The 1921 Deed Restrictions

There has been obtained from City Hall the 1921 deed from the Compton Hill Improvement Company ("Company") concerning the property known as the Russell Point, also known as 3012 Longfellow or Lot 1 of Block E of Compton Hill Addition. It makes good reading. It contains in proper and lovely lawyer language the restrictions that apply to other homes in the neighborhood as well as restrictions that apply to the island blocks east and west of Compton.

The deed in question recites in its preface that the Company had forgotten that its charter from the state was only of limited duration. Nowadays it is possible to obtains a perpetual charter for a corporation; in the 1880's corporate charters were much more limited and were seldom granted in perpetuity as is customary today. The charter of the Company, the developer of our neighborhood, expired June 1, 1918. The last election of board members had occurred in January, 1914. Apparently the Company had forgotten that it still owned the Russell Point lot, perhaps because of the issues discussed below.

The deeds concerning all of the lots on Block E (the island east of Compton bounded by Longfellow and Hawthorne) all contain an easement reserved at original sale of one-half of a 15 foot wide piece of ground forming "a continuous strip THRU (emphasis in original) Block E of said 'Compton Heights'" for the "laying or repairing water, gas, steam pipes, or electric conduits, or in putting up and repairing telegraph or telephone wires or, generally in establishing and maintaining such conveniences for a residence neighborhood as may now be in use, or may hereafter come in use." According to the deeds selling property on Longfellow and Hawthorne in Block E this easement belonged to the Compton Hill Improvement Company until such time as it sold all of its lots in Block E. At that time, the deeds reflect "the said easement or right shall vest in the owners of the lots abutting said continuous strip, their heirs and assigns . . ."

The 1921 deed concerning Russell Point remedied the failure of the Company to sell all of its lots in Block E and thereby transfer ownership of the 15 foot wide easement that runs along the spine of Block E. The deed in question sets out the governance of that strip, the same to be determined by a majority of lots in Block E. This 15 foot easement runs with the land, as the law puts it, meaning that it is not extinguished by the death of the parties or their successors and assigns. The deed in question grants to "any person owning a lot in 'Compton Heights'" "the right to institute and prosecute appropriate proceedings, at law or in equity, for the wrong done or attempted" as concerns restrictions and conditions.

The existence of this wide easement along the spine of Block E as well down the middle of its neighboring island block west of Compton, when coupled with building line restrictions common to all properties fronting Longfellow and Hawthorne, may well explain the absence of development at the point areas of these two blocks at all times since Compton Hill Improvement Company acquired our neighborhood's land on July 11, 1889.

Frank Kriegel, Vice President and Historian (November 2005)

Compton Hill Indenture

June 8, 1921

This Indenture made and entered into this 8th day of June, 1921, by and between Franklin L. Lampel, Julius Pitzman, Otto Schmitz and Thomas H. West, as trustee of the Compton Hill Improvement Company for the purposes of winding up its affairs, hereinafter called the Trustees, as parties of the first part, and Joseph C. Schroeder of the City of St. Louis, Missouri as party of the second part.

Witnesses: Whereas, the parties of the first part have become Trustees of the Compton Hill Improvement Company under circumstances, detailed in a resolution adopted by them on April 17, 1920, which is set forth in the minutes of the proceedings of said Trustees as follows: Whereas, the charter of the Compton Hill Improvement Company. A corporation created under the laws of the State of Missouri, expired June 1, 1918; Whereas, the fact that the charter had expired was not known to the stockholders and directors of said Company until within the last sixty days; Whereas at the last meeting of the stockholders of said Company for election of directors, which was held on January 19th, 1914, the following were elected directors of said corporation Henry C. Haarstick, Herman A. Haeussler, Edward C. Kehr, Franklin L. Lampel, Julius Pitzman, Otto Schmitz and Thomas H. West, and that the meeting of said directors held the same day Henry C. Haarstick was elected president, and Herman A. Haeussler, vice president of said board; Whereas there was no subsequent election of directors, whereby the persons above named or their survivors held over as directors of said Company until its dissolution: Whereas, of the parties above named the following are dead: Henry C. Haarstick and Edward C. Kehr, and the vacancies thus created in the Board of Directors of said corporation were never filled by the stockholders or by said Board;

Now, Therefore, be it resolved that Herman A. Haeussler, Franklin L. Lampel, Julius Pitzman, Otto Schmitz and Thomas H. West, as sole survivors of the president and directors of the Compton Hill Improvement Company, at the time of its dissolution do hereby declare themselves to be the Trustees of the Compton Hill Improvement Company for the purpose of winding up its affairs under the name of Trustees of the Compton Hill Improvement Company, as provided by Section 2995 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri of 1909; All of the recitals of fact in which resolution the said Trustees, parties of the first part hereto, declare to be true and adopt as part of this deed; Whereas, Herman A. Haeussler, one of said Trustees has since died; Whereas the Compton Hill Improvement Company hereinafter called the said Company, being the owner in fee of a tract of land in the City of St. Louis, caused it to be divided into lots, blocks and streets under the name of "Compton Heights", and caused a plat of said subdivision to be duly recorded in the Recorder’s Office of the City of St. Louis; and, Whereas, the said Company has spent large sums of money in improvements designed to make said "Compton Heights" suitable and desirable for purposes of residences and has, in order to that said subdivision may always remain a residence district exclusively, imposed upon each lot in said subdivision for the benefit of every other lot therein, conditions as applicable to the lot hereby conveyed are hereinafter set forth; and Whereas, the easement thus created and made appurtenant to each lot is an inducement to the part of the second part to make the purchase evidenced by this Deed;

Now, Therefore, the said parties of the first part hereto, the Trustees aforesaid, in consideration of the premises, and the sum Fifty One Hundred Twenty and 00/100 Dollars ($5120.00) to them in hand paid by the said party of the second part, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, do by these presents, Sell, Convey and Confirm unto the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, the following lot or parcel of land in the City of St. Louis, Missouri, to wit:

A lot in City Block 1359, designated as Lot Number One (1) in Block E of "Compton Heights" having a front of one hundred and eighteen feet, three and one half inches (118' 3 ½") on the eastern line of Longfellows (sic) Boulevard, and extending eastwardly to Hawthorne Boulevard, on which line it has a front of one hundred and forty four feet and two and three-fourths inches (144' 2 ¾") said lot is bounded north by Russell Ave, southwestwardly by lot 25, and southwardly by Lot 2 of said Block E or by the center line of a strip of land fifteen feet (15’) wide reserved for joint use of owners of lots in said Block E, which said lot is subject to the building line as shown on the recorded plat of "Compton Heights", and to the restrictions stated in sales made previously by grantor of other lots in said block.

To Have and to Hold the above described lot or parcel of land, with all and singular the easements, rights, privileges and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining, unto the said party of the second part and unto his heirs and, assigns forever. Provided, nevertheless and the conveyance hereby made is subject to the reservations, easements, restrictions, covenants, and conditions following that is to say:

  1. But one building shall be erected or place upon said lot, and such building shall never be used or occupied for any purposes, except for that of private residence exclusively; nor shall any part or portion thereof ever be used or occupied except solely as a residence; nor shall such building be arranged or ever used or occupied as flats; nor shall said lot or any part thereof ever be used or occupied for trade or business of any kind whatsoever,
  2. As appurtenant to the residence and to be used solely in connection with it, an outhouse, stable or other subsidiary building may be erected on the lot hereby conveyed; but the same shall not be placed within seven and one half feet (7 ½’) from the rear line of said lot. And the space between the rear line of the lot and a line within the lot parallel to and distant seven and one half feet (7 ½') from said rear line shall not be built upon or obstructed by the party of the second part, his heirs or assigns, but the parties of the first part hereto, the Trustees, aforesaid, hereby reserve the right, at all times, to enter upon said strip, and to authorize and empower persons or corporations to enter upon the same, and to do such works as may seem proper to said parties of the first part or their assigns, in laying or repairing water, gas, steam pipes or electric conduits, or in putting up and repairing telegraph or telephone wires or generally in establishing, and maintaining such conveniences for a residence neighborhood as may now be in use, or may hereafter come in use. The easement or right thus reserved shall be exclusively vested in the parties of the first part to the exclusion of the vendees of other lots in "Compton Heights" until the parties of the first part shall have sold all the lots on both sides of the continuous strips thru (Emphasis may have been supplied by the Recorder.) Block E of said "Compton Heights" of which the last mentioned seven and one half foot (7 ½’) strip is a part; thereupon the said easement or right shall vest in the owners of the lots abutting said continuous strip, their heirs and assigns, as to said lots; said easement or right being appurtenant to the ownership pf said abutting lots, yet in such manner that the majority of such abutting owners shall have absolute power and control over the management or disposition of said rights or easements, the majority binding the minority by any action it may take in the premises, each lot being entitled to one vote (thru its owner or owners) (Emphasis may have been supplied by the Recorder.) in determining the majority.
  3. No building shall be erected on the lot hereby conveyed, the walls of which shall be nearer than eight feet to the side lines of the lot, but this shall not prevent the building of portes cocheres which may extend to the southwestern (Emphasis may have been supplied by the Recorder.) lot line.
  4. No building, the actual cost of which is less than Seven Thousand Dollars ($7000.00) shall be erected on said lot, unless the plans and specifications thereof are first submitted to and approved by the parties of the first part, nor shall any fence or enclosure of any kind be put on the side lines of the lots between the street and the building line, nor shall any closed fence or wall be put on said lines for a distance of thirty feet (30’) back from the building line, nor shall the existing grade of the lot, for a distance of sixty feet (60’) from the street, be changes more than twelve inches (12") unless by consent of the parties of the first part and the owner of the adjoining lot on each side. And the said party of the second part accepts this conveyance subject to the reservations, easements, restrictions and conditions above set forth, and for himself, his heirs and assigns, covenants to and with the parties of the first part, their successors and assigns, that the said party of the second part will, and that his heirs and assigns forever faithfully observe and perform said several restrictions and conditions and each of them; and if the said party of the second part or any person claiming under him, shall at any times violate or attempt to violate, or shall omit to perform or observe any one of the foregoing restrictions and covenants, it shall be lawful for any person owning a lot in "Compton Heights" which is subject to the same restrictions or conditions in respect to which the default is made, to institute and prosecute appropriate proceedings, at law or in equity for the wrong done or attempted. And the said parties of the first part hereby covenant to and with the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, that they will not at any time hereafter convey or otherwise dispose of any lot in "Compton Heights" except upon and subject to the following restrictions and conditions, which are common to all lots in said subdivision, namely: (1) That but one building shall be erected or placed on each lot, to which an outhouse, stable or other subsidiary building may be added as appurtenant to the residence; (2) That such building shall never be used for any purpose other than that of private residence; (3) That the lot shall never be used or occupied for trade or business of any kind whatever; (4) That no fence or enclosure of any kind shall be put on the side lines of the lot between the street and the building line; that no closed fence or wall shall be put on said side lines for a distance of thirty feet (30’) back from the building line; and that the existing grade of the lot, for a distance of sixty feet (60’) shall not be changed more than 12 inches (12") unless by consent of the parties of the first part and of the owners of the adjoining lot on each side.

EXCEPT THAT: (language supplied in lieu of symbol) The said Company has established a building line upon the aforesaid plat of said subdivision; and said parties of the first part hereby covenant to and with the said party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, that they will not convey or otherwise dispose of any lot in "Compton Heights" without restricting the building to be erected thereon to the building line of such lot as shown on said plat, except that the steps and platform in front of the main door may extend over said building line not to exceed eight feet. And furthermore that they will not convey or otherwise dispose of any such lot without imposing a restriction that the walls of such building shall be kept some distance within the side lines of the lot, which distance shall in no case be less than five feet from each side line of such lot, except that portes cocheres may be extended to the lot line. And the said parties of the first part for themselves and their successors in trust hereby covenant to and with the party of the second part, his heirs and assigns, that they will, as Trustees and not individually, forever Warrant and Defend, subject to the foregoing reservations, easements, restrictions, covenants and conditions, the title to the lot or parcel of land hereby conveyed, unto the said party of the second part, and unto his heirs and assigns forever, against the lawful claims and demands of all persons whomsoever, claiming or attempting to claim the same by, thru (Emphasis may have been supplied by the Recorder.) or under said Trustees, except as to the taxes of 1921 and thereafter; and also except the claim under special tax bills issued against the property above conveyed for the construction of what is known as Mill Creek Joint Sewer, under ordinances of the City of St. Louis numbered 27687, 27688 and 27689, which special tax bills are not included in any of the covenant, express or implied, of this deed.

In Witness Whereof, the said Trustees have hereto set their hands and seals as such Trustees.

Franklin L. Lampel (Seal)
Julius Pitzman (Seal)
Otto Schmitz (Seal)
Thos. H. West (Seal), Trustees
State of Missouri } SS.
City of St. Louis }

On this 30 day of June 1921, before me personally appeared Franklin L. Lampel, Julius Pitzman, Otto Schmitz and Thomas H. West, to me known to be the same persons described in, and who executed the forgoing instrument as Trustees of the Compton Hill Improvement Company and acknowledged that they executed the same as their free act and deed as such Trustees. In Witness Whereof, I have hereto set my hand and official seal in said City of St. Louis this 30 day of June 1921.

My commission expires April 11-1923

Frederick Pitzman, Notary Public

Filed & Recorded July 8-1921 at 3:53 PM _ Mrs. Chas F. Joy, Recorder

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