An article by Bessie Kennerly Russell for the Missouri Historical Society says that the narrow-gauge railroad started in 1875 helped start an exodus to the country from St. Louis. Mrs. Russell said that Erastus Wells and Dr. Page planned this to reach their property in Normandy, and later the narrow-gauge railroad ran to Florissant. It first ran in 1878. Coaches and four horses were the style before that. The families who moved out there after the railroad was built became our friends after we moved to Cabanne. The narrow-gauge line was replaced by the St. Louis and Suburban Streetcar Line in 1891. This made a big difference in my life because the streetcars ran more frequently than the train. Friends and relatives were no longer dependent on the narrow-gauge timetable. Trolley rides became the vogue. Open cars were used in summer. These had bench seats the width of the car. Conductors collected the fare walking on platforms that were on each side of the seats. Sometimes a group of us met at the Arcade and boarded a summer car to go out to the end of the line and back, then to our house for homemade ice cream - a pleasant diversion on a hot night. I learned to make sponge cake with chocolate filling. Now it was easier to go to and from Mary Institute. No time to ______ to _______. Choosing a class president was difficult, but we finally chose Laura Menne - a most excellent choice. Laura was an intelligent, tall, handsome natural blonde with fine blue eyes, a good voice and excellent carriage. We remained friends for many years, and I spent two years with her at the art school after our graduation. Louise McCreery and her beautiful sister Christine were in the habit of organizing clubs. During our senior year Louise and her sister decided to have a euchre club. Twelve girls joined. We met every two weeks on Saturday at two o'clock. Christine McCreery, Carrie Cook, and Elsie Ford represented the third academic in the club. Edna Gamble, Grace Dodd, Elizabeth Donaldson, and Louise Espenschied were in the junior class. Louise McCreery, Eugenie Papin, and I represented the senior class. I have a picture of our club when it met at 5447 Cabanne one spring day. We are sitting on the steps at the west end of the front porch. Our large puffed sleeves and long lined skirts portray the styles of 1895. We had prizes bought by the girl who entertained the club. We each gave twenty-five cents for each meeting. I still have a prize I won at Louisa McCreery's home. The euchre club lasted through our senior year and for a year or more after we were graduated. Then we played bridge whist. Some of the girls went away to boarding school. Then it became a two-table bridge club. Josephine Cobb, who was a very good bridge player, joined us. This went on for several years and we stopped having prizes.
My school days at Mary Institute were not particularly eventful, but there was enough social contact to begin lifelong friendships. One afternoon Mattie Sproule took me downtown to treat me to oysters on the half-shell. This was quite exciting to me as I didn’t have money to spend for that sort of thing. My acquaintance with Louise McCreery ripened in these days. The McCreery family lived in a beautiful house in Westminster Place just east of Vandeventer Avenue. Louise and her beautiful sister Christine, the Richards girls, and I walked up Washington Avenue to Grand Avenue after school. The McCreery turned south toward Westminster; Mary and Ethel Richards, Evadne Rumsey and I turned north. I often had lunch with the McCreerys on Saturday. I enjoyed the beauty of the entrance hall and curving stairway built against the east wall in which there was a high stained glass window reaching part-way on the first floor and several feet onto the second floor – a most artistic design. Mr. and Mrs. McCreery and Louis had a very good taste and a charming home. They and this house were a haven for me after we moved out to Cabanne Avenue, where I had to go on the narrow gauge train. Many times, when I was invited to balls and parties in St. Louis, I spent the night with the McCreerys.