Early Settlement

Traffic from a farming area of more than 100 square miles in northern St. Louis County followed these roads and funnelled through the Baden area to reach the St. Louis market. Such a location was a natural one for a settlement, which apparently had its beginnings in the early 19th Century. However, it was not until the extensive German migration to the St. Louis area in the 1840's and 1850's that Baden began to assume importance. So many Germans settled in the Baden area that it was called Germantown and a subdivision platted in 1856, adjacent to it, was named the "Railroad Addition to Germantown."

Several versions exist as to how the name of Baden was chosen, but it is generally associated with the fact that Frederick Kraft, a pioneer settler in 1852, was born in Baden-Baden, Germany. Kraft, operator of a saloon, submitted Baden as the name for the first post office in 1860 and it was officially adopted when he became the postmaster. Kraft's saloon and general store at the southwest corner of Broadway and Bittner Street was called the "Six Mile House" due to its distance from St. Louis. It was the nucleus for the business district which later developed in the vicinity. An interesting sidelight about Baden is that there were several Indian mounds in the area in its earlier years.