(Front): Renowned city of the Pony Express, St. Joseph was first settled as a trading post for the American Fur Company by Joseph Robidoux, 1826. Later he acquired the site and laid out a town in 1843. St. Joseph became an outfitting point for settlers in northwest Missouri and travelers on the Oregon-California trail. It was also a supply base for army posts and western gold mining camps. Here was the terminus of the first railroad to cross Missouri, the Hannibal and St. Joseph in 1859. The railway postal car, developed by W. A. Davis of St. Joseph, was first used on this line in 1862. April 3, 1860 the Pony Express was put into operation between here and Sacramento, California, by the freighting firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell. Operated as a relay it met the need for speedy mail service to the West and popularized the central overland route. About 1982 miles were covered regularly in 10 days and 190 relay stations, 420 horses, and 80 riders were used. The record run was 7 days, 17 hours. The Pony Express discontinued in October 1861. The telegraph then reached the coast.
(Reverse): St. Joseph, industrial center of northwest Missouri, lies in the glacial plains region of the Missouri Valley, in a richly fertile area of grain, fruit, and livestock farming. Early impressed with the beauty of the site were geographer Maximilian, Prince of Wied, 1833; missionary priest Father De Smet, 1838; and ornithologist Audubon, 1843. The city is now noted for its food processing plants, grain and livestock markets, transportation facilities, and varied factories. Two bridges cross the Missouri River here.The city lies on land acquired from the Iowa, Sauk, and Fox Indians by the Platte Purchase, 1836. Since 1846 it has been the seat of Buchanan Co., one of 6 formed out of the Purchase, organized 1838, named for James Buchanan, U.S. President, 1857-61.Among points of interest are St. Joseph Museum; Patee House; Pony Express Stables; house were Jesse James was killed; locale Eugene Field's courtship poem "Lover's Lane, St. Jo"; Beavais House; Krug Park; and 20 miles southwest, Lewis and Clark State Park. Here lived Mo. Govs. R.M. Stewart, 1857-61; W.P. Hall 1864-65;Silas Woodson, 1873-75.