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Keller Williams Realty STL
Becky Scherzer, Keller Williams Realty STLPhone: (314) 677-6180
Email: [email protected]

Area Information

WEBSTER GROVES

Webster Groves is approximately 10 miles west of the city of St. Louis in an area that was known to fur trappers and Missouri, Osage and Dakota Indians, until 1802, as the "Dry Ridge." In the early 19th century this region was changing from Spanish to French ownership and a system of land grants was inaugurated to promote immigration. During the early period of Spanish rule, officials gave land to settlers as a check against the English.

As part of this program, Gregorie Sarpy was granted 6,002 acres in 1802 by Charles de Hault Delassus, the last Spanish lieutenant governor of the Illinois Country. This land grant covered the major area now known as Webster Groves.

Webster Groves' location on the Pacific Railroad line led to its development as a suburb. In the late 19th century, overcrowding, congestion, and unhealthy conditions in St. Louis prompted urban residents to leave the city for quieter, safer surroundings. In 1892 the developers of Webster Park, an early housing subdivision, promoted the new community as the "Queen of the Suburbs," offering residents superb housing options in a country-like atmosphere, as well as a swift commute to downtown St. Louis jobs.

As a suburban municipality, Webster Groves has its origins as five separate communities along adjacent railroad lines. Webster, Old Orchard, Webster Park, Tuxedo Park, and Selma merged in 1896 to implement public services and develop a unified city government. Since then, Webster Groves Homes and tree-lined streets have continued to attract people to the area as a "great place to live, work and play," not solely for the wealthy commuter suburb that early developers envisioned but for families that cut across all socioeconomic lines. The geographic and economic diversity of Webster Groves is evident in its variety of neighborhoods.

Webster Groves was the setting for the 1974-5 NBC television series Lucas Tanner.

Notable people who have lived in Webster Groves include:

  • Bud Byerly (1920–2012), Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Harry Caray (1914–1998), baseball broadcaster
  • Ivory Crockett (born 1948), Webster Groves High School Graduate, 100-yard dash world-record holder
  • Dale Hetzler (born 1954), Webster Groves High School Graduate, Attorney 
  • Thomas Bradford Curtis (1911-1993), Republican U.S. Representative from Missouri, 1951-1969
  • Phyllis Diller (1917–2012), comedian
  • Rick Homire ( born 1954), Webster Groves High School Graduate, Attorney
  • Mary Engelbreit (born 1952), artist and illustrator
  • Jonathan Franzen (born 1959), National Book Award-winning novelist
  • William H. Webster (born 1924), FBI and CIA director

KIRKWOOD

Plans for a new community close to St. Louis began following the St. Louis Fire (1849) and the 1849 cholera outbreak that killed a tenth of the residents of in St. Louis. Kirkwood was the first suburban municipality built outside of the St. Louis City boundaries.

Hiram W. Leffingwell and Richard Smith Elliott bought land 14 miles west of St. Louisn in 1850 at about the same time James P. Kirkwood was laying out a route for the Pacific Railroad. When the railroad reached the community in 1853, the developers sold lots for the Kirkwood Association. 

The train station of Richardsonian Romanesque style was built in 1893. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), it has become a symbol of the town. It is the only station stop that Amtrak makes outside of the downtown St. Louis station. Among the four other buildings in Kirkwood listed on the NRHP is a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Ebsworth Park Foundation.

Notable people who have lived in Kirkwood include:

  • Scott Bakula, Kirkwood High School graduate, an American actor.
  • Mel Bay, author of "how to play" guitar instructional books that inspired multitudes of aspiring guitarists, including many accomplished and celebrated professionals.
  • David Sanborn, an American alto saxophonist.

WEBSTER GROVES AND KIRKWOOD TRADITIONS

The Webster Groves Lion’s Carnival is held every July. This Independence day celebration offers great BBQ, local entertainment and spectacular, custom fireworks sponsored by the Webster Groves Lions and the community. They will be celebrating their 90th year in 2015.

The Greentree Festival is held every September. The Greentree Festival has many things to do such as arts and crafts for kids and many different foods from many different cultures. Greentree has been a tradition for over 50 years. Since 1961, it has been held in Kirkwood Park. The festival consists of a parade and a fair held in Kirkwood Park. The festival was originally created to replace the drought-stricken trees in the park.

The Kirkwood High School Pioneers and Webster Groves Statesmen alternate as hosts of the annual Turkey Day Game, the longest-running football high school Thanksgiving Day rivalry west of the Mississippi. The 100th anniversary game was in 2007. The winner of the Turkey Day Game receives the Frisco Bell, while the loser gets the Little Brown Jug.