Webster Groves, Missouri

Webster Groves is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 22,995 at the 2010 census.[6]

Webster Groves is one of the more affluent communities in Missouri, ranking 41st in per-capita income. In 2008, it was ranked #9 in Family Circle Magazine's list of the "10 Best Cities for Families in America".[7]

The city is home to the main campus of Webster University.

Webster Groves, Missouri
Big Bend Boulevard in Webster Groves, August 2017
Big Bend Boulevard in Webster Groves, August 2017
Location of Webster Groves, Missouri
Location of Webster Groves, Missouri
Coordinates: 38°35′16″N 90°21′16″W / 38.58778°N 90.35444°WCoordinates: 38°35′16″N 90°21′16″W / 38.58778°N 90.35444°W
CountryUnited States
CountySt. Louis
 • Total5.90 sq mi (15.28 km2)
 • Land5.90 sq mi (15.28 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)
558 ft (170 m)
 • Total22,995
 • Estimate 
 • Density3,900/sq mi (1,500/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
FIPS code29-78154[4]
GNIS feature ID0756880[5]
WebsiteCity of Webster Groves


Webster Groves is located at 38°35′16″N 90°21′16″W / 38.58778°N 90.35444°W (38.587702, -90.354366).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.90 square miles (15.28 km2), all land.[1]

Webster Groves is bounded to the east by Shrewsbury, on the north by Maplewood, Brentwood and Rock Hill, to the west by Glendale, Oakland, and Crestwood, and on the south by Affton and Marlborough.


Webster Groves is approximately 2 miles (3 km) west of the St. Louis city limits, and 10 miles (16 km) southwest of downtown St. Louis, in an area known to fur trappers and Missouri, Osage and Dakota indigenous people, until 1802, as the "Dry Ridge". In the early 19th century, this region, once a part of the Louisiana Territory, 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, in 1802, Grégoire Sarpy was granted 6,002 acres (2,429 ha) by Charles de Hault Delassus, the last Spanish lieutenant governor of the Illinois Country. The 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.[9] The first public school in the community was Douglass Elementary School, founded as a separate but equal school for African-American children in the post-Civil War black community in North Webster. In the 1920s, the school grew into Douglass High School, the only high school in St. Louis County for black students. The school operated until 1956, when the U.S. Supreme Court required desegregation.

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.[9] Since then, Webster Groves' tree-lined streets and abundance of single family homes 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.

In the 1960s, Webster Groves was featured in 16 In Webster Groves, a televised documentary that writer Jonathan Franzen, a native of Webster Groves, described in his memoir The Discomfort Zone as an "early experiment in hour-long prime-time sociology". According to Franzen, it depicted Webster Groves High School, which he attended only a few years after the documentary's broadcast, as being "ruled by a tiny elite of 'soshies' who made life gray and marginal for the great majority of students who weren’t 'football captains,' 'cheerleaders' or 'dance queens'"; the school was depicted as having a "student body obsessed with grades, cars and money." Franzen thought "the Webster Groves depicted in it bears minimal resemblance to the friendly, unpretentious town I knew when I was growing up."[10]

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

In the wake of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, Webster Groves High School was again profiled, this time in Time, which described Webster Groves as a "pretty town of old elms and deep porches" and a "mix of $90,000 cottages and $750,000 homes, young marrieds and old-line families and transient middle managers assigned to a stint in the St. Louis office who are looking for a comfortable place to settle and keep their kids on the track toward prosperity."[11]

The Webster Groves High School Statesmen maintain one of the oldest high school football rivalries west of the Mississippi River with the Pioneers of Kirkwood High School. The two teams typically play each other in the Missouri Turkey Day Game each Thanksgiving, if their playoff schedules permit it; they also have faced each other in the state playoff tournaments several times in recent years.


Webster Groves City Hall in '07
Webster Groves City Hall

As of 2018, Gerry Welch was the mayor of Webster Groves. The Webster Groves City Council consisted of council members Matt Armstrong, Frank Janoski, Bud Bellomo, Laura Arnold, Pamela Bliss, and David Franklin.[12]

The City Council works with 19 boards and commissions (16 active, three inactive). Citizens and businesspeople in the area volunteer for these boards and commissions to advise the City Council on community issues. A full list of these boards and commissions with links to pages describing the purpose and application procedures can be found on the official website of Webster Groves.[13]

The Municipal Court is conducted on the second Wednesday of the month at 5:30 pm and the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6:00 pm in the City Council Chambers at the City Hall. The Prosecuting Attorney is Deborah LeMoine and the Municipal Judge is James Whitney.[14]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201622,970[3]−0.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 22,995 people, 9,156 households, and 6,024 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,897.5 inhabitants per square mile (1,504.8/km2). There were 9,756 housing units at an average density of 1,653.6 per square mile (638.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.9% White, 6.6% African American, 0.2% Native American, 1.5% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.

There were 9,156 households of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.3% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.2% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 40.8 years. 24.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.6% were from 25 to 44; 29.2% were from 45 to 64; and 15.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.1% male and 52.9% female.

2000 census

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 23,230 people, 9,498 households, and 6,145 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,937.5 people per square mile (1,520.2/km²). There were 9,903 housing units at an average density of 1,678.6 per square mile (648.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.87% White, 6.38% African American, 1.21% Asian, 0.17% Native American, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.25% of the population.

There were 9,498 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 9.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 24.9% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 23.7% from 45 to 64, and 17.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 84.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.4 males.

As of 2000 the median income for a household was $60,524, and the median income for a family was $73,998. Males had a median income of $57,801 versus $38,506 for females. The per capita income for the city was $31,327. 4.8% of the population and 2.0% of families were below the poverty line. 5.0% of those under the age of 18 and 3.5% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.


The Webster Groves School District serves the city. Webster Groves High School is in the city.

Webster University is in the city.[16]

Private schools in Webster Groves:

  • Christ Community Lutheran School
  • Queen of Holy Rosary School
  • Holy Cross Academy, a Catholic middle school located at Annunciation Catholic Church. The school serves several inner-ring suburb Catholic parishes.[17]
  • Holy Redeemer, located on Lockwood, has had a Catholic elementary school since 1898.
  • Mary Queen of Peace, also on Lockwood, serves Catholics of Webster Groves and adjoining Glendale. The parish was founded in 1922; the Sisters of Loretto formed the first kindergarten class in 1944.
  • Nerinx Hall, an all-girls Catholic high school, was founded by the Sisters of Loretto in 1924. It adjoins the campus of Webster University, which the sisters founded in 1915. The University is now run by a lay board, while Nerinx remains Catholic.

The St. Louis Japanese School, a weekend supplementary Japanese school, holds its classes at the Sverdrup Business/Technology Complex at Webster University.[18]

Landmarks and historic places

Webster Groves is home to:

Registered historic districts in Webster Groves include:

  • Webster College-Eden Theological Seminary Collegiate District
  • Central Webster Historic District
  • Marshall Place Historic District
  • Old Webster Historic District
  • Webster Park Residential Historic District

Notable people

Notable people who have lived in Webster Groves include:

(Dates in parentheses indicate lifespan, not years of residence.)


Specific references:

  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Webster Groves city, Missouri". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
  7. ^ Webster Groves In Top 10 For "Best Town For Families", a July 18, 2008 article from Webster-Kirkwood Times
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  9. ^ a b Start, Clarissa (1975). Webster Groves. Webster Groves, Missouri: Council of the City of Webster Groves. p. 1.
  10. ^ Sam Tanenhaus (August 17, 2010). "Franzen in Webster Groves". The New York Times. Paper Cuts (blog). Retrieved 2010-11-18.
  11. ^ Nancy Gibbs (October 25, 1999). "A Week in the Life of a High School". Time: 67–103. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
  12. ^ "the City of Webster Groves Official Website! – Mayor and City Council". Retrieved 2008-06-24.
  13. ^ "Webster Groves, MO - Official Website - Boards and Commissions". Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  14. ^ "Webster Groves, MO - Official Website - Municipal Court". Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  15. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  16. ^ "Street Map" (Archive). City of Webster Groves. Retrieved on May 14, 2014.
  17. ^ "Holy Cross Academy | St. Louis Catholic School". www.holycross-stl.org. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  18. ^ "English" (Archive). St. Louis Japanese School'. Retrieved on May 13, 2014. "Location: Sverdrup Business/Technology Complex at Webster University 8300 Big Bend Blvd St. Louis MO 63119"
  19. ^ "Marguerite Martyn Dies; Artist, Writer," St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 17, 1948, page 5A

General references:

Further reading

  • Marilynne Bradley. Arpens and Acres: A Brief History of Webster Groves, Missouri. Bradley, [1975].
  • Marilynne Bradley. City of Century Homes: A Centennial History of Webster Groves, Missouri. Webster Groves Historic Preservation Commission, 1996.
  • Mary Jo Mahley and Toni McCoy. The Rock Beneath, 100 Years Ago in Webster Groves. Century Registry, 1996.
  • Ann Morris and Henrietta Ambrose. North Webster: A Photographic History of a Black Community (with photographic restorations by John Nagel). Indiana University Press, c1993.
  • Clarissa Start. Webster Groves. City of Webster Groves, c1975.
  • Wilda H. Swift and Cynthia S. Easterling. Webster Park: 1892–1992. Easterling, 2003 (1992).
  • Ariadne Thompson. The Octagonal Heart. Bobbs-Merrill, 1956; and Webster Groves Bookshop, 1976.

External links

Adrian Clayborn

Adrian Jarrell Clayborn (born July 6, 1988) is an American football defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Iowa, and earned consensus All-American honors. He was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Bud Byerly

Eldred William "Bud" Byerly (October 26, 1920 – January 26, 2012) was an American professional baseball pitcher, who played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). The right-hander, a native of Webster Groves, Missouri, was listed as 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m) tall and 185 pounds (84 kg).

Although he never pitched more than 95 innings in a regular season, Byerly played for five Major League teams in a span of 17 years (1944–60). He proved to be a valuable part of the Cardinals' 1944 World Champion staff, relieving or filling in for injured starting rotation members when needed. His most productive season came in 1957 with the Senators, when he posted career-highs with six wins and six saves.

In his 11-season major league career, Byerly had a 22–22 record with a 3.70 ERA and 14 saves in 237 appearances. In 491​2⁄3 innings pitched, he allowed 519 hits and 167 bases on balls, with 209 strikeouts.

Douglass High School (Webster Groves, Missouri)

Douglass High School was a segregated high school in North Webster Groves, Missouri from 1926 until 1956. Named after abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the school served the area of North Webster, which had been settled by many black families after the Civil War.

The school was formed when the Webster Groves School District decided to stop paying tuition for students to attend the all-black Sumner High School, founded in 1875, which was miles away in St. Louis. So an elementary school, Douglass Elementary, dating from 1866, was expanded into a high school in the 1920s. Douglass High School was the only accredited public high school for African-American students in St. Louis County until the end of segregation in 1957.

Forrest C. Donnell

Forrest C. Donnell (August 20, 1884 – March 3, 1980) was a United States Senator and the 40th Governor of Missouri.

Frederick Kreismann

Frederick H. Kreismann (August 7, 1869 – November 1, 1944) was an American politician who served as mayor of St. Louis, Missouri from 1909 to 1913. He was a Republican.

George Schlatter

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For his work on television, Schlatter has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7030 Hollywood Blvd.

Gordon Jenkins

Gordon Hill Jenkins (May 12, 1910 – May 1, 1984) was an American arranger, composer and pianist who was an influential figure in popular music in the 1940s and 1950s, renowned for his lush string arrangements. Jenkins worked with The Andrews Sisters, Johnny Cash, The Weavers, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Harry Nilsson, and Ella Fitzgerald, among others.

Hank Kuhlmann

Henry N. "Hank" Kuhlmann (born October 6, 1937) is a former American football coach, and was the interim head coach for the National Football League's Phoenix Cardinals for part of the 1989 season. He assumed the position after Gene Stallings resigned in November. Kuhlmann finished with an 0-5 record, and was replaced by Joe Bugel before the start of the following season.Kuhlmann played fullback for the Missouri Tigers football team from 1956 to 1958 under coaches Don Faurot, Frank Broyles, and Dan Devine. He led the Tigers in rushing and in scoring the 1956 and 1957 seasons and also led the team in interceptions in 1956. Kuhlmann received All-Big Eight Conference honors in 1957.Kuhlmann also played catcher for the Missouri Tigers baseball team. In 1958, he was named to the All College World Series team, helping the Tigers to a national runner-up finish.Upon graduation from Missouri, Kuhlmann signed with the St. Louis Cardinals, spending four years in the minor leagues. He then returned to Missouri, where he served as an assistant coach under Devine before accompanying Devine to the Green Bay Packers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.In 2010, Kuhlmann was inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.

Ivory Crockett

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Jane Smiley

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Jim Krebs

James Krebs (September 8, 1935 – May 6, 1965) was an American basketball player. A 6'8" (2.03 m) power forward/center, he starred for the SMU Mustangs during the mid-1950s and later played with the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA. He died in a tree falling accident at the age of 29.

John J. Cochran

John Joseph Cochran (August 11, 1880 – March 6, 1947) was a U.S. Representative from Missouri.

Cochran was born in Webster Groves, Missouri; his father and maternal grandparents were Irish immigrants. He attended the public schools in Webster Groves. He was employed in the editorial department of various St. Louis newspapers for many years, and served as assistant to the election commissioners of St. Louis from 1911 to 1913.

In 1913 Cochran became secretary to Representative William L. Igoe 1913–1917, serving in that capacity again from 1918 to 1921.

Cochran was private secretary to United States Senator William J. Stone and clerk to the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate in 1917 and 1918.

Cochran studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1921 at St. Louis, Missouri, but did not engage in extensive practice. From 1921 through 1926 he served as secretary to Representative Harry B. Hawes.

Cochran was elected as a Democrat to the Sixty-ninth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by Hawes' resignation, and at the same time was elected to the Seventieth Congress. Cochran was reelected to the Seventy-first Congress, Seventy-second Congress, and Seventy-third Congress.

Cochran did not seek renomination in 1934, but ran unsuccessfully against Harry S. Truman for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator.

Subsequently Cochran was nominated by convention and elected to the Seventy-fourth Congress, and reelected to the Seventy-fifth and to the four succeeding Congresses, serving from November 2, 1926, to January 3, 1947.

Cochran served as chairman of the Committee on Expenditures in Executive Departments (Seventy-second through Seventy-sixth Congresses), and the Committee on Accounts (Seventy-sixth through Seventy-ninth Congresses). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1946 to the Eightieth Congress.

Cochran died in St. Louis, Missouri, on March 6, 1947, and was interred in Calvary Cemetery.

The John Cochran Veterans Medical Center in St. Louis, Mo is named in his behalf.

Josephine Johnson

Josephine Winslow Johnson (June 20, 1910 – February 27, 1990) was an American novelist, poet, and essayist. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1935 at age 24 for her first novel, Now in November. Shortly thereafter, she published Winter Orchard, a collection of short stories that had previously appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Vanity Fair, The St. Louis Review, and Hound & Horn. Of these stories, "Dark" won an O. Henry Award in 1934, and "John the Six" won an O. Henry Award third prize the following year. Johnson continued writing short stories and won three more O. Henry Awards: for "Alexander to the Park" (1942), "The Glass Pigeon" (1943), and "Night Flight" (1944).

Julie King

Julie O'Toole King (born October 21, 1989 in St. Louis, Missouri) is an American soccer defender currently playing for North Carolina Courage in the National Women's Soccer League.

Keith W. Nolan

Keith William Nolan (May 7, 1964 – February 19, 2009) was an American military historian, focusing on the various campaigns of the Vietnam War. He was born in Webster Groves, Missouri; his father was a junior college history instructor who was also a Marine veteran. Nolan obtained a history degree from Webster University. Keith Nolan, a non-smoker, died of lung cancer in February 2009 at the age of 45.

Lois Florreich

Kathleen Lois Florreich [Flash] (April 29, 1927 – September 11, 1991) was a pitcher and utility who played from 1943 through 1950 for three different teams of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m), 140 lb., Florreich batted and threw right-handed. She was born in Webster Groves, Missouri.

Louis Metcalf

Louis Metcalf (February 28, 1905 - October 27, 1981) was an American jazz trumpeter who played for a short time with Duke Ellington.

Nerinx Hall High School

Nerinx Hall High School is a private Roman Catholic girls high school in Webster Groves, Missouri, and is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Louis.

Tomas Gomez

Tomas Gomez (born May 20, 1993) is an American soccer player who currently plays for Saint Louis FC in the United Soccer League.

Municipalities and communities of St. Louis County, Missouri, United States
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