Originally known as Gilman’s Point in the 1780’s, after local tavern owner Daniel Gilman, St. Matthews was an agriculture area, rich in potato farming. Many of the early settlers were of Swiss origin bearing names like Ochsner, Ehrler, and Zehnder. Ochsner’s Garage Auto Repair still operates on Shelbyville Road.
Apparently as settlers flocked to the area, they didn’t like their community being known by a tavern, so they named the community after the recently completed St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, the area’s first. It became official in 1851 when the newly opened U.S. Post Office adopted the name.
In the influx of German and Swiss immigrants continued to grow and their Catholic faith resulted in the construction of Holy Trinity in 1882, on of the oldest Catholic Churches in Louisville. Trinity High School was an outgrowth of the Holy Trinity church.
Marth Elson wrote in her 2015 Courier-Journal article:
“James Noland, a WW I veteran who was in the bedding business, was the first mayor from 1950 to 1958. He led resistance to annexation by Louisville, and engineered a major annexation in 1953 that added about 5,000 residents and resulted in St. Matthews becoming a fourth-class city the following year.”
Today, St. Matthews is comprised of many residential neighborhoods including: Norbourne Estates, Beechwood Village, Fairmeade, Maryhill Estates, Bellewood, Richlawn, Windy Hills and Druid Hills.
St. Matthews’ boundaries are Cannons Lane to the west, I-264 to the south and east, and Brownsboro Road to the north. The epicenter of St. Matthews is where Frankfort Avenue, Shelbyville Road, Chenoweth Lane, Westport Road and Breckenridge Lane meet.
St. Matthews is located in a highly concentrated retail and commercial area that is intersected by the Watterson Expressway/Interstate 264.
The average age of St. Matthews residents is 40 and the population is 18,189. According to Neighborhood Scout, nearly 52% of the residents have a college degree and the median income is $57,824. The racial makeup is 82% white and 8% black or African American. The top three industries in St. Matthews are healthcare, hospitality and retail.
The zip codes are 40207 and 40222.
Aside from the convenient location, the appeal for many, are the schools Seneca Park and easy access to retails stores.
St. Matthews is home to Mall St. Matthews, Oxmoor Mall, and TopGolf.
The number of retail options is almost unlimited. Grocery store chain Whole Foods and furniture retailers Arhaus, Pottery Barn, and Ethan Allen are some of the attractions for shoppers.
The 562-acre Frederick Law Omstead designed Seneca Park is a major draw for the area. It features a golf course, soccer field, walking track, horseback riding trail, basketball and tennis courts.
St. Matthews housing stock consists of ranch, colonial, and cape cod. As a result of the GI Bill, may returning soldiers returned home and built homes in neighborhoods like St. Matthews. Nearly 45% of the homes were modes sized homes that were built in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s.
St. Matthews offers a wide variety of condominiums and apartments.
St. Matthews as a whole has seen an average appreciation rate of 3% with the exception of the Great Recession of 2008-2010. The median price of a home in 2020 is $290,694.