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Saint Joseph (informally, St. Joe) is the largest city in Northwest Missourimarker, serving as the county seat for Buchanan Countymarker. With a 2007 estimated population of 73,912, Saint Joseph is the eighth largest city in the state. The St. Joseph Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Buchanan, Andrewmarker, and DeKalbmarker counties in Missouri and Doniphan County, Kansasmarker, had an estimated population of 122,306 in 2006. Saint Joseph is also home to Missouri Western State Universitymarker.


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. 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 Rivermarker 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, Julius (Jules St); Francis; Felix; Edmund, 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 Housemarker, a hotel that had formerly served as the home of both Patee Female College and St. Joseph Female College. 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. 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. [22993] 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 known for the very courages citizens.St. Joseph is also the home of Rosecrans Memorial Airportmarker and 139th Airlift wing of the Missouri National Guard.


Saint Joseph is located at (39.757944, -94.836541) , on the Missouri/Kansas border in northwestern Missouri. The nearest major metropolitan area to Saint Joseph is the Kansas City Metropolitan Areamarker, which begins approximately 30 miles to the south.
Downtown St. Joseph in 2006
nearest major airport is Kansas City International Airportmarker, which is approximately 35 miles 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.


As of the census 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.


The St. Joseph School District operates 3 public high schools, 4 public middle schools and 16 public elementary schools in St. Joseph. There are also three private grade schools, a private high school and a private K-12 Christian school.

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 Schoo
  • Noyes Elementary School
  • Parkway Elementary School
  • Pershing Elementary School
  • Pickett Elementary School
  • Skaith Elementary School

Public middle schools

Public high schools

Private schools

Places of interest

Notable natives

Media outlets

Television stations

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

Radio stations

  • KFEQ, 680 AM (News/talk radio)
  • KGNMmarker, 1270 AM (Christian radio)
  • KKJO, 105.5 FM, K-Jo (Hot AC)
  • KESJmarker, 1550 AM (Oldies)
  • KSJQ, 92.7 FM, Q Country (Country)
  • KSRD, 91.9 FM (Christian Radio)
  • KAIRmarker, 1470 AM (Catholic Radio)
  • KEXSmarker, 106.7 FM, (Catholic Radio)


See also


  1. St. Joseph History - Jesse James Home.

External links

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