We all have a history that we associate our towns with and that we love to share with our friends. There are cities that have a rich history that every one of us should learn and know about in their life. St. Louis, Missouri is definitely one of those cities.
The city of St. Louis is among the oldest cities in Missouri. Its history can be traced back to the time when a man by the name Pierre Laclede Liguest in 1763 discovered the perfect place for trading on the Mississippi River. After his discovery, he started clearing the heavily forested land so as to make a place for a new town in 1764. He got the land as a grant from the King of France. When Laclede received the land, he named the village as St. Louis in honor of the French King, Louis IX. Most of the early settlers in this area were French and most got associated with the fur trade.
In 1770, St. Louis transferred ownership to Spain before it returned to France when Napoleon signed a secret treaty. In 1803, St. Louis then became part of the US following the Louisiana Purchase. It was after this purchase of 1803 that the city gained fame as the jumping-off point. It then saw New Englanders, as well as other East Coast emigrants, settle here though the population continued to be dominated by the French. St. Louis played a small role in the famous American Revolutionary War.
St. Louis was incorporated as a city in 1823, and it was not until the 19th century when it then became a pivot center for trade and commerce. It then started attracting immigrants in the thousands who were eager to find a better and new life here.
The earliest building to be constructed included a large house that acted as the fur company’s headquarters that had cabins and storage sheds. In September 1764, a post house was finished, and it became the focal point of the new village. It was from here that other buildings and streets expanded as more traders and trappers populated the settlement. The village had about seventy-five buildings by 1766. Most were built of stones that were quarried along the river bluff although there were others constructed of timber. By 1800, the village had about a thousand citizens who were mostly Spanish, French, and Indians and black men; some men were slaves and others freemen.
With the arrival of more immigrants between 1840 and 1860, the population continued to grow. The majority of the settlers were Germans and Irish, who came to St. Louis as a result of the German Revolution and the Irish Potato Famine. During the American Civil War, though St. Louis was a strategic location, no major war was fought here due to the fiercely loyal German influence.
In locating the history of St. Louis Missouri, one can’t conclude without a mention about its current boundaries. Its present boundaries came into existence in 1876 after voters approved the separation from St. Louis County. St. Louis continued with its rapid growth, and this was boosted in 1874 by the construction of the Eads Bridge. In 1904, St. Louis came into the world limelight when it hosted a World’s Fair dubbed The Louisiana Purchase Exposition in Forest Park.