Patee House Museum, St. Joseph, MO

The Patee House, a four-floor hotel, was built in 1858. It is now an area museum (open April-October, yearly). The Patee House was commanded as Union Headquarters during the Civil War--much to the chagrin of the owner, Patee, who was a Southern sympathizer. Later, it became headquarers for operation of the Pony Express. Visit the Pony Express Historical Association  
Pony Express markerPatee House exteriorAnnie Oakley portraitJesse James portraitguns of the Old Westpiano with mother-of-pearl keys
St. Joseph is a town of the old west, and a jumping-off point for the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails. The Pony Express started in St. Joe and Jesse James died here (see below). An industrial town, with steamboat commerce up and down the Missouri River, St. Joe has had its share of wealthy residents and fine accouterments.
fire engine 1 fire engine 2 No. 35 steam locamotive sleigh ball of twine
The museum has some impressive, large items, including a full-sized steam locomotive and a relocated railroad depot, several old fire engines, buggies and sleighs, a ballroom, a spiral staircase, and a room full of model trains.
Arthur Pryor exhibittelephone collectionradio collection early television setoptometrist sign
Arthur Pryor, First Trombonist for the John Phillips Sousa Band, is from St. Joe. The Patee House Museum has honored him with a display, including sheet music he wrote, and his trombone. Other collections include electric light bulbs, toys, telephones and telephone equipment, radios, old broadcast television equipment, and displays recreating local businesses. Among the businesses represented are a pharmacy, a photography studio, an optometrist, and the dental office of the father of Walter Cronkite, a native of St. Joseph. Walter Cronkite's grandfather was also a dentist.

ex cetera

last home of Jesse Jamesunrestored dwelling doorCherry Mash, made in St. Joseph

Jesse James was assassinated in the house on the left by Robert Ford on April 3, 1882. The home was removed to a location just behind the Patee House and is now a museum.

There are many interesting restored and unrestored homes in St. Joseph.

Cherry Mash is made in St. Joe.

See essay of Nov. 1999 visit:
St. Joseph, MO


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All photos © 2000 by Carol Yoho

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