Chouteau

From the collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

In 1764 Auguste Chouteau made landfall on the banks of the Mississippi River and began construction of the fur-trading post that would become St. Louis. He was just fourteen at the time, and acting at the behest of his mother's lover, Pierre Laclede. Forty years later, as a prominent citizen of the city, he penned an account of the founding in a journal that is still partly preserved today.

(Twitter user @Joule)

UPDATED 4:46 p.m. Dec. 15, 2010:

KSDK is reporting that the fire was in an unoccupied, one-story, brick warehouse near Gratiot and Theresa.

They also report that a cutting torch, perhaps being used for workers to ready the space for a new occupant, is to blame for the blaze.

From earlier:

A large fire has been reported near the Steelcoate building near Chouteau Ave. and Grand Blvd.  We'll keep you updated as we confirm more about this story.