JOPLIN, a city of Jasper county, Missouri, U.S.A., on Joplin creek, about 140 m. S. of Kansas City. Pop. (1890), 9943 (1900), 26,023, of whom 893 were foreign-born and 773 were negroes; (1 9 10 census) 32,073. It is served by the Missouri Pacific, the St Louis & San Francisco, the Missouri, Kansas & Texas, and the Kansas City Southern railways, and by interurban electric lines. The city has a fine court-house, a United States government building, a Carnegie library and a large auditorium. Joplin is the trade centre of a rich agricultural and fruit-growing district, but its growth has been chiefly due to its situation in one of the must productive zinc and lead regions in the country, for which it is the commercial centre. In 1906 the value of zinc-ore shipments from this MissouriKansas (or Joplin) district was $12,074,105, and of shipments of lead ore, $3,048,558. The value of Joplin's factory product in 1905 was $3,006,203, an increase of 2 9.3% since 1900. Natural gas, piped from the Kansas fields, is used for light and power, and electricity for commercial lighting and power is derived from plants on Spring River, near Vark, Kansas, and on Shoal creek. The municipality owns its electric-lighting plant; the water-works are under private ownership. The first settlement in the neighbourhood was made in 1838. In 1871 Joplin was laid out and incorporated as a town; in 1872 it and a rival town on the other side of Joplin creek were united under the name Union City; in 1873 Union City was chartered as a ctiy under the name Joplin; and in 1888 Joplin was chartered as a city of the third class. The city derives its name from the creek, which was named in honour of the Rev. Harris G. Joplin (c. 1810-1847), a native of Tennessee.
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