The city of St. Louis was founded in 1764 by French fur traders Pierre Laclède and Auguste Chouteau, and named after Louis IX of France. In 1764, following France’s defeat in the Seven Years’ War, the area was ceded to Spain and retroceded back to France in 1800. In 1803, the United States acquired the territory as part of the Louisiana Purchase. During the 19th century, St. Louis became a major port on the Mississippi River; at the time of the 1870, Census it was the fourth-largest city in the country. It separated from St. Louis County in 1877, becoming an independent city and limiting its own political boundaries. In 1904, it hosted the Louisiana Purchase Exposition and the Summer Olympics.
The original village sat where the Arch grounds are now.