Manchester is a city in western St. Louis County whose neighboring cities include Ballwin, Twin Oaks, Winchester and Town and Country. With a population of 18,094, at the time of the 2010 census, the city is comprised of more than 5.08 square miles.
Its origins date back to 1673 when Canadian native Louis Joiiet discovered a settlement of Osage Indians living near a rich spring in close proximity to the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. According to documented journals, the area was a place where rival tribes engaged in battle over who would possess access to the stream. It developed the nickname of Manchester Spring and is one of three natural springs in the current city of Manchester, which still flows near the intersection of Wood Mills Road and Manchester Road.
In the early 19th century, settlers began moving into an area named the Bon Homme Township, which was in close proximity to the Manchester Spring. A small community was formed under the name of Hoardstown, a tribute to James Hoard, a significant landholder of the area. In 1825, the area underwent a final name change to Manchester.
The area began to grow throughout the turn of the century and included a baseball park, built in the 1920s, where Manchester and nearby communities “defended their town honor” through a series of baseball games. Town rivalries were common during the day and each community had its own team. The land was purchased by a newly formed group, the Manchester Athletic Association, in 1935.
Nearly 20 years later, Manchester incorporated as a village, but was having financial issues providing water and sewer facilities to the newly built residential subdivisions. This posed a problem as villages were extremely limited in the given amount they could borrow from state or federal government. In 1959, a special election was held that lead to Manchester being reincorporated as a fourth-class city.
During the 1960s, Manchester developed its first City Plan, which spawned many new business complexes, as well as a regulation to protect historic sites like the Lyceum Building, a two-story frame building constructed in 1894, that’s now included in the city’s logo. Residents of Manchester are served by the Parkway School District.