Eugene Field was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, on September 1850. His childhood home is now a museum called “The Eugene Field House & Saint Louis Toy Museum”. Field became known as “The Children’s Poet” due to the large number of children’s poems he penned. His writing career began as a student at the University of Missouri in Columbia.
Eugene first visited Saint Joseph at the age of 20. Later, he worked as an editor for the Saint Joseph Gazette. He became known for his wit and engaging humor.
In 1873, Field, 23, married Julia Sutherland Comstock, then sixteen, of St. Joseph, Missouri, and during their 22 year marriage, they had eight children, five of whom reached maturity.
Julia Comstock Field definitely inspired this beautiful love poem. Many mistakenly think it was written by Eugene Field in their early courtship. It was not written until in 1889. The Fields were staying in London, as Eugene was in poor health at the time and trying to recover. The poem was written as a reminiscence of the good old days when the couple courted in her father’s buggy on “Lover’s Lane, St Jo”.
He died in 1895 in Chicago, Illinois at the young age of 45. Field and Julia Comstock Field lay buried side-by-side in a church graveyard in Kenilworth, Illinois
Besides Lover’s Lane, there are two other streets in St. Joseph, Missouri that are named for Eugene Field: Eugene Field Avenue & Gene Field Road. The streets are occasionally confused by visitors. Also on Gene Field Road are the Gene Field Apts and Gene Field School.
Eugene Field was 23 when he married 16-year-old Julia Comstock of St. Joseph. They courted while buggy-riding on Lovers Lane in St. Joseph, which Eugene later wrote about in a poem.
425 North Eleventh Street
This was the first residence of Eugene Field and his young bride in Saint Joseph. The building still serves as an apartment complex. This brick home with Italianate influences was restored in 1986 with a Community Block Grant.