Webster Groves & Rock Hill

Webster Groves…

Early History
Ten miles southwest of Saint Louis was an area known as the Dry Ridge to Missouri, Osage, and Dakota Indians and fur trappers until 1802. In the early 1800s, 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.A Land Grant
As part of this program, in 1802 Gregorie Sarpy was granted 6,002 acres by Charles de Hautte Delassus, the last Spanish Lieutenant governor. The land grant covered the major area now known as Webster Groves.Development as a Suburb
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 Saint Louis prompted urban residents to leave the city for quieter, safer surroundings.

In 1892 the developers of Webster Park, an affluent community which would soon become the City Of Webster Groves, 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 Saint 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 in order to implement public services and develop a unified city government.

A Great Place to Live, Work, and Play
Since that time, 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 boundaries.

The geographic and economic diversity of Webster Groves is evident in the variety of neighborhoods and its successes is rooted in the cooperation and willingness of community members from all walks of life to work together toward common goals

Rock Hill…

Rock Hill got its name from the old church which was named by a Presbyterian minister because he encountered two steep and rocky hills while going there to celebrate founding of congregation.

Rock Hill Village today (1934), a thriving business and residential settlement on the Manchester road with a progressive administration and a satisfied population, occupies territory included in early French and Spanish grants, and was first inhabited by French pioneers, who, coming from Port Chartres first located in St. Louis and later established permanent homes in the great forests to the west of the Mississippi River trading post founded by Pierre Laclede, the fur trader from New Orleans, in 1864.

While the historic background of Rock Hill Village is an interesting chapter in the history of St. Louis, it is also an important cog in present-day life of the county, and the inhabitants of today, while interested in past events there, are more concerned about current governmental and civic progress. Communities cannot prosper and grow on the history and romance of their past and those of the present generation look to their governments for the things necessary in the make up of the communities in which they live.

Although the settlement of Rock Hill dates back to 1800, and possibly earlier, as authentic data is not available, Rock Hill Village, as an incorporated community dates back only five years, and during this short space of time the administrations has written a history of municipal achievements fully as interesting and of far greater importance then its chronological history.

(The above information is taken from the Watchman-Advocate , Friday, August 3, 1934.)

Businesses began emerging in the 1920s and Rock Hill became incorporated as a village with a Board of Trustees. By 1941, the government was changed to a 4 Class City, having a Mayor and Board of Aldermen, and City Hall was built on Manchester road.

Rock Hill is served by Webster Groves Public Schools. Schools within the city limits are Hudson Elementary School and Steger Sixth Grade Center; other schools are within Webster Groves’ city limits. There are many nearby private and special schools, and colleges.

There are five city parks—Greenwood, Oak Trail Park, Oakhaven Park, Rock Hill Park and Stroup Field. An annual calendar and periodic newsletters are published to inform citizens and businesses of current events; as well as board and commission meeting, court dates, and trash, recyclables and yard waste collection days.