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Joplin in Jasper County, Missouri — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Jasper County Courthouse

Joplin, Missouri

 
 
Jasper County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 10, 2012
1. Jasper County Courthouse Marker
Inscription.
Jasper County, Missouri boasts two county courthouses -- one in Joplin and one in Carthage, the county seat. Actually, there could have been three county courthouses; Webb City also insisted upon having one. Bitter rivals in the 1890s, the three towns fought over where the county courthouse would be built. Joplin and Webb City refused to be taxed for constructing a courthouse in Carthage. Leaders of Carthage and Joplin came to physical blows over the dispute. A compromise was finally struck; two courthouses were built.

The cornerstone of the Joplin courthouse was laid May 8, 1894 with an elaborate ceremony attended by 15,000 people. Fifty-one organizations participated in the parade. City and county officials waxed eloquent, until a sudden spring thunderstorm broke up the festivities.

The courthouse was formally dedicated in April 1895. Joplin architect William B. Rees designed the brick and limestone building. Its ground dimensions were 58' x 78'; the corner tower stood 92' tall. The courthouse was typically Victorian in style, with its assymetrical shape, towers, mansard roof, and finials.

Unfortunately, the imposing structure barely survived into the 20th century. It succumbed to a disastrous fire on June 13, 1911. Starting at 2:30 p.m., when a can of disinfectant exploded in the basement; the flames
Jasper County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, pre/1912
2. Jasper County Courthouse Marker
quickly devoured the building. Insufficient water pressure prevented firefighters from containing the blaze. Quick-thinking county officials flung records into a vault before leaping from a second floor window. The building was declared a total loss at 25,000.

Except for its cornerstone, nothing remains of the 1894 Joplin courthouse. This monument, built near the original site, commemorates the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone and the spirit of optimism with which it was laid.
 
Erected 1994.
 
Location. 37° 4.994′ N, 94° 30.739′ W. Marker is in Joplin, Missouri, in Jasper County. Marker is on Virginia Avenue south of 7th Street (Missouri Route 66), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 711 Virginia Avenue, Joplin MO 64801, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Joplin World War II Memorial (about 800 feet away, measured in a direct line); Joplin Korean War and Vietnam War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Swartz & Malsbury Building (approx. mile away); Quinby Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Connor Hotel
Jasper County Courthouse Cornerstone, Marker, and Photo image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 10, 2012
3. Jasper County Courthouse Cornerstone, Marker, and Photo
(approx. 0.4 miles away); Joplin (approx. 1.9 miles away); Schiffedecker Park (approx. 2.1 miles away); Battle of Rader's Farm (approx. 2.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Joplin.
 
Also see . . .
1. Jasper County History. (Submitted on July 23, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. A History of Jasper County, Missouri, and its people (1912). (Submitted on July 23, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Jasper County Courthouse Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., March 10, 2012
4. Jasper County Courthouse Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 23, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 290 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on July 23, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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