The city’s misleading name comes in part from the fact that it lies on the west bank of the predominantly north-to-south Mississippi River. A previous City of West St. Paul, incorporated in the late 19th century, was situated in what is now called St. Paul’s Lower West Side. According to the West 7th/Fort Road foundation, St. Paul annexed the West Side, and was incorporated for two reasons: “to aid law enforcement—criminals could escape St. Paul authorities by crossing to the West Side and Dakota County—and to eliminate the Wabasha Street Bridge tolls which were inhibiting development on the West Side.” The current West St. Paul split from the western half of South St. Paul, and was incorporated in 1889, just south of the city of St. Paul. The population was 19,540 at the 2010 census, growing by 135 since 2000. West Saint Paul is known for its 2.5-mile retail strip along Robert Street.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.01 square miles (12.98 km2), of which 4.91 square miles (12.72 km2) is land and 0.10 square miles (0.26 km2) is water.
U.S. Highway 52 (also known as the Lafayette Freeway), Robert Street, and Minnesota Highway 62 are three of West St. Paul’s main routes. Interstate Highway 494 runs just south of the city and Minnesota Highway 3 (unmarked Route 952) runs through the middle of the city and into downtown Saint Paul as Robert Street. Robert Street was named for Captain Louis Robert, a Mississippi River boat captain and early French-Canadian settler of Saint Paul.
Crown of Life Lutheran Church
Crown of Life Lutheran Church is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) in West St. Paul.
Tom Gibis, voice actor
Joan Kroc, philanthropist and wife of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc
Richard M. Schulze, founder of Best Buy
Harold Stassen, former Minnesota governor, presidential candidate, statesman, and university president
J. Robert Stassen, Minnesota state senator and businessman