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Locations of Gas Plants and Other Coal-tar Sites in the U.S.

THE STATE OF MISSOURI 

Introduction

             Plentiful coal north of the Missouri River and in the western counties led to widespread presence of coal-gas plants, most of which were constructed in the 1870s and 1880s. Missouri’s first gas works was chartered at St. Louis in 1837 but was misused as a bank until the planned gas works went on stream in 1847. Kansas City came along in 1867, small and ravaged by border wars and a Confederate invasion, and always waiting for the railroad and Missouri River bridge to bring coal. Many of the gas plants were north of the Missouri River, in coal country and lying along a modest rail network. Natural gas, in very limited quantities before 1909 made repeated forays into the State from Kansas, keeping the gasmen always in a quandary about when and how much to spend in expansion.

             St. Louis was the scene of jurisdictional disputes over gas competition and as many as ten companies operated before the total take over by Laclede Gas Light Company in 1889, financed by eastern money. The total number of coal-tar sites at St. Louis appears to number in excess of 45. Kansas City and St. Louis both became controlled by holding companies, the former in 1903 (Samuel Insull interests) and the latter in 1885 (United Gas Improvement Company, with transfer to H.L. Doherty interests in 1916). After 1890, the bulk of Missouri manufactured gas was controlled by Chicago holding companies. The State had only one coke works, but the author has increased the FMGP count from the 32 (actual) sites listed in the 1985 USEPA “Radian” report to a current number of 161 FMGP and allied coal-tar sites.

Click the blue "EPA" link below to view the
Missouri map of the EPA 1985 Radian FMGP Report.

Click the green "Hatheway" link below to view the
Missouri map of Professor Hatheway's research.

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