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St. Charles, Missouri
City of St. Charles
Historic Main Street
Historic Main Street
Location in the state of Missouri
Location in the state of Missouri
Country United States
State Missouri
County Saint Charles
 • Total 25.32 sq mi (65.58 km2)
 • Land 24.82 sq mi (64.28 km2)
 • Water 0.50 sq mi (1.29 km2)
 • Total 65,794
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,861.72/sq mi (1,104.90/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
Area codes 636, 314
FIPS code 29-64082
Waterways Missouri River

Saint Charles (commonly abbreviated St. Charles) is a city in, and the county seat of, St. Charles County, Missouri, United States. The population was 65,794 at the 2010 census, making St. Charles the ninth-largest city in Missouri. Situated on the Missouri River, St. Charles, Missouri is a northwestern suburb of St. Louis.

Founded circa 1769 as Les Petites Côtes, or "The Little Hills" in French, by Louis Blanchette, a French-Canadian fur trader, when the area was nominally ruled by Spain following the Seven Years' War, St. Charles is the third-oldest city in Missouri. For a time, it played a significant role in the United States' westward expansion as a river port and starting point of the Boone's Lick Road to the Boonslick.

St. Charles was settled primarily by French-speaking colonists from Canada in its early days and was considered the last "civilized" stop by the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804, which was exploring the western territory after the United States made the Louisiana Purchase. The city served as the first Missouri capital from 1821 to 1826, and is the site of the Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne shrine.


Louis Blanchette

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

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

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.


The City of St. Charles School District has six elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools, and the Lewis & Clark Career Center located at 2400 Zumbehl Road. St. Charles High School (sometimes called SCHS or simply "High") was the first built of the two high schools in (1895). First as military school, then around the 1950s changed into a public high school. St. Charles West (SCW or simply "West") was added in the late 1970s in response to the city's growing population. St. Charles West had its first graduation in 1979. St. Charles High School underwent renovation in 1995 to improve both the exterior and interior of the building, as did St. Charles West in 2005, in which a new library and auxiliary gym were built. The city is also served by Jefferson Intermediate, which has all 5th and 6th grade classes, and Hardin Middle School, which has all 7th and 8th grade classes.

St. Charles is the location of a variety of private schools, including Immanuel Lutheran (Pre-K to 8), Zion Lutheran (Pre-K to 8), St. Charles Borromeo, St. Peter's, St. Cletus (K-8), Academy of the Sacred Heart (founded by Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, and the site of her shrine), Duchesne High School (formerly named St. Peter High school), and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton-St. Robert Bellarmine (K-8).

Other schools are associated with the Francis Howell and the Orchard Farm school districts, which also serve parts of St. Charles. Many students who live on the southern edge of St. Charles City attend Henderson, Becky David and Harvest Ridge elementary schools, Barnwell Middle, and Francis Howell North High School. To the North, the Orchard Farm School District also serves St. Charles but is based outside the city like the Francis Howell School District, it has two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school.

Lindenwood University is located on Kingshighway, near downtown St. Charles and St. Charles High. Founded by Major George Sibley and his wife Mary in 1827 as a women's school named Lindenwood School For Girls, the institution is the second-oldest higher-education institution west of the Mississippi River. The private university is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. LU is one of the fastest-growing universities in the Midwest and enrolls close to 15,000 students. In 2006 it briefly attracted publicity when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals staged a small protest against its unusual tuition fee policies: in an effort to help rural students pay for higher education, LU allowed families to sell livestock to the school, which were then slaughtered and served at campus dining halls. Lindenwood hosts 89.1 The Wood (KCLC), a commercial-free student-driven radio station.

St. Charles was also home to the now defunct St. Charles College (which should not be confused with St. Charles Community College), and Vatterott College.


According to the city's 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Ameristar Casinos 1,620
2 St. Charles County 1,500
3 SSM St. Joseph Health Center 1,352
4 Boeing 1,170
5 City of St. Charles School District 852
6 Client Services Inc. 698
7 Lindenwood University 618
8 AT&T Missouri 600
9 Central States Coca-Cola 500
10 City of St. Charles 494

Leading Contract Research Organization and Biotechnology Corporation Pharma Medica opened its first U.S. location in St. Charles in 2013 and began operating clinical trials in February 2014, with the intent to create 320 high tech jobs by early 2017.

Top employers

A financial report 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


Proposed St. Charles City Streetcar
Locale St. Charles, Missouri
Stations 5 (proposed)
Type Streetcar
Operator(s) St. Charles Area Transit
Line length 10-mile (16 km)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)

According to the FHA, St. Charles was the site of the first interstate highway project in the nation. Major highways include Interstates 64 and 70, Missouri 370, Missouri 94, and Missouri 364. Also see: St. Charles Area Transit

The "St. Charles City Streetcar" was a proposed new heritage streetcar line to be built connecting the New Town, Missouri residential development to the heart of the city of St. Charles. This is a joint effort between Whittaker Builders, Inc, and the City of St. Charles and St. Charles Area Transit. A minimum of nine vintage PCC streetcars (not to be confused with cable cars), had been purchased from the San Francisco area by Whittaker Builders for use and spare parts. The project stalled, and in 2012, the streetcars purchased by Whittaker Builders were scrapped following a fire. Whittaker, a developer of the New Town project and principal partner with the city on the streetcar project, has since gone bankrupt, sealing the project's doom.


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) . 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.

  • National Register of Historic Places - Nomination Forms
    • St. Charles Historic District (Boundary Increase #1). #87000903


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,498
1860 3,239 116.2%
1870 5,570 72.0%
1880 5,014 −10.0%
1890 6,161 22.9%
1900 7,982 29.6%
1910 9,437 18.2%
1920 8,503 −9.9%
1930 10,491 23.4%
1940 10,803 3.0%
1950 14,314 32.5%
1960 21,189 48.0%
1970 31,834 50.2%
1980 37,379 17.4%
1990 54,555 46.0%
2000 60,321 10.6%
2010 65,794 9.1%
2019 (est.) 71,028 8.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 65,794 people, 26,715 households, and 16,128 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,782.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,074.1/km2). There were 28,590 housing units at an average density of 1,208.9 per square mile (466.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.5% White, 5.9% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.5% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.8% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.2% of the population.

There were 26,715 households, of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.6% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 36.6 years. 19.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 13.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.9% were from 25 to 44; 26.6% were from 45 to 64; and 13.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.0% male and 51.0% female.

According to 2014, American Community Survey 5-year Estimates the median income for a household in the city was $56,622, and the median income for a family was $73,234. Males had a median income of $51,477 versus $40,311 females. The per capita income for the city was $29,645. 8.8% of families and 11.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.7% of those under age 18 and 6.0% of those age 65 or over.


The city has been home to several minor league sports teams. The Missouri River Otters hockey team of the United Hockey League, played from 1999 until the team folded in 2006. The River Otters played at the 11,000-seat Family Arena owned by the county of St. Charles. The St. Louis Ambush is a professional indoor soccer team that plays in the Family Arena. The RiverCity Rage professional indoor football team played in St. Charles from 2001 until 2005, and from 2007 to 2009 before suspending operations for 2010. Since 2014 there is a new minor league soccer team in town, the St. Louis Ambush at the Family Arena.

Team Sport League Estab­lished Venue Champion­ships
St. Louis Ambush Indoor soccer MISL/PASL/MASL 2013 Family Arena
St. Louis Vipers Roller Hockey National Roller Hockey League 2019 Family Arena

Notable people

  • Chuck Berry, musician
  • Brandon Bollig, ice hockey player
  • Lou Brock, St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer
  • Mark Buehrle, pitcher for 2005 World Series champion Chicago White Sox
  • Rose Philippine Duchesne, Catholic saint and founder of Sacred Heart Academy
  • R. Budd Dwyer, politician
  • Josh Harrellson, basketball player
  • Tim Hawkins, comedian
  • Mike Henneman, former pitcher for the Detroit Tigers
  • Randy Orton, professional wrestler in WWE
  • Jim Pendleton, Milwaukee Braves outfielder
  • Mathew Pitsch, Republican member of the Arkansas House of Representatives from Fort Smith since 2015; former resident of St. Charles
  • Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, founder of Chicago
  • Tim Ream, soccer player, New York Red Bulls and U.S. National Team defender
  • Ken Reitz, former third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals (1972–75)
  • Santino Rice, fashion designer and TV personality
  • Jeanne Shaheen, United States Senator from New Hampshire
  • Nathaniel Simonds, State Treasurer of Missouri
  • Jacob Turner, Chicago Cubs pitcher

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: St. Charles (Misuri) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Influential Hispanic politicians
Carlos Gutierrez
Sonia Sotomayor
Alberto Gonzales
Susana Martinez
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