Although it is now considered a ghost town, Joplin, Virginia, was named after Joplin, Missouri. William Crow, a native of Jasper County, Missouri, and brother to former Missouri Attorney General E.C. Crow, settled in Virginia. He became a justice of the peace, notary public, and postmaster. As postmaster, he had the privilege of naming the small hamlet in Virginia. He chose the name Joplin. When asked why, Crow replied, “Because the postal department wanted a name with as few letters as possible, and one that would be easy to remember. When [I was] a boy, I made many visits to Joplin, Missouri, as I was reared at Carthage.”
Crow returned to Joplin, Missouri, in 1931, and recalled, “I remember when there was no Joplin, no Webb City, no Galena, Kansas. And as a boy I knew that country when it was all open and wild. Baxter Springs was an Indian trading post.” Upon finding out that Joplin had grown in the years since he had left, Crow remarked, “I can only say that anyone who leaves the boyhood home and remains away for 20 to 40 years should never visit that place; he is sure up for a great disappointment.”
When asked about the origins of Joplin, Montana, residents had no clue why the town was named Joplin. George L. Brennan, the agent for the Great Northern Railway, recalled that before 1909, Joplin, Montana, “was a blind-siding on the main line of the Great Northern Railway.” The area, he said, was used for sheep and cattle ranches until the federal government opened it up for settlement just before 1909, and an influx of settlers quickly snapped up all the available land. Some of these settlers may have been from the Joplin, Missouri, area. Today Joplin, Montana, has an estimated population of 210 residents.
If anyone is aware of any other hamlets, villages, towns, or cities named Joplin, let us know.
Source: Joplin Globe