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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Webb City in Jasper County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

History of Webb City

 
 
History of Webb City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, April 5, 2021
1. History of Webb City Marker
Inscription.  Starting as a mining camp, the growth of Webb City, Missouri reached a population of more than 15,000 people in a period of about 25 years. Webb City occupied the central district of the largest lead and zinc mining area in the world. More than 100,000 people lived in the immediate area of the Webb City district. This included the city of Joplin.

While plowing a field on his farm one June morning in 1873, John C. Webb's plow hit a considerable sized rock causing his mules to come to an abrupt stop. Upon inspection of the sizable boulder, he discovered that he had found pure lead ore. While Webb knew the value of what he had uncovered, he pondered the discovery and continued to plant and cultivate his corn crop for the year.

In 1874, Webb tried his hand at mining. As soon as he would dig just a few feet deep, the mineshaft would promptly fill with water. After ordering a large pump and with the help of his prized mules, he was able to unearth a chunk of lead ore weighing more than 1,000 pounds. After discovering that mining was a laborious task with a continual race with water, he decided to hire experienced men to lease
History of Webb City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jason Voigt, April 5, 2021
2. History of Webb City Marker
Marker is located near the east edge of Webb City Historical Mining Park.
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his land on a royalty basis. This wise decision caused him to become the first millionaire in the area and the great mining boom of the Webb City area occurred. The Webb City district became known as the richest zinc and lead mining field in the world.

People came by railroad, covered wagons, horseback and afoot. They built shacks, stores, hotels, restaurants and saloons. By 1879, Webb City had a population exceeding 3,000 within the boundaries of the town. Allen Street, now Main St., was a bustling mass of men, horses, wagons and buggies. Webb City's appearance was shaping into a real metropolitan city by 1893. The business section of Allen Street stretched seven blocks with business buildings crowded closely together on each side. A hospital at Broadway and Tom provided operating space for the removal of limbs maimed or broken in mining accidents.

In 1918, the curtain fell on the mining boom in Webb City when the greatest ore strike in the history of the Tristate district was discovered in Oklahoma. The rush to get to the new mines fields was so great that the Webb City mines were closed in a matter of hours. Business and professional people of the city were stunned and so began to meet in the form of the Webb City Commercial Club, now the Webb City Chamber of Commerce. An average of 140 members met each week to talk about rebuilding the town. With great
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economic development and progressive minds, they brought a shoe factory, a leather factory and several other small businesses to Webb City. They encouraged existing industries to expand and the exodus from Webb City was slowed.

Route 66, also known as the Will Rogers Highway, the Main Street of America or the Mother Road, was one of the original U.S. Highways. Route 66 was established on November 11, 1926 with road signs erected the following year.

The highway, which became one of the most famous roads in America, originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, before ending at Los Angeles, covering a total of 2,448 miles (3,940 km). It was recognized in popular culture by both a hit song and the Route 66 television show in the 1960s.

Route 66 served as a major path for those who migrated west, especially during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, and it supported the economies of the communities through which the road passed. People doing business along the route became prosperous due to the growing popularity of the highway and those same people later fought to keep the highway alive in the face of the growing threat of being bypassed by the new Interstate Highway System.

Route 66 underwent many improvements and realignments over its lifetime, and it was officially
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removed from the United States Highway System on June 27, 1985 after it had been decided the route was no longer relevant. Portions of the road that passed through Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico and Arizona have been designated a National Scenic Byway of the name "Historic Route 66", which is returning to maps.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AgricultureIndustry & CommerceRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the U.S. Route 66 🛣️ series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1873.
 
Location. 37° 8.821′ N, 94° 27.523′ W. Marker is in Webb City, Missouri, in Jasper County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Broadway Street (Old U.S. 66) and North Devon Street. Marker is located at Webb City Historical Mining Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 500 E Broadway St, Webb City MO 64870, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Tri-State Mining District Rock Drill (a few steps from this marker); Tri-State Mining District Water Pump (a few steps from this marker); Dedicated to the Memory of Marion E. Perry and William H. Perry (a few steps from this marker); Tri-State Mining District Ore Bucket (a few steps from this marker); Tri-State Mining District Hoist (within shouting distance of this marker); Tri-State Mining District Conveyor Wheel (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome Visitors to Webb City, MO, Our "Gem" of the Ozarks (within shouting distance of this marker); Webb City Veterans Memorial (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Webb City.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 28, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois. This page has been viewed 49 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 28, 2021, by Jason Voigt of Glen Carbon, Illinois.

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Jun. 18, 2021