St. Louis, population 348,189, is located in east central Missouri on the Illinois state line in St. Louis County. It lies along Interstates 70 and I-44 on the banks of the Mississippi River.
In 1764, French fur traders Pierre Laclede Liguest and Rene August Chouteau erected a trading post on the site of St. Louis. Laclede named the settlement after Louis IX, a French king who had been made a saint. (French king Louis IX (d. 1270) in the Crusades in North Africa).
Five Fortune 500 companies maintain headquarters in St. Louis. Earnings increases show the service industry with the greatest growth, followed by finance, insurance and real estate.
Famous St. Louisans include Scott Joplin, Tennessee Williams and Josephine Baker. A few of the largest attractions in the city are St. Louis Union Station, a mixed-use attraction, hotel and lake in a national historic landmark; the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, comprising the 630-foot tall Gateway Arch, Museum of Westward Expansion, and the Old Courthouse; and the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.