About The Ville
THE VILLE is a historic African-American neighborhood located in St. Louis, Missouri with a rich history of African-American education, business, entertainment and culture. The neighborhood is bounded by St. Louis Avenue on the North, Martin Luther King drive on the South, Sarah on the East and Taylor on the West.
The Ville originally belonged to Charles M. Elleard, a florist and horticulturist who maintained a conservatory and greenhouses on the tract of land. During Elleard’s twenty years at his property on Goode and St. Charles Rock Road, the area became known as Elleardsville. Elleardsville was formally incorporated into the city of St. Louis in 1876 following the passage of the city’s new charter separating it from St. Louis County. In the late nineteenth century, the neighborhood attracted German and Irish immigrants, along with some African Americans.
The neighborhood’s first black institution, Elleardsville Colored School No. 8 (later renamed Simmons School), opened in 1873.