New Baden, a village of approximately 3,300 residents that straddles St. Clair and Clinton counties, is 11 miles east of Scott AFB on state Route 161. With Interstate 64 at its doorstep, it’s about 30 minutes from downtown St. Louis. An increasing number of military families are taking up residence in New Baden, drawn by its excellent schools, safe neighborhoods and affordable housing.
In 1855, German immigrants founded the prairie town and it prospered until 6:15 p.m. on May 27, 1896, when a tornado ripped through more than half its 60 buildings, damaged others and killed 16 people. Residents of surrounding villages fought their way over debris-clogged roads to their stricken neighbors and spent that night searching and caring for the injured. By 1913, the determined community had rebuilt itself with sturdy brick into a lively mercantile center.
Today, the village is home to a civic center, a library and a park. The 41-acre community park has a swimming pool, tennis courts, ball diamonds, a soccer field, a hockey rink, a skate park, a paved walking path and picnic facilities and is the site of the annual June Jamboree and fall’s chili cook-off. Students attend schools in Wesclin Community Unit School District No. 3.
To learn more, go to the New Baden city website at www.newbadenil.com or call 618-588-3813.