The name of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot's man of divided conscience, was probably suggested by the Prufrock-Littau Company, furniture dealers located at Fourth and St. Charles Streets in St. Louis, Eliot's birthplace, at the time of the composition and publication of 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' in 1915. . . .(From Stephen Stepanchev, "The Origin of J. Alfred Prufrock" in Modern Language Notes, June 1951 p. 400, quoted in Anthony Hands, Sources for the Poetry of T. S. Eliot. Oxford: Hadrian Books. 1993 p. 2)
A letter of enquiry in regard to J. Alfred Prufrock's origin was sent to Mr. Eliot and elicited the following reply: 'Several correspondents have recently called my attention to the Prufrock-Littau company, furniture dealers of St. Louis. I did not have, at the time of writing the poem, and have not yet recovered, any recollection of having acquired the name in this way, but I think that it must be assumed that I did, and that the memory has been obliterated.'