Architect E.J. Eckel attended the world famous school of architecture, Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. He came to the United States in 1869, and after a brief stay in New York, traveled by train, looking for a place to begin his career. He was on his way to Kansas City when damage to a train bridge temporarily stranded him. This gave him time to explore the town of St. Joseph, Missouri. He liked what he saw, decided to stay, and St. Joseph gained an incredibly talented architect.