All across the city, residents say the same thing: finding a place to call home in St. Joseph is easy. You just have to determine if you want a historic home, home in well-established; tree-lined neighborhood; new construction; or trendy Downtown loft.

With a city population of more than 76,000, and 140,000 residents within a 25-mile radius, the friendly, small metropolitan atmosphere blends all of the amenities of a major city with a hometown feel. The below-average cost of living coincides with exemplary health-care facilities, high-quality educational institutions and low crime rates.

You won’t be bored in St. Joseph. History, art and recreation are around nearly every corner. Unique architecture and cultural events abound in St. Joesph. The city’s 26-mile parkway system spans from north to south and features a galaxy of public parks and recreation facilities. The riverfront provides a scenic walkway system that winds past a reconstructed frontier settlement.

WEATHER: With four distinct seasons and an average temperature of 78 degrees in summer and 26 degrees in winter the fun lasts year-round. From a casino to symphony concerts to award-winning festivals there’s always something happening in St. Joseph.

SPORTS: If you’re a sports lover, St. Joseph is for you. It’s the summer home of the Kansas City Chiefs football training camp located on the campus of Missouri Western State University. For fans of America’s favorite pasttime, don’t miss out on the St. Joseph Mustangs baseball team. And the city regularly hosts national championship softball tournaments as well as the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament.

IDEAL LOCATION FOR BUSINESS: In the heart of America! In fact is just more than 200 miles from the population center of the United States. The strategic location and transportation system provide for efficient access to customers and suppliers across the country. Interstate 29, a major north-south interstate high-way runs through St. Joseph, providing a corridor from Canada to Mexico, Northern Missouri’s primary east-west thoroughfare U.S. Highway 36 intersects with I-29 in St. Joseph.

AIRPORTS: Just 35 minutes south of St. Joseph via Interstate 29 , Kansas City International (KCI) Airport is a full-service, international airport served by every major U.S. passenger and all cargo carriers. More than 275 flights arrive and depart daily from KCI, and airfares are among the lowest in the nation. Rosecrans Memorial Airport serves St. Joseph’s civilian and military needs. Located three miles west of St. Joseph, Rosecrans boasts two fully equipped runways, provides capacity for any size aircraft, and offers aircraft charter, rental, instruction and fuel services.

WATERWAY & RAIL SHIPPING: The Missouri River, part of the nation’s inland waterway system, is St. Joesph’s gateway to the Gulf of Mexico. The city’s location on the river gives area businesses the affordable option of transporting via river barge. St. Joseph is also served by the Union Pacific Railway and the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railway. These railroads provide direct access to all parts of North America.

History of St. Joseph

 
St. Joseph is the birthplace of the Pony Express and also is the city where the outlaw Jesse James was murdered, so the history held along St. Joseph’s streets, and in its museums, is a main draw for tourists interested in the Wild West.

Courtesy of Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) and the St. Joseph Metro Chamber

Courtesy of Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) and the St. Joseph Metro Chamber


But before its Wild West days, St. Joseph was a trading post. Settled in 1826 by Joseph Robidoux, his trading post soon became a fur-trading empire stretching to the southern Rocky Mountains. The Platte Purchase joined his land to the State of Missouri in 1837. The city was incorporated in 1843 by Robidoux and named St. Joseph after his patron saint.

The city remained relatively small until the discovery of gold in California in 1848, when St. Joseph served as a jumping off spot for the Gold Rush. Wagon trains filled with westward pioneers. Hotels and businesses opened to accommodate the new families and travelers. The community’s merchants, craftsmen, saddle- and harness-makers, gunsmiths and meat packers supplied thousands of the ‘49ers seeking fortune out West. The supplies purchased by the emigrants established the economic foundation of the city.

Growth accelerated in 1859 when the railroad reached St. Joseph, assuring its role as a supply and distribution point to the entire western half of the country. St. Joseph’s proximity to the Missouri River and accessibility by way of river, rail and land was to be the impetus for phenomenal growth throughout the 19th-century.

April 3, 1860, marks the beginning of St. Joseph’s most romantic adventure. It was the day the City of St. Joseph became embedded in history books – the day when the Pony Express sent its first daring horseback rider to Sacramento, California, carrying mail to the western frontier. Although the Pony Express operated for only 18 months, preservation of the stables and headquarters has kept the legend alive to this day.

Principal channels of distribution were established in the 1870s with St. Joseph becoming a leading wholesale center for the building of the West. The 1880s and 1890s were the golden age of prosperity for the city. Many of that era’s mansions, built with the wealth generated by St. Joseph’s booming business, still remain.

St. Joseph is where the outlaw Jesse James met his demise.  The small frame home where he was shot by a gang member in 1882 still stands to mark the end of the notorious bank and train robber. The house now a museum, is located behind the Patee House Museum, where the offices for the Pony Express were held when the Patee House was a bustling hotel.