This image is taken from a 1906 issue of the Joplin News-Herald. It depicts a scene from Joplin’s famed House of Lords. The House of Lords was a world reknowned saloon, brothel, and political watering hole. Gilbert Barbee, who was Jasper County’s Democratic political boss (when he wasn’t sharing the title with William Phelps of Carthage), bought an interest in the Joplin Globe in 1899. From that point forward, Barbee used the Globe as a cudgel against his Republican opponents, who often took their own swipes at Barbee. Barbee, who built a walkway between his office at the Globe and the House of Lords, was intimately associated with the saloon. This cartoon is the News-Herald‘s attempt to link Barbee to the brawls and violence of the House of Lords, a cunning parallel to the political battles he often fought against rivals and opponents at the state and local levels. Despite his politically combative demeanor, Barbee left $100,000 to the poor in the city of Joplin upon his death.
Sources: Joplin News Herald