Michael C. H. Arendes is the president of the Jefferson-Gravois Bank and aside from his activity in financial circles he has figured quite prominently in connection with public affairs in St. Louis and has made an excellent record as an official. He was born March 14, 1867, in this city, and is a son of Fred and Maria (Becker) Arendes. It was his father who organized the Lafayette Bank in St. Louis and for twenty-seven years was president of that institution, continuing as its chief executive officer until his death, which occurred in 1903. His wife passed away in 1908. To Mr. and Mrs. Arendes were born four sons and a daughter, all living in St. Louis, the brothers and sister of Michael C. H. Arendes of this review being: Mamie, the wife of Theodore Fritz; Paul; George M.; and Henry C.
In the parochial schools of St. Louis, M. C. H. Arendes pursued his early education and afterward attended the St. Louis University, from which he was graduated with the class of 1884. He completed a course in the St. Louis College of Pharmacy with the class of 1896 and later became secretary and treasurer of the Zwarts Pharmacy at Fourth and Locust streets. Subsequently he was connected with the Collins Brothers Drug Company and with the J. S. Merrell Drug Company, wholesale druggists, who were successors to the Collins Company. Of the Merrell Company Mr. Arendes is now a stockholder. He has also extended his business efforts into other fields, for In December, 1918, he was elected president of the Jefferson-Gravois Trust Company, which was soon after liquidated, and on the 27th of February, 1919, the company was reorganized as the Jefferson-Gravois Bank, taking over the assets of the trust company. Mr. Arendes was elected president of the bank and is largely shaping its policy and directing its destiny, which is evidently one of success. He spends his mornings in connection with the drug business and his afternoons in looking after the interests of the bank, and he says he finds his recreation in work and business.
On the 4th of June, 1890, Mr. Arendes was married in St. Louis to Miss Maria F. Zwarts, a daughter of Dr. John H. and Clementine Zwarts. Her father died in 1904 and her mother passed away in 1913. Mr. and Mrs. Arendes have become parents of five children: Michael. Jr., the oldest of the family, is married and has one child, Maria Gertrude; Elizabeth is the wife of Dr. F. G. Pernaud, director of the southwest district for the Red Cross. He studied under Dr. F. J. Lutz, who was recognized at one time as the leading medical man of this city. To Dr. and Mrs. Pernaud have been born two children, Flavius G. and Michael, who are with their parents in St. Louis; Maria A., the third of the family, is the widow of Captain Robert W. Rombauer, who died in the service of the country at Fort Riley, Kansas, during the World war, leaving three children: Lydia Maria, Marjorie Augusta and Roderick W. They, too, make their home in St. Louis; Clementine, the fourth member of the family, is the wife of Harry W. Kroeger, a commission merchant of St. Louis, and they have one child, Harry W.; August M. is engaged in the real estate business in St. Louis.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Catholic church and in political belief Mr. Arendes is a democrat. In 1911 he was elected for a four years’ term to the city council on the democratic ticket and served for two years as city councilman, at the end of which time the house of delegates and city council was transformed into the board of aldermen. Mr. Arendes was appointed vice president of the board of police commissioners of St. Louis, and acted as such during the last two years of his term of office under the administration of Governor Major. He made a most excellent record as a public official by the prompt, capable and efficient manner in which he discharged his duties. In 1920 Ire was made a delegate to the national democratic convention held in San Francisco. During the war period he was active in promoting the Liberty bond drives and in advancing other war service. He is well known in club circles, having membership in the Liederkranz, the Sunset Hill Country Club and the Western Rowing Club. All these interests, however, are made subservient to his business affairs and his position in connection with the drug trade of the city is an enviable one, while his business enterprise and progressive spirit are manifest in his successful conduct of the interests of the newly organized Jefferson-Gravois Bank, which is capitalized for two hundred thousand dollars and already has a surplus and undivided profits of one hundred and ten thousand dollars. Mr. Arendes has manifested a most friendly attitude to the poor in his neighborhood, giving them sound advice in business matters and on various occasions extending to them needed financial aid.