Kirkwood is an inner-ring western suburb of St. Louis located in St. Louis County, Missouri. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 27,540. Founded in 1853, the city is named after James P. Kirkwood, builder of the Pacific Railroad through that town. It was the first planned suburb located west of the Mississippi River.
Plans for a new community close to St. Louis were begun after the St. Louis fire of 1849 and the preceding and subsequent cholera outbreaks that killed one-tenth of the residents of downtown St. Louis. In 1850, Hiram W. Leffingwell and Richard Smith Elliott bought land 14 miles (23 km) from downtown, which was at about the same time James P. Kirkwood, chief engineer of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, was laying out a route for the train line.