The City of Bel-Nor is a northwestern suburban city of St. Louis in St. Louis County, Missouri. Founded in 1937 as the Village of Bel-Nor, residents voted to become the City of Bel-Nor in April 2015. Many of its neighborhood streets are filled with stately brick homes along quiet, tree-lined streets. The city has about 750 residential properties and roughly 1,502 residents. Bel-Nor was designed to be filled with architecturally diverse homes.
Bel-Nor is just minutes from Highways 170 and 70, Lambert International Airport, the University of Missouri Saint Louis campus (which is partially within Bel-Nor) and many businesses and restaurants. Bel-Nor is also home to Incarnate Word Academy, Bel-Nor School, and the Normandie Golf Club. Neighboring communities include: Bellerive Acres, Bel-Ridge, Greendale, Normandy, and Pasadena Hills and Pasadena Park.
Bel-Nor's 50th Anniversary
"Whereas, being incorporated on November 15, 1937, The Village of Bel-Nor is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary; and
Whereas, The Village of Bel-Nor has been added a member of the St. Louis County municipal league for many years; and
Whereas, officials of the Village of Bel-Nor have served the St. Louis County municipal league with distinction as officers and committee members over the years;
Now, therefore, be it resolved that we, the membership of the St. Louis County municipal league, extended our hearty congratulations to Chairman A. L. Schulte and to all the citizens of Bel-Nor as they look forward to another half century of growth while building on the wealth of their past.
Presented this 22nd day of October, 1987."
Signed, Kennard O. Whitefield
Framed proclamation commemorating The Village of Bel-Nor’s 50th anniversary in 1987. From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri- St. Louis.
Normandie Golf Club
Normandie Golf Club is the oldest golf course west of the Mississippi. The property was obtained by the original owner, J.B.C Lucas, before the Louisiana Purchase as a gift from France. The privately-owned land officially became the Normandie Park Golf Club in early 1901 and was renamed Normandie Golf Club after the construction of the clubhouse in 1903. In 1984, the property was sold and converted to a public golf course, and the clubhouse was demolished the following year.
The design of Normandie Golf Club is considered one of the cornerstones of American golf architecture. Many celebrities such as Babe Ruth, Cardinal legend Dizzy Dean, The Gashouse Gang, Pepper Martin, and Rogers Hornsby have come to play on the old golf course. Today, Normandie Golf Club offers a full-service golf shop, instructional classes, and a wide variety of food options for visitors to enjoy.
Normandie Golf Club Clubhouse, 1903.
Incarnate Word Academy
Incarnate Word Academy is an all-girls private, Catholic high school accredited by the State of Missouri and the North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges. The school officially opened on September 6, 1932, and with six teachers and 42 students. The mission of IWA is “ to challenge young women of faith to achieve their God-given potential as academically successful Women of the Word, following the example of Jesus, the Incarnate Word, by promoting human dignity, thereby empowering themselves and others to make a positive impact on our world.”
There is a 12:1 student to faculty ratio, 34 college credit course offerings, and 74% of faculty members hold advanced degrees. IWA is home to the eleven-time state champions and nationally ranked Red Knights Women’s Basketball Team. The IWA is graduating the next generation of knowledgeable, compassionate, and empowered women. Praised be the Incarnate Word!
The Normandy School District officially opened Bel-Nor school in 1927. This building was the first Normandy school not named after a president and Normandy’s first fireproof grade school. The building was planned in stages, beginning with a partially above-ground basement that eventually expanded to include 22 classrooms, a gymnasium, a library, and a kindergarten section as the student population grew rapidly. There are currently around 300 students who are enrolled.
Bel-Nor school shares the vision of Normandy Schools Collaborative. “Normany Schools Collaborative prepares global leaders for college, career and productive citizenship by empowering a community of confident learners and valuing the unique contributions of every student.”
Famous Bel-Nor Residents
'Munchkin' Mickey Carroll
‘A Bel-Nor native most known for his role in the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. Carroll was born in St. Louis to two Italian immigrant parents on July 8, 1919. In The Wizard of Oz, he played the roles of the Town Crier, a Munchkin Solider, and the candy-stripped fiddler that escorted Dorothy down the yellow brick road.
“I’m the happiest guy in the world, I made the movie,” said Carroll during an interview with the Globe-Democrat in April of 1983. Despite “Oz” being his only film appearance, Carroll received a star on the Hollywood walk of fame in 2007 along with six other surviving Munchkins. After selling his family business in 1996, Carroll became heavily involved in charity work until he died in 2009.
The Wizard of Oz Plaque
From the Special Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri- St. Louis.
'Soul Legend ' Donny Hathaway
'Editor Activist ' George A. Killenberg
A Grammy-award winning American soul singer, songwriter, and keyboardist. He was born in Chicago on October 1, 1945, and was raised by his grandmother in a North St. Louis ghetto. Hathaway was the grandson of Martha Pitts Crumwell, a famous gospel singer, and pianist. Hathaway began performing at the age of 3 and became known as “the nation’s youngest gospel singer.” He excelled in music, taking music theory courses at Washington University as a high school student, and receiving a full-ride scholarship to the fine arts program at Howard University in Washington D.C.
After graduating, Hathaway became an overnight sensation after releasing his “Donny Hathaway Live” album. He went on to produce for other successful entertainers such as Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler, and Roberta Flack. Even after achieving success, Hathaway always remembered where his upbringing. One of his most famous sayings was, “I am but one of many...only opportunity has distinguished me from the many.” After his death in January of 1979, he was laid to rest in Lake Charles Cemetery in Bel-Nor.
A well-known editor for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat Newspaper. Killenberg began working for the Globe-Democrat as a reporter in 1941 and worked his way up to the Executive Editor position in 1979. Outside of his work in the publishing industry, Killenberg was a clinical professor of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, an advisory board member of the School of Journalism of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a board member for St. Louis University High School, and on the committee for the St. Louis Journalism Foundation among many other things.
Various awards were given to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat during Killenberg’s time as an editor because of their willingness to bring awareness to important issues such as the severity of air and water pollution, inhumane conditions of state mental institutions, and the importance of better highways. After a long career revolving around the civic, educational, and moral advancement of St. Louis, Killenberg retired from his position with the Globe-Democrat in 1984. In 2008, Killenberg passed away in his home in Bel-Nor at the age of 91.
'Broadway Sensation' Richard Eastham
A Broadway performer, television star, and instrument inventor born in Opelousas, Louisiana on June 22, 1916, and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He was born Dickinson Swift Eastham, but he changed his name to Richard for stage purposes. Eastham is most remembered for his performances in memorable Broadway productions such as “South Pacific,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” and “The Sound of Music.” He is also the inventor of the “Sidewinder”, a revolutionary tool for its time that assisted with stringing and unstringing a guitar with the turn of a crank. After this death in 2005, Eastham was laid to rest in Bel-Nor’s Oak Grove Cemetery.
'WNBA All-Star' Naphessa Collier
Power Forward for the Minnesota Lynx. Collier transferred to Incarnate Word Academy in 2012 during her sophomore year of high school to play for the Red Knights Girl’s Basketball team. During her time at Incarnate Word, she was named the 2013 and 2015 Gatorade Missouri Player of the Year, a finalist for the 2015 Naismith Award, and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association High School All-American. Collier continued to play at the University of Connecticut (Uconn).
She ended her college career with the title of most rebounds in a season, second-most points scored in a season, and many other accomplishments. In 2019, she was selected by the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA draft. Collier also represented the United States in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, winning a gold medal alongside her teammates.
Bel-Nor's One & Only Restaurant!
The Breakaway Cafe is the perfect place to grab homestyle American-Italian food in a cozy diner setting. Their menu includes a wide selection of fresh-made sandwiches, homemade soups, delicious pizza, steak, chicken, and seafood entrees!
Follow them on Facebook @BreakawayCafeSTL and Instagram @stlbreakawaycafe!
Address: 8418 Natural Bridge Road, St. Louis MO 63121
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11am-8pm & Saturday 5pm-8pm.
Bel-Nor is home to the most famous exorcism in history! The book and film The Exorcist are based on an exorcism that happened in 1949 when Jesuits from St. Louis University performed the rites of exorcism on a 13-year-old boy in a Bel-Nor house.