Source: Mercantile Library Collection
Tenth and Olive Streets
Construction Date:
Syndicate Trust bldg. and Century bldg.
Syndicate Trust bldg. and Century bldg.


Scruggs Vandervoort and Barney started out as a dry goods store in 1850. Founders M.V.L McClelland and Richard Scruggs had their first store on North Fourth Street, which later expanded. In 1860 W.C. Vandervoort joined the company. Then in 1870 M.V.L. McClelland retired and Charles E. Barney was hired in his place. In 1907 the store moved into the Syndicate Trust building at Tenth and Olive Streets, and expanded into the Century building which occupied the entire block by 1913. Then in 1917 Scruggs Vandervoort and Barney took over Mermod Jaccard King Jewelry Company incorporating it into its downtown location, and later into its branch of stores.

Scruggs department store serviced the needs of St. Louisans for over one-hundred years offering a variety of retail products and playing host to a variety of public events such as women's and men's fashion shows. During this time the company was accused of unfair hiring practices and was picketed by members of the NAACP in 1960. Scruggs also faced challenges associated with suburbanization and opened a branch store in Clayton. In the end Scruggs Vandervoort and Barney succumbed to financial pressures, and closed its doors for good.