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Located in Stearns County, the city of Saint Joseph, Minnesota is home to the College of Saint Benedict, a Catholic women's college that opened in 1913.

A southern portion of Saint Joseph is separated from a small, disconnected portion of Waite Park by the Sauk River. Otherwise, the city is completely surrounded by Saint Joseph Township, which is itself headquartered in the city of Saint Joseph. Collegeville is just a few miles northwest, and most of Waite Park is east of Saint Joseph, both connected by County Road 75..

Other roads connecting the city with its neighbors include County Roads 2, 3, 121, 133, and 135. Interstate Highway 94 passes through along the city's southwest border.

Saint Joseph has ragged borders, including a small disconnected piece on the southwest side of the interstate, which houses Stearns Electric Association.

Saint Joseph parks include Millstream Park, Klinefelter Park, Memorial Park, Centennial Park, and Northland Park. A portion of the South Fork of the Watab River passes through northwest Saint Joseph, most of which is included in Millstream Park.

One of the first settlers to arrive in the area was Peter Loso, who came in August of 1854. He claimed the land upon which the village was later platted. Several other German settlers came, and a township was organized in 1858, although it was originally named Clinton.

In 1869, the Church of Saint Joseph was built for the German community, and the township was renamed Saint Joseph, after the church.

Although early settlers came to farm the fertile soil, among them were those who built businesses and, of course, they built homes. The village of Saint Joseph was incorporated in 1890 and, in the following years, a jail, public well, and wooden sidewalks were built, and the city began issuing liquor licenses. Now known as the Saint Joseph Fire Department, Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 was organized in 1885.

By 1900, the village had a population of 549, and it has been increasing every census year since. The area was still largely agricultural. After years of severe winters and grasshopper plagues during the summer, farming was beginning to thrive. The availability of milking machines reduced the labor required to operate a dairy farm.

World Wars One and Two took several of Saint Joseph's farmers away from their crops, and the depression had its effects, as well, slowing the community's growth, but not reducing its population. In 1950, the population of Saint Joseph was 1,246.

John Linnemann established the first general store in Saint Joseph in 1855, using the front portion of his log home as a store. In 1899, Martin Loso opened Loso's next door to the Linnemann store, selling several different items over the years. Mike Klein opened a meat market in 1909.

The first schools in Saint Joseph were operated through Saint Joseph's Catholic Church, holding class in the church until a small school was built in 1860. In the late 1870s, a two-story public school was built, although it was taught mostly by the Benedictine Sisters. In 1914, the parish bought the school building, and a new public school was built on the north side of town. This closed in 1936 when the school board rented a room from the parochial school. In 1965, the state decided to close all public one-room schools, and Saint Joseph was again without a public school. Today, the only public school in Saint Joseph is Kennedy Community School, a PK-8th-grade school operated by the Saint Cloud Area School District.

Nearly surrounding the city, Saint Joseph Township borders the western boundaries of Saint Cloud and Waite Park. Organized in 1858, the township was named for the German Catholic Church that had been erected there. In 2018, the city began the process of annexing land under the jurisdiction of the township.

Topics related either to the City of Saint Joseph or to Saint Joseph Township may be submitted to this category. Websites representing city or township governments are appropriate for this category, as are those of businesses, churches, schools, individuals, or events based in either the city or the township.

 

 

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