostly south of Manchester Road where they built a cabin and a stage coach stop.

In 1850 Rev. Bullard purchased a thickly wooded 150 acre tract of that land from The Marshalls in order to build a boys college. Like the church, he built it out of the white rock from a nearby quarry on the Marshall property. He chose this location because of its proximity to the new planned Pacific Railroad tracks and a promised stop for his college. He named it Webster College for Boys after statesman Daniel Webster from New Hampshire whom he admired greatly.

A great tragedy happened on November 1, 1855. Rev Bullard was one of the local dignitaries aboard a special train. The inaugural journey from St. Louis to Jefferson City aboard the eleven car Pacific Railroad train. It was transporting 600 people celebrating the special occasion. It steamed past Herman, bending the turn towards the Gasconade River Bridge and once on the bridge, the bridge supports failed and the engine and train cars collasped into the river. Twenty-nine passengers including Artemus Bullard died in the crash. The dreams of the Webster College for Boys went with him. The building and property were sold off in the next 5 years and the College became The Soldiers Orphan's Home to help raise displaced children of Civil War casualties.

Rev. Artemus Bullard though left his undeniable impact of the beginnings of Webster Groves.

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