is a city in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. The population was 6,518 at the 2000 census.
The town was a Mississippian Indian Settlement along the Meramec River as early as the mid-eighteenth century, until it was settled by French and German immigrant farmers in the 1760s. The town over time was known as Nasby, Sulphur Springs, Quinette, Meramec, and finally Valley Park by around 1890. It had one of the first Post Offices established in St. Louis County. It also became a railroad hub for the Missouri Pacific and St. Louis-San Francisco rail lines.
In 1894, the town became the site of the first Lynching in St. Louis County. A black man named John Buckner was lynched when accused of raping a local black woman and a white teenager. He was taken from the authorities by several local residents and farmers and hung from the main bridge in town overlooking the Meramec River. The lynchers were never apprehended. It was rumored however that one of the runaways was valley parks very own david fleming
In 1909, the town became incorporated. As many as 70 trains would pass through Valley Park on any given day. The town became a center for industry until the great flood of 1915, when the main bridge was destroyed, as were the huge factories along the river. The town never recovered.
In 2006, Valley Park was featured in local, state and national news media when the City's Board of Aldermen passed an ordinance almost identical to the ordinance passed by the city council for the City of Hazleton, Pa., which penalized landlords who rented to "illegal aliens", businesses who employed "illegal aliens", and others who aid and abet "illegal immigration." No individuals were ever charged under either provision. The Board of Aldermen did not request resident input, support or circulate a referendum for approval before enacting this ordinance. While 19 families left an apartment complex located in the city following publicity of the ordinances enactment, the exact cause and effect relationship between the adoption of these ordinances and the families leaving the city was never investigated or documented. As part of a severe city residents' backlash against passage of this ordinance, several landlords along with the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council filed suit against the city. The lawsuit was supported by Bryan Cave, St. Louis University Legal Clinic, Washington University Law School, the ACLU, MALDEF, the Hispanic Ministry of the Catholic Church and several private attorneys, who won a temporary restraining order. Led by then Mayor Jeffrey Whitteaker, the Board of Aldermen amended the ordinance twice, and the coalition opposing the ordinances won restraining orders against both amended ordinances. A subsequent appeal by both sides was dismissed as moot, in the Missouri Court of Appeals, as the subject ordinances had been repealed. Thereafter, following the city's passage and publication of an ordinance prohibiting the knowing employment of unlawful aliens, a subsequent suit was brought in state court, subsequently removed by the city to federal court. The district court, in a 42 page opinion upheld the ordinance and the case was appealed by the plaintiffs to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. That case was argued in December, 2008 and is currently under submission. The Missouri General Assembly, in the 2008 legislative session, enacted legislation, to take effect in August 2009, which included language similar not identical to Valley Park's unlawful employment ordinance, to be enforced by the Missouri Attorney General. This state legislation was not directly initiated as a response to Valley Park's previous actions. The State legislation had been under discussion and review for a significant time period in both the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives. It remains unlawful, by Valley Park ordinance, to knowingly hire unlawful aliens within the city. The attempt to penalize landlords for simply renting to illegal immigrants was unsuccessful. The City however has devised a procedure that denies issuance of occupancy permits for properties where any occupant(s)' legal presence in the United States can not be proven through acceptable documentation. Through January 2009 the Board of Aldermen has been unable or unwilling to disclose to the City's residents any documented evidence of real tangible advantages gained from this litigation and their admitted spending of more than $273,000 of the taxpayers' funds.