Jasper County Courthouse

Jasper County Courthouse (HM136A)

Location: Joplin, MO 64801 Jasper County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 4.994', W 94° 30.739'

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Joplin, Missouri

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 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.
HM NumberHM136A
Year Placed1994
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 12:24pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 365582 N 4105175
Decimal Degrees37.08323333, -94.51231667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 4.994', W 94° 30.739'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 4' 59.64" N, 94° 30' 44.34" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)417
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 725-731 S Virginia Ave, Joplin MO 64801, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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