The city of Brentwood, referred to as the “City of Warmth,” is a small, established but growing, suburban community, which enjoys its location within minutes of the resources of downtown St. Louis. While current-day Brentwood is a dynamic city with a keen eye to the future, it places a high value in the preservation of its historical roots.
Brentwood’s rich history stretches back more than 200 years. In 1804, a man by the name of Louis J. Bompart arrived in the area and purchased 1,600 acres of land. Later, the Marshall family acquired property just west of that, and the Gay family bought land to the north— together completing the boundaries of what is now the city of Brentwood.
Thomas Madden found himself here in the early 1870s, purchasing 100 acres to establish his farm. The area continued to gradually grow, attracting new families for settling. Madden was recognized as the entrepreneur of the community, as he operated a rock quarry, tavern, barbershop, grocery store and blacksmith shop. His well-known presence in the town led to its original name, Maddenville.
Maddenville served as one of the original stops along the “Manchester Trail,” a westward route regularly traveled by prairie schooners and mail coaches in the late 1800s. While some of these travelers stayed in town for a short rest between stops, others chose to remain. The community continued to prosper, especially with the advent of rail service via the Missouri Pacific and the invention of the automobile.
In 1919, Maddenville residents discovered that neighboring Maplewood was preparing to annex their town. In order to avoid annexation and maintain its own identity, residents officially incorporated as a village on December 15, 1919—ultimately changing the name from Maddenville to what we know today, Brentwood. The community enjoyed growth, both residentially and economically, over the years, but, in spite of being part of a large metropolitan area, has retained its small-town atmosphere.
Today, Brentwood is home to nearly 7,700 residents and a base of businesses that exceeds 650. The proud hometown spirit is felt around every corner—in the beautiful neighborhoods, the charming parks, the well-known shops and restaurants, and at the many community events. Its schools are outstanding at all levels and its local economy is strong and diversified. With all of this, and more, Brentwood has set itself apart from the rest, and will continue to be a great place to visit and call home for years to come.