Historical Campus Tour

Danforth Campus

Ridgley Court

Ridgley Court is located next to Ridgley Hall, Holmes Lounge, and Sever Hall. It provides a convenient and bright location outside for students to eat food and occasionally hold classes. There are also a number remembrances to donor contributions in the court.

Stephen Ridgley
Stephen Ridgley

Stephen Ridgley was born on July 26, 1806 in England, and moved to the U.S. at the age of 10. He entered the lamp manufacturing business of William Carleton of Boston in 1830. After working as a laborer for some time, he moved to St. Louis — after visiting the area a few years back — and started his own business, Webb, Chapin, and Ridgley. After a year he bought out his partners and joined with Aloner Stone of Lexington, Massachusetts. Stone withdrew 8 years later, and Ridgley continued for another couple of years. When he retired in 1850, he had accumulated a considerable fortune. In 1866 he was elected State Senator, and served as Chairman of his Senatorial Delegation throughout his term. He gave $76,000 to Washington University for the construction of a fire-proof library, Ridgley Hall. He died in May 1892.