The Visual Journal of -the View from 2323

The Envelope

dumpster storyview from 2323 / By Lew

It began with an Envelope.

A square folded paper with a simple message. A Name and an Address

How archaic it seems in the modern world to be known by a location but it told you everything one needed to know. 

2323 Lafayette Square…at the cross section of streets surrounding an ancient piece of grass. Once prime real estate for French Land owners, Gilded Age Beer Barons and the aristocrats of St Louis. Ancient fences divided the Haves from the Have-nots. 

The Great Depression left a mark as the neighborhood descended into poverty. By the 1970s, the area was filled with crime, drugs, danger and yet the envelope contained a name that never left the neighborhood. 

George Seib was a house doctor, which meant the old kitchen became his office, and the pantry locked with his prescription drugs inside. He did house calls and delivered babies all around the still existing “green space” called Lafayette Square Park.

George and Edna, his sister walked to McKinley Heights high school down the block from their family home and business, the bakery in Soulard, they likely played in that green space of a park as children. George and his family moved to 2323 in the year 1923, while he was a student at Washington University Medical school. It all drastically changed for George that year. He saw his first ghost that summer.

His name was on an Envelope.

A name and a location

Strange Folk Festival view from 2323

George Seib M.D 

2323 Lafayette Ave

I found his envelope in the dumpster outside that house, one chilly October night. I found his drug scripts, the paraphernalia from drug companies sent via the mail and I found his legacy. 

Search the name “George A Seib” and things appear. An obituary with his birthday, deathday and survivors. There he is signing his name for corpses at McLaughlin Funeral across the alleyway, simply a name found at the History Annex. A man with no children, no wife and never moving away from the family house since 1923. 

The Visual Journal of -the View from 2323

Found some other stuff that night, like flyers from the Lafayette Square historical society. George has a public imprint that is easily discovered. 

a retrospective of dumpster archeology

Law suit says destroyed the house next door after he bought it for cheap and then turned in into a garden. He kept the Carriage House, his niece lived in it for decades. Turns out 2329 had lost it’s roof exposing the top floor for decades. Same floor that planned a failed transatlantic flight shortly before Lindbergh successfully did. Three men died in that earlier attempt. 

George had a cow farm in Belleville, where his father was from. He built a fishing pond for his father there in 1940 and discovered a 7 foot skeleton under a slab. As a Medically trained Anthropologist, he knew exactly how to document, measure and photograph a “dig”. For some unknown reason he covered it back up claiming the world wasn’t ready for it. Public record has records of his cow prices, and eventual sale of the family land. The story of the skeleton crosses over into family tales.

Aleš Hrdlička

George quit being an Anthropology professor at Washington University, shortly after his infamous 1936 Alaska trip with a Curator at the Smithsonian named Aleš Hrdlička. Seems the field was fraught with conspiracy and controversy as Native Americans consider Hrdlička to be worse than Hitler in grave desecration. Ironically Aleš Hrdlička was involved with a war time pamphlet effort to to convince Native Americans that the Nazis hated them too, while it turns out strangely Hitler considered them to be the original Aryans or something odd like that. The Smithsonian tends to honor the Medical scientific skill of the original Curator but leaves out his crimes. Conjecture is all we have as too why George quit (and family stories).

The Seib family won awards for their unique garden, and George’s was legendary as the highlight of the annual Lafayette Square House tour. 2323 Lafayette has a story from everyone on the block. Neighbors knew Edna until her tragic death, and owned copies of the Poetry book written by their Mother. One local historian had his 1970’s era senior year party at George’s Carriage house, he told me it was driving home drunk on a motorcycle after being served champagne by George and their attractive teacher for hours, he resolved to move to Lafayette Square one day…..and much like George he never left.

Public record show that George was also a free-lance Doctor at local hospitals. The Lutherans, the Catholics, and the first all African American staffed hospital brought him in for special cases, after all, he wasn’t any ordinary MD, he trained at the best school and once was called Professor. One night a woman birthed a baby she didn’t want and George took it home to his sister. I found that story on a message board. Edna had adopted another little girl and they were partly raised in that house at 2323. After the death of their adopted father, one daughter with two children returned and then Edna. George spent his entire life caring for his extended family.

Edna the Artist
George and Edna

One family, in one house from 1923 to 2015.

One envelope with one name leading to many mysteries.

original poetry book

The biggest one of all was discovered in the German Poetry section at the Olin Library in Washington University. George Seib published 3 volumes of poetry under the name Carrie Seib in 1977, and sent them to libraries all across the world. Titled..”the Truth in Light” with the subheading “Spirit Writing”. The English translation of the Biography would finally begin to explain the odd life of George Seib.

View from 2323 - Strange Folk Festival

Carrie Seib was his mother and she was a psychic. The life of the entire family at 2323 revolved around this woman and her quest for the Truth.

A week after I found the Envelope, I discovered the Reel to Reel Tapes and went into the realm of psychic weirdness.