Stories of Uncommon Character
Welcome to your comprehensive portal to life in St. Joseph, Missouri and the surrounding region of northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. We are a thriving community made with uncommon character over 175 years. You’ll find a growing library of stories about our people, places, and events that are unique in the BEST of ways. Keep scrolling and you’ll also find the most comprehensive calendar in the city with direct links to dozens of websites in, about, and including St. Joseph.
Mysteries of Sunbridge Hills
Tucked away in Sunbridge Hills Conservation Area are a few mysteries that have kept St. Joseph guessing and exploring for almost a century.
Irving Ernest Bacon
A St. Joseph native, Irving Ernest Bacon spent his life as an endearing and enduring American character actor.
Summer Fun for Families
Thanks to two local resources, families can choose from dozens of day camps, workshops, events, special deals and experiences for summer that truly are unique to St. Joseph.
A Century of News, Ag, Talk and Sports with KFEQ
KFEQ, established by the Department of Commerce on Feb. 16, 1923, took to the radio air that same week with an afternoon broadcast to kick off its decades of service, news, talk and community to the St. Joseph region.
Small Business and Technology Development Center
Not only does the SBTDC help hundreds of small business owners capitalize on their dreams, it is a great example of how government agencies, higher education, and nonprofit organizations can work together for the greater good.
Sarah DeGarmo’s story is one of life echoing art. And vice versa.
Museums in St. Joseph
A visit to the St. Joseph museums is … Quirky. Surprising. Curious. Impressive. Enlightening. And totally worth a day, or an afternoon, or a full weekend with the family.
St. Joseph Music Foundation
The local music scene in St. Joseph is diverse. Eclectic. A bit unexpected.
Alexandria Courtney’s story is one of resiliency, the blessings of modern health care and the kindness of friends.
In just a short time, St. Joseph will welcome the best women’s college basketball teams in the country to the Civic Arena for the 2023 NCAA Division II Women’s Elite Eight. The 2023 Elite Eight tournament will mark the fifth time St. Joseph and the Civic Arena have hosted the prestigious tournament.
Watch him in action as a professional storyteller, presenter and entertainer. Children giggle, gasp and clap uncontrollably. Adults set their stress aside for a good shoulder-shaking laugh.
White House on the Hill
It started with chickens. Six of them.
Any strong city has a strong educational foundation. But what really sets a city apart – and really makes it uncommon – is when that foundation is built around the thoughts, opinions and ideas of the families and leaders who call that city home … now, and in future generations.
Couch and Click
Coming together is human. We gather with loved ones and strangers for celebrations, events, and milestones often and without hesitation. But what happens when the very definition of coming together for a common cause is turned on its head?
Food For Kids
More than a decade of service later, the program continues to grow. Most of the kids who live in this St. Joseph neighborhood receive free or reduced priced breakfast and lunch during the school year, but have limited food resources in the summer.
St. Joseph Area Sports Hall of Fame
What does the road to a dream look like? If it’s a sports dream, there are early, dark mornings – lacing up shoes before any lights flicker on the block. There are late nights, pushing past physical and emotional limits, even when it seems out of reach. There are countless sacrifices at every turn. And there are often amazing mentors and coaches, right there to say, “We don’t quit. Not today.”
The Bartlett Center Historic Photos Exhibit
Times change, but the best stories remain. They are shared from generation to generation, through everything from photographs to buildings to real conversations (a.k.a, the good stuff).
Matches That Make an Impact
Across the city, every day, adults are helping clear a path for youth to reach more opportunities. They are sharing their mentoring skills, life lessons and ultimately, their friendship, through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. And it looks like hanging out at the local burger joint. Taking a walk. Joining other “matches” at the park for crafting with a lot of laughs.
The Missouri River
The Missouri River majestically frames St. Joseph, nestling the city within its banks and bluffs. The river creates a constantly changing backdrop of natural beauty, economic opportunity and recreation, woven together by a rich collection of shared stories and history.
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, this architectural feat, designed by esteemed local architects Eckel and Mann, is getting a second life thanks to a $20 million shot in the arm from Mosaic Life Care.
Neighborhood bar. Hole in the wall. Favorite hangout of Chiefs players? The Muny Inn, at the corner of 33rd Street and Mitchell Avenue, wears many hats.
Barbosa’s Mexican Restaurants
There’s a lot of history, hard work and tradition packed into the Barbosa’s restaurant legacy in St. Joseph.
All of Greg Hatten’s adventures have deep roots right here in St. Joseph
Leadership St. Joseph
The annual Leadership St. Joseph class is like one big and busy family, with ages, interests and occupations spanning every generation.
Shakespeare famously said “All the world’s a stage.” Had he been to St. Joseph, he might have added “and wow, these kids seriously have it made.”
There are countless uncommon places in St. Joseph that help make this city uniquely awesome. Key word, “help.” Creative, quirky, historic and just plain fun parks, buildings, businesses and restaurants are great, but it’s the people that make the difference. It’s the people that come up with the ideas. It’s the people that run these businesses. It’s the people that take the lead and build something worth bragging about.
Like the proverbial Phoenix from the ashes, St. Joseph’s historic downtown is on the rise.
As an art professor with nearly 30 years of experience, he is more often the student himself as he observes everyday moments and encourages students to express themselves through these artistic mediums.
Many people have been known to say that St. Joseph, MO is a best kept secret. In many ways that is true, but literally so when talking about geocaching.
Enhancements on Park Maintenance
Soon guests and residents could enjoy even more, both inside and outside, as a 1/2 cent sales tax increase hits the ballot, with revenues dedicated to renovation and enhancements of the city’s parks system. If approved, the tax increase would generate an additional $5 to 6 million dollars per year and could be shared across dozens of projects.
Olympic weightlifter and USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame member Pete Kelley has seen some impressive views from around the globe.
The Isaac Miller House
From the wrought iron balcony of the 1859 Isaac Miller House, hundreds of stories have unfolded – and they continue to emerge, highlighting unique Southern family legacy and innovative founders’ history.
Artcrafts Engraving Co.
Striding through the doors of Artcrafts Engraving Co. transports you from the modern streets of St. Joseph back through our history in manufacturing.
Phil Welch Stadium and The Mustangs
America’s favorite pastime is alive in St. Joseph…every summer families, friends, and neighbors gather together to enjoy baseball, hot dogs, family fun, fireworks, and more in the heart of St. Joseph to relax and watch the Mustangs play ball at the historic Phil Welch Stadium.
Our 2019 Holiday Letter
Dear Santa, and all your fuzzy, antlered friends: We’ve been really good this year. We promise.
Super Science Saturday
All you curious, brave, intrigued or surprise-seeking persons, preferably who have young people in your care: Check out Super Science Saturday for an uncommon learning experience. You can always settle your hair down on Monday.
M. K. Goetz stopped in St. Joseph and stayed, recognizing opportunity in the bustling outpost on the Missouri River. He started M.K. Goetz Brewery in 1859 from a wood frame building near Black Snake Creek
Every night before you go to bed, you plug your phone in to charge it. In some parts of the world, that’s a luxury they can’t afford. With a little help from Sunshine Electronic Display of St. Joseph, Conner Hazelrigg’s brilliant idea is making those parts of the world a little more connected.
The Murals of Downtown St. Joseph
The drive throughout downtown has become more colorful in the last five years, thanks to the creation of larger than life murals that convey the unique spirit of St. Joseph.
Big Muddy Mini Maker Faire
Attention all curious minds and inquisitive types: Let’s talk about making lightning. And robots.
St. Joseph Symphony
Forget anything stuffy you might think about symphony or orchestra performances, and consider a symphony experience St. Joseph-style.
Historic Preservation Celebration
When you say St. Joseph, you could say history, the Parkway, just the right-sized town, laid-back attitude… You could also say awesome architecture, and in April, that’s just what many locals, experts, old-house-lovers and guests will be saying too.
Lesser-Known Cultural Food Adventures
Any good food town has its tucked-away, locals-only, quirky places to slide in for a snack or a plate. St. Joseph is no exception. We are known as the Tenderloin Capital of the United States. We offer the “Ho chips” (homemade at the Hi-Ho), and the traditional, long-known Mexican items like tamales or fideo at Barbosa’s. Do you want to experience some of our lesser-known culturally-themed food items?
Built in the 1850s, the riverfront warehouse property and its sister warehouse property at 101 Francis were purchased by Pastor Doyle and his congregation at Restoration Church in 2012.
Every city has its unique claims to fame and St. Joseph, Missouri is no exception.
New Generation Singers
The New Generation singers, known as New G, are a highly-energetic and original voice for St. Joseph. And they’re hard to define, in all the best of ways.
When it comes to home-cooked breakfast and lunch, you get it Betty’s way. Or you don’t get the darn thing at all.
The 139th Airlift Wing
When you think of St. Joseph you might automatically think of the Pony Express or the historic architecture, but it’s doubtful many St. Joseph residents can picture the city without the big, gray airplanes that routinely fly over town.
Hockey and Ice Skating
Photo Worthy Walls of St Joseph
Across St. Joseph street art is popping up and it is perfect for professional photo shoots or impromptu photo sessions with your friends or family. We are excited to share five of our favorite walls and some of the stories that give this art form its unique vibe and uncommon character.
Beautify St. Joseph
Part of St. Joseph’s community strategic plan, Imagine St. Joseph 2040, is to keep enhancing the beautiful place we call home. From historic neighborhoods to green spaces and new trails, this is a city willing to invest in what matters. It’s a city willing to invest in what makes both old and new even better again.
Walter Cronkite Memorial
For decades, families across America invited Walter Cronkite into their living rooms every evening, trusting he would bring national and world events into focus. With his deep voice and warm demeanor, Walter Cronkite delivered the news of the day — good and bad — with unfaltering dignity and integrity.
Ryan Bradley is an American figure skater that is known for his humor, love of learning, and ability to fly – over the ice.
Center for Entrepreneurship
What does it take to turn a business idea into a thriving reality? In St. Joseph, the formula for success is well-defined: The spark or “drive” to make it happen; the willingness to make a plan; and the expert-level guidance from the Center for Entrepreneurship, a unique initiative of Missouri Western State University (MWSU).
Missouri Western State University Center for Military and Veterans Services
There’s an old saying about open doors: “The best secret of success is to always be ready to find and open the door of opportunity.” This couldn’t be more true for local veterans or active duty military who wish to change careers. In fact, it’s likely to be several doors that open – not just one.
D and G Brew Haus
You can’t get more local than D&G Pub & Brew Haus, where local beer is brewed in-house and named by the community.
The founder of Hunan Restaurant, St. Joseph’s flagship Chinese restaurant, said she wasn’t scared to start her own business 36 years ago.
The Family of the News-Press & Gazette Company
St. Joseph’s media ventures have served as the world’s window into the exciting adventure, politics, risk-taking and expansion of the western edge of America’s Midwest for nearly 175 years. Objectivity and what we now consider quality journalism, however, were not always as prevalent on the St. Joseph scene as they have been in the last 70 years.
South Side District
There’s a lot to love about St. Joseph’s Southside. This tight-knit community is on pace for a major comeback.
With grit and determination, she is inspiring St. Joseph to roll up its sleeves and dust off its many architectural treasures.
Big Brothers Big Sisters St. Joseph
Helping a child see his or her potential is all about the “big” things – which are often wrapped up in all the little things.
There’s something to be said for a community that still has some original barbershops. The kind with spinning barber poles. The kind where you’ll definitely know somebody on most visits, and where the barber definitely knows you.
Dr. Jimmy Albright
It’s difficult to describe Dr. Jimmy Albright, and the legacy he leaves for St. Joseph.
Delmer J. Yoakum
St. Joseph has been the launching point for many artists throughout its history; but what if we told you that one locally born artist has a legacy that lives on in Disneyland.
St. Joseph is home to many legacies of uncommon character…but we guarantee that this story will shock and awe you!
Way to Go Wednesday: Dan Moser
St. Joseph is a city of stories. Like historic towns across the country, there are blocks of amazing homes, business buildings and neighborhoods. Founded in 1843, St. Joseph’s location along the Missouri River and national mid-point created an economic and residential boom fueled by Westward expansion, transportation and communication industries.
Neighborhood Leadership Certificate Program
Real change in almost any environment happens from the inside out. And no one knows just how to create the kind of contagious change a community needs like the community members themselves. In St. Joseph, and many communities like it, a revolution is happening around this kind of grassroots-based leadership – and it’s only just begun.
Wyeth Mansion and Huston Wyeth
One of St. Joseph public schools earliest and most successful students, Huston Wyeth, built in 1918-1922 what was considered a very large country estate located northeast of central downtown. It was called Wyethwood.
Robidoux Resident Theatre (RRT) has brought the drama to St. Joseph for over 41 years on many stages throughout the community
Dwayne Blakely just has a way. A way with football. With fitness. And with inspiration.
Get Spooked in St. Joseph: Uncommon Stories, Neighborhoods and Events
Looking for a little spooky fun this Halloween season? Look no further than the uncommon fun found in this city of Uncommon Character, St. Joseph.
Women in Entrepreneurship
These women and their successes are also fueled by an uncommon inventory of local resources and connections that…to put it simply…means stuff is getting done.
Kristen’s Coin and Jewelry
Kristen’s Coin and Jewelry is not just a store. It’s an experience. Think part Fifth Avenue, part antique store, part jewelry design gallery and part coin museum.
The unforgettable glow of The Great Pumpkin Mountain, a highlight event of the annual Pony Express PumpkinFest.
For 100 years, the iconic Cherry Mash has been made in St. Joseph. The combination of peanuts, chocolate and cherry fondant is the third-oldest continuously made candy bar in the country.
Suzanne Lehr and Mount Mora Cemetery
Mount Mora Cemetery, home to 14,000 to 18,000 deceased individuals, is curiously and remarkably alive.
St. Joseph School District
No greater responsibility can be placed in the hands of another than the heart and minds of our youth…and the teachers, staff, and administrators of the St. Joseph School District have embraced that trust.
St. Joseph, Missouri, is one of America’s best-kept secrets for historic architecture.
STEAM Summer Camp with Mosaic Life Care Foundation
For several area students, a summer afternoon doesn’t involve much channel surfing. Instead, they’ll be practicing new skills and refining others, such as giving commands. Building functions. Envisioning new virtual worlds. Making specially-created animated heroes. Working within the access interface. And coding on the back-end, for front-end awesome action and results.
The Noyes Home for Children
For 125 years, the Noyes Home doors have greeted children, families and community volunteers with the sounds of family – and the sounds of hope for a new start.
St. Jo Frontier Casino
Games of chance and dining establishments have been a part of St. Joseph, Missouri’s uncommon character since the earliest settlers gathered to let off some steam and gamble on optimistic odds.
Buchanan County Courthouse
Built in 1873, the Buchanan County Courthouse, with its majestic white pointed dome, stands as an architectural icon during the day and casts a warm stately glow over downtown St. Joseph in the evening light.
Usually, people take vacations from their business, but for local couple Patrick and Terri Modlin, their vacations have created their business.
Local Ideas for Hard-to-Buy-For People
Who is the hardest person to buy for on your list? These are the people who “don’t need a thing.” They “have everything they need.” They “want you to spend your shopping time somewhere else.”
Joe Gray, founder of Gray Manufacturing, began the company with his inventor father, J.H. Gray.
The Owen Sisters
They were pioneers who pushed through boundaries, helped found organizations and forge new paths.
Starting in the 1910s organizations, communities, and even private individuals began developing the first paved highways to connect metropolitan areas which would collectively become known as the National Auto Trail system.
If you ask him about his career playing and coaching tennis, he’ll tell you he just hopes that people try the sport.
Coffee in St. Joseph
When it’s time for a coffee fix, St. Joseph’s options range from the eclectic to the trendy to the fast and familiar. The coffee culture in St. Joseph continues to expand and thrive, fueled by historic roasters, young entrepreneurs and locals who want to open the doors to a comfortable piece of the city’s relaxed vibe.
“I sat there and thought…I wish I could do something, I wish I could do something…and I finally said, enough. I’m going to volunteer. I will never regret making that decision,” says Danielle.
Christmas at the Chateau
Following formal distribution of the locally-filmed movie “Christmas at the Chateau” in 2019, it’s likely that many watching from home will say “Where did they film this? This place is amazing.”
What does it take to become a local legend in sandwich-making? The recipe calls for a family history of food know-how, plus a generous amount of business savvy.
The Black Archives Museum
Most people who visit the Black Archives Museum of St. Joseph say almost the same thing. It’s “wow,” and usually this is followed by a lot of thoughtful silence.
“You never know the joy you’re giving. You never know what could happen from your donation.”
Randolph Seating and Mobility
For 20 years, Randolph Seating and Mobility has been locally owned and operated in St. Joseph, serving the four-state area with one of the largest mobility selections in the Missouri and Kansas regions.
Dude, be kind. It’s way more powerful than you might even realize.
St. Joseph’s Stained Glass
Glass art is a risk, all things considered. It’s fragile; somewhat unpredictable; it’s finicky as a medium. It’s heat, fire, precision and hope all melded together. And it’s a centuries-old trade that’s seeking a newer generation to carry the tradition forward.
A Century of Business in St. Joseph
Join us as we celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit that established them and the hard work and grit that has kept each one going for over a century.
In addition to its paved walking paths, the Parkway features miles of rugged biking and hiking trails and serves as a red carpet to some of St. Joseph’s most interesting places.
He’s spent years lying in the shadows. Now, more than ever, the world needs his courage. St. Joseph’s most influential writer, Alonzo Weston, has revealed his secret identity. He. Is. A. Nerd.
Downtown St. Joseph
You’re going to hear a lot of “I love downtown” from St. Joseph residents and guests. Downtown is coming alive block by block, with awesome surprises at every turn.
Eugene Field, Sr. was an American writer, best known for his children’s poetry and humorous essays.
A 2040 Future Includes Solutions for Homelessness
No community is separated from homelessness and poverty, regardless of location or size. It’s a complex and universal challenge involving poverty, mental health and numerous community partners. In St. Joseph, residents and leaders are taking a very focused approach to real solutions toward homelessness, with most of these efforts geared toward the Imagine 2040 “invest in people” goal.
There is no argument that St. Joseph, Missouri is home to beautiful and uncommon architecture. Examples of the unique history of our city are seen in historic neighborhoods like Hall Street to our bustling downtown. Beginning with examples of the fur trading days of Joseph Robidoux and the founding of our city, to Civil War era homes, and beyond…our city has it all.
St. Joseph Nerf Events
It’s not paintball. It’s not even a water balloon fight. It’s foam warfare, and there’s a good chance you’ll want to join the fun.
Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp
St. Joseph is about to “see red” for three action-packed weeks, and the fans and community couldn’t be happier. Or louder. Or more pumped.
River Bluff Brewing
What started 160 years ago has returned in a new way. Ask hundreds of customers and visitors, and they’ll say it’s right on time.
The steering committee of Great Northwest Day at the Capitol and the approximately 300 people from this regional community of 19 counties meets in Jefferson City in early February each year.
New Stories in Old Spaces
There’s a new energy toward renovation across St. Joseph. Across the city’s historic areas, developers and organizations are taking a fresh look at how architectural elements can connect our history and our future.
Hillyard Hoop Dreams
Amidst the chaos of a packed gymnasium… squeak, squeak. Bounce. Bounce. These are the only sounds that matter. Sneakers and a basketball against a polished gym floor.
It just makes sense, this cycling culture in St. Joseph. It’s like the hum of a tire on a fresh spring morning.
Born in 1783 to a St. Louis family of merchants and fur traders, Joseph Robidoux would become the founder of St. Joseph, MO.
See the Light in St. Joseph
December…the time of year for everyone who like shiny things to celebrate and explore.
A New View on Litter and Beautification
Local organizations are passionate about coming in at the ground level toward helping residents with the clean-up efforts that go along with living in a historic river town.
Cafe Belle Epoque
Walking into Café Belle Epoque takes you back in time. The copper tin ceiling, marble table tops, hardwood floors, wood-burning stove and jazz music seem to transport you to a period of economic glamour in historic St. Joseph.
St. Patrick’s Mexican Fiesta
The food is very important to the festival, but it’s only part of the whole story. There’s a variety show and several dancing events throughout the weekend. Sequins and smiles mark the coronation event, and there is live music, children’s entertainment events and vendors spanning the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church grounds.
Ben Magoon’s Famous Delicatessen
Magoon’s serves up Reuben’s and hot chili, then transitions to live local music, five nights a week. (Are you into food, or music, or both? Read on.)
You don’t get on billboards in New York City, praised by publications like Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly and perform alongside rock legends without breaking some rules.
The Remington Nature Center
As one of St. Joseph’s most unique, hands-on educational experiences, this award-winning museum and attraction has everything
Rodgers, a professional home preservationist, says his family has often taken vacations to places with rich history and architecture, and “stumbled” upon St. Joseph more than three years ago.
Jed Chappell’s view of St. Joseph and the surrounding region is one reserved for a handful of residents. It’s a view set aside for those motivated to push themselves from both a physical and emotional perspective.
Are You in Love?
“Are You In Love?” is an original love song about, and for, St. Joseph’s residents written by Simon Fink.
When visitors and locals visit historic Hall Street in St. Joseph, they usually look up. A lot. And then they stop and stare. They take pictures and walk very slowly. They usually return, because this neighborhood known as “Millionaire’s Row” tells the story of St. Joseph’s turn-of-the century wealth and opulence like nothing else.
While the company is always looking to the future, it is also anchored in the past. An anchor from 1954 remains on part of the BI campus.
Fishing in St. Joseph
Here’s a brief guide to St. Joseph’s uncommon fishing scene, starting with some unique options for getting the gear. And to all the spontaneous dabblers, the super-planners, the slightly-squeamish and seasoned anglers … We say welcome. We are glad you are here.