Webster Groves, Missouri

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Visit the City of Webster Groves Official Website

Located ten miles southwest of St. Louis, Missouri, today’s Webster Groves was an area known to Indians and fur trappers as Dry Ridge until around 1845. Prior to 1802 the land had changed rule from French to Spanish and back to French. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1802, the Territory changed to American ownership.

The area continued to grow. People moved from downtown St. Louis city to cleaner areas further out, commuting on the Pacific Railroad. This railroad was very important to the growth of the area. Subdivisions were developed along the rail road and train stations. Maplewood,

Kirkwood, Rock Hill were neighboring towns to crop up.

In 1896, Webster Groves, Missouri was incorporated and in 1897 Old Orchard was annexed , increasing its size dramatically.

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Visit the Webster Groves Public Library

Through the decades Webster Groves has continued to prosper. It has grown into a city with beautiful homes of a variety of architectural styles that reflect their diverse influences. Families living here today take pride in the region’s history and in their precious historical homes, yards and gardens.

Webster Groves Time Line

  • 1802 Gregoire Sarpy given Spanish land grant of 7056 arpens (6002 acres).
  • 1804 Louis Bompart acquired 16 acres area Manchester Road.
  • 1826 Jefferson Barracks was built.
  • 1829 Manchester Road was laid out – St. Louis to Springfield, Missouri. Called the Osage Trail, State Road, and Market Road. Rock Hill Road was laid out, Manchester Rd. to Jefferson Barracks.. Called Jefferson Barracks Road, Old Military Road, and Reavis Road.
  • 1832 James and John Marshall built log homes on Manchester Rd. and later frame homes.
  • 1840 Big Bend Blvd. was laid out – it had been an Indian trail to the big bend in the Meramec River.
  • 1842 Sarpy’s land grant was approved by the US Government.
  • 1845 Pierre Chouteau Jr. bought some Sarpy land and subdivided it into 40 acre lots for sale.
  • 1845 James Spencer built a two story, 10 room log cabin near today’s Reavis Place. Another log cabin was built at 428 California for a fur trapper.
  • 1849 Worst cholera epidemic in St. Louis’ history.
  • 1852 Artemus Bullard founded the Webster College for Boys.
  • 1853 Pacific Rail Road stops in Webster Groves. Brown Place was subdivided near Fairview Station on Pacific R.R. 1853-58 Early settlers built homes in Webster Groves. Henri Papin, Captain John Swon, Captain Richard Lockwood, Christopher Hawken, John Helfenstein, William Gore, William Plant, Thomas Jones, Sylvester Papin.
  • 1860 John Marshall subdivided land north of Lockwood Avenue.
  • 1866 Four churches were built – Congregational, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Episcopal.
  • 1868 Webster Groves Public School system began.
  • 1880?s Ticknor homes built – Victorian and farm style homes near South Gore.
  • 1886 – Holy Redeemer Parish founded.
  • 1889 Edward Joy and his son, Justin, began building homes in Old Orchard and continued for 20 years.
  • 1890?s Tuxedo Park and Webster Park subdivided and sold.
  • 1896  City of Webster Groves was incorporated.
  • 1897 Old Orchard annexed.
  • 1903 Algonquin Golf Club was founded in Webster Park.
  • 1904 Algonquin Golf Club moved to Berry Road.
  • 1905 Several World’s Fair buildings moved to Webster Grove for residences.
  • 1914 Webster Groves designated as 3rd class city.
  • 1965 Webster Groves Historical Society formed.