Thank you to our members for supporting our research into the local history of West St. Paul.
Founded in 1889, West St. Paul, Minnesota, is a growing first-ring suburb located directly south of St. Paul.
- The Name: Why is West St. Paul ‘west’ when it’s actually south?
- The City’s Founding: The story of the three West St. Pauls.
Notable Personalities From West St. Paul
- Olivia Irvine Dodge: Founder of Dodge Nature Center.
- Joan Kroc: The philanthropist and wife of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc was born in West St. Paul.
- Harold Stassen: Three-time Minnesota governor and perennial presidential candidate.
- Steve Sack: Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist with a 40-year career with the Star Tribune.
City Government & Administration
- Mayors: A list of all West St. Paul mayors throughout history.
- Council: A list of all West St. Paul City Council members throughout history.
- Devona Weatherhead: First woman to serve on West St. Paul’s City Council.
- James Husman: Youngest mayor in West St. Paul history.
- West St. Paul Firsts: A wider look at historic firsts for West St. Paul’s City Council and mayor.
Historic Locations in West St. Paul
- Forty Acres
- Albert Park
- Dodd School
- Dodge Nature Center
- Garlough Environmental Magnet School
- Gladstone School
- Hurley House
- Joseph Marthaler Memorial Bridge
- Oakdale School
- Signal Hills Shopping Center
- Wentworth House
- West St. Paul Armory
- West St. Paul City Hall
- West St. Paul Pool
- WPA in West St. Paul: Remnants of the Works Progress Administration in West St. Paul.
See our Then & Now series for a comparison of historic and modern views. The Dakota County Historical Society also offers this West St. Paul historic map with short histories of various locations.
Here’s a timeline of West St. Paul history:
- 1889: The third and final incarnation of West St. Paul is officially founded.
- 1922: Robert Street is paved. The South Robert Street Business Association is founded.
- 1931: Albert Park is officially created and designated by the city.
- 1956: The West St. Paul city pool opens.
- 1966: Civil rights hero John Lewis speaks in West St. Paul.
- 1969: The current city hall is completed.
- 1971: Marthaler Park ski hill opens.
- 1974: Four people die in the Bellows Court apartment explosion.
- 1978: First Lady Rosalynn Carter speaks in West St. Paul.
- 1979: Winter Carnival Treasure Hunt comes to West St. Paul.
- 1989: West St. Paul star logo is adopted.
West St. Paul Centennial: 1889-1989
The definitive history of West St. Paul is captured in the 320-page book, West St. Paul Centennial: 1889-1989, a tome created to honor the city’s 100th anniversary. Printed in 1989, the book is available on the reference shelf at Wentworth Library.
“The story of West St. Paul is just such a tapestry of memories, woven from the minds of many and then mixed and matched into what becomes a collage of experience.”Lois A. Glewwe, historian and editor of West St. Paul Centennial
We’re able to dig into local history thanks to our members. You can support our local news and history through Patreon. Much of our historical information comes from the Dakota County Historical Society, and we’re grateful for their help.