(November 24, 1868 - April 1, 1917)
Black composer Scott Joplin, often called the "King of Ragtime Music", was born in Texarkana, Texas, five years before the townsite was platted in 1873. His family lived in this vicinity, and he attended nearby Orr School on Laurel Street. His early musical training came from his father, Giles Joplin, an ex-slave who played the fiddle, and mother, Florence Givens Joplin, who played the banjo. By tradition, a German music teacher realized Joplin's talent and gave him lessons.
Joplin left home at age 14 and wandered through the midwest entertaining in saloons and honky-tonks. In the 1890s, he was one of the originators of ragtime, a rhythmic new musical form that combined black and white musical traditions. Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag", published in 1899, launched ragtime as a national fad. Joplin defended ragtime against those who called it frivolous and worked constantly to refine his music, which included over 30 piano rags. Demand for ragtime had declined by 1917, when Joplin died in New York City.
Joplin's background is revealed in his most ambitious work, the black folk opera "Treemonisha", set on a plantation "northeast
Erected 1976 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 9490.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment. A significant historical year for this entry is 1873.
Location. 33° 25.796′ N, 94° 2.599′ W. Marker is in Texarkana, Texas, in Bowie County. Marker is at the intersection of North State Line Avenue (U.S. 71) and Hazel Street, on the right when traveling south on North State Line Avenue. Located behind the Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, near the James Bowie statue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 901 North State Line Avenue, Texarkana TX 75501, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. James Bowie (a few steps from this marker); Central Christian Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Texarkana (within shouting distance of this marker); Texarkana World War I Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away); United States Post Office and Courthouse (approx. 0.3 miles away); Confederate Mothers Monument (approx. 0.4 miles away); St. James Episcopal Church Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Texarkana.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article about Scott Joplin. (Submitted on August 7, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. Texas State Historical Association article about Scott Joplin. (Submitted on August 7, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 24, 2020. It was originally submitted on August 7, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 535 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 7, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.