JOPLIN, MO – The city of Joplin celebrated a milestone today.
“And Henry Blackwell purchased the first lot and built a home on the northwest corner of Cox and Central where we stand today.” Says Brad Belk, MSSU Community Historian.
It may look like any other intersection in Joplin, but this one holds historic significance for the city of Joplin.
“You know if you don’t sell the lot, the community doesn’t start to begin to grow, once they plotted it, when John C. Cox did that with the understanding that we are going to build residence, we’re going to build commercial buildings and I’m not sure they ever dreamt where we’d be today.” Says Brad Belk, MSSU Community Historian.
Belk says John C. Cox, who was the first to settle in the area, laid out the first mining community east of Joplin Creek and called it Joplin City.
Lots in Joplin City went on sale 150 years ago today, July 28th, 1871, with the first one purchased by Henry Blackwell.
“Every community has to have a starting point and a building block, and this is one of the first building blocks so it’s very. very historically significant.” Says Belk.
Belk says the next milestone will be celebrated this fall on September 11th for the platting of what was called Murphysburg.
“I take great pride in this, I get to be standing here where the community originated and uh being able to speak to the 150th anniversary of it’s platting, that’s a real honor, I don’t know that most people, even those of us who live here, understand the impact of this community on the nation and what it means to the Four State Area, I mean Joplin is the metro center.” Says Lane Roberts, State Representative, 161st District.
Belk says these two platting’s lead up to an even bigger anniversary to come, Joplin’s 150th anniversary.
“Building up to a grand crescendo uh with the establishment of Joplin Missouri on March 23rd, 1873, but we’ll be celebrating it in 2023.” Says Belk.