Olivette is a city located in the eastern portion of St. Louis County whose population, as of the 2010 census, is at 7,737. Its closest neighbors are Overland to the north, University City to the east, Ladue to the south and Creve Coeur to the west. Covering more than 2.78 square miles, the city also ranks as one of the highest communities in all of St. Louis county with an elevation of 700 feet above sea level.
During the mid-19th century, the region encompassing Olivette was a small farming community along an old Indian trail called Bonhomme Road. The road held great significance to travelers during that time as it was the half-way point for wagons heading west between the Mississippi and Missouri River and allowed riders to restock on necessary supplies.
As more communities developed within the region, the area would be incorporated in 1930, combining the villages of Tower Hill, Stratmann, Olive and Central. The city of Olivette was first named Central due its centralized location along Central Plank Road, which is now current-day Olive Boulevard.
One of the more notorious stories to come out of Olivette was during the 1920s as the Egan’s Rats, an organization of underworld gangsters, made a locally well-known establishment called the Maxwellton Club their official headquarters. Neighboring residents furiously complained about the amount of noise and array of stray-bullets that would fly during the gang’s target practice.
By 1924, nine high profile members were sentenced to long-term prison sentences due to a string of mail robberies in Staunton, Illinois. The group disbanded one year later. In an ironic twist, the group’s old headquarters was located directly across from what is now the Olivette Police Department.
Famous residents include current St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jay Randolph and star of NBC’S This Is Us, Sterling K. Brown. Residents are served by the Ladue School District.