St. Joseph, Missouri, the seat of Buchanan County. It is in northwestern Missouri, on the Missouri River, about 45 miles (72 km) north-northwest of Kansas City. “St. Joe,” as it is sometimes called, is a commercial and trading center for a rich agricultural area including parts of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa. It has one of the nation's largest livestock markets and is important for meat packing and grain milling. Manufactured products include clothing, hardware, and electrical goods.
Several places of historic or literary interest are in St. Joseph. The stables of the Pony Express, now a museum, were the starting point of the western mail route to Sacramento, California (1860-61). In his home here, preserved as a historic site, the notorious outlaw Jesse James was shot and killed in 1882.
St. Joseph was founded by Joseph Robidoux as a fur-trading post in 1826. It was incorporated as a town in 1845. After the California Gold Rush began in 1849, St. Joseph became a major supply center for settlers and miners traveling westward. It was incorporated as a city in 1851.