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City of Osseo

Osseo is a small city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States. As of the 2020 census it had a population of 2,688.

It is said that “Osseo” derives from the Ojibwe name waaseyaa meaning “there is light” (more commonly translated as “Son of the Evening Star”). Henry Wadsworth Longfellow mentions Osseo in his poem The Song of Hiawatha.

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

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


Osseo in 1869
The area that is now Osseo was settled before organized local government. It was on what Pierre Bottineau named Bottineau Prairie in 1852; the community was called Palestine. In 1856 part of the town was platted as Osseo and another part as “City of Attraction”. 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 governments. Osseo incorporated on March 17, 1875.

The ethnic groups that moved in after Native tribes were removed were mostly French Canadians, New Englanders, Swiss and Germans. The pioneers’ businesses included blacksmiths, wagonmakers, general merchandise stores, boots & shoemakers, harness makers, tin shops, cordwood suppliers, teamsters, saloons, and hotels (Niggler Hotel, 1867; International Hotel, 1874; Great Northern Hotel, 1907). There was also a Catholic church (1858), a physician, school, post office, and calaboose (jail). Methodists and Lutherans were served in their homes until the 20th century.

In 1882 the Great Northern Railroad “came steaming through town”, and in 1893 a telephone station appeared. 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). Osseo Lutheran Church was built around 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.”

A newspaper article written upon the death of John Hechtman, “The Father of Osseo”, informs the reader of Osseo’s opportunities and social organizations of his time.

Opposite 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 who served during the Spanish–American War, World War I and World War II. In 1957 the memorial area was named Father Boerboom Park, after a pastor of St. Vincent Rectory and the principal of its parochial school who had served since 1917.

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

Annual Events
Osseo has multiple social clubs and ongoing activities:

Osseo Orchard

In 2017, volunteers planted over 30 trees and fruiting shrubs at the Osseo Public Works site at the intersection of 2nd Street SE and 8th Ave SE. The orchard includes apples, pears, plums, and cherries. Berries include blueberries, currants, and jostaberries. Residents are welcome to visit the orchard and take advantage of ripe produce.

Concerts and Movies in the Park

An effort led by Osseo’s citizens enabled the construction of a bandshell in the northeast corner of Boerboom Veterans Park downtown. The bandshell is a popular place in the summer when musicians perform on Tuesday evenings, followed at dusk by a movie. This activity is supported by local donations and almost all 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 route through the city. Popular in northern midwestern states including Minnesota and Wisconsin, street marching band competitions are held in May, June and July. The Osseo Marching Band Festival is held each year on Saturday of the last full weekend in June. A free award ceremony is held afterward in the High School Stadium. This activity is organized by the Osseo Band Boosters and funded by 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 after Labor Day. It includes a street fair with crafts, a carnival in the parking lots near Central Avenue and 3rd Street, and a parade at noon on Saturday beginning at Sipe’s Park and ending at the Osseo Senior High School. The parade features local organizations such as sports teams from the high school, girl scout and boy scout troops, and the Osseo Marching Band.

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


Each December, usually the first Friday in December, the community celebrates the upcoming holidays with the Fire Truck Parade, hot beverages and bonfire, and a chance for children to meet Santa and get a free goodie bag. This activity is sponsored by the Osseo Business Association. It is free and open to the public.

Notable People

  • Brian Merritt Bergson, Minnesota state legislator[22]
  • Andy Hedlund, professional ice hockey defenseman
  • Kevin Kling, award-winning storyteller and author
  • James Martinez, champion wrestler
  • Charles Munn, 37th Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Caleb Truax, professional middleweight boxer


“Osseo, Minnesota” │,_Minnesota

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