The Reminiscences of G.O. Boucher: Part III

Boucher opens Joplin’s first saloon

“The price of town lots in Joplin in those days would hardly compare with the prices of today.  On the northwest corner of Main and Second streets were two vacant lots an through advice of Pat Murphy I bought them for $25.  I built a small building and September 1, 1871, J.C.  McCurdy and myself opened up the first regular saloon in Joplin.  At this time this was the tenth building finished in West Joplin.  It was later moved to the alley where it now fronts the police station.  It was used for some time as the Herald office.  As well as I remember, the saloon had been running about three weeks, business was good, and the miners crowded the place from opening until closing time.  One day a miner wandered in and asked: ‘When do you scrub out here?’ Now I had never given the scrubbing proposition a thought and I said, ‘Well, I expect it does need scrubbing, but where is a fellow to get the water?’ ‘Well,’ said the miner, ‘I will go hitch up old Nell and haul a barrel of water from down on the corner.’  We went to work and this is the way the first saloon in Joplin received its first scrubbing.

1872 Street Scene of Joplin, Missouri

A street scene from Joplin in 1872.

Sources: Joplin Globe, Joel T. Livingston’s “A History of Jasper County, Missouri, and her people.”


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