St. Joseph Turns 173

By Amber Smith |

Published 07/26 2016 11:55PM

Updated 07/26 2016 11:55PM

St. Joseph celebrated its 173 birthday Tuesday

The first plat for the city of St. Joseph was filed at court in St. Louis on July 26, 1943, marking the city's founding.

Joseph Robidoux, St. Joseph's founder, was a fur trader. He passed through the area on his way to other destinations before opening a trading post in the city.

"The very first trading post was set up where Remington Nature Center is now. He went over there and then moved south to where present day 2nd and Jules Street is at," Robidoux Row Director Ivana Calhoun said.

Traces of Robidoux's family are scattered throughout the city.

"The early streets of St. Joseph are named after Joseph Robidoux's children and wife. Obviously the family name is Robidoux and then heading south is Faraon, Jules, Francis, Felix, Edmond, Charles and Sylvannie. Those are his children and then Angelique was his second wife," St. Joseph Museums Curator of Collections Sarah Elder said.

History from the city's foundation is also preserved at Robidoux Row, one of the oldest buildings in St. Joseph. It was built by Joseph Robidoux.

"The intent of Robidoux Row is it was an apartment building. We are the oldest apartment building west of the Mississippi River, which encompasses quite a large territory. When Joseph would sell a lot, the prospective homeowner could live there free of charge," Calhoun said.

Robidoux Row has memorabilia from the founding family such as a chair and original documents signed by Joseph Robidoux. 

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