Whether you’re searching for a safe, family-friendly home base or an affordable commute in the Chicagoland area, St. John, Indiana, is an excellent choice. From its many well-deserved awards to its parks and restaurants, this Indiana town delivers. Get to know this small town and discover what makes St. John a wonderful place to live.

Benefits of Moving to St. John, Indiana

A Brief History of St. John

St. John was founded in 1837 when the surrounding area was known simply as Prairie West. At the time, Indiana was still a relatively new state, having been granted statehood in 1816. Indiana purchased this northwestern corner of the state just a few years before St. John’s establishment, and town founder John Hack undoubtedly saw plenty of potential in the area.

The town’s first settlers included several groups of German immigrants, all connected to Hack, who had emigrated from a Rhine province. In contemporary St. John, markers commemorate some key sites these early residents established. For example, the Francis P. Keilman House was built in the late 1850s and has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places for nearly a decade. Visitors and residents alike can still admire the home’s Italianate architecture and period design.

Over the centuries, St. John has continued attracting residents from far and wide while maintaining its small-town appeal. In recent years, St. John has won numerous awards for its safety levels and family friendliness. Some highlights include:

  • 2019: WalletHub named St. John the 12th Best Place to Live in Indiana for Families, and SafeWise ranked the town the state’s safest city.
  • 2018: The National Council for Home Safety and Security and HomeSnacks both named St. John the state’s safest place to live.
  • 2015: NerdWallet ranked St. John as the 17th best city for young families to settle.
  • 2013: Business Week named St. John the state’s best community for raising kids.

St. John Schools

This Northwest Indiana town is home to several public and private schools. Take a closer look at the education options for your children.

Public Elementary Schools

Students in kindergarten to fourth grade are assigned to one of two elementary schools based on their home address:

  • Kolling Elementary School: Since 1955, this centrally located elementary school has been committed to providing an inclusive learning environment.
  • Lincoln Elementary School: Located just south of town in Cedar Lake, this elementary school supports and empowers students to meet or exceed state standards for academics.

Public Middle Schools

From fifth to eighth grades, students attend one of three middle schools, also based on home address:

  • Grimmer Middle School: Located in nearby Schererville, this middle school enrolls about 800 students from Northwest Indiana.
  • Hal E. Clark Middle School: This St. John middle school opened in 2008 and enrolls about 1,000 students from Crown Point, Schererville, and St. John.
  • Hanover Central Middle School: Located in Cedar Lake, this middle school strives to help students grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally.

Public High Schools

Students in ninth to 12th grades typically attend one of two high schools:

  • Lake Central High School: Since 1966, this high school has served students from St. John, Schererville, and Dyer and is focused on guiding them toward becoming self-directed learners and contributors.
  • Hanover Central High School: Located in nearby Cedar Lake, this high school strives to offer a safe, positive learning atmosphere.

Private Elementary, Middle, and High Schools

From pre-kindergarten through eighth grades, students have the option of attending Crown Point Christian School or St. John the Evangelist Catholic School. The former is an evangelical Christian school with about 740 students, while the latter is a Catholic school with about 365 students.

High school students living in St. John may attend Illiana Christian High School. Led by an association of Reformed Christians, this high school has about 440 students and over 100 course options.

Best Parks in St. John

St. John may be a small town, but it’s home to more than a dozen parks and green spaces. Most options, such as Heldt Park, Lancer Park, and Rainwater Park, all have playground equipment for children of all ages and picnic tables for families. Spaces like Schillton Hills Park have barbecue grills and a pavilion, while Prairie West Park and Sunmeadows Park also have ponds.

You’ll also find several ballfields and sports complexes in town. Gates of St. John Park has soccer fields, while Heartland Park has softball and baseball fields along with sand volleyball courts. Veterans Civic Park is home to ballfields, a tennis court, horseshoe pits, and a concession stand for refreshments.

Top St. John Restaurants

From breakfast and brunch to dinner and drinks, St. John has a wide range of dining options. Check out a few of the most popular spots in town:

  • Aspen Café: This diner-style spot bills itself as a house of pancakes, but its country-fried steak, French toast, and skillets will also win you over.
  • AVGO: From rich dishes like eggs Benedict and biscuits and gravy to lighter options like avocado toast and egg white waffles, this café satisfies all your brunch cravings.
  • Mama D’s Pizza: This popular pizza joint specializes in thin-crust pies with all your favorite toppings.
  • Marilyn’s Bakery: Whether you’re in the mood for sweet or savory baked goods, this bakery has you covered with paczki, pies, lunch boxes, and more.
  • Yamato: When you’re craving sushi or hibachi, this spot delivers with everything from fresh sushi rolls and warm bento boxes to yakisoba and fried rice.

Common St. John Commutes

Because St. John is located on the southern end of the Chicagoland area, living in town makes many commutes easy and convenient. Some of the most common commutes include:

  • Valparaiso: Valparaiso is located about 23 miles east of St. John. Commuters often follow West 93rd Avenue to U.S. 30 East to get to Valparaiso, which takes about 45 minutes.
  • Chicago: Getting to Chicago’s Loop area also takes about 45 minutes with minimal traffic and a bit longer during rush hour. To get to Chicago, follow Highway 394 North to Interstate 94 West.

Curious about homeownership in St. John? Browse our floor plans and pricing, or contact Steiner Homes to learn more about building a new home in the St. John area.