YESTERDAY IN MEXICO, 25 Years Ago
The Mexico Ledger Feb. 8, 1997 page 10
The old gray house at 315 N. Jefferson St. which was the home of one of Mexico's most prominent citizens and held one of the finest privately owned libraries in the state, has its days numbered. The home of the late J. F. Llewellyn is to be razed soon according to its owner, Dr. P. C. Lahs...
The rambling two-story house with a wrap around front porch and tall, stately lines, has been owned by Dr. Lahs for the past several years, he said. The home, nearly a hundred years old, was once a cultural center for Mexico, chiefly because of the reading interests of Mr. Llewellyn and his rich heritage. Mr. Llewellyn, who died in 1917, was a pioneer druggist and came to Mexico in 1869.
His parents were natives of England and he studied Pharmacy and Chemistry in Louisville, Ky., where he was born in 1845.
Mr. Llewellyn was a lineal descendant of Llewellyn ap Gryffydd, the last Welsh prince, who was slain in 1282 by a vassal of King Edward I...
The history of his lineage was kept in his library, supplemented extensively by clippings which were bound and filed by him for more than 40 years.
The site for the Carnegie Library on North Washington Street was given to the city by Mr. Llewellyn, who constantly sought information through reading. For nearly 40 years the Llewellyn drug store on the west side of the square was the headquarters for the 'weather' in Mexico.
He was local observer for the United States Weather bureau, and officials of the bureau asserted his records were the most nearly perfect of any of those received by the Department from its correspondents. His family continued the tradition of being weather correspondents after his death.
In 1885 he established in Mexico the first electric light plant in the city and one of the first in the country...
His wife, the former Callie Duncan of Mexico, who died in 1943, was one of the organizers of the Wednesday Club...Mrs. Abbie Llewellyn Snoddy, their daughter, was a state president of the Missouri Federated Clubs and an editor of a national musical magazine.
Mr. Llewellyn's three sons, all pharmacists, continued to run the drug store after their father's death. The three brothers, Henry D., Frederick W. and R. Merritt, all were graduated from the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. The drug firm was sold in 1936 to W. L. Jesse of Moberly, and then became known as Jesse's Drug Store.
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