St Louis REALTORS® is the largest local real estate association in the state of Missouri, one of the largest in the United States and the fifth oldest still in existence. It is of the essence that we recognize the important ground work that was laid by our leadership and the great strides they made in the real estate industry. Their visions, along with today’s leaders, have helped millions of people enjoy the American Dream of home ownership.
The St. Louis Association of REALTORS® can trace its beginnings to 1877 when the St. Louis Real Estate Exchange was founded. According to author Pearl Janet Davies, the primary purpose of the Exchange was “To advance the interests of the City of St. Louis and its inhabitants, by promoting public improvements, and to maintain an organization for sales and purchase of real estate, where public or private sales can be made, negotiations of real estate loans, and renting and leasing real estate.” This was exactly what our earlier members did as they met with their clients on a daily basis, helping them to buy and sell their real estate in the Exchange offices throughout the metropolitan St. Louis area.
The aspirations that these REALTORS® had for their community also reached out to the state and national level. These leaders were instrumental in the formation of the National Association of Real Estate Boards in 1908 and the Missouri Association of REALTORS® (MAR) in 1936. Today, the Association’s goals still mirror a reflection of our past leadership visions and goals, including the importance of unity in the real estate profession, the continuous collection of data pertinent to the real estate industry, the protection and promotion of private ownership of real property, and the institution of professional standards of practice.
- Community Leaders
It is no small wonder that through their hard work and vision, St. Louis evolved as a major metropolis in the nation, often referenced as “The Gateway To The West.” The Exchange, and later the Real Estate Board, was fortunate to have many talented leaders. Past leaders include Cyrus Crane Willmore, one of the country’s earliest tract developers, former Mayor and civic leader Bernard F. Dickmann, Clarence Turley, Daniel Sheehan, Theophile Papin, and former St. Louis License Collector, Tom Nash. Three of these Exchange Presidents, Willmore, Turley and Sheehan, later served as President for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). See Association Presidents.