Camp Jackson

The picture (Left to right) shows John J. Fox, owner of the Union News at Union Station, John Wilde and his sons: George and John, and Charles B. Fox, son of John Fox.

The picture shows John Fox and his son, Charles, having completed a contract agreeing to a 10 year lease on six acres of John Wilde’s land.  The term of the lease is $300 for 10 years ( That’s $30 per year!). The lease runs from 1916 to 1926 and at the end of 10 years, the six acres reverts back to John Wilde.  But  John  Wilde died in the flu epidemic in 1919 and John J. Fox died in 1920.

On the six acres John J. Fox built Camp Jackson. This was primarily west of Lonedell Road where I-55 intersects at the Meramec River.

  Camp Jackson consisted of several buildings, a swimming pool and its own Delco power plant which provided electricity to the camp. The camp was to accommodate John’s five sons and one daughter and their families.  John Fox also bought another tract of land east of Camp Jackson where the caretaker would live.  The new land was eventually passed down to the sons and daughter.  One of the sons, Charlie Fox and wife Mabel, owned one of the farmhouses which had four upstairs bedrooms, a kitchen, dining room and living room, and kerosene lamps.  It was about 300 yards from the Meramec River which at the time was lined with clubhouses, the name given to weekend spots that at times hosted rather well-to-do parties.

    Charles Fox gave the Fox School District “a good deal” and in return the school would be named after him.

    Jim Fox, writer for the South County Journal, recalls going to Uncle Charlie’s house which was elegant, swimming in the Meramec River, and learning to shoot his .22 rifle out on Pear Tree Lane.

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