Ste. Genevieve, Missouri

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Ste. Genevieve (Ste-Geneviève with French spelling) is a city in and the county seat of Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, United States.[3] The population was 4,476 at the 2000 census. Founded by French-Canadian colonists, it was the first organized European settlement west of the Mississippi River in present-day Missouri.



Founded around 1750 by French habitants and migrants from settlements in the Illinois Country just east of the Mississippi River, Ste. Geneviève is the oldest permanent European settlement in Missouri. It was named for the patron saint of Paris. While most residents were of French-Canadian descent, many of the founding families had been in the Illinois Country for two or three generations. It is one of the oldest colonial settlements west of the Mississippi River.[4] It was located in an area encompassed by the pre-Louisiana Purchase territory known as New France, Illinois Country, or the Upper Louisiana territory. Traditional accounts suggested a founding of 1735 or so, but the historian Carl Ekberg has documented a more likely founding about 1750. The population to the east of the river needed more land, the soils in the older villages had become exhausted, and lessening of pressure from hostile Native Americans made settlement possible.[5]

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