Around 1915 negotiations began between the international and state Y.M.C.A. and a local committee for the building of a Y.M.C.A. in Flat River. The project was also supported by the local lead companies at that time. The companies involved were St. Joseph Lead Co., National Lead Co., Federal Lead Co. and the Desloge Lead Co.
These companies agreed to contribute $6 for every $1 raised by the local sector toward the erection and equipping of the building. In addition, the companies agreed to contribute a certain amount for the support of the work each year. This maintenance amount averaged about 35 percent a year.
The three-story brick building was erected by the McCarty Construction Company of St. Louis. It opened on Nov. 12, 1917 and contained a gymnasium, swimming pool, shower and bath area, reading room, dormitory, dining area small kitchen, bowling alley, billiard room, motion picture machine and more.
The building that was torn down to make way for the construction of the Y.M.C.A. had been known as the Darling Building. The property was purchased for $1,800, and the cost of building the Y.M.C.A. building was $25,000. Construction started on the building in December of 1915.
In 1929 the St. Joseph Lead Company, which had absorbed the other lead companies, decided to turn all the support of the building over to the local sector. Because the membership and the local support had diminished by that time, administrators were barely able to keep the building open as a Y.M.C.A.
In 1935 the building was occupied by the Works Progress Administration, or W.P.A. At this time the Y.M.C.A. secured Dr. Haney’s residence at 4 Pratt Street in Flat River for its use.
Then around 1937 the W.P.A. moved to Farmington and the Y.M.C.A. building on Main Street was taken over by the Bonne Terre Farm and Cattle Company, a subsidiary of the St. Joseph Lead Company. It was also at this time that the second and third floors were converted into apartments.