The Architectural Legacy of Garstang & Rea: The Arthur H. Waite House in Joplin

Arthur H. Waite House in Joplin Missouri

The subject of today’s post in the Alfred W. Rea portfolio series is still found at 616 S. Sergeant Avenue, the Arthur H. Waite house. Waite arrived in Joplin in 1880 at the age of 27. He grew up splitting rails in Nebraska and at the age of 21, applied and received a job at the country bank in Brownville, Nebraska. Thus began a lifetime career in the banking industry. Eventually he rode a “hog train” to St. Joseph, Missouri, and worked as a book keeper at the Merchant State Bank for Thomas Tootle. Tootle, meanwhile, was a partner of Joplin founding father, Patrick Murphy, in the ownership of the Miner’s Bank. It was a job at Miner’s Bank, located in the same building as the old Joplin Hotel, that brought Waite to Joplin.

Miners Bank in Joplin Hotel

Magnified here is the corner of the Old Joplin Hotel, displaying the Miners Bank sign, where Waite first worked in Joplin.


Joplin National Bank at Keystone Hotel

The Joplin National Bank at the Keystone Hotel where Waite worked.


Arthur H. Waite of Joplin MIssouri

Arthur H. Waite


Later on, Waite took a job as cashier at the Joplin National Bank, which for a time was located in the Keystone Hotel building. Eventually, Waite rose to the position of president of the bank. Established as a major figure in the Joplin banking community, he was the president of the Joplin National Bank and Trust Company, the Missouri Bankers Association, Jasper County Bankers’ Association and was a member of the Elks Lodge in Joplin.

Waite remained involved in banking and in the house that Garstang & Rea designed until his death in April, 1934.

Arthur H. Waite House in Joplin Present Day

The Arthur H. Waite House present day.

The Early Mayors of Joplin

The city of Joplin came into existence in 1873.  Since that time period, there have been a number of mayors.  Below is our attempt to slowly build up a convenient list of Joplin’s early leaders.  Eventually, each mayor will also have their own post which will offer more detailed information about these early leaders and the roles they played in the city’s development.

1873

Elliot R.  Moffett

1874

.

Lee Taylor

+

J.H. McCoy (finished Taylor’s Term)

1875

Patrick Murphy

 

1876

 

F.J. Thompson

 

1877 – 1878

Frank E. Williams

 

1879

 

F.M. Roberts

 

1880 – 1881

W.E. Maynard

1882 – 1883

Galen Spencer

 

1884

W.B. Halyard

 

1885 – 1886

A.B. McCarty

 

1887

 

J.L. Briggs

 

1888

 

C. Livingston

 

1889 – 1892

 

R.B. Tyler

R.B. Tyler

 

1893 – 1894

W.B. Halyard

 

1895 – 1896

E.D. Porter

 

1897 – 1898

T.W. Cunningham

1899 – 1900

J.H. Spencer

J.H. Spencer

 

1901 – 1902

J.C. Trigg

 

1903 – 1904

T.W. Cunningham

 

1905 – 1906

 

C.W.  Lyon

 

1907 – 1908

Jesse F. Osborne

 

1909 – 1910

Guy Humes

Guy T. Humes

 

1911 – 1914 (to April 20)

Jesse F. Osborne

 

If you have photographs of the above listed men or documents connected to them, we’d love to share them here on Historic Joplin.

Patrick Murphy Living History Event, March 17, 2011

For those of you who might want to learn more about one of Joplin’s most successful Irish immigrants, The Dream Theatre Company and Historic Murphysburg Preservation Inc, will be putting on a living history event on the life and times of Patrick Murphy tonight from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the First United Methodist Church and the Olivia Apartments.

For more details, check out this link.

The Murphy Mansion

In 1889, a reporter with the Joplin News Herald met with P. Monneron, architect of Patrick Murphy’s new mansion. According to Leslie Simpson’s From Lincoln Logs to To Lego Blocks: How Joplin Was Built, the house was a prime example of the Romanesque Revival style of architecture. Located at 402 Wall, the Herald reporter described the house as follows:
 
“The building will comprise cellar and two stories. The ground plan somewhat irregular in outline to conform with the artist’s design of the superstructure, is about 40×60 feet. The basement will be constructed of a 24 inch stone wall, rising above the surface sufficiently to afford ample light and ventilation to the cellar. The portion above ground will be constructed of cut stone. In the cellar will be located the furnace and boiler for heating the entire structure by steam. It will in addition furnish ample room for all other purposes.”
 
The reporter remarked that the location of the house was “the handsomest building site in the vincinity of Joplin, lying directly south of the cemetery. The tract contains forty a cres, a greater part of which is already set in trees.” The land had a small rise on which Murphy planned to build the house so that it sat a reported 21 feet above a nearby reservoir.
 
The house itself was situated so that it faced east with a carriage drive “with walks on either side and lines of shade trees flanking both.” There was a second entrance located at the north end of the property. It too would be lined with trees and passed behind the house and on to the barn. The house itself had a “wide veranda with receding angles below; a short stretch of balcony in front of the upper story and a tower reaching a height of fifty feet rising from the southeast corner.” With a total of 17 rooms, the house cost an estimated $8,000. In today’s money, with inflation taken into consideration, the house would probably cost around $200,000 to build today.

Sources: Joplin News Herald, Leslie Simpson’s From Lincoln Logs to To Lego Blocks: How Joplin Was Built.

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.”

The Reminiscences of G.O. Boucher – Part I

In the early months of 1910, a Globe reporter stopped by the home of G.O. Boucher at the corner of Joplin and Twentieth Streets to interview him about historic Joplin.  Boucher gladly obliged him.  Here at Historic Joplin our philosophy is to allow the voices of the past speak for themselves in their own words with as little interference as possible, even if we abhor the usage of some of the language used.  For those sensitive to the use of racial slurs, it may be for the best to skip this entry as it does include some graphic language.   What follows are Boucher’s recollections in his own words as they appeared in the Joplin Globe.

“I came from Mineralville in the spring of 1871 in company with John Sergeant, at that time a partner of E.R. Moffet.  They were the first men to start the wheel rolling for the building of the present city of Joplin.  Among the men who were interested in this undertaking were Pat Murphy and W.P. Davis who laid out the first forty acres in town lots, on which the largest and most valuable buildings of the city now stand.

The first air furnace built in the Joplin mining district was constructed by Moffet and Sergeant.  T. Casady, a man from Wisconsin, handled the first pound of mineral which was smelted in this district in the mill erected by them.  The smelter was located in the Kansas City Bottoms between East and West Joplin.  A. Campbell, H. Campbell, A. McCollum, and myself were the first smelter employees in this district.  The fuel used in the smelter was cordwood and dry fence rails, which were hauled from the surrounding country.  The first men who handled rails and sold to the smelters were Warren Fine and Squire Coleman, the latter now living in Newton County.

The hotel accommodations at that time were poor and the first ‘beanery’ was a 24×16 foot shack erected by H. Campbell.  His family occupied the house and they boarded the smelter crew.  We found sleeping quarters wherever we could find room to pitch our tents. the boys would stretch their tents and then forage enough straw to make a bed and this was the only home known to them.  E.R. Moffet and myself slept in the smelter shed on a pile of straw and for some time we slept in the furnace room on the same kind of bed.  About the last of August of the same year Mr. Campbell erected what was then quite a building.  It was two stories high, four rooms on the ground floor, and two above.  This was at the southwest corner of Main and First Streets, now called Broadway.  Just about this time Davis and Murphy began the erection of a store building just across the street from the hotel.

Photograph of one of Joplin's first hotels, the Bateman Hotel

Another early hotel was the Bateman hotel, moved from Baxter, Kansas, to Joplin in 1872. It promptly burned down three years later.

Speaking of the first business building erected in Joplin, William Martin built a 16×16 box building on Main Street between First and Second Streets and put in about $125 worth of groceries and a small load of watermelons.  Soon after this, a man known as ‘Big Nigger Lee’ established a grocery store on the opposite side of the street from Martin.  He put in a larger stock but did not have as good a trade as Martin on account of having no watermelons.  Some of the older residents remember ‘Big Nigger’ Lee as he was in business here for several years.”

More to come from the reminiscences of G.O. Boucher and in the future, Historic Joplin will address the issue of racism in Joplin to provide a clearer picture of how hatred affected the city’s African American citizens.

Source: Joplin Globe, “A History of Jasper County, Missouri, and Its People,” by Joel T. Livingston.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the Connor Hotel Restaurant

…only requirement is a time machine.

Of those who lived in Joplin, the city claimed not a few number of sons of Ireland.  Some of the city’s wealthiest citizens, such as Patrick Murphy and Thomas Connor, were the children of Irish immigrants or born in Ireland.  In a tip o’ the hat to Joplin’s Irish, presented below is a menu ad for the Connor Hotel’s restaurant.  The Connor, named after Thomas Connor, was once the architectural centerpiece of Joplin’s downtown.  Not bad for a true son of Ireland.

An ad for the restaurant at the Connor Hotel

A 1923 ad for the restaurant at the Connor Hotel

Source:  Joplin Globe

The Miners Bank

As the riches of the mining fields of Jasper County drew investors, miners, and speculators in the 1870s, the need for a banking institution was obvious. One of the first men to step into this void was one of the fathers of modern day Joplin, Patrick Murphy, originally of Carthage. He and an associate established the town of Murphysburg, which later merged to form Joplin in 1873, and two years later, Murphy opened the Banking House of Patrick Murphy. A two story brick building, it was located on Main Street between Second and Third Streets. Murphy’s endeavor was a success.

A sketch of Patrick Murphy in his prime.

A sketch of Patrick Murphy in his prime.

Such was the success that the financial institution attracted investors and in 1877, the Banking House of Patrick Murphy was re-chartered and organized as the Miners Bank of Joplin. Murphy served as the first president of the bank, and was followed by Thomas E. Tootle. The first head cashier was Frank Kershaw. Kershaw’s successor was A.H. Waite. Most customers would have more likely known and recognized C.H. Spencer, who served as head cashier for at least sixteen years leading up to 1906. Local magnate Thomas Connor had served two terms as bank president. In fact, the board of directors included many of the wealthier citizens of the city, such as Connor, Howard C. Murphy, Edward Zelleken, C.W. Glover, and H.O. Bartlett.

Miners Bank in Joplin Hotel

Magnified here is the corner of the Joplin Hotel, displaying the Miners Bank sign.

Miners Bank’s success was also reflected in its financial holdings. At its inception the bank held $25,000, by 1890 this was increased to $50,000 and a year later doubled to $100,000. Due to growth of its assets and the increasing number of depositors, Miners Bank moved from its location between Second and Third to take up residence to offices in the Joplin Hotel, and there remained from about 1885 to 1905. Over a slightly longer period of time than its stay at the Joplin Hotel, reported deposits at the bank grew from $35,700 to $949,000. Loans increased from $6,500 to $425,000. Cash on hand went from $15,000 to a bank robber’s dream of $97,000. Figures from 1905 listed the six most successful banks by deposits, and the Miners Bank was first and foremost, besting its nearest competition by more than $55,000. Until the bank’s move in 1905 from the Joplin Hotel, its chief competitor and runner up in the 1905 figures was the Joplin National Bank, located just across the intersection situated on the bottom floor of the Keystone Hotel.

Miners Bank opening

The Miners Bank building as featured in an article announcing its opening.

The move in 1905 may have been prompted by the plans of Thomas Connor to raze the three story Joplin Hotel with plans to build a larger, grander establishment, or may simply have been due to the banking institution’s success. The bank’s new home was just a block away from Main Street, where Fourth Street intersected with Joplin Street. The new building was described by one of Joplin’s paper as a “beautiful modern building, with elevators and all modern conveniences.” The offices were equally beautiful and constructed of marble, tile and steel. Designed by August Michaelis, one of Joplin’s most prolific and talented architects, the building was designed to accommodate an additional four more stories should the need arise. It was built at a cost of $125,000 by the firm of C.A. Dieter who later oversaw the construction the Connor Hotel.

The Miners Bank building sometime after its opening, but before a prominent sign

Another photograph of Miners Bank not long after it opened.

From July 1st of 1905, Miners Bank inhabited the ground floor, leaving the upper floors open to paying tenants, architect Michaelis included, and remained there until 1930 when it merged with Conqueror First National Bank. After the merger, the bank moved back to Main Street for the first time in twenty-five years, and with its departure ended an illustrious history that began in 1877. The last home of Miners Bank remained in use until a disastrous fire prompted its demolition in 1982.

Miners bank a few years after its opening.

The Miners Bank building a few years after its opening.

Miners Bank on corner of Fourth and Joplin Streets

A view of the Miners Bank building in context at the intersection of Fourth and Joplin Streets.

Sources: Missouri Digital History, Joplin News Herald, and the Story of Joplin by Dolph Shaner.