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Ballwin City


Ballwin City Hall is located at 14811 Manchester Road, Ballwin, MO 63011; phone: 636-227-8580.

Beginnings [1]

The City was founded by John Ball, son of James Ball and Mary Bray Ball of Virginia and Kentucky. His father, James, who came to America from Dublin, Ireland, served in the 4th and 8th Virginia Regiments during the Revolutionary War. Because of his military service, he was given a military land warrant and moved to this new land in Kentucky after the war. Reportedly, James was a friend of Daniel Boone.

Around 1797 or 1798, Ballwin's founder, John Ball, moved to the West St. Louis County area, possibly at the same time as the Daniel Boone party moved to and settled in the St. Charles and Warren County areas. Records now preserved in Jefferson City show the transfer of title of about 400 acres of land along Grand Glaize Creek to John Ball in February, 1800. This is the first official record of John Ball in the West County area.

Since John Ball's property claim was derived originally from a Spanish land grant, and was land that was at the time under Spanish rule, the Louisiana Purchase raised doubts about property ownership. It took several hearings and appeals and ten years for John Ball to clear his claim to the land that would eventually become the town of Ballwin.

In 1826, Missouri moved its capital to Jefferson City. Soon there was a need for an overland mail route between St. Louis and the new capital. As luck would have it, this new road was established along a route that passed by John Ball's property. After the road, known at times as Jefferson Road, Market Road and Manchester Road, became established, John Ball decided to capitalize on the accessibility it provided for his property, and laid out a town.

The town was originally recorded as "Ballshow", but two days later, on February 9, 1837, Ball amended the recorded plat to be named Ballwin. No one knows for sure why the name was changed, but one of John Ball's great grandsons says it was the result of a rivalry with neighboring Manchester. John Ball saw great things ahead for his new town and was confident that it would "win out" in reputation and growth over its older and more prominent neighbor, two miles to the east. Hence the "win" was incorporated into the name.

In the years that followed, Ballwin has grown from the town John Ball knew with only a few homes and businesses, to a small village of 750 people when it was incorporated on December 29, 1950.

  1. City of Ballwin, Missouri, Comprehensive Community Plan: Historical Development of Ballwin, 2007, www.ballwin.mo.us, accessed August, 2012.
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