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City of St. Joseph, Missouri
Downtown St. Joseph in 2006
Nickname(s): St. Joe
Location in the state of Missouri
U.S. Census Map
Country United States
State Missouri
County Buchanan
 - Mayor Ken Shearin
 - Total 44.8 sq mi (116 km2)
 - Land 43.5 sq mi (112.7 km2)
 - Water 0.7 sq mi (1.8 km2)
Population (2008)
 - Total 76,197
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)

Saint Joseph (informally, St. Joe) is the largest city in Northwest Missouri, serving as the county seat for Buchanan County. With a 2008 estimated population of 76,197, Saint Joseph is the eighth largest city in the state.[1] The St. Joseph Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Buchanan, Andrew, and DeKalb counties in Missouri and Doniphan County, Kansas, had an estimated population of 122,306 in 2006. Saint Joseph is also home to Missouri Western State University.



The intersection of Francis and North 4th Streets in downtown St. Joseph

Saint Joseph was founded by Joseph Robidoux, a local fur trader, and officially incorporated in 1843.[2] In its early days, it was a bustling outpost and rough frontier town, serving as a last supply point and jumping-off point over the Missouri River toward the "Wild West", this due largely to the fact that it was the westernmost point in the United States accessible by rail until after the American Civil War.

The main east west downtown streets were named for Robidoux's children: Faraon, Jules, Francis, Felix, Edmond, Charles, Sylvanie, and Messanie. The street between Sylvanie and Messanie was named for his second wife, Angelique.

Several events of particular historical note occurred in Saint Joseph. Between April 3, 1860, and late October 1861, Saint Joseph was one of the two endpoints of the Pony Express. In 1882, also on April 3, the notorious Jesse James was killed at his home, originally located at 1318 Lafayette, now sited next to The Patee House, a hotel that had formerly served as the home of both Patee Female College and St. Joseph Female College.[3] James was living under the alias of Mr. Howard. An excerpt from a popular poem of the time is: "...that dirty little coward that shot Mr. Howard has laid poor Jesse in his grave."

The Heaton-Bowman-Smith Funeral Home maintains a small museum about Jesse James. Their predecessors conducted the funeral. The museum is open to the public. His home, which has been relocated at least three times, is now maintained as a tourist attraction that features the bullet hole from that fateful shot. These two events lend Saint Joseph the slogan, "Where the Pony Express started and Jesse James ended."

Saint Joseph peaked as an expansionist city in 1900, with a census population of 102,979. (However, this population figure is highly questionable.) At the time, it was the home to one of the largest wholesale companies in the Midwest, the Nave & McCord Mercantile Company, as well as the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, and the C.D. Smith & Company, which would become C.D. Smith Healthcare.

In 1997, Saint Joseph was named an "All-America City" by the National Civic League. [1] Saint Joseph was voted the top true western town of 2007 by the True West Magazine, in the January/February 2008 issue. St. Joseph is also the home of Rosecrans Memorial Airport and 139th Airlift wing of the Missouri National Guard.


Saint Joseph is located at 39°45′29″N 94°50′12″W / 39.75806°N 94.83667°W / 39.75806; -94.83667 (39.757944, -94.836541)[4], on the Missouri/Kansas border in northwestern Missouri. The nearest major metropolitan area to Saint Joseph is the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, which begins approximately 30 miles (48 km) to the south.

Downtown St. Joseph in 2006

The nearest major airport is Kansas City International Airport, which is approximately 35 miles (56 km) to the south. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 44.5 square miles (115.3 km²), of which, 43.8 square miles (113.5 km²) of it is land and 0.7 square miles (1.7 km²) of it (1.48%) is water.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1860 8,932
1870 19,565 119.0%
1880 32,431 65.8%
1890 52,324 61.3%
1900 102,979 96.8%
1910 77,403 −24.8%
1920 77,939 0.7%
1930 80,935 3.8%
1940 75,711 −6.5%
1950 78,588 3.8%
1960 79,035 0.6%
1970 72,748 −8.0%
1980 76,691 5.4%
1990 71,852 −6.3%
2000 73,990 3.0%
Est. 2008 76,197 3.0%

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 73,990 people, 29,026 households, and 18,460 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,687.7 people per square mile (651.6/km²). There were 31,752 housing units at an average density of 724.2/sq mi (279.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.88% White, 5.03% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.47% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.69% from other races, and 1.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.61% of the population.

There were 29,026 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.4% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.98.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,663, and the median income for a family was $40,995. Males had a median income of $31,300 versus $21,592 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,445. About 9.1% of families and 13.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.


Saint Joseph is home to several retail areas, many of which are grouped along Belt Highway on the city's east side. East Hills Mall is located at North Belt Highway and Frederick Boulevard, with its anchor tenants Dillard's, JCPenney, and Sears. The enclosed mall was constructed in 1965, expanded in 1989, and renovated in 2001, with more extensive renovations in 2008 and 2009.

Developed in 2005, the Shoppes at North Village is concentrated along North Belt Highway between Cook Road and County Line Road. Located here are Target, Kohl's, Old Navy, Dress Barn, Famous Footwear, T.J. Maxx, Michaels Arts & Crafts, Petco, Bed Bath & Beyond, Pier 1 Imports, Borders Books & Music, Best Buy, and Home Depot, along with several smaller tenants. Dining options found here include Bob Evans, 54th Street Grill & Bar, Chili's, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panda Express, Cheddar's, Olive Garden, Famous Dave's, and Buffalo Wild Wings. A Hollywood Theaters 10-screen cinema is also located near Kohl's.

Other shopping districts include Belt Center, Hy-Vee Shopping Center, Hillcrest Plaza, East Ridge Village, Northgate Shopping Center, and Woodlawn Shopping Center.


The St. Joseph School District operates 3 public high schools, 4 public middle schools and 16 public elementary schools in St. Joseph. There are three private grade schools, a private high school and a private K-12 Christian school. In addition, there is a active HOME education community that serves the city and surrounding areas.

Public elementary schools

  • Coleman Elementary School
  • Edison Elementary School
  • Ellison Elementary School
  • Eugene Field Elementary School
  • Hall Elementary School
  • Humboldt Elementary School
  • Hosea Elementary School
  • Hyde Elementary School
  • Lake Contrary Elementary School
  • Lindbergh Elementary School
  • Mark Twain Elementary School
  • Noyes Elementary School
  • Parkway Elementary School
  • Pershing Elementary School
  • Pickett Elementary School
  • Skaith Elementary School

Public middle schools

Public high schools

Private schools

Home Education Resources

  • Homeschool Organization for Midwest Educators HOME

Places of interest

The Buchanan County Courthouse in downtown St. Joseph
The Missouri River in St. Joseph

Notable natives

Media outlets

Television stations

  • KQTV, Channel 2, KQ2 (ABC)
  • KTAJ, Channel 16, TV16 (TBN)
  • ST. JOE NOW, Cable Channel 3, St. Joe Now (Local)

Radio stations

  • KFEQ, 680 AM (News/talk radio)
  • KGNM, 1270 AM (Christian radio)
  • KKJO, 105.5 FM, K-Jo (Hot AC)
  • KESJ, 1550 AM (sports talk radio)
  • KSJQ, 92.7 FM, Q Country (Country)
  • KSRD, 91.9 FM (Christian Radio)
  • KAIR, 1470 AM (Catholic Radio)
  • KEXS-FM, 106.1 FM, (Catholic Radio)


See also


External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

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