Most people aren't aware that Tennessee Williams is from St. Louis. He grew up as the son of an itenerant shoe salesman in Mississippi who finally settled in St. Louis. Tom Williams (Tennessee was his pen name) was a sickly child who was withdrawn and shy. His sister was his solace and they loved each other dearly as they were the ones who got on well togehter. His father favored his older brother and eventually Tom went on to go to school at the University of Missouri. Failing there, his father then put him to work at the shoe factory downtown. (Its a loft apartment now). His two years of misery was as he eventually put it, "the irritant that caused the pearl to form." Quitting the job at International Show, he enrolled at Washington University. When his play was rejected by the educators there, even though he had a lifetime of writing, he had had enough. Finishing his education in Iowa, he eventually settled in New Orleans and adopted the name Tennessee Williams and in New Orleans, found the home he sought.
The local PBS station has an excellent piece on Williams: