Dr. Nicolas N. DeMenil

French born Physician, Legacy of Nobility, and Co Owner of St. Louis' First Drugstore Chain.

Chatillon DeMenil Mansion Timeline 1855-1882

Dr. Nicolas N. DeMenil was Born October 7, 1812 in Foug, France. As a young man he apprenticed under Dubois, a celebrated French chemist in Paris and later attended the government school of medicine, L’Ecole Imperiale de Medecine. After graduating with distinction he entered the army medical staff as a lieutenant.


He came to St. Louis in June 1834 and began practicing medicine in one of the brick buildings that formed Chouteau’s Row. There is some evidence that he later operated a large drug store with Con. and James Maguire.

Starting in 1837 he began the business of land speculation. By the time he moved his family into the house on 13th Street (the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion) he had retired from medicine. When he died in 1882 DeMenil’s real estate holdings were valued at $113, 250. That would be about $2,486,150 today.

He was described as a quiet, unassuming man and spent much of his time at home with his family. Judge Jno. M. Krum said of him at his funeral that “He was one of the most honest, upright and conscientious men I ever knew; there are few like him”

Nicolas died in St. Louis, MO on July 9, 1882. He is buried alongside his wife Emilie in Calvary Cemetery.