St. Joseph, Missouri

St. Joseph (informally St. Joe) is a small city in and the county seat of Buchanan County, Missouri, United States. Small parts of St. Joseph extend into Andrew County, Missouri.[4] Saint Joseph is known for hosting the Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp every year at Missouri Western State University. Saint Joseph is filled with many lush forests and parks as well as its very own go kart track and mini golf course. It is the principal city of the St. Joseph Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Buchanan, Andrew, and DeKalb counties in Missouri and Doniphan County, Kansas. As of the 2010 census, St. Joseph had a total population of 76,780, making it the eighth largest city in the state, and the third largest in Northwest Missouri.[5] St. Joseph is located roughly thirty miles north of the Kansas City, Missouri city limits and approximately 125 miles south of Omaha, Nebraska.

St. Joseph, Missouri
Downtown St. Joseph in 2006
St. Joe
Location in the state of Missouri
U.S. Census Map
Coordinates: 39°45′29″N 94°50′12″W
CountryUnited States
CountyBuchanan, Andrew
  MayorBill McMurray
  Total44.77 sq mi (115.95 km2)
  Land43.99 sq mi (113.93 km2)
  Water0.78 sq mi (2.02 km2)
  Density1,700/sq mi (660/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (CST)
  Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)816

The city was named after the both the town's founder Joseph Robidoux and the biblical Saint Joseph.[6] the city is located on the Missouri River. It is the birthplace of hip hop star Eminem[7] as well as the death place of Jesse James; it is also the starting point of the Pony Express. St. Joseph is also home to Missouri Western State University.


St. Joseph was founded on the Missouri River by Joseph Robidoux, a local fur trader, and officially incorporated in 1843.[8] In its early days, it was a bustling outpost and rough frontier town, serving as a last supply point and jumping-off point on the Missouri River toward the "Wild West". 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 eight children: Faraon, Jules, Francois (Francis), Felix, Edmond, Charles, Sylvanie, and Messanie. The street between Sylvanie and Messanie was named for his second wife, Angelique.

St. Joseph, or "St. Joe", as it was called by many, was a "Jumping-Off Point" for those headed to the Oregon Territory in the mid-1800s. These cities, including Independence, and St. Joseph, were where pioneers would stay and purchase supplies before they would head out in wagon trains. The town was a very bustling place, and was the second city in the US to have electric streetcars.

Between April 3, 1860, and late October 1861, St. Joseph was one of the two endpoints of the Pony Express, which operated for a short period over the land then inaccessible by rail, to provide fast mail service. The pony riders carried additionally, along with the mail, a small personal Bible. Today the Pony Express Museum hosts visitors in the old stables.

On April 3, 1882 outlaw Jesse James was killed at his home, originally located at 1318 Lafayette, now sited next to The Patee House. In the post-Civil War years, when the economy was down, the hotel had served for a time as the home of the Patee Female College, followed by the St. Joseph Female College up to 1880.[9] 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 is now known as the Jesse James Home Museum. It has been relocated at least three times, and features the bullet hole from that fateful shot. St. Joseph is identified by the slogan, "Where the Pony Express started and Jesse James ended."

Among properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places are the Patee House, a former hotel now maintained as a museum of transportation, and the Missouri Theatre, an ornate movie palace.

St. Joseph's population peaked in 1900, with a census population of 102,979. This population figure is questionable, as civic leaders tried to inflate the numbers for that census.[10] 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 and St. Joseph Railroad, and the C.D. Smith & Company, which would become C.D. Smith Healthcare.

The Walnut Park Farm Historic District near St. Joseph was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.[11]


In 1997, St. Joseph was named an "All-America City" by the National Civic League.[12] St. Joseph was voted the top true western town of 2007 by True West Magazine, in the January/February 2008 issue.

Geography and climate

Saint Joseph is located at 39°45′29″N 94°50′12″W (39.757944, -94.836541),[13] on the Missouri/Kansas border in northwestern Missouri, also close to Nebraska; Iowa is another 70 miles farther north. The nearest major metropolitan area to St. Joseph is the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, which begins approximately 30 miles (48 km) to the south. 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 44.77 square miles (115.95 km2), of which 43.99 square miles (113.93 km2) is land and 0.78 square miles (2.02 km2) is water.[1]

The monthly weather averages listed below are taken from National Weather Service 1981-2010 Normals. Snowfall is not recorded at the St Joseph weather station although surrounding reporting stations typically receive 12-18 inches of snowfall annually.[14][15][16]

St. Joseph, Missouri (1981–2010 normals, 1892-2019 records)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F 73 83 90 96 103 105 108 110 107 97 82 73 110
Average high °F 37.1 42.3 54.5 65.8 75.4 84.0 87.0 86.3 79.1 67.0 52.9 39.2 64.2
Average low °F 17.4 21.6 31.4 42.5 53.3 63.3 67.1 64.3 54.0 42.5 31.0 19.7 42.3
Record low °F -17 -23 -13 2 29 41 41 41 29 11 -5 -24 -24
Mean precipitation inches .56 .93 2.25 3.79 5.42 4.18 5.19 3.98 3.42 2.81 1.55 1.52 35.60
Source: NOAA (Summary of Monthly Normals 1981-2010)



Historical population
Est. 201875,959[3]−1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[19]

2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 76,780 people, 29,727 households, and 18,492 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,745.4 inhabitants per square mile (673.9/km2). There were 33,189 housing units at an average density of 754.5 per square mile (291.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.8% White, 6.0% Black, 0.5% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 2.0% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.7% of the population.

There were 29,727 households of which 32.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.0% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.8% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out with 23.6% under the age of 18; 11.7% between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.1% from 25 to 44; 24.9% from 45 to 64; and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age in the city was 35.6 years. The gender makeup of the city was 49.8% male and 50.2% female.

2000 census

As of the census[20] 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 per square mile (279.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.9% White, 5.0% Black, 0.5% Native American, 0.5% Asian, <0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.6% 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 single-family households. 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.


Transit America Services, a subsidiary of Herzog, provides conductors and other railway technical positions for transit rail systems nationwide. Herzog Contracting, parent company to Transit America, is based in the city and provides construction services, rail equipment, rail testing, and signaling services to freight and transit systems throughout North America and the Caribbean.[21][22] Attached is a list of the largest employers in St. Joseph, MO. Other privately held manufacturing companies are also top employers but they do not publicly disclose employment numbers.[23] Saint Joseph has the 3rd largest manufacturing economy in Missouri, after Saint Louis and Kansas City. In June of 2019, total employment in the St. Joseph Metropolitan Area was 65,099 persons.[24]

Largest Employers Product / Service Employment
Mosaic Life Care Health Care 3,471
Triumph Foods Food Processing 2,767
St. Joseph School District Education 2,047
139th Airlift Wing, MO Air National Guard Government 1,494
Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. Animal Pharmaceuticals 1,191
Missouri Western State University Education 820
American Family Insurance Insurance 767
City of St. Joseph Government 740
Wal-Mart Retail 712
Johnson Controls Manufacturing [25] 658


St. 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. The mall opened in 1965, was expanded in 1988, and was renovated in 2001 with a far more extensive renovation in 2008 and 2009. Developed in 2005, the Shoppes at North Village is concentrated along North Belt Highway between approximately Cook and County Line roads. This serves as a regional shopping destination. Other shopping districts include Belt Center, Hy-Vee Shopping Center, Hillcrest Plaza, East Ridge Village, and Woodlawn Shopping Center. Saint Joseph's trade area encompasses parts of NE Kansas, NW Missouri, SE Nebraska, and SW Iowa.


Public schools

The St. Joseph School District operates three public high schools, four 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. Two new elementary schools (Oak Grove and Carden Park) have been constructed, and both opened by the 2014–15 academic year. In addition, there is an active home education community that serves the city and surrounding areas. In higher education, St. Joseph is the home of a regional public university as well as a public university outreach center, a public technical school and a private technical school.

Private schools

Colleges and universities

Special focus institutions


St. Joseph has a public library, the East Hills Branch library.[30]


The St. Joseph Transit is publicly owned and provides bus service. Rosecrans Memorial Airport is a joint municipal/military owned airport for general aviation. It is the home of the 139th Airlift Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard, and does not have commercial service. The nearest commercial airport is Kansas City International Airport, which is approximately 35 miles (56 km) to the south.

The city is served by two Interstate highways and four U.S. Routes:

In addition, four state routes serve the city:


Numerous parks, golf courses, sports complexes, skate parks, a water park, a riverwalk along the Missouri River, and a small conservation area can be found throughout St. Joseph proper. The city is also nationally known for its 26-mile (42 km) parkway system, which is accompanied by an urban trail system.[31] Two of the city's largest parks are Krug Park and Hyde Park; these respectively anchor the parkway and urban trail on the north and south. A dog park has been added to the parkway system near Corby Pond.[32]


St. Joseph currently ranks 201st largest designated market area out of 210 media markets in the United States (as ranked by Nielsen Media Research); the market covers six counties in northwestern Missouri (Holt, Worth, Nodaway, Andrew, DeKalb and Buchanan) and Doniphan County in northeastern Kansas. The St. Joseph area has three low-power and two full-power television stations, and ten radio stations. News-Press & Gazette, a media corporation, is headquartered in Saint Joseph. They have interests in numerous television, radio, and newspaper markets throughout the Midwestern and Western United States.[33]


Due to its proximity to Kansas City and Topeka, stations from those markets serve as default affiliates of MyNetworkTV (KSMO-TV/Kansas City and WIBW-DT2/Topeka, on Dish Network only) due to the lack of affiliates of the programming service licensed to the market. ABC affiliate KQTV had long been the only major commercial station in St. Joseph, but in June 2012, the locally based News-Press & Gazette Company signed-on KNPN-LD as a Fox affiliate, KBJO-LD as a CW affiliate, and KNPG-LD as a Telemundo affiliate. This in turn was followed by the conversions of KBJO-LD to NBC affiliate KNPG-LD in November 2016 (retaining the CW as a LD2 subchannel),[34] and the original KNPG-LD (which assumed the KBJO-LD call letters) to CBS affiliate KCJO-LD in June 2017,[35] ending out-of-market reliance for major network programming.

Local broadcast stations

Channel Callsign Network Subchannels Owner Website
(Virtual/RF) Channel Programming
2.1 (7)KQTVABCN/AN/AHeartland Media
16.1 (21)KTAJ-TVTBN16.2
The Church Channel
TBN Enlace USA
Smile of a Child Network
Trinity Broadcasting Network
21.1 (16)KNPG-LDNBC21.2
The CW
Bounce TV
News-Press & Gazette Company

26.1 (15)KNPN-LDFox26.2
News-Press 3 NOW
News-Press & Gazette Company

30.1 (28)KCJO-LDCBSN/AN/ANews-Press & Gazette Company

Local independent cable channels

  • News-Press 3 NOW, Suddenlink channel 3/KNPN-LD virtual channel 26.3 (Local news)


Frequency Callsign Nickname Format Owner Website
AM stations
680KFEQ680 KFEQNews/talk/sportsEagle Communications
1270KGNMThe KingdomContemporary ChristianOrama, Inc.
1550KESJESPN 1550Sports talkEagle Communications
FM stations
89.7KJCV-FMBott Radio NetworkReligiousCommunity Broadcasting, Inc.
91.1KSJIJoy 91.1Contemporary ChristianGood News Ministries, Inc.
91.9KSRDAir1Contemporary ChristianEducational Media Foundation
92.7KSJQQ-Country 92.7Country musicEagle Communications
99.3KFOH-LPSJMF RadioAll GenresSt. Joseph Music Foundation
100.7KLHM-LPReligiousLighthouse Radio Ministry
105.5KKJOKJO 105.5Hot adult contemporaryEagle Communications
106.1KEXS-FMThe Catholic Radio NetworkCatholic religiousCatholic Radio Network
107.5 KESJ-FM Joetown 107.5 80's 90's Eagle Communications


Notable people


  1. "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  2. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-08.
  3. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  4. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  5. U.S. Census Bureau (2007). "Population Estimates: 2000-2007". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 20, 2008. Retrieved July 12, 2008.
  6. Missouri Place Names
  7. "The Mystery Of Marshall Mathers". Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  8. North America Travel Guide. "Saint Peters : Missouri". North America Travel Guide. Archived from the original on 2007-10-06. Retrieved August 30, 2007.
  9. St. Joseph History - Jesse James Home Archived 2006-04-26 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. Bob Slater. "Civic pride ran amok with 1900 census". St. Joseph News-Press. Retrieved September 5, 2010.
  11. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  12. "Winners" Archived July 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine, National Civic League
  13. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  15. "Kansas City, Missouri Climate". Retrieved 2019-12-18. External link in |website= (help)
  16. Team, National Weather Service Corporate Image Web. "National Weather Service Climate". Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  17. "1981-2010 U.S. Climate Normals | National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) formerly known as National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)". Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  19. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  20. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  21. "Caltrain Board Approves TransitAmerica to Run Train System". Caltrain News Archive. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  22. "TransitAmerica combines Herzog, Stagecoach's expertise". Metro Magazine. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  23. "Largest Employers". Choose Saint Joseph. The St. Joseph Economic Development Partnership. Archived from the original on 2019-02-14. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  24. "Eye-Opening Facts You Might Not Know About St. Joseph". St. Joseph, MO Economic Development Partnership. 2018-09-12. Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  25. "Largest Employers - St. Joseph, MO Economic Development Partnership". St. Joseph, MO Economic Development Partnership. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  26. "Missouri Western State University". Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  27. "Vatterott College - Career Training School across Midwest". Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  28. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-17. Retrieved 2010-08-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  29. "Colgan Center / Homepage". Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  30. "Missouri Public Libraries". Archived from the original on 10 June 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  31. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-06-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  32. News-Press, Kim Norvell St. Joseph. "Council gives nod to new dog park". Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  33. "News-Press & Gazette Co – About NPG". Retrieved 2019-12-18.
  34. "NBC affiliate coming to St. Joe". St. Joseph News-Press. News-Press & Gazette Company. August 18, 2016.
  35. NPG to add local CBS affiliate in June, St. Joseph News-Press, February 24, 2017.
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