Botanical Garden was created by Henry Shaw, a prominent St.
Louis businessman who opened his garden to the public in 1859.
Inspired by the gardens of his native England and guided by
the eminent botanist Dr. George Engelmann, Mr. Shaw intended
his garden to be a center for education, scientific research,
and horticultural display.
The Garden was originally a treeless prairie
far outside the city. Mr. Shaw, who came to St. Louis in 1819
and made a fortune selling goods to traders and settlers
setting off for the West, retired at the age of 40 and devoted
the rest of his life to developing his garden and the nearby
Tower Grove Park.
Today the Missouri Botanical Garden is a
National Historic Landmark and maintains one of the world's
leading programs in botanical research. The mission of "Shaw's
Garden," as it is still popularly known, is "to discover and
share knowledge about plants and their environments, in order
to preserve and enrich life."