About This Place
Kirkwood is an inner-ring suburb of St. Louis, located in St. Louis County, Missouri. As of 2006, the city population was 26,936. Founded in 1853, the city is named for James Pugh Kirkwood, builder of the Pacific Railroad through that town. It was the first planned suburb located west of the Mississippi River.
Plans for a new community close to St. Louis began following the St. Louis Fire (1849) and the 1849 cholera outbreak that killed a tenth of the residents of downtown St. Louis. Kirkwood was the first suburban municipality built outside of the St. Louis City boundaries.
Hiram W. Leffingwell and Richard Smith Elliott bought land 14 miles (23 km) from downtown in 1850 at about the same time James P. Kirkwood was laying out a route for the Pacific Railroad. When the railroad reached the community in 1853, the developers sold lots for the Kirkwood Association. Other Leffingwell developments were to include the construction of Grand Avenue and the establishment of Forest Park.