South St. Paul, Minnesota

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South St. Paul, Minnesota
City of South St. Paul
View across the industrial neighborhood by the Mississippi River
View across the industrial neighborhood by the Mississippi River
Nickname(s): S.S.P.
Looking down Grand Avenue in South St. Paul towards the Mississippi River.
Location of the city of South St. Paulwithin Dakota County, Minnesota
Location of the city of South St. Paul
within Dakota County, Minnesota
Coordinates: 44°53′17″N 93°2′44″W / 44.88806°N 93.04556°W / 44.88806; -93.04556
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Dakota
South St. Paul January 1, 1887
 • Type Mayor (Municipal)
 • Mayor Jimmy Francis
 • Total 6.14 sq mi (15.90 km2)
 • Land 5.65 sq mi (14.63 km2)
 • Water 0.49 sq mi (1.27 km2)
Elevation 719 ft (219 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 20,160
 • Estimate (2016)[3] 20,217
 • Density 3,300/sq mi (1,300/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 55075, 55076
Area code(s) 651
FIPS code 27-61492
GNIS feature ID 0652339[4]
Website City of South St. Paul

South St. Paul is a city in Dakota County, Minnesota, immediately south and southeast of Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is also east of West St. Paul, Minnesota. The population was 20,160 at the 2010 census.[5] Historically, the town was notable as a major meat-packing location. Subsequently, many residents are descended from immigrants of Southern European and Eastern European heritage, who came to work in the meat-packing plants in the early twentieth century.

A post office called "South St. Paul" has been in operation since 1888.[6] The city was named based on its location, south of St. Paul, MN.[7]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.14 square miles (15.90 km2), of which 5.65 square miles (14.63 km2) is land, and 0.49 square miles (1.27 km2) is water.[1]

Interstate Highway 494, U.S. Highway 52, and Minnesota State Highway 156 are three of the major routes that traverse South St. Paul.

South St. Paul is home to a small general aviation airport, Fleming Field.

The main industry for much of South St. Paul's history was the Saint Paul Union Stockyards. The two largest companies and employers in the town during the time of peak stockyard operations were Swift's & Company and Armour Meats.

As of 04/11/2008, the stockyards are closed,[8] and much of the area is now being redeveloped.


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201620,217[3]0.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2015 Estimate[10]

2010 census[edit]

As of the 2010 census,[2] there were 20,160 people, 8,186 households, and 5,065 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,568.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,377.7/km2). There were 8,666 housing units, at an average density of 1,533.8 per square mile (592.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.3% White, 3.9% African American, 0.8% Native American, 1.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 5.4% from other races, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.2% of the population.

There were 8,186 households of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.2% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.1% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 36.9 years. 23.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.8% were from 25 to 44; 27% were from 45 to 64; and 12% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.2% male and 50.8% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000, there were 20,167 people, 8,123 households, and 5,255 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,515.9 people per square mile (1,356.5/km²). There were 8,313 housing units at an average density of 1,449.3 per square mile (559.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.63% White, 1.28% African American, 0.57% Native American, 0.82% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 2.80% from other races, and 1.90% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.42% of the population.

There were 8,123 households, out of which 32.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.3% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $45,216, and the median income for a family was $54,119. Males had a median income of $36,466 versus $28,415 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,396. About 4.1% of families, and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.8% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.


South St. Paul's public school system contains two elementary schools, one secondary school (6-12), and a community-learning center.

South St. Paul schools were established in 1853. At that time, the schools operated under the name Kaposia School District, serving the sons and daughters of local residents, missionaries, and the Kaposia Village Native American chiefs. Initially under the jurisdiction of Dakota County, the district included sections of West St. Paul, Sunfish Lake and Inver Grove Heights.

In 1887, the county turned over the administration of schools to the newly incorporated cities and their councils. South Saint Paul Special School District #6 was officially designated a school district in 1890, when voters established an independent Board of Education.

Rapid growth in the city, and its schools, continued in the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in the 1970s when more than 6,000 students attended six elementary schools, a high school, and a junior high school. However, in the 1980s, enrollments in the South St. Paul schools began to decline and the community was forced to make the difficult decision to consolidate school buildings.

During the same period, advances in technology required the school district to be networked to keep up with the next generation of learners. In 1999, the South St. Paul community passed a technology referendum to maintain the quality of education in South St. Paul Schools.

Currently, The South St. Paul School District serves approximately 3,500 students in two elementary schools, one secondary school (grades 7-12), and an alternative learning center.

South St. Paul is also home to two private schools, Holy Trinity Catholic School, & St. John Vianney Catholic School.

Holy Trinity Catholic School[edit]

Holy Trinity School opened on September 7, 1954 with an enrollment of 243 students. The building consisted of 8 classrooms and a cafeteria in the basement. The school offered grades Pre-K through 8. After September 7, 1954, the size of the student body expanded at a rapid rate. By the beginning of the 1963-64 school year, the enrollment exceeded 600 students. After a drop in enrollment, attendance bottomed out at 80-plus students during the 1984-85 school year. In this same year, a half-day kindergarten was added to the regular 1-8 grade program. The following year, an all-day everyday kindergarten was established. A preschool was then added in 1988. It has since grown, and now has several more classrooms and athletic programs.

St. John Vianney Catholic School[edit]

In 1956, SJV school opened its doors with 109 students in grades one through four. By 1958, the school offered grades one through eight. In 1974, a preschool and kindergarten program were added. The fall of 1992 saw the establishment of a full day kindergarten program, as well as an extended day program. At this time, SJV offered academic programs for preschool, kindergarten and grades 1 through 6, as well as an extended day program.

St. John Vianney Catholic School was closed in 2010 by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis when it was merged with Saint Michael Catholic School of West Saint Paul. The newly merged school/s operate at Saint Michael Catholic School campus as the Community of Saints Regional Catholic School.

Saint John Vianney Church now rents out their space to a charter school.


Grace Lutheran Church[edit]

Grace Lutheran Church

Grace Lutheran Church is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) in South St. Paul.[11]

Clark Memorial United Church of Christ[edit]

Established on October 25, 1887, CMUCC was founded by Charles W. Clark.

The church has gone through many remodels and building changes throughout the years. CMUCC has even been struck by fire, but the faithful parish rebuilt the church. The mission of the church is to support the local, state, national and global interest of the congregation.

CMUCC also supports the ministry of the United Church of Christ, as programs and needs arise.

The church also participates in citywide events such as Kaposia Days and On the Road Again Days.[12]

St. Stefan Romanian Orthodox Church[edit]

St. Stefan Romanian Orthodox Parish was founded in 1923 by Romanian emigrants; but the physical church's construction was finished in 1924. On June 27, 1924, the parish was officially incorporated as a religious non-profit organization. In 1935 the church was blessed by Policarp Morusca, the first Romanian Orthodox Bishop in America.

St Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church[edit]

St. Mary's Coptic Orthodox Church of Minnesota originated in the early 1960s, at the urging of Bishop Samuel, who annually visited Coptic student groups at various American universities. At that time, approximately ten Coptic graduate students, some with families at the University of Minnesota, met for Christian worship.[13]

Holy Trinity Catholic Parish[edit]

Holy Trinity Campus[edit]

The Church of the Holy Trinity was established by Bishop John Ireland in November 1917; but it was not until June 1940 that the first resident pastor, J. F. Siegienski, was assigned. Holy Trinity was originally a Polish parish. The first Mass was held on June 30, 1940. The church building and the rectory were built by 1942 and the church was blessed by Archbishop John Murray in 1942.[clarification needed][14]

St. Augustine Catholic Church[edit]

St. Augustine parish was established on June 11, 1896. Fr. Joseph T. Busch organized this new parish, served as its first pastor, and oversaw the building of the church. On August 30, 1896, Archbishop Ireland dedicated the original church, which stood on the southeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Grand Avenue, where the Greystone Apartment building now stands.

After being remodeled, expanded, and reinforced with brick on March 31, 1923, the church burned to the ground. Doing their best to replicate structures of the old church wherever possible, builders were able to construct the current church structure for a Christmas Day 1924 opening.[clarification needed][14]

The parish still hosts The Argument of the Month.[15]

Though originally separate, these two churches were merged into one in 2010, as part of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul-Minneapolis' strategic plan and reorganization of parishes.

St. John Vianney Catholic Church[edit]

Because of the population increase of South St. Paul following World War II, St. John Vianney Parish was established on July 5, 1946 as the third Catholic parish in South St. Paul, under the direction of Father Harold Whittet.

Because no church or school had yet been built at the time of establishment, the parish rented the pavilion at Kaposia Park and held its first Mass there on July 28, 1946. Groundbreaking ceremonies took place on August 5, 1946 and the original makeshift church was constructed from two Army barracks. The church opened for its first Mass on the Easter Vigil, April 5, 1947. Shortly after, a roller-skating rink was built in the basement of the church to raise money.

Almost eight years later in 1954, SJV school (originally named Providence School) opened with 109 students in grades one through four.

The Sisters of St. Casimir, a Chicago-based Order, formed the school's first teaching staff. By 1958, the school contained grades one through eight. Construction was completed on the rectory and parish offices in 1960. The original makeshift church building of two army barracks was razed and the worship space was moved to the lower level of the school building (its current location).

In 1974, a preschool and kindergarten program were added to the school. From that time until 1989, the school was staffed by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. The fall of 1992 saw the establishment of a full day kindergarten program as well as an extended day program. During the 1996-1997 school year, the St. John Vianney Little Learners Preschool became fully accredited with the kindergarten through sixth grade program.

In May 2000, SJV expanded its facilities with the addition of the Parish Life and Community Center, which includes a gymnasium, kitchen and cafeteria, meeting rooms, and an extended gathering space. The addition was completed in March and dedicated on May 19, 2001. The current priest is Terry Beeson.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
  6. ^ "Dakota County". Jim Forte Postal History. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 167. 
  8. ^ Minneapolis Star trib
  9. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved November 6, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  11. ^ "You're Welcome Here - Welcome!". 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b
  15. ^

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°53′31″N 93°02′10″W / 44.89194°N 93.03611°W / 44.89194; -93.03611