South St. Paul, Minnesota: Wikis


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South St. Paul, Minnesota
—  City  —
view across the industrial neighborhood by the Mississippi River
Nickname(s): S.S.P.
Location of South St. Paul, Minnesota
Coordinates: 44°53′17″N 93°2′44″W / 44.88806°N 93.04556°W / 44.88806; -93.04556
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Dakota
South St. Paul January 1, 1887
 - Type Mayor (Municipul)
 - Mayor Beth Baumann
 - Total 6.1 sq mi (15.9 km2)
 - Land 5.7 sq mi (14.9 km2)
 - Water 0.4 sq mi (1.0 km2)
Elevation 719 ft (219 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 20,167
 Density 3,515.9/sq mi (1,357.5/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 55075, 55076
Area code(s) 651
FIPS code 27-61492[1]
GNIS feature ID 0652339[2]

South St. Paul is a city in Dakota County, Minnesota, immediately south and southeast of the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is also southeast of West St. Paul, Minnesota. The population was 20,167 at the 2000 census. It is also an official All American City!!


The Kaposia

A band of the Dakota (Sioux) Tribe formerly located on the banks of the Mississippi River in Current day South Saint Paul. The Kaposia Chiefs known to history as Little Crow were actually a family of leaders inherited through generations. This name, Little Crow, was imposed by the English, which was based on the Kaposia’s ceremonial costumes which included the skin and wings of a raven or crow. Little Crow IV had the Dakota name Wa-Kin-Yan Tan-Ka, meaning Big Thunder. He was the leader of the Kaposia village. This is the current location of were Simon’s Ravine meets Concord Street. He was also the signer of the treaties of 1830 and 1837. Accidentally shot, he died in 1845. Little Crow V, Ta O-Ya-Te Du-Ta, His Red People. Signed the treaties of 1851 and 1858. He became known for making an honest effort to lead his people peacefully with the white man. However, Caught up in the injustices of the time he lead his people in the 1862 Sioux Uprising rather than be forced out of Minnesota. Little Crow V was killed on July 3, 1853 in Hutchinson Minnesota, bring an end to the Kaposia Dynasty. It can easily be assumed that the Kaposia Indians only had one village in what is now South Saint Paul indicated by the historical markers on North Concord Street. But that would be a mistake because Little Crow had two additional sites that were used regularly. One at the location of the current Lincoln Center on Ninth Ave and the other camp was near the current day high school football arena.

Settlers Arrive

After the ratification of the treaty of 1852, which would relocate Little Crow’s band to western Minnesota and would opened the land west of the Mississippi River to millions of anxious pioneers looking for a new start and farming land. The area of the Kaposia Village was an attractive spot because of its closeness to the city of St. Paul and because of the existing Kaposia Mission site which provided a taste of civilization. Before the treaties of relocation, the Minnesota territorial legislature had created Dakota County on October 27, 1849. Even though the county lines resembled very little of the current borders they were changed and modified several times, and in 1853 the borders of the county were once more changed to their approximate current area. The counties first official meeting was held at a home in Kaposia. This may seem insignificant but it shows that the Kaposia mission site was the closest and best thing to civilization in the newly formed county lines. When the missioner left with Little Crow to Yellow Medicine to establish a new mission, his sister Jane stayed behind and claimed the mission site’s land. Under law she had to be the head of a family so she adopted two Dakota boys. Later Jane got a request from Franklin Steele to buy her land for $3,000 for he saw the capability of development in the Kaposia area. How ever after problems with his surveyors and the running out dead line he abandoned his adventure. Also in the area was the Sylvester Cook Family. Cook who had been a teacher to the Kaposia Natives married the fellow teacher Harriet Newell Pettijohn in 1850 and had their daughter in 1851, who was one of the first non-Dakota children born in the area. Harriet’s brother traded his land with a claim she had made in Illinois and so the Cooks built their farm on the land which today is the bustling intersection of Concord and Richmond Sts.

The Birth of the City

If it weren’t for the actions of Charles Wilbur Clark and Alpheus Beede Stickney the area we know today as South Saint Paul may have stayed a sleepy farming community. These two men, although not alone, were the primary sparks of development in the area of South Park.Charles W. Clark was a real estate investor, civic leader and a manufacturing executive. This man created the city of South Park on the Mississippi. It was Clark who brought Stickney’s railroad to town when he offered the Minnesota and Northwestern line free land for the Construction of their car shops. Alpheus B. Stickney was a railroad man, entrepreneur and a expansionist. He was the founder of the Saint Paul Union Stockyards Company, the industry whose arrival changed the nature and economy of South Saint Paul more than any other factor in the towns history.

South Park

Today’s North end of South Saint Paul with it’s winding ravine-crossed terrain still has the hill, cliff and valley characteristics and many of the most beautiful views of the river in the city. In 1886 when Clark look out upon this land he saw the economic importance of its location on the river just a few miles away from the city of Saint Paul. The Clark Bryant Co. wanted a township in the area so badly they made sure it happened. They did this by giving away land to industrial companies all over the area. After several years many men moved themselves and their families next to the company in which they worked. This started a Industry based community. (A Official New City) Arthur D.S. Clark’s grocery business was flourishing. This is what led to the establishment of the villages first official post office since the Kaposia Mission. Now this does have a big significance in the history of South Saint Paul. The opening of the official post office on February 7, 1887 established South Park as a separate village from its original host township of West Saint Paul. Officially the new city of South Saint Paul was approved by the state legislature on January 1, 1887. In August, 1889 Hugh Connely from County Down, Ireland had been granted a liquor licenses for his massive Grand Hotel on the corner of Central Avenue and Concord Street. This grand hotel had 59 rooms and was four stories tall with its wide and inviting front porch it was the scene of many parties. It was also filled to capacity with workers arriving daily for employment in the many industries along the Mississippi. The hotel's manager James Nichols and his wife had a ready made staff with the Muckle family also from County Down, Ireland. Margret Muckle had seven daughters and one son. The “Muckle Girls” as they were known around town, had the difficult task of hauling water up from the river for the purpose of cleaning, cooking, and drinking. The Muckle family were to become active early participants in the development of the city. In 1881 Charles Roman arrived in South Park from Sweden with his wife Ellen. He built the families impressive home which still dominates the approach to 10th Ave N from Central Ave. The Romans home became the stopping place for immigrants of Scandinavian descent as they took advantage of the families boarding. Charles Carlson and Caroline Christofferson both came to South Park directly from Sweden. Charles found work in the stockyards and Caroline worked as a maid at the Grand Hotel. The two met at the Hotel and were married on June 8, 1889. The couple had eight children four boys and four girls whom all of which established roots in South Saint Paul. Gustav and Katherine Stapf came to South Park from Castle Rock, Minnesota with their daughter Maria in 1887. Gustav built three houses with his brothers Henry and Christine. The Gustav Stapf family lived in one of the houses until 1893 when they purchased the house at 1245 Bryant Ave. Their daughter Lucile was born there in 1903. Henry and Gustav had a coal yard on Concord Street. Lucile recalled that the first telephone in South Park was at their home. She remembers the businessmen coming in to make phone calls to the Saint Paul stock market at the Stapf residence.

The Monorail

On June 1, 1887 the South Saint Paul Common Council gave its approval to Charles Clark and several other Saint Paul investors to establish the South Saint Paul Rapid Transit Elevated Railway Company. This would provide street railway within the city. The Monorail, as came to be known, was named for the single electrical wire that controlled a suspended passenger car that would take passengers from the bluffs of Saint Paul to the river industrial area of South Park. They invited over 200 dignitaries from across the U.S. and Canada to watch the formal demonstration set for May 9, 1888. Their celebration would soon be cut short by the City Council of Saint Paul. The Companies plan to run the line through St. Paul was put on hold while the St. Paul City Council discussed the matter and residents protested, three months passed and the Council approved the plan but gave a few more restrictions and requirements and did not allow them to go to the City limits of Minneapolis. They then gave the Company four months to meet the new restrictions. With out access to the city of Minneapolis the engineers did not see the point of continuing. So in August they returned to the City Council with their request to build up to University Avenue. The plan went down hill when the Company was suspected and later charged with bribery and their four month deadline ran out. The mission was abandoned and the railway was torn down. Later in 1967 the Dakota County Historical Society ordered a memorial plaque outside of the Clark Memorial Church.

Concord Street & Grand Avenue

(1887–Present) Alpheus B. Stickney, as a railroad man, knew the troubles that western livestock producers faced when transporting their cattle to Chicago. The longer it took to transport your livestock the less it was worth. So A. B. Stickney asked a group of investors that had previously backed him on his railroad expansion to now back him on this new plan. Stickney asked the City Commerce of St. Paul to visit the Montana Stock Growers Association annual meeting in Miles City, Montana. His goal was to convince the western livestock growers to send their cattle to a stockyard in St. Paul rather than Chicago. He reasoned that the amount of cattle sent back was the same amount that the City of St. Paul could consume. The Montana Growers agreed to continue the topic in St. Paul in May, 1886. Here Stickney again went over the advantages of having a livestock company in Saint Paul. He also pointed out the convenience of the Mississippi River as both a second transportation route and a natural drainage system.

The St. Paul Union Stockyards

June 30, 1886 - April 11, 2008 The Heart a Pride of South St. Paul's Past

On June 30, 1886, the St. Paul Union Stockyards became an incorporated reality. Both the early rumors and reality of the stockyards brought hundreds of workers to the area now known as Concord and Grand. The second center of the future South Saint Paul was about to be born. Stickney however was not prepared for the massive business his stockyards would become by 1974. That it would grow so large to be one of the largest in the world. 260 acres of land was purchased for the construction of the new yards. The yards however were only built on 186 acres while residential lots were established on the remaining 74 acres. The area was ideal for location but not for development because of its low swampy characteristics. So soil and clay were excavated from the bluffs and laid on the proposed yards. The area was then marked out by blocks, streets and alleys. There was a lot to be done. Millions of pens to be built and paved, coolers, elevators, warehouses, office buildings and more. The yards were going to have to make $7,500 just to break evan. Even though Stickney's plans were in high scale it be a mistake to assume that the establishment of the yards meant immediate success. The construction of the yards them selves employed more men then the opening day. Eleven were stockyard employees on opening day and the first shipment only contained 363 cattle. By January 1, 1888 the St. Paul Union Stockyards had handled 25,00 cattle and 40,00 sheep only to have them re loaded and shipped out to Chicago. This is because there was no slaughtering facilities available at the time. Executives soon realized that without a packing plant and slaughter house there was no way they would be able to compete with Chicago. So the company than persuaded the Anglo-American Packing and Provision Company to accept their offer of a new plant in South Saint Paul. The first hog killing commenced in January 1888. By the end of the year the total slaughter added up to be; 31,514 cattle, 2,212 calves, 272,710 hogs, 61,343 sheep and 806 horses. Despite the companies slow start the Union Stockyards dramatically increased in their first 10 years, 1886-1896. Growing from 31,514 - 92,062 in cattle. Calves were up from 2,210 - 200,413, and sheep had grown to 200,413 from 61,343. Stickney’s dream had become a reality as it was approaching the competition ring at the national level. One of the first projects undertaken was the construction of an Exchange Building. Many thought that this was foolish because the yards still weren’t expanding very quickly. However the company kept persistent and hoped that the construction of the Exchanged building would attract bigger packing plants. The new Exchange Building changed the face of Concord and Grand. It was the most extravagant building in the area with its stone work and castle like looks. On December 1, 1897, seventy-two men had organized the South St. Paul Exchange. Made up for mostly commission men, the organization also included other active participants in the yards. Members of the exchange were nearly all representatives of the commission firms and livestock dealers. Their “home” was the glamorous Exchange Building at Concord and Grand. In the days of its beginnings, to open the heavy front doors was to enter the complex and mysterious world of the men that made the money move across the world. Never quiet, both its hallways and offices boomed with the voices of dealers and negotiators, phones rang and telegraph wires hummed with their vital messages. In 1930, 99 firms held offices behind its doors. More than offices, the building held a way of life; it was the market, it was the city. It brought the world to the old dirt road that had once wound along the banks of the river. To the kings of the commission business, it was their castle of commerce. By 1987 its halls were quiet, save for the wind which whistled through broken windows to enter once bustling centers of the worlds largest livestock industry. But today is the home to Valantinos Club.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 square miles (15.9 km²), of which, 5.7 square miles (14.9 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.0 km²) of it (6.51%) is water.

Interstate Highway 494, U.S. Highway 52, and Minnesota Highway 156 are three of the main routes in the city.

South St. Paul is home to a small general aviation airport, Fleming Field.

The main industry for much of South St. Paul's history was the Saint Paul Union Stockyards. These remain active but much reduced in size, and much of the stockyards area is being redeveloped.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 20,167 people, 8,123 households, and 5,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,515.9 people per square mile (1,356.5/km²). There were 8,313 housing units at an average density of 1,449.3/sq mi (559.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.63% White, 1.28% African American, 0.57% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.80% from other races, and 1.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.42% of the population.

There were 8,123 households out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,216, and the median income for a family was $54,119. Males had a median income of $36,466 versus $28,415 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,396. About 4.1% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.8% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.


South St. Paul's Public School System contains two Elementary School, One Secondary School(7-12), and a Community Learning Center.

South St. Paul schools were established in 1853.  The schools operated under the name Kaposia School District, serving the sons and daughters of local residents, missionaries, and the Kaposia Village Native American chiefs.  Initially under the jurisdiction of Dakota County, the district included sections of West St. Paul, Sunfish Lake and Inver Grove Heights.  In 1887 the county turned over the administration of the schools to the newly incorporated cities and their councils. South Saint Paul Special School District #6 was officially designated a school district in 1890 when voters established an independent Board of Education.  Rapid growth in the city and its schools continued in the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in the 1970s when more than 6,000 students attended six elementary schools, a high school, and a junior high school. With the closing of the stockyards in 1986, enrollments in the South St. Paul schools began to decline and the community was forced to make the difficult decision to consolidate school buildings.  During the same period, technology advances required the school district to be networked to keep up with the next generation of learners. In 1999, the South St. Paul community passed a technology referendum to maintain the quality of education in South St. Paul schools. The South St. Paul School District currently serves approximately 3,500 students in two elementary schools, one secondary school (grades 7-12) , and an alternative learning center.

South St. Paul is also home to two Private Schools, Holy Trinity Catholic School, & St. John Vianney Catholic School.


Holy Trinity Catholic School

Holy Trinity School opened on September 7, 1954with an enrollment of 243 students. The building consisted of 8 classrooms and a cafeteria in the basement and offered grades 1 through 8. On September 7, 1954, the size of the student body expanded at a rapid rate. At the beginning of the 1963-64 school year, the enrollment exceeded 600 students. The drop in enrollment bottomed out at 80 plus students during the 1984-85 school year. This same year a half day kindergarten was added to the regular 1 through 8 grade program. The following year, an all-day everyday kindergarten was established. A preschool was added in 1988. Today We offer a preschool - eighth grade education, based on Catholic values, and a full curriculum including theology, language arts, Spanish, science, math, technology and more. Our Extended Day program provides continuity and consistency to all families by ensuring a safe and secure place for children, not only before and after school, but during holidays and summer vacation as well.

St. John Vianney Catholic School

In 1956, SJV school opened its doors with 109 students in grades one through four. By 1958, the school contained grades one through eight. In 1974, a preschool and kindergarten program were added to the school. The fall of 1992 saw the establishment of a full day kindergarten program as well as an extended day program. Today, SJV offers complete academic programs for preschool, kindergarten and grades 1 through 6, as well as an extended day program.

So. St. Paul Religon

South St. Paul is home to a wide range of faith communities that occupy beautifully-kept churches.

Clark Memorial United Church of Christ

The Community's first church. Established on October 25, 1887, the founder of the church was Charles W. Clark. The church has gone threw many different remodels and building changes through out the years. The church has been struck by fire many times but the faithful community of this parish always seem to gather together and rebuild or renew the church. The mission of the church supports local, state, national and global interest of the congregation. The church also supports the ministry of the United Church of Christ as programs and needs arise. The congregation is mindful of the needs of Northern Dakota County (especially South St. Paul) and is committed to raise money and provide leadership within the community. They participate in city-wide events such as Kaposia Days and On the Road Again Days.[3]

St. Stephens Romanian Orthodox Church

St. Stefan Romanian Orthodox Parish was founded in 1923 by a group of Romanian emigrants; the church construction was finished in 1924. On June 27, 1924, the Parish was incorporated as a religious, non-profit organization, by the City of South St. Paul, Dakota County. In 1935 the church is blessed by His Eminence Policarp Morusca, the first Romanian Orthodox Bishop in America. Saint Stefan's Romanian Orthodox Church is a haven of prayer, a gift given us through the bounty of our Lord God, and through the efforts of the first Romanian emigrants to Minnesota.

St Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church

St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church of Minnesota originated in the early 1960s at the urging of Bishop Samuel, who annually visited Coptic student groups at various American universities. At that time, approximately ten Coptic graduate students, some with families, at the University of Minnesota met for Christian worship. Today, our congregation has grown to about 175 households in the Twin Cities. Through our worship activities and spiritual education, we strive to nurture Christian ideals in our congregation and in our community. We especially encourage the youth of our church to apply Christian behavior to their daily living. May the peace and love of the lord be with you.” [4]

St. Augustine Catholic Church

St. Augustine parish was established on June 11, 1896. Fr. Joseph T. Busch was sent to South St. Paul to organize this new parish and serve as its first pastor. Fr. Busch oversaw the building of the church and organized the parish. On August 30, 1896, Archbishop Ireland dedicated the new church which stood on the southeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Grand Avenue , where Greystone Apartment building now stands. After being remodeled, expanded and reinforced with brick, the parish met with great tragedy. On March 31, 1923, St. Augustine Church burned to the ground. Doing their best to replicate structures of the old church wherever possible, builders were able to construct the current church structure for a Christmas Day 1924 opening. St. Augustine Church is a Traditional based faith system. They are always open to new parishioners and are a very welcoming faith community.[5]

Holy Trinity Catholic Church

The Church of the Holy Trinity was established by Bishop John Ireland in November 1917. It was not until June 1940 that the first resident pastor, Father J. F. Siegienski, was assigned. Holy Trinity was originally a Polish parish. The first mass was held on June 30, 1940. The church building and the rectory were built by 1942 and the church was blessed by Archbishop John Murray in 1942. Holy Trinity Church is a Traditional based faith system. We are always open to new parishioners and are a very welcoming faith community.[6]

St. John Vianney Catholic Church

“Gifted by the Holy Spirit, we the people of Saint John Vianney journey together by faith in God’s saving word and the vision of the Church. Commissioned through Baptism, we give witness to God’s love for all people by ministering to the needs of one another. Called to reconcile and heal, we welcome all into our hearts and into our community. Through worship and education, at work and at play, we celebrate who we are and who we are called to become.”[7]


South Saint Paul's major employers include

  • Sportsman's Guide
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • SSP School District No. 6
  • Waterous Company
  • Dakota Premium Foods
  • Cerenity Senior Care - Bethesda of South Saint Paul
  • Stockyards Meat Packing Co. (Now Closed in April 2008)
  • 7up Bottling Company
  • Twin City Bagels
  • Wakota Arena
  • Knowlan's
  • Black Sheep Coffee Cafe

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^

External links

Coordinates: 44°53′31″N 93°02′10″W / 44.89194°N 93.03611°W / 44.89194; -93.03611


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