Osseo, Minnesota

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Osseo, Minnesota
Location of the city of Osseowithin Hennepin County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Osseo
within Hennepin County, Minnesota
Coordinates: 45°7′2″N 93°23′58″W / 45.11722°N 93.39944°W / 45.11722; -93.39944
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Hennepin
Founded 1875
 • Mayor Duane Poppe
 • City 0.75 sq mi (1.94 km2)
 • Land 0.75 sq mi (1.94 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 886 ft (270 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • City 2,430
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 2,471
 • Density 3,240.0/sq mi (1,251.0/km2)
 • Metro 2,968,805
Time zone Central (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) Central (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 55311, 55369
Area code(s) 763
FIPS code 27-49012[4]
GNIS feature ID 0649024[5]
Website www.discoverosseo.com

Osseo is a city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 2,430 at the 2010 census.[6]

U.S. Highway 169, County Road 81–Bottineau Boulevard, and Central Avenue–Jefferson Highway are three of the main routes in the community.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.75 square miles (1.94 km2), all of it land.[1]


Osseo and surrounding communities are served free public education from primary level to secondary level by the Osseo Area School District 279 (see article Education in Maple Grove and Osseo) which also provides free public education for the following areas: Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Corcoran, Dayton and Hassan. The District's superintendent is Kate Maguire.

Schools within the city limits of Osseo are the Osseo Junior High School and the Osseo Senior High School.

Some local schools in District 279 have been having funding troubles. In an effort to minimize cuts in programs and services due to inadequate state funding, the School Board voted 5-0 in favor of placing three levy referendum questions on the ballot for voters in the November 2007 election. The Board’s decision came after months of deliberation and analysis of the data that came from a recent community survey.

Osseo currently has two schools within city limits, Osseo Junior High and Osseo Senior High. Osseo Elementary was closed due to a high operational cost, along with additional high costs to renovate the school up to code.

The Osseo School District is moving to install Osseo Alternative Learning Center (ALC) in the location of the elementary school, previously thought to be in failing condition. There is a movement, led by Osseo residents and the Council, to block this installation into the residential area.


The city of Osseo is located in the northeast part of Hennepin County, Minnesota. Originally, Osseo was under the government of the former townships of Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove. In the Spring of 1875, by an act of the state legislature, Osseo was incorporated with a president, three councilmen, a recorder, and a treasurer constituting its officers.

"This is Paradise," Pierre Bottineau exclaimed, as he and his traveling companions, Joseph Potvin, Peter Raiche, and Peter Gervais, stepped forth from the deep woods and scanned the beautiful prairie before them. They relaxed around the campfire, took an evening meal, and slept peacefully beneath the stars. Morning found them determined to make this "spot" a settlement. This all happened in July 1852. Claims were made on "Bottineau Prairie" and it wasn't long before other brave and adventurous men came to the area.

Pierre Bottineau was born near Pembina in the Red River region, now a part of North Dakota. His ancestors were of the Huguenots who came to America to enjoy a freer religion and settled near Boston. Pierre's father, Joseph, went into the great wilderness of the Northeast in the early part of the nineteenth century. Here he married an Ojibwe woman named, "The Clear Sky Woman". From his hardy and, in a civilized sense, nomadic father, and from his Indian mother, Pierre inherited those characteristics that made him the most noted scout and voyageur in mid-America.

In 1854, Warren Sampson, Isaac LaBissonniere, Clark Ellsworth, Senaca Brown, D.B. Thayer, and James McRay settled on "Bottineau Prairie." Mr. Sampson built and opened a store of general merchandise and a post office in the settlement then called Palestine. The years 1855–1856 saw much growth, and in 1856 the settlement was officially renamed Osseo, and platted by Mr. Sampson and Mr. LaBissonnaire. It is said that "Osseo" is derived from the Ojibwe name waaseyaa meaning 'there is light' although more commonly known as "Son of the Evening Star." The author Henry W. Longfellow mentions Osseo in one of his Native American legends contained in his poem "The Song of Hiawatha". It is also claimed that Longfellow visited Osseo while in St. Anthony.

A.B. Chafee laid out another village, "City of Attraction", a short time later to the southeast. This little city, with its stores, homes and post office, was later absorbed into Osseo.

Utilizing the natural resources of the neighboring Maple Grove area, namely trees, a wood market was established by Sampson in 1855. Cordwood was cut, cured for a season, and then sold to Minneapolis merchants. It was common to handle up to one hundred cords per day during the wood season. Teamsters hauled the cordwood over the rough trails to the big city. The monies received were used to purchase much-needed goods by these hardy pioneers.

Clark Ellsworth established a blacksmith shop in 1855, and Eli Haviland became his partner in business in 1857. Later, O Leferrier and P. Charest also opened blacksmith shops. In 1865, John Lechtman established a store of general merchandise dealing largely in cordwood. Emil Lefbvre opened a general merchandise and drugs store in 1873. He was also a postmaster.

As more and more people—French, Canadians, Germans, and Native American—settled here, more businesses sprang up. Among the many other businessmen who established themselves early in the development of Osseo are Z. Labrasch, groceries and notions; Nelson Rougier, wagon maker; William Krueger and Joseph Woodly, boots and shoes; Samuel Pavitt, harness maker, and Maggie Rougier and Frances Thayer, dressmakers.

Osseo has always been fortunate to have a resident physician to care for the sick. The first doctor to make his home in Osseo was Dr. A Guernon, a Canadian, who came here in 1866, a young man from Minneapolis.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 206
1890 353 71.4%
1900 346 −2.0%
1910 390 12.7%
1920 433 11.0%
1930 561 29.6%
1940 738 31.6%
1950 1,167 58.1%
1960 2,104 80.3%
1970 2,908 38.2%
1980 2,974 2.3%
1990 2,704 −9.1%
2000 2,434 −10.0%
2010 2,430 −0.2%
Est. 2015 2,748 [7] 13.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 2,430 people, 1,128 households, and 575 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,240.0 inhabitants per square mile (1,251.0/km2). There were 1,217 housing units at an average density of 1,622.7 per square mile (626.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 90.3% White, 4.2% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 1.7% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.6% of the population.

There were 1,128 households of which 20.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.3% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 49.0% were non-families. 42.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.06 and the average family size was 2.82.

The median age in the city was 46.1 years. 16.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.8% were from 25 to 44; 27.7% were from 45 to 64; and 23.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.0% male and 54.0% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 2,434 people, 1,035 households, and 606 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,179.7 people per square mile (1,220.5/km²). There were 1,060 housing units at an average density of 1,384.7 per square mile (531.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.93% White, 1.23% African American, 0.29% Native American, 1.07% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.82% of the population.

There were 1,035 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.8% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.4% were non-families. 34.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the city the population was spread out with 19.4% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 21.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 89.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $42,685, and the median income for a family was $52,083. Males had a median income of $38,150 versus $27,917 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,507. About 2.3% of families and 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 3.6% of those age 65 or over.


Osseo was one of the first cities in Minnesota to have a complete and fully operational city-wide wireless network available for use by residents, businesses and visitors. As of January 2008, the myOsseo.com wireless network was accepting subscribers. There are various levels of subscription up to a full 3-megabits per second bi-directional access. This wireless network (based on the 802.11 standard) is a public/private partnership between the City of Osseo Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the service provider, Unplugged Cities. Revenue earned from the wireless service will be used to fund future EDA initiatives within the city. The city-wide wireless service has been since discontinued, as Centurylink and Comcast(Xfinity) are the two main service providers in the area.

Activities in Osseo[edit]

Each year there are a variety of activities and events in Osseo.

Lions Roar

The Osseo Lions Roar, hosted by the Osseo Lions Club, is held on the Friday and Saturday following Labor Day (which usually puts this celebration in early September. This event includes a street fair with crafts, a carnival in the parking lots near Central Avenue and 3rd Street, a parade at noon on Saturday beginning at Sipe's Park and ending at the Osseo Senior High School. The parade is free for the public to attend, and features many local organizations such as various sports teams from the high school, girl scout and boy scout troops, and the much loved Osseo Marching Band.

Osseo Marching Band Festival

The Osseo Marching Band Festival is a street marching competition between high school bands along a performance route through the city. Popular in the northern midwestern states including Minnesota and Wisconsin, street marching band competitions are held in the late spring and early summer months of May, June and July. The Osseo Marching Band Festival is held each year on Saturday of the last full weekend in June. This activity is organized by the Osseo Band Boosters and funded with local donations, corporate sponsorships and fund raising activities.

The Osseo Marching Band Festival and awards ceremony held afterwards in the High School Stadium is free for the public to attend.

Concerts in the Park

A recent effort led by a few of Osseo's very active citizens has enabled the construction of a bandshell in the northeast corner of Boerboom Park at the center of downtown. The bandshell is a popular place during the summer months of June, July and August. During those three months, each Tuesday evening, musicians perform in the bandshell followed at dusk by a movie. This activity is supported by local donations and all, except one or two events, are free to the public.

Tree Lighting and Santa in the Park

Each December, usually the first Friday in December, the community celebrates the upcoming holidays by having a winter celebration including horse-drawn wagon rides, hot beverages and a chance for the kids to meet Santa and get a free goodie bag. This activity is sponsored by the Osseo Business Association. This event is free and open to the public.

Osseo Lions Kiddie Costume Parade

Osseo Lions Kiddie Costume Parade is held on Saturday at the end of October each year starting at noon. The parade starts at North Clinic on Central Avenue and ends at Boerboom Park.


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015". Retrieved July 2, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°07′10″N 93°24′09″W / 45.11944°N 93.40250°W / 45.11944; -93.40250