Hazelwood

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Hazelwood is a city in St. Louis County. The population was 26,206 at the 2000 census. The city is home to the headquarters of the United Pentecostal Church International (UPCI), the world's largest Oneness Pentecostal church organization.

Geography

Hazelwood is located at 38°46′44″N, 90°21′59″W (38.778750, -90.366464).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.8 mi². 15.9 mi² of it is land and 0.9 mi² of it (5.59%) is water.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 26,206 people, 10,954 households, and 6,714 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,649.9/mi². There were 11,433 housing units at an average density of 719.8/mi². The racial makeup of the city was 80.24% White, 16.04% African American, 0.18% Native American, 1.19% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.52% from other races, and 1.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.60% of the population.

There were 10,954 households out of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.7% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 22.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,110, and the median income for a family was $52,656. Males had a median income of $40,031 versus $27,871 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,311. About 4.3% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.1% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.

Overview

The City of Hazelwood was originally incorporated as the Village of Hazelwood, on September 7, 1949. However, this area of the Florissant Valley has a proud and rich heritage dating back to Indian settlements in 4000 B.C. French explorers were the first Europeans to venture into the area in the late 1600s, with the French being the first to settle in the region with Spanish settlers arriving in the late 1700s. In 1797 a wagon train of American settlers made their way to the area from Virginia, Kentucky and the Deep South.

When industry and business began locating in the valley, the city of Florissant tried to annex what is now Hazelwood. However, a group of determined farmers did not want that to happen and banded together in 1944 to fight the annexation. Although the "battle" seemed a mismatch, the farmers won and on September 26, 1949, The Village of Hazelwood Board of Trustees met for the first time in the Elm Grove Schoolhouse now known as the Little Red Schoolhouse.

Hazelwood has grown substantially since then and an election for Home Rule by Charter was held and passed overwhelmingly in October 1969.

Today, Hazelwood is one of the largest cities in St. Louis County and home to nearly 27,000 residents and more than 1,000 businesses, including 12 Fortune 500 companies, six Fortune 1,000 companies, and 10 corporate headquarters.

The City of Hazelwood is a Home rule Charter City, governed by a Council/Manager form of government, with an elected mayor and eight council members representing eight wards. The City Manager is the administrative officer. The current City Manager of Hazelwood is Edwin George Carlstrom. He has been City Manager since June 1, 1979.

History

Hazelwood's colorful history began in 1673 with the discovery of the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers by French explorers Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette. LaSalle, another French explorer claimed the area for France and named it "Louisiana" after King Louis XIV .In 1762, the land was sold by the French to Spain. The Spanish government offered large land grants to pioneers. Settlers from Charlottesville, Virginia populated the Spanish-owned territory now known as the City of Hazelwood in 1797 to farm its rich soils.

The Spanish government returned the land to France in 1800. It was sold by Napoleon to the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Missouri, at the time a slave state, became the 24th state of the Union in 1821.

As legend has it, in 1828, Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky was in St. Louis on a campaign visit. During his stay, he was invited by Major Richard Graham to spend several days at his farm. Upon his arrival, Senator Clay looked out over the orchards and well-tended fields and exclaimed to his host, "Ah Sir, this so much reminds me of Hazelwood, my Kentucky estates!" The story continues that after Senator Clay's departure, Major Graham called his own land Hazelwood Farms, for which Hazelwood Avenue eventually was named. In later years the title would influence the selection of a name for the Village.

During the Civil War, 1861-1865, almost no state was as divided as the State of Missouri. Nearly all of the settlers in this area owned slaves; 80 percent of the citizens were Pro-Southern in their sympathies. Some of the citizens' houses were confiscated by Union Forces. Homes were divided and people were thrown into prison.

After the Civil War, property and many of the homes confiscated by the Union Forces were returned to the people by President Lincoln. There was once again much farming, fur trading, and horse breeding in the area.

The years between the Civil War and the beginning of our modern era were peaceful and profitable times for Hazelwood area residents. By the end of 1947, six hundred acres of land were occupied by a new $8 Million dollar Ford Motor Company assembly plant and an extensive Wabash Transit Company industrial development.

By 1944, Florissant was 158 years old, and had no plans for further growth. In 1948, an ordinance was approved by the Florissant City Council to annex the adjacent industrial properties and farmland contiguous to them. Area farmers upset by the ordinance joined forces to form the Florissant Valley Protective Association and fight the annexation.

After two years of legal maneuvering before three courts, the Association was victorious. In 1948, the Association' s attorney advised them to petition the court for permission to incorporate its area into a village. There were 55 registered voters in the area and 53, all farmers, signed the petition. The petition was filed with the court, which ruled that it now took precedence over the Florissant ordinance of annexation.

The Association's petition to incorporate the area into a village was accepted by the St. Louis County Court in 1949. The legend of Hazelwood Farms had been remembered by the petitioners, and there came into being the Village of Hazelwood.

In 1953 a municipal building was constructed at 9140 Pershall Road. This building served as the Hazelwood Village Hall and also housed the Police and Fire Departments.

Between 1950 and 1960, the population of the Village of Hazelwood grew from 336 residents to 6,045. A trend toward development had begun. Farmlands were parceled into subdivisions and numerous business and industrial concerns were attracted to this growing community served by air, rail and highway transportation. In the 1950s, the Metropolitan Sewer District was formed, alleviating sanitary and storm water sewer problems. Large shopping centers began to replace individual grocery, department and convenience stores in strategic population centers. Village Square, the first modern shopping center, came to Hazelwood in 1958. In 1957, the Hazelwood industrial complex ranked 13th in population among all St. Louis County municipalities.

By 1969 the population of Hazelwood had grown large enough to be considered for city status. Such a change in government structure would give Hazelwood greatly expanded powers and authority.

Hazelwood citizens elected 13 Freeholders to serve as a Charter Commission to draft a charter, which would serve as Hazelwood's constitution. The proposed charter was submitted to the voters, and overwhelmingly adopted on October 14, 1969, making Hazelwood a Constitutional Charter City, effective April 7, 1970, when the first mayor and six ward council members took office. Under Hazelwood's Charter, a City Manager is the administrative officer for the City.

Through several annexations, the City of Hazelwood has increased its population from 14,082 in 1970 to 26,829 in 1997. The population increase and greater demand of municipal services has caused City Hall to move several times: from a location on Pershall Road to Lindbergh Boulevard, then finally to its current location at 415 Elm Grove Lane near Lindbergh Boulevard in June of 1984.

A quilt depicting the City's history is on display in City Hall.

Always progressive, Hazelwood became the first City in St. Louis County to make cable television available to its residents in 1979.

The City of Hazelwood offers much to be desired in a community. Because of the tremendous amount of industry and commercial development in Hazelwood, the City has a good tax base and the tax rate is very low. The numerous businesses and industries also provide employment for residents. Hazelwood offers shopping centers, complete banking services, doctors, restaurants, motels, churches of many denominations, and AAA-rated school districts.

Neighboring Hazelwood

Berkeley | Bridgeton | Calverton Park | Ferguson | Florissant | Lambert Airport | Missouri River | St. Charles

External Links

Map

<googlemap lat="38.785584" lon="-90.390827" zoom="11" width="700" controls="large">38.785584, -90.390827, Hazelwood, MO, USA</googlemap>