FLORISSANT, MO – Residents of Florissant gathered in Old Town June 25 and at the James J. Eagan Civic Center June 26 to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the city’s official name change to Florissant in 1939.
Mayor Thomas P. Schneider, members of the City Council, Judge Dan Boyle and other representatives of the City of Florissant joined Old Town Partners at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 25 in the 600 block of rue St. Francois, site of the first two City Halls. They met there for the June edition of the “Wednesday Night Out” held by Old Town Partners on the fourth Wednesday of the month.
“The Louisiana Territory (in the 18th century) was ruled alternately and collaboratively by both France and Spain,” said Mayor Schneider to those in attendance. “French Catholic pioneers traveling down the Mississippi stopped in a place where the soil was so fertile that flowering plants burst forth in abundance. They used their French word for ‘flourishing’ to name this valley Fleurissant.”
“In 1786 the Spanish governor (of the Louisiana Territory) came upon our prospering village,” added Mayor Schneider, “and bestowed the name San Fernando on our town…When we became part of the United States territory in 1804 the name was anglicized to St. Ferdinand.”
Mayor Schneider noted, though, that the original French name that had become anglicized as Florissant never went away and “persisted on historical documents and letters and maps…If you are confused then you know why Mayor (Arthur) Bangert and his City Council passed ordinance #129, officially changing the name of our city from St. Ferdinand to Florissant June 26, 1939.”
On Thursday, June 26, 2014, the official 75th anniversary of the city’s name change, Mayor Schneider, members of the City Council and City Department heads met with residents at a pair of Town Hall meetings that were held at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Florissant Civic Center Theatre. They described the goals and objectives of the Administration for the City’s next 75 years.
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