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Scherpe & Koken Iron Works
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a.k.a. Enterprise Architectural and Ornamental Iron Works & Foundry; Scherpe & Koken Architectural Iron Company; Koken Iron Works

Location: St. Louis, MO

  • South 8th St. and Park Ave.
  • Manchester Road, Chouteau Ave. & Missouri Pacific Railway
Scherpe & Koken works Scherpe & Koken works
Scherpe & Koken Architectural Iron Co.'s Works [2]


  • 1870 · Scherpe, Koken & Graden
  • 1880 · Koken, Graydon & Co.
  • 1888 · Scherpe-Koken Architectural Iron Co.
  • 1892-1912 · Koken Iron Works
Common Seal of the City of St. Louis Scherpe & Koken ad (eBay) Scherpe & Koken illuminated cover
Common Seal of the
City of St. Louis
1890 ad (eBay) Illuminated Cover


  • John F. Scherpe and William T. Koken
  • "SCHERPE & KOKEN ARCHITECTURAL IRON COMPANY.—Iron Works and Foundry, Park avenue, South Eighth and Barry streets. (John F. Scherpe, President and Treasurer; William T. Koken, Vice-President and General Manager.) Manufacturers of every description of iron work required in buildings and structures (from the stately modern office block, fire-proof, and towering twelve or fourteen stories in height to the unpretentious village store front). The management of this Company early recognized the important place of iron work in all modern architecture and from the start adapted their plant, with its many subsequent additions and improvements to the exclusive manufacture of that class of work on a large and economical scale; and now their works are one of the largest and best equipped in that line west of the Alleghenies, and fully capable of meeting all demands that may be made, in the way of prompt execution of orders and most satisfactory fulfillment of every requirement in contracts for beauty in ornamental and artistic finish as well as for strength and reliability of materials used.
    Koken Iron Works ad from Catalogue of the Annual Exhibition of the Saint Louis Architectural Club, 1899
    Catalogue of the [1899]
    Annual Exhibition of the
    St. Louis Architectural Club
    The business of this Company has steadily grown, till now its products may be seen in every State and Territory west to California and south to Old Mexico, each and every one of them standing as a lasting tribute to the excellence of their work and showing also that their methods of doing business are being recognized and appreciated. Their manufactures include store fronts, girders, lintels, caps, sills, balconies, verandas, fence railings, roof crestings, shutters and doors, jail and vault work, stable fittings, gates, stairs, fire escapes, etc., etc., in an endless variety of styles. They also make a specialty of patent illuminating tiles (Hyatt's & Concrete) for sidewalk areas, skylights and floor lights, in short everything in the way of cast or wrought iron work, structural and ornamental, that is used for building of any description. Their valuable illustrated catalogue should be in the hands of every one interested in building, it is a very handsome cloth bound book containing much valuable imformation for the building trade, and is mailed free on application." —Commercial and Architectural St. Louis, 1888
  • "The Scherpe & Koken Architectural Iron Company, whose great factory and works are conveniently situated on the Missouri Pacific railroad and old Manchester road, and whose offices and warerooms are located in the Granite Building at the corner of Fourth and Market streets, is one of the strongest and most thoroughly representative firms in this interesting and delicate line in St. Louis. Possessed of ample resources, the capital being 100,000, and perfected facilities, they have secured the patronage of our leading architects, etc., and enjoy a high reputation for the style and elegance of their work. Their premises at Chouteau avenue cover an area of six acres, and are equipped with a 150 horse power steam engine, and all the necessary appliances for the successful prosecution of the industry. 250 hands are constantly employed, among whom the most perfect organization is observable, and over every detail the energetic officers exercise a close personal supervision. Mr. John F. Scherpe is the president and treasurer; Mr. F. C. Schventhaler, assistant manager, and Mr. A. G. Fish, secretary, all gentlemen of great prominence in business and financial circles, and experienced in all the processes of the iron working manufacture. Among the contracts executed by this establishment, may be mentioned the Jefferson avenue bridge, the Connecticut Mutual Life building, the American Central building, Cotton Exchange building, Globe Democrat Printing Company's building, U. S. Custom House building, Houser building, Boatmen's Bank building and the well-known Laclede building, erected at a cost of 500,000. This line embraces all kinds of ornamental and structural wrought and cast iron work, such as columns, store fronts, beams, girders, roof trusses, doors, shutters, cornices, arches, railings, area and sky lights, balconies, straps and bolts. In fact, any and all kinds of iron work used in buildings, bridges, etc., many of the articles being distinguished by extreme beauty of design and finish, exhibiting the highest degree of artistic merit as well as reliability as to strength and durability. The trade from this center extends to all parts of the United States, and has, during recent years, assumed such proportions and been characterized by such annual increases, as to excite the most hopeful anticipations for a prosperous and brilliant future. They solicit correspondence and mail a beautiful catalogue free upon application, and those who have anything in their line we would advise calling for estimates before placing orders." —Pen and sunlight sketches of Saint Louis: The Commercial Gateway to the South (1892) via Albert Gieseler
  • "W. T. Koken, who recently sold out his interest in the Scherpe & Koken Architectural Iron Company to John F. Scherpe, has now purchased the entire plant and Mr. Scherpe retires. Mr. Koken has been elected president of the concern, which will continue under the old name. This concern is well known throughout the entire country, and the friends and patrons of the company will be glad to hear that Mr. Koken has returned." —The Iron Age, Volume 49, 1892
  • "OBITUARY. WILLIAM T. KOKEN. William T. Koken, president of the Koken Realty Company, and formerly president of the Koken Iron Works, St. Louis, died suddenly January 3. Mr. Koken was 50 years old. All of his life was passed in St. Louis. In 1870 the firm of Scherpe, Koken & Graden were formed. They were succeeded by the Scherpe & Koken Iron Works. He made a fortune in the business and about a year ago disposed of his interest in the Koken Iron Works." —Iron Age, Volume 67, 1901
  • "William T. Koken's Death. On Thursday evening, the 4th inst., while engaged in bowling in the alleys at Ninth and Allen Avenue, Mr. William T. Koken, one of the founders of the Koken Iron Works, on Old Manchester Road and the Missouri Pacific Railroad, died suddenly while in the heat of the game. His old comrades and fellow players for years were astounded at the suddenness with which the summons came. A physician was called at once when Mr. Koken complained of being seriously ill, but it was too late—the vital spark had fled. The friends of the dead man broke the news at once to his wife and children, who were almost prostrated by the heart-breaking information. It is but a few weeks since Mr. Koken and his wife returned from a trip to Europe, and in a few days he intended to go to Arizona to look after some important business interests in that section. The iron works which he in connection with others founded twenty-seven years ago is one of the best known in this section and has constantly grown with each succeeding year. Several years ago Mr. Koken disposed of a portion of his interest, since
    Albert G. Fish, Vice-President, Koken Iron Works
    Albert G. Fish
    VP, Koken Iron Works

    Herman Stoffregen, Secretary, Koken Iron Works
    Herman Stoffregen.
    Sec., Koken Iron Works
    which time Mr. Hermann Stoffregen, the secretary, has been the active manager, but Mr. Koken was the president of the company. He was also president of the Koken Realty Company, and was a member of the Union Club and other well known organizations." —Iron and Machinery World, Volume 89, 1901
  • "KOKEN IRON WORKS. Bell Linden 681, 1460. Kinloch C318, B1400. The origin of the Koken Iron Works dates back to 1880, in which year (on the first of January) the firm of Koken, Graydon & Co., opened workshops on the southeast corner of Eighth street and Park avenue, for the manufacture of architectural iron. Here they remained till 1888, when they removed to the present location bounded by the Old Manchester road, Chouteau avenue and Missouri Pacific Railroad tracks. The name of the firm was changed at the same time to the Scherpe-Koken Architectural Iron Co., which was incorporated in 1888 by John S. Scherpe, Wm. T. Koken and Chas. W. Koppen. The incorporation of the present firm took place in 1893, and the officers of the company at that time were Wm. T. Koken, President; A. G. Fish, Vice-President, Herman Stoffregan, Secretary and Treasurer, who also constituted the Board of Directors. Besides these there were five other stockholders interested in the company and all actively engaged in one or the other department. The product of the establishment consists in structural and ornamental iron and steel work for buildings and bridges; the various shops, and especially those of the bridge department recently added, are equipped with the newest and most approved tools and machinery all driven by electricity. This and all other modern facilities which can be made useful, enable the company to execute even the biggest contract with great promptness. Every department is superintended over by gentlemen possessing a thorough scientific and practical knowledge of all the details involved; this fact, combined with the use of only the best material, superior workmanship and a close scrutiny of all the work performed by from 300 to 400 skilled mechanics, gives the output of this vast concern the enviable reputation, which it enjoys. The territory of sales extends West to the Rocky Mountains, North to Montana, North Dakota and the Lakes, East to Ohio, West Virginia and Georgia, and South to the Gulf of Mexico. The plant is the most extensive of its kind this side of Pennsylvania covering an area of six acres of land on the Missouri Pacific Railroad line with switching connections to every railroad coming to St. Louis. The general offices of the company are housed in one of the factory buildings, but the contracting office is located in the Koken Building, 715 Locust street, close to the General Post-Office and Custom House, right in the center of the business district of the city. After the death of Mr. Koken and the retirement of Mr. Stoffregen from active business, the proprietorship was changed and the officers of the company are now as follows: Mr. F. J. Llewellyn, President; Mr. F. T. Llewellyn, Vice-President, and Mr. G. H. Frederick, Secretary." —Mercantile, industrial and professional Saint Louis, 1902
  • "American Bridge Company. American Bridge has fabricated and erected the steel for a major portion of the world's greatest bridges and tallest buildings. The American Bridge Company was incorporated in 1900 by J. P. Morgan as a consolidation of twenty-eight bridge companies, representing eighty-percent of the structural steel fabricating capacity of the United States. The following year Morgan folded ownership of the American Bridge Company into his newly formed United States Steel Company in the form of a subsidiary. Four other bridge companies were purchased and added to the firm over the years and included the Toledo Bridge Company in 1901, the Detroit Bridge and Iron Company in 1902, the Koken Iron Works of St. Louis in 1912 and the Virginia Bridge and Iron Company of Roanoke in 1936." —New Hampshire Historic Property Documentation

Illustrated Catalogue · 1887:

Illustrated Catalogue · Front Cover
Front Cover
Illustrated Catalogue · Frontispiece
Illustrated Catalogue · Title Page
Title Page
Illustrated Catalogue · Page 93
Page 93
Illustrated Catalogue · Page 94
Page 94