(; Spanish: "San Carlos") is a city in, and the county seat of, St. Charles County, Missouri. It lies just to the northwest of St. Louis, Missouri, on the Missouri River, and played for a time a significant role in the United States' westward expansion. It is the second oldest city west of the Mississippi, founded in 1765 as
, "The Little Hills", by Louis Blanchette, a French Canadian fur trader, and was the last "civilized" stop for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The city served as the first Missouri capital, from 1821 to 1826. It is the site for the Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne shrine. It is also the home base for the St. Louis National Weather Service Forecast Office, serving central, east-central and northeastern Missouri as well as west-central and southwest Illinois.
The City of St. Charles school district has five elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools, and the Lewis & Clark Tech Building located on Zumbehl Road. St. Charles High School (sometimes called SCHS or simply "High") was the first built of the two high schools. St. Charles West ( SCW or simply "West") was added in the late '70's in response to the city's growing population. St. Charles West had their first graduation in 1979. St. Charles High School underwent renovation in 1995 to improve both the exterior and interior of the building, as did St. Charles West in 2005, in which a new library and auxiliary gym were built. St. Charles is also home to a variety of private schools including Immanuel Lutheran (Pre-K to 8), Zion Lutheran (Pre-K to 8), St. Charles Borromeo, St. Peter's, St. Cletus (K-8), Academy of the Sacred Heart (founded by Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne, and the site of her shrine), Duchesne High School (formerly named St. Peter High school), Saints Joachim and Ann and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton-St. Robert Bellarmine (K-8). There are other schools associated with the Francis Howell School District and the Orchard Farm School District that serve St. Charles as well. Many students who live on the southern edge of St. Charles City attend Francis Howell North High School and Henderson Elementary as well as Barnwell Middle and Becky David Elementary and Harvest Ridge Elementary. The Orchard Farm School District serves St. Charles but is outside of the city like Francis Howell. This school district to the North has an elementary school, middle school, and high school.
Lindenwood University is located on Kingshighway, seconds from St. Charles High. Founded by Major George Sibley and his wife Mary in 1827. Originally a women's school named Lindenwood College (until 1995) it was known as a fine liberal arts institution, although it did briefly attract less welcome publicity when People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals staged a small protest against its unusual tuition fee policies.. Lindenwood is also home to 89.1 The Wood (KCLC), a commercial-free student-driven radio station.