St. Joseph is a small community in Stearns County, Minnesota. In 1854 it began as a German settlement, and later became a city in 1890. 46.2 percent of St. Joseph’s ancestry can be traced back to Germany. The community is nearly 100 percent urban, with only a sliver of residents living in rural areas. All 3.89 square miles of St. Joseph is land.
The College of Saint Benedict calls St. Joseph home, and in 2013 it hosted more than 2,000 undergraduates. Founded as Saint Benedict’s Academy in 1878 by the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict, the College of Saint Benedict is a female-only institution partnered with nearby Saint John’s University for men.
St. Joseph has a weak mayor-council, in which the four elected councilmembers pass and enforce ordinances, create commissions and advisory boards, and manage finances for the city. The mayor is the presiding officer at council meetings, which are held the first and third Mondays of every month in the Council Chambers.
The Stearns County Courthouse serves as St. Joseph’s municipal court, and is located at 725 Courthouse Square in St. Cloud.