St. Charles, Missouri

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St. Charles, Missouri
Historic Main Street
Historic Main Street
Location in the state of Missouri
Location in the state of Missouri
CountryUnited States
CountySaint Charles
 • MayorSally Faith
 • Total24.03 sq mi (62.24 km2)
 • Land23.65 sq mi (61.25 km2)
 • Water0.38 sq mi (0.98 km2)
 • Total65,794
 • Estimate 
 • Density2,700/sq mi (1,100/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
Area codes636, 314

St. Charles (French: Saint-Charles; Spanish: "San Carlos") is a city in St. Charles County, Missouri. In 2010 there were 65,794 people living in the city.[1] St. Charles is the second largest city, and the county seat of St. Charles County. It is northwest of St. Louis, Missouri on the Missouri River. It is the third oldest city west of the Mississippi. It began in 1765 as Les Petites Côtes, "The Little Hills", named by Louis Blanchette, a French Canadian fur trader.[2] The town was the starting point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804.[3] The city served as the first Missouri capital from 1821 to 1826.[4] The Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne shrine is in Saint Charles.[5] It is also the home of the St. Louis National Weather Service Forecast Office, serving central, east-central and northeastern Missouri, as well as west-central and southwest Illinois.[6]

History[change | change source]

Louis Blanchette[change | change source]

Louis Blanchette was a French Canadian who went to the Americas for adventure. Blanchette settled in Saint Charles in 1769 under the authority of the Spanish governor of Upper Louisiana. He was the civil and military leader until his death in 1793. About 25 buildings were built. Although the settlement was under Spanish control, most settlers were French Canadians.

Fort San Carlos[change | change source]

The first church, built in 1791, was dedicated to San Carlos Borromeo, and the town became known as San Carlos del Misuri: "St. Charles of the Missouri". This church was destroyed by a tornado in 1916. The Spanish Lieutenant-Governor Carlos de Hault de Lassus appointed Daniel Boone commandant of the Femme Osage District, which he served until the United States government bought the area in the Louisiana Purchase in 1804. The name of the town, San Carlos, was anglicized (turned into English) to become St. Charles.

State capital and growth[change | change source]

Missouri became a US state in 1821. The government decided to build a new state capital, the "City of Jefferson", in the center of the state on the Missouri River. A temporary capital was needed, and St. Charles beat eight other cities in a competition to be the temporary capitol. It offered free meeting space for the legislature in rooms above a hardware store. This building is preserved as the First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site. It is open to tourists. The Missouri government met there until Jefferson City was ready in 1826.

St. Charles, Missouri is where the first claimed interstate project started in 1956. A highway sign making this claim is placed off of Interstate 70 going westbound to the right of the first capital exit.[Note 1]

Education[change | change source]

The City of St. Charles school district has five elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools, and the Lewis & Clark Tech Building.

Lindenwood Universitywas started in 1827 by Major George Sibley and his wife Mary as a women's school named Lindenwood School For Girls. The school is the is the second-oldest higher-education institution west of the Mississippi River.[7]

St. Charles was also home St. Charles College (Missouri) (now closed).[8]

Top employers[change | change source]

A financial report[9] in 2009 listed the main employers in the city as:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Ameristar Casinos 1,315
2 SSM St. Joseph Health Center 1,063
3 St. Charles County 1,291
4 Boeing 992
5 Client Services Inc. 960
6 City of St. Charles School District 728
7 Lindenwood University 600
8 AT&T Missouri 500
9 Coca-Cola Refreshments 480
10 City of St. Charles 456

Transportation[change | change source]

St. Charles was home to the first interstate highway project in the nation.[10] Major highways include Interstate 70, Interstate 64, Missouri 370, Missouri 94, and Missouri 364. The city is also served by the St. Charles Area Transit bus system.

Geography[change | change source]

Saint Charles is located at 38°47′19″N 90°30′42″W / 38.78861°N 90.51167°W / 38.78861; -90.51167 (38.788698, -90.511764)[11]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 20.8 square miles (54.0 km²), of which, 20.4 square miles (52.7 km²) of it is land and 0.5 square miles (1.2 km²) of it (2.30%) is water.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Kansas and Pennsylvania also claim the first interstate project.

References[change | change source]

  1. "St. Charles (city) Quick Facts from the U.S. Census Bureau". Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved November 26, 2011.
  2. "Historic Saint Charles". Archived from the original on 2011-08-06. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  3. "Timeline". Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  4. "St. Charles: Missouri's First Capitol". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  5. Shrine of St. Philippine Duchesne. Academy of the Sacred Heart. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  6. "National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office - St. Louis MO". 2010-09-23. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  7. "Abbeville Institute 2008 Lindenwood Summer School". Archived from the original on 2010-04-14. Retrieved 2010-07-11.
  8. "article mentioning St. Charles College". Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-08-02.
  9. "City of St. Charles Comprehensive Annual Financial Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-19. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
  10. "First interstate project". Retrieved November 27, 2011.
  11. "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.

Other websites[change | change source]