September 7, 1749

This was the birthday of René-Auguste Chouteau. His father abandoned the family and poor Auguste would probably never amount to anything. But by age 14 he had founded the city of St. Louis and became one of the most influential men in history.

This post was contributed by Ross Malone. A historian and a retired school teacher, Ross has authored many books about Missouri’s history, weird facts, and folk tales. He has also written children’s historical fiction. Visit his website, and buy his books in the Missouri Life store.