St. Joseph Parish was founded in the late 1860's when the growing German-American community in Lockport asked Bishop Duggan of Chicago for a German speaking priest. The Bishop responded by sending them Fr. Yuetting to start a parish. Since the first trustees of the parish were all named Joseph, the parish took the name of St. Joseph.
Because the first generation of parishioners was poor, they built the church with their own hands. The cornerstone of St. Joseph Church was laid in 1868. Stone for the church was cut and hauled by wagon from local quarries. The walls and tower are basically the same as when erected, but the sanctuary and sacristy were added in 1918 on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the parish. After almost 150 years, St. Joseph continues to nurture the Faith among the Catholic community of Lockport.
St. Joseph School was established in the 1880's. The original school building was demolished in the 1950's when the first section of the present school was built. Several additions were built in the 1960's and 1990's to expand the capacity of the school, which today provides an excellent education to around 250 students. In 2010 the school earned the prestigious “blue ribbon of excellence” award from the US Department of Education, marking out St. Joseph among the state's highest performing schools. In 2016 St. Joseph’s Principal, Lynne Scheffler, won two prestigious national awards as a Distinguished Principal from both the National Catholic Educational Association and the National Association of Elementary School Principals. St. Joseph Parish is proud to run an amazing school which is the recipient of numerous national honors.