Joplin, Missouri

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Joplin is a city in southern Jasper County and northern Newton County in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Missouri. Joplin is the largest city in Jasper County, though it is not the county seat. In 2009, the population was estimated at 50,208[3] and the surrounding Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated population of 174,300 in 2009.[4] Although often believed to be named for ragtime composer Scott Joplin who lived in Sedalia, Missouri, Joplin is actually named for the Reverend Harris Joplin, the founder of the area's first Methodist congregation. Joplin was established in 1873 and expanded significantly from the wealth created by the mining of zinc, its growth faltering after World War II when the price of the mineral collapsed. The city gained additional renown as one of the stops on the historic Route 66.



Lead was discovered in the Joplin Creek Valley before the Civil War, but it was only after the war that significant development took place. By 1871, numerous mining camps had sprung up in the valley and resident John C. Cox filed a plan for a city on the east side of the valley.[5] Cox named his village Joplin City after the spring and creek nearby. The namesake comes from the Reverend Harris G. Joplin who founded the first Methodist congregation in the area in mid-century.

Carthage resident Patrick Murphy filed a plan for a city on the opposite side of the valley and named it Murphysburg.[6] While the nearest sheriff was in Carthage, a sense of lawlessness abounded in the town. This time is referred to as the "Reign of Terror". The cities eventually merged into Union City, but this merger was found illegal and the two cities split. Patrick Murphy then suggested that the town become Joplin. They merged again on March 23, 1873, this time permanently, as the City of Joplin.[7]

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