The Artifact Gallery was made possible by a generous gift from the William T. Kemper Foundation – Commerce Bank, Trustee.
St. Louis County Court donated a 500-acre farm to be raffled at the Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair. The farm, belonging to the Smizer family, was confiscated by the Union provost marshal after Mr. Smizer was suspected of disloyalty to the Union cause. For a dollar, visitors could purchase a ticket that afforded them a chance at winning the property. Almost $40,000 was raised by the raffle, and the Western Sanitary Commission put the money toward the purchase of land for the Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home.