Mound City Bar Association logo


Our History

The Mound City Bar Association is one of the oldest black bar associations west of the Mississippi River. It was organized as the St. Louis Negro Bar Association January 13, 1922, shortly after the World War. At that time, black lawyers were not allowed to join the all-white St. Louis Bar Association.

Homer G. Phillips, the “lost leader” of St. Louis, whose career was snuffed out by the bullets of “unpunished” murderers on a hot sultry June morning in 1031 as he walked alone from his home to board a street car.... Phillips was the indomitable figure in civic and public life of St. Louis, although he never held public office.... was a stalwart Republican yet his independence once led him against a local mayoralty ticket... was a par excellent speaker of the daring and persuasive type... his determined and intelligent leadership in the fight for the new City Hospital was a standout... he was a stickler for securing the inside facts and figures, and then fighting with them like a U.S. Grant around Richmond... was a man of few intimate friends and thus not without a levy of personal foes... he suffered with weak arches and wore expensive shoes and always fine felt hats... but he owned no automobile and died not a well-fixed man, which is not in keeping with his many opportunities to have “made money” because of his influence... a lawyer of large capabilities but he did not like small-bore, detail practice ... and to his solid memory the two million dollar city hospital is named in his honor... a man for all of that!

Frank S. Bledsoe, first Colored elected Justice of Peace by Democrats. Sits in old Court House in court room where the Dred Scott case was first tried in 1848. A graduate of Howard University and in practice here since 1923.

Henry D. Espy, twice president of the N. A. A. C. P. and associate counsel in important cases of public interest. Graduate of Howard University.

Silas E. Garner, former special assistant to State Attorney General and prominent in the general practice here since 1919. A graduate of old West Tennessee.

David M. Grant, assistant city counselor, first to hold such office under a local Democrat administration. A graduate of Howard University.

David M. Grant, assistant city counselor, first to hold such office under a local Democrat administration. A graduate of Howard University.

Joseph P. Harris, 27 years a public official in the Probate Court, whose record was one of advancement and respect by the bench and bar, whose ambition carried him through extra studious hours and admittance to the Bar and into the practice of law. One of the first to do social settlement work more than 30 years ago when he founded a small center near the levee.

Harrison Hollie, in general practice in Kansas before coming to St. Louis in 1926. He is a graduate of Kansas University.

Edwin F. Kenswil, began practice in 1923 and is a graduate of Howard University. One of top men in present city administration.

DeWitt Lawson, member of Nebraska and Arkansas bars before coming to St. Louis to practice in 1928. A graduate of the University of Nebraska.

Virgil Lucas, secretary of the Mound City Bar. Began practice here in 1932. A graduate of Howard University.

Joseph L. McLemore, City Legal Aid Assistant, president of Board of Curators of Lincoln University and first Colored to be nominated on Democratic ticket in State (for Congress, 1928). Graduate of a New York University and Howard University.

Ellis Outlaw, in practice here since 1927. A graduate of Chicago Law School of Depaul U.

William H. Parker, Sr. , admitted to bar in 1911 and in practice in Kansas City for a few years. Prominent in City Administration setup in building department.

Ambrose A. Page, in practice since 1928. Was French interpreter with the A.E.F. in France where he served for more than 14 months.

Harvey V. Tucker, president of the Mound City Bar. Began practice here in 1923. A graduate of Howard University.

Sidney D. Redmond, chairman of Executive Committee of N.A.A.C.P. and one of counsel in important civil rights cases brought against State and City. A graduate of Harvard University.

George W. Wade, admitted to practice in 1919. Active in legal work since retirement as Government employee in 1934.

Robert L. Witherspoon, vice-president of Bar and in practice since 1930. A graduate of Howard University.

N.B. Young, began practice here in 1924. A member of the Alabama Bar previously. Editor of “St. Louis American” and “Your St. Louis.” A graduate of Yale University.

Group Picture shown above:

Bottom Five: Harvey V. Tucker, president; Robert L. Witherspoon;

Virgil Lucas, secretary; Joseph L. McLemore; Edwin F. Kenswil.

Top eight: Silas E. Garner, DeWitt Lawson, George Wade, William H. Parker, N.B. Young, Ellis Outlaw, Harrison Hollie, and Ambrose A. Page.

ArrowIcon BloggerIcon AimIcon DeliciousIcon PaperIcon EtsyIcon FacebookIcon FilmStripIcon FlickrIcon CameraIcon LaunchIcon GooglePlus2Icon GooglePlusIcon HeartIcon InformationIcon InstagramIcon LastfmIcon FrontCameraIcon LinkedInIcon EmailIcon MoneyIcon ItunesIcon MyspaceIcon OpenTableIcon PayPalIcon PencilIcon PersonIcon PhotoIcon PicasaIcon PinterestIcon PodcastIcon RssIcon ShoppingCartIcon SoundCloudIcon StarIcon TableProjectIcon TheCityIcon TumblrIcon Twitter2Icon TwitterIcon TypepadIcon VideoIcon VimeoIcon WordPressIcon YelpIcon YoutubeIcon