Millstadt, with a population of just less than 4,000, was laid out in 1836 and incorporated in 1875 in southwestern St. Clair County. Many of the original settlers were from Germany, and the village continues to build on this heritage by preserving historic buildings, its sister city program with Gross-Bieberau, Germany, and efforts to create a unique, charming St. Clair County community.
Numerous Millstadt residents are direct descendants of the original early settlers and can share stories of long ago. Much of the character of the village comes from this heritage, including many of the well-preserved, 19th-century brick buildings. The 1931 “Tin Man” water tower with its hemispherical bottom and conical roof with a ball finial now has been replaced by a newer, larger water tower but is one of the few surviving in Illinois, and the Friends of the Old Millstadt Water Tower have organized to save it. The village’s heritage and relationship with its sister city in Germany is also reflected in community events like Wiehnachtsfest, a Christmas festival with German food, dancing, music, holiday crafts and a parade.
Two parks and a nature trail offer recreational opportunities for young and old. City Park has a children’s play area with a rocket slide, pavilions, the village pool, horseshoe pits, a grandstand and two ball fields, and an entrance to the Pine Street Nature Trail. The nature trail’s paved pathway is mostly shady, and its wood-chip path mixes shade and sun. Elm Street Park has a combined softball and soccer field, a basketball court, a children’s play area, a pavilion and picnic tables.
Students in the village are served by Millstadt Community Consolidated School District No. 160. The local library serves students and adults with internet service, special reading programs and other educational resources.
The village’s location 14.5 miles from Scott AFB at the intersection of state routes 158 and 163 fosters both business and family development. Millstadt is just 15 minutes from the Jefferson Barracks Bridge across the Mississippi River and 25 minutes from the Arch, and recent business expansions, retail developments and new housing opportunities are providing new amenities.