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Buchanan County, Missouri

The Bucanan County Courthouse is located at 411 Jules Street, Saint Joseph MO 64501; phone: 816-271-1462.



This county is situated on the west-northwest part of the State, is bounded on the east by Clinton and De Kalb, on the north by Andrew, on the west by the Missouri River, which separates it from Kansas, and on the south by Platte County, and has an area of 415 square miles. Population in 1860, 23,675.

Physical Features — This county is principally made up of undulating prairie land, and its appearance by Eastern travelers has been compared to a "rough sea," so gentle are the slope and undulations. There is a good growth of timber along the margins of the streams, and here and there fine groves upon the prairies.

The Soil is generally deep and remarkably fertile, producing all kinds of grains, grasses, fruit, and vegetables found in this latitude.

The first settlement made in the section of the country now embraced in Buchanan County was by Joseph Robidoux, senior, who first visited the spot now occupied by St. Joseph, during the year 1799. His connections with the American Fur Company induced him to locate here permanently, which he did in 1803, and for thirty-three years he remained as a trader among the Indians, upon their own soil. His lone cabin was located upon the most lovely spot of the beautiful "plain" upon which the City of St. Joseph now stands.

St. Joseph was chartered by the Missouri legislature in 1845. In 1846, the seat of justice was located at St. Joseph and in 1853 the legislature granted her a city charter.

  1. Transcribed from: Parker, Nathan H., Missouri as It is in 1867: an Illustrated Historical Gazetteer of Missouri, 1867, J.B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia