Historical Campus Tour

Danforth Campus

David R. Francis Field

Francis Field Gate

The David R. Francis Field is surrounded by the James Butler Bushyhead Track. The ornamental wrought-iron gate on the east end of the field was built after the World's Fair to commemorate the 1904 Olympics. During both the 1984 and 1996 Olympic Torch relays, the Olympic Flame passed by Francis Field on its way to the site of the Games.

David R. Francis
David R. Francis

Francis Gymnasium and Francis Field, both used as venues during the 1904 Olympics, are named for David Rowland Francis, an 1870 graduate of Washington University, governor of Missouri, president of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company, U.S. ambassador to Russia, and president of Merchants Exchange. Francis planned a career in law, but upon returning home to discuss his $450 college debt, he learned of an opening in the family grain business. After more schooling, and years of hard work, he eventually became a partner, and then president.