Webster Groves

Webster Groves

Webster Groves, city (1990 pop. 22,987), St. Louis co., E Mo., a residential suburb of St. Louis; inc. 1896. There is diverse light manufacturing, including optical instruments. Webster Groves is the seat of Webster Univ. and Eden Theological Seminary.
Webster Groves is a city in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 23,230 at the 2000 census. The city is named after New England politician Daniel Webster. It was recently ranked as number nine in Family Circle Magazine's list of the "Ten Best Cities for Families" in America.


Webster Groves is located at (38.587702, -90.354366).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.9 square miles (15.3 km²), all of it land.

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


Webster Groves is one of the more affluent communities of the Saint Louis County suburbs. The large historic homes, central location, and outstanding schools draw many families to the beautiful tree-lined streets. Webster is also noted for its strong community unity--the Fourth of July parade and carnival is a huge event that families throughout Saint Louis attend, and the Turkey Day Game is one of the most anticipated events of the year.

Ten miles southwest of Saint Louis was an area known to Missouri, Osage Nation and Dakota Indians and fur trappers until 1802 as the "Dry Ridge." 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. Remember that 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 Gregorie Sarpy was granted 6,002 acres (24 km²) by Charles de Hautte Delassus, the last Spanish Lieutenant governor. 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 Saint 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 in order to implement public services and develop a unified city government. 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 its variety of neighborhoods.

In the 1960s Webster Groves was featured in the CBS documentary 16 In Webster Groves, and its high school has, more recently, been profiled in Time. The Webster Groves High School Statesmen maintain the oldest high school football rivalry west of the Mississippi River with the Pioneers of Kirkwood High School.

Webster Groves is the former home of a number of notable people, including writer Jonathan Franzen, whose novels The Twenty-Seventh City and The Corrections draw on St. Louis (thinly disguised as St. Jude in the latter book) and Webster Groves settings. Webster Groves was also the setting for the short-lived NBC television series Lucas Tanner (1974-75), which starred David Hartman.

As of 2008, Gerry Welch is the mayor of Webster Groves.The Webster Groves City Council consists of councilmembers Joan Esserman, Kathy Hart, Jeanne Kirkton, Edward Robinson, Debi Salberg, and Anne Tolan.


As of the census 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/sq mi (648.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.87% White, 6.38% African American, 0.17% Native American, 1.21% Asian, 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 population was spread out with 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.

The median income for a household in the city 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.

Institutions and landmarks

Webster Groves is home to:

Notable residents

Notable people who have lived in Webster Groves include:


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

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