Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- Alternate uses: see Joplin (disambiguation).
Lead was discovered in the Joplin Creek Valley before the Civil War, but it was only after the war that any real development occurred. By 1873 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.
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. The cities eventually merged into Union City, but this merger was found illegal and the two cities split. They merged again, this time permanently, a short time later as the City of Joplin.
By the turn of the century Joplin was quick becoming a regional metropolis. Construction centered around Main Street, with many bars, hotels, and fine homes scattered about. Trolley and rail lines made Joplin the hub of Southwest Missouri and it soon became the lead and zinc capital of the world.
Notable places in Joplin included the House of Lords, the Connor Hotel, the Keystone Hotel, the Newman Mercantile Store, the Frisco Depot, the Union Depot, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, the Liberty Building, the Fox Theater, and the Crystal Cave. Notable people in Joplin's history include Mickey Mantle who played with the Joplin Miners minor league baseball team, and Thomas Hart Benton, who began his art career with a local newspaper. St. Louis Cardinals manager Gabby Street and actors Bob Cummings and Dennis Weaver also are natives to Joplin.
After World War II, most of the mines were closed, population growth leveled off, and in the sixties and seventies nearly 40 acres (160,000 m²) of the city's beautiful and historic downtown were razed in the name of "urban renewal."
Joplin has always been a center of learning. The college of "Physicians and Doctors" opened in an early day, and today Joplin is home to three major colleges including Ozark Christian College, and Missouri Southern State University.
As the area's population center it is the home to the area's major hospitals including Freeman West, Freeman East, and St. John's. The city also has a fine park system that includes a golf course, three swimming pools, walking trails, the world's largest Chert Glades, and Missouri's largest natural waterfall, Grand Falls, on Shoal Creek just south of town. Included in Schifferdecker Park is the Everett J. Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Museum and Dorothea B. Hoover Historical Museum. The mineral museum feature a collection that rivals the Smithsonian with its contents.
Numerous buildings still exist in Joplin that are on the National Register of Historic Places. Joplin remains a regional economic powerhouse, with numerous trucking lines headquartered in town, as it is situated strategically near the geographic and population centers of the nation. Eagle-Picher Industries and F.A.G. Bearings are headquartered in Joplin, and Leggett & Platt (Fortune 500) is located in nearby Carthage. The city is served by the Joplin Regional Airport located north of town near Webb City.
In the nineties the city continued to expand eastward towards U.S. 71 (future I-49) and largescale development occurred along Rangeline Road, particularly around Northpark Mall. Growth has also occurred in many of the "bedroom communities" surrounding Joplin. Webb City, Neosho, Pittsburg, and Carthage all have populations of at least 10,000. There are numerous other suburbs that touch the city itself including Carl Junction, Duquesne, Airport Drive, Oronogo, Carterville, Reddings Mill , Shoal Creek Drive, Sunnyvale, Leawood, and Saginaw. The Joplin Metropoplitan Area is now well over 100,000 and during business hours the population of the city itself swells to near that number.
Joplin, Missouri is the birthplace of:
Joplin is located at 37°4'40" North, 94°30'40" West (37.077760, -94.511024).
Joplin is located just to the north of Highway I-44, near its passage to the west into Oklahoma. In recent years the settlements of Joplin have spread north to about Webb City. Route 66 passes through Joplin and town's name is mentioned in the lyrics to the song, "Route 66".
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 45,504 people, 19,101 households, and 11,517 families residing in the city. The population density is 559.2/km² (1,448.4/mi²). There are 21,328 housing units at an average density of 262.1/km² (678.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 91.44% White, 2.67% African American, 1.53% Native American, 0.74% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.98% from other races, and 2.59% from two or more races. 2.51% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 19,101 households out of which 27.5% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% are married couples living together, 12.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.7% are non-families. 32.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.28 and the average family size is 2.89.
In the city the population is spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 13.5% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $30,555, and the median income for a family is $38,888. Males have a median income of $28,569 versus $20,665 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,738. 14.8% of the population and 10.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 18.8% of those under the age of 18 and 9.4% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
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