Sainte Genevieve is the oldest city in the Show-Me state. The first permanent settlement in what would become Missouri was established on the banks of the Mississippi River. Although the exact date that settlers set up an official village is debatable, most historians believe it was around 1735. Many of the early families came across the river from communities in Illinois to farm the fertile land. 

Once the Louisiana Purchase was completed, the area became even more valuable to the emerging United States throughout the 1800s. 

The first settlement did move at one point–constant flooding forced early families to relocate to higher ground in 1785.

Based upon content from the book Missouri 365: This Day in Missouri History by John W. Brown, broadcaster and Missouri historian. Get your copy at Reedy Press.

Photo credit: [Missouri Postcard Collection, P0032. P0032-Ste Genevieve-001.jpg.], The State Historical Society of Missouri, Photograph Collection.