Located near the mid-St. Louis County cities of Rock Hill, Huntleigh and Kirkwood is the city of Warson Woods. Covering no more than 0.58 total square miles, Warson Woods’ population was 1,962 at the time of the 2010 census.
The region of Warson Woods’ earliest history begins around mid-1936 when a handful of local residents joined together as a small village under the name of Royal Oak. The area’s first Trustees were appointed shortly after and they selected the location of the first City Hall before being serving in the town’s first election two years later.
The area was becoming a booming small village within its first several years and the name of “Royal Oak” started to accumulate confusion with another popular region of the same name in Royal Oaks, Michigan. The Board of Trustees put to a vote to officially change the region’s name in the fall of 1941 under the new name of Warson Woods.
In 1948, Joseph H. White, founder of the White Company – St. Louis’ oldest commercial real estate firm, began construction on the Warson Village Shopping Center. This would serve as some of the region’s first building blocks into future widespread commercial and residential development. The Warson Village Shopping Center was to be the first strip shopping center ever built in all of St. Louis county … being somewhat of a novelty for its first time. It was growing so popular that a second additional section was added four years later in 1952. The Warson Village Shopping Center remained a popular retail area for many decades until 1994, when a joint venture of Dierberg’s Markets and Capitol Land purchased the Center with plans of a new development and reimagining of the strip. The original Center was demolished in late 1994 and many previous merchants moved to vacancies in office blocks west of Warson Woods Boulevard or into the new strip of buildings that debuted in May of 1995.
By the mid-1950s, the national census was showing how fast the population was growing in size and the region’s village status was holding it back from further expansion. In August of 1957, an election was held that allowed Warson Woods residents to vote for possible city status. Doing so would allow more taxes to be generated for use on widespread city improvements as well as allowing citizens to have more control over their government. Voters unanimously approved of this decision and approved for Warson Woods to achieve city status.
Residents or Warson Woods are served by the Kirkwood and Webster Groves School Districts.