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Oscar Wilde In America

a selected resource of oscar wilde's visits to america

St. Joseph, MO

The Decorative Arts * | Tootle's Opera House | Tuesday, April 18, 1882

* See Clarification below.



Newspaper Report

The St. Joseph Daily Gazette, April 19, 1882, 1


Indication (Location)

Newspaper Advertisement

The St. Joseph Daily Gazette, April 18 1882



As to lecture title

Advertised as The English Renaissance, but, owing to the smaller houses, Wilde had written to his manager, Col.W. F. Morse in early March to say:

"Kindly see that I am not advertised to lecture on 'The English Renaissance'. I have not delivered that lecture since February 11, and yet I am always advertised for it. It is very annoying, and besides, 'The English Renaissance' is printed in the Seaside, so people think they know it, and stay away. The lecture is on 'The Decorative Arts.'"


historical note

Tootles Opera House
504 Francis Street (at Fifth), St. Joseph, MO

Built: 1871 (Milton Tootle; architect Angelo Powell)
Opened: December 9, 1872
Seating capacity: 1500
Remodeled: 1923 as commercial office block
Building extant: as Pioneer Building, 502-514 Francis Street, St. Joseph, MO, 64501



The World's Hotel
12th and Penn Streets, St. Joseph, MO


Built: 1858 (as The Patee House)
Building extant: as Patee House Museum*

* A museum of communications and transportation. The building served as the eastern terminus of the Pony Express; the cannon which inaugurated the opening of the Express was fired in front of this building on April 3, 1860.

In the museum Blue Room the George Warfel Westerners on Wood art collection features more than 40 life-sized portraits of famous westerners including Jesse James, who was shot dead in St. Joseph two weeks before Wilde's lecture.

Wilde wrote to Norman Forbes Robertson and an unidentified correspondent from The World's Hotel on April 19, describing the aftermath of the Jesse James shooting (Complete Letters, 164).

Related source:

Patee House Museum

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