Osseo, Minnesota

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Osseo, Minnesota
Location of the city of Osseo within 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
CountryUnited States
 • MayorDuane Poppe
 • Total0.75 sq mi (1.94 km2)
 • Land0.75 sq mi (1.94 km2)
 • Water0 sq mi (0 km2)
886 ft (270 m)
Population 2,430
 • Estimate 
 • Density3,680/sq mi (1,421.0/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (Central)
ZIP codes
55311, 55369
Area code(s)763
FIPS code27-49012[3]
GNIS feature ID0649024[4]

Osseo is a small city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 2,430,[5] and in 2016 the estimated population was 2,752.[2]

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 poet Henry W. Longfellow mentions Osseo in one of his Native American legends contained in his poem The Song of Hiawatha.[6] It is claimed that Longfellow visited Osseo while in St. Anthony.[7]


Osseo in 1869

The area that is now Osseo became settled prior to organized local government. It was located on what Pierre Bottineau named "Bottineau Prairie" in 1852, and the community was referred to as "Palestine". In 1856, part of the future town was platted as Osseo, and another part was platted as "City of Attraction".[8][9] Official Minnesota Territory surveys placed the settlement on the border of two townships. When Brooklyn Township and Maple Grove Township organized, Osseo (and City of Attraction which later merged) was governed by those two local governments. It was not until March 17, 1875, that Osseo incorporated.[10]

The ethnic groups that moved in after Native tribes were removed were mostly French Canadians, New Englanders, Swiss and Germans.[11] Businesses by pioneers included blacksmiths, wagonmakers, general merchandise stores, boots & shoemakers, harness maker, tin shop, cordwood supplier, teamsters, saloons, and hotels (Niggler Hotel 1867, International Hotel 1874, Great Northern Hotel, 1907).[12] There was also a Catholic church (1858), a physician, school, post office, and calaboose (jail). Pioneers of Methodist and Lutheran religions were served in their homes until the twentieth century.

In 1882 the Great Northern railroad "came steaming through town", and in 1893 a telephone station. A town hall was built in 1901. The city water system and fire department began in 1915. The original Indian trail—extending from St. Paul to St. Cloud—was the town's main street, and was paved in 1918 (Territorial Road). The Osseo Lutheran Church was built approximately 1915; the Methodist Church was built in 1922. The first Osseo High School was built in 1924. 1928 was the peak when "Osseo had one of the largest potato markets in the Northwest."[8]

"The Father of Osseo" was described in a newspaper article written at the death of John Hechtman, and informs the reader of Osseo's opportunities and social organizations of his times.[13]

Opposite from today's City Hall are memorials to US military veterans from Osseo. In 1937 a large granite monument was erected in memory of Civil War soldiers. On Memorial Day 1945, another Honor Roll was constructed of granite with a bronze plate engraved with names of those that served during the Spanish–American War, World War I and World War II. In 1957, the memorial area was named Father Boerboom Park, a pastor of St. Vincent Rectory and the principal of their parochial school who had served since 1917.[12]

The Osseo Water Tower, built in 1915, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.[14]


Osseo is in northeastern Hennepin County, bordered by the city of Brooklyn Park to the east and Maple Grove to the west. Osseo has an area of 0.73 square miles (1.9 km2), all of it land.[5]

There are three main transportation routes in the city. Jefferson Highway runs straight north/south through the city; the business stretch is named Central Avenue. U.S. Highway 169 follows the east boundary. Bottineau Boulevard (County Road 81) runs northwest through the city.

Osseo City Hall and Library


Osseo incorporated in 1875 as a village and became a statutory city in 1972. The city council is composed of a mayor (two-year term) and four councilors (four-year terms). City departments are Economic Development, Planning, Administration, Community Development, Fire, Parks/Recreation, Police, and Public Services. The Osseo Library is located in the city hall building and is a branch of the Hennepin County Library System. The city publishes a quarterly newsletter, Osseo Outlook, and co-publishes an annual resident guide with the city of Maple Grove; both are online.[15] City facilities include a community center. The city is a member of the North Hennepin Area Chamber of Commerce.[16]


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

Osseo and surrounding communities are served free public education from primary level to secondary level by the Osseo Area School District 279. The school district 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.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 20162,752[2]13.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census[edit]

As of the census 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.

Annual events[edit]

There are multiple social clubs and ongoing activities in Osseo:

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.

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. An awards ceremony is held afterwards in the High School Stadium and is free for the public to attend.. This activity is organized by the Osseo Band Boosters and funded with local donations, corporate sponsorship and fund raising activities.

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 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 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.

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.

Famous Residents[edit]


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
  2. ^ a b c "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Osseo city, Minnesota". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved August 14, 2017.
  6. ^ http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/hiawatha.html
  7. ^ http://www.21pw.com/dictionary/Osseo-Minnesota_390059
  8. ^ a b Boerboom, Reverend Henry J. (1952). 1852-1952 History of 100 Years of Osseo and Souvenir of the Dedication of the New Rectory and Parochial School. Engravings by E. J. Krueger. Weston Engraving Company, Minneapolis. p. 9.
  9. ^ Foote, Chas. M.; Neill, Edward; Williams, J. Fletcher; Warner, Geo. E. (1881). History of Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis including the Explorers and Pioneers of Minnesota (By Rev. D. Neill) and Outlines of the History of Minnesota, (by J. Fletcher Williams). Minneapolis: North Star Publishing Company. pp. 294–297.
  10. ^ Ewing, Clerk Wm. Village of Osseo Minute Book. Osseo City Hall, Osseo, Minnesota (accessed Fall, 2008).
  11. ^ "Minnesota State Census, 1875". Family Search. 15 November 2014.
  12. ^ a b North Hennepin Pioneer Society; Osseo Lionelles (1975). 100 Year History of the City of Osseo; Osseo Centennial 1875 - 1975. Souvenir Edition. Minnesota Historical Society: Merit Printing, Minneapolis. pp. 6, 8.
  13. ^ Minneapolis Tribune, October 22, 1902.
  14. ^ Eric Roper (2017-01-07). "Osseo water tower primed for position on national historic register". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  15. ^ www.discoverosseo.com
  16. ^ "Discover Osseo".

External links[edit]

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