Queathem, Felix Family

By Ann Chrissos

Franciscus Van Quaethem (1809-1883) and his brother Carolus (1808-1885) lived on a farm near the town of Ruiselede, Belgium.  Franciscus married twice.  His first wife was Barbara DeRoo and they had four children:  Charles, Henri, Felix and Marie.  His second wife was Eugenia Vermueler and they had ten children.  Henri and Felix immigrated to Chicago, Illinois in June, 1857 and worked in a brickyard for a short time.   Henri then moved to South America and Felix (1835-1883) settled in Creve Coeur, Missouri where he married Marie Elizabeth Hackmann (1822-1881).  They built a large brick farm house on Mosley Road where they raised eight children:  Marie Elizabeth, Felix, Jr., Rosine, Emma, Lydia, David, Henry and John.  Felix, Sr. dropped the Van from his surname and Felix, Jr. (1866-1947) changed the spelling from Quaethem to Queathem.  Around 1890, Felix, Jr. married Pauline Hoefer (1868-1920).  They had eight children.  The surviving six were:  Irving, Victor, Esther, Pauline, Mabel and Hazel.

In 1898, Felix, Jr. and Pauline purchased a farm with a brick house on Olive Street Road (Olive Boulevard).  The house had been built by Jacob Raven.  Jacob Frederick Raven (1811-1875), a carpenter/builder, emigrated from Bremen, Germany and settled in St. Louis.  In 1859, he purchased 39 acres along Olive Street Road where he built a two-story, four room farm house out of bricks made on the property.  Part of the interior contained some hand hewn oak beams.  A detached frame kitchen was located behind the house.  According to Mrs. Brandt the current owner of the house, there are four stone markers behind the present building which indicates the location of the original kitchen.  After Raven’s widow, Anna died, her second husband, Henry Nau, sold the house to Herman Schaeper.  Upon Schaeper’s death in 1898, Felix and Pauline Queathem purchased the house and owned it for the next 47 years.  They added the rear two-story wing and a one story porch between 1912 and 1916 to accommodate their eight children.  Later, they also added electricity and indoor plumbing.

The Queathems raised hogs on the acreage along Hog Hollow Road and Felix would walk his hogs down to the Missouri River, thus giving the area its name.  They also produced peaches, cherries and pears which they sold in St. Louis.  Because the property had such a spectacular view of the Missouri River, the family named it “Panorama.”  They enjoyed watching steamboats pass as they traveled to and from St. Louis.  Due to flooding, the river’s course has changed and it can no longer be seen from the house.

Following Felix’s death, the house changed hands several times until it was turned into a tearoom and antique shop in 1983 called Queatham House.  The five female owners changed the spelling from Queathem to differentiate the business from the family.  Betty Brandt purchased the building in 1993, and moved her existing business, founded in 1978, to the new location.  She eliminated the tea room and filled all of the rooms with delightful items.  The previous owners maintained the house was haunted and provided Mrs. Brandt with two examples.  One of the owners claimed that all of the music boxes were playing when she arrived for work one morning.  Another time she found the cash register tape was filled with question marks when the register had no ? key.  Mrs. Brandt says she has never experienced anything unusual, but some of her customers have claimed to feel cold spots on the stairs.  One customer said she saw the apparition of a woman standing at an upstairs window.

The Queathem house, or the Old House in Hog Hollow as it is known today, is one of Chesterfield’s historic landmarks.  It is located at 14319 Olive Boulevard and is open for business.




Wedding picture of Felix and Pauline (Hoefer)  Queathem  about 1890.  They owned and lived in the Queathem House for 47 years.  Courtesy of Ruth Queathem.



Old House in Hog Hollow (Raven/Queathem House).  Courtesy of Dan Rothwell  taken in Dec. 1997.



Brandt, Betty interviewed by Ann Chrissos on April 7 2016.
Hardy, Deborah Ann, The History of Queathem House (Washington University student paper).
Queathem, John Daniel and his sister Lucille, The Van Quaethem Family, 1973.
Rothwell, Dan A,   A Guide to Chesterfield’s Architectural Treasures, 1998.