Gryphon Building Finds Tenants

Good news reported by the Joplin Globe this Sunday, the Gryphon Building which had been in search of tenants is now at approximately 65% full. The Globe reported the new inhabitants being, “The first tenant was the U.S. Treasury Department, which occupied its space Sept. 17. The other tenants are Employer Advantage, Stouffer Communications, Sunrise Media Group, Reliance Communications, Onshore Technologies and Localbase. These companies are occupying the third through fifth floors.”

Joining the above mentioned is the Gryphon Business Development Center, Bourne Logistics, as well a restaurant which will serve lunch and dinner, and also have a bar.  Purportedly, the restaurant will be run by a successful local area restaurateur.

One of the key elements of saving Joplin’s historic buildings is making sure that they find that new life as homes to either people or businesses.  So good news for the Gryphon building!

Source: Joplin Globe

In Anticipation of Thanksgiving

In 1902, the eighteen newsboys of the Joplin News-Herald arrived at Turner’s Café at noon in anticipation of a free Thanksgiving Day meal. Mr. I.S. Vaughn, head of city circulation, his assistant, William S. Moss, and Mrs. Moss, escorted the boys from the News-Herald office to Turner’s Café where they found a lavish spread set for them. The boys dined on the following fare:
Cream of Fowl soup
Oyster soup
Roast sirloin of beef with brown gravy
Leg of mutton
Stuffed young turkey
Cranberry sauce
Baked lake trout au gratin
Black bass fried
Hollandaise potatoes
French peas in cream
Baked sweet potatoes
Hot corn bread
Steamed fruit pudding
Hot mine and pumpkin pie
Tea, coffee, sweet milk, or buttermilk
If that doesn’t get you in the Thanksgiving mood, then nothing will.

Source: Joplin News Herald

Joplin Goes to War: 1898 – Letters Home III

The Post Office for the camp.

Previously, we told you about the men of Joplin who marched off to war as Company G of the 2nd Missouri Volunteer Infantry. Today we bring you the third of three letters from those men. The third comes from Robert E. Jones (Jones’ other letter was a previous post here), who wrote from Camp Thomas, Chickamauga, Georgia, dated around June 20, 1898 to the Joplin News Herald:

“The regular drill, drill, drill is the only thing that disturbs the monotony of our camp life now.  The boys are all in good health, and hardly any of them are absent from drill now on account of sickness.  Lieut. Shepard, on account of his health, has been forced to sever his connections with the commissary department, but is rapidly improving under the rest and quiet of outdoor life which is granted him by the activity of Lieut. Duckett, who although not very large in stature, is full of energy and takes the drilling of the company entirely in his own hands.

Lieutenants Shepard (left) & Duckett (right)

The boys never report on the sick list on Sunday morning unless feeling very bad, for there are no drills to dodge on that day by so doing, and they want to have liberty to go where they please, as they are expected to stay in their quarters when ill and excused from drills.

The Second today received about 600 Springfield rifles to go towards arming the regiment.  It is understood that the remainder of the new guns apportioned to us will be received in a day or two.  They are of the 1898 model, almost like those we have now, only brand new.  Companies I and M, the newly organized, unequipped companies will be fitted out first and the older companies will receive what is coming to them later.

New recruits for the regiment have arrived to the number of nearly 100.  Thirty-two came in Sunday morning, of whom eight were Joplin boys.  The new victims have to undergo a great deal of good natured chanting when they first arrive, but all take it in good humor and they are a willing lot of fellows.  Co. G has received seven new recruits so far.  they are being drilled as rapidly as possible by non-coms, and seem to “catch on” readily.

The Y.M.C.A. is doing a rushing business in every way.  Sunday morning and afternoon services were held in the big tent and were attended by good-sized audiences of young men from the neighboring camps.

The boys of Co. G are going in for solid comfort in the way of sleeping accommodations.  Some of them have snug little cots made from the canes that grow here along the creek, to which several have added the luxury of ticks full of straw or twigs from pine cedar or willow trees.

Sergeant Means has received his wheel from Joplin and now pedals his way to and from the points of interest instead of walking as heretofore.

Lieut. Duckett was heard to remark this afternoon that photo buttons were getting to be quite the thing in Co. G now.  He was doubtless referring to Fred Hinkley’s “Coon” Riseling, and several others who were wearing their sweetheart’s pictures pinned onto their uniforms.

Girls are few and far between here and are made much of when they do visit or even stop at our camp.  Yesterday morning a party of young ladies from Chattanooga, in a large carriage, stopped for some information at our camp, and had quite a time getting away from the gallant boys of the Second, who insisted on their stopping awhile with a result that it was an hour before they could proceed on their way.  They took the situation in good humor and promised to come again, but whether they will or not we do not know.  But come on, girls, you’ll always be welcome at the Second Missouri’s camp.

Men of Company G

We are looking for the return of Capt. Spears in a week or two, and are endeavoring  to keep up our good record while he is away.

Robt. E. Jones ”

Sources: History of the Second Regiment, Joplin News Herald

Joplin Goes to War: 1898 – Letters Home II

The Post Office for the camp.

Previously, we told you about the men of Joplin who marched off to war as Company G of the 2nd Missouri Volunteer Infantry. Today we bring you the second of three letters from those men. The second comes from Robert E. Jones, who wrote from Camp Thomas, Chickamauga, Georgia, dated around June 21, 1898 to the Joplin News Herald:

“Editor Herald – Co. G. has just come in from company and battalion drill, and the boys are lying around cleaning up guns for inspection tomorrow, washing clothes, and doing other necessary camp work.  Some of the Joplin people would smile at the sight of their sons bending over tubs full of hot water, scrubbing away like regular “Bridgets,” but the boys are getting “onto the hang of it” pretty well, and take to washing almost as kindly as they did at first to drilling.

We are happy over the prospect of receiving new guns, for at inspection Monday a number of the guns of the company were condemned and new ones will be issued to us, although it is thought hardly probable that the entire company will get new ones.

We are enjoying very good mail facilities now.  Mail comes twice a day now, at noon and 6 o’clock in the evening.  The boys rush for it as eagerly, however, as when we received it once a day.  When the trumpeter at headquarters blows his call for first sergeants at mail hours, the boys congregate at the head of the company street, and when sergeant Tschappler comes with the precious packages he is surrounded by a crowd of boys anxious to know “if there is one for me.”  The papers usually come at noon, and the boys thus have a chance to read them before afternoon drill, which comes at 3:30.

The work of the recruiting officers at home is already evident, for 24 men from Springfield and vicinity arrived this morning and were distributed two to each company in the regiment.  They are all healthy, strong looking fellows, and will be valuable additions to the companies.  The two apportioned company G are from Springfield, and seem to be very nice fellows.

The sick list of Company G is gratifyingly small just now.  there was only one man in the company excused from drill yesterday because of illness.  A good many of the boys have very sore arms, but they drill all the same.

The Y.M.C.A. is a hustling success in every way.  Bible classes are held every day at 1 o’clock and are usually very well attended.  The song services at night are also very much enjoyed by the boys, and every night religious and patriotic hymns may be heard at the tent.  “Home, Sweet Home” for some reason is very popular.

Men of Company G

Lient. Duckett handles the company on battalion drills and regimental drills like an old veteran.  Lient. Shepard’s duties at the commissary department, preventing him from very much drilling.

The boys are excellently settled in camp now, and should we be compelled to stay here all summer, they are fixed for it.  Nearly all of them have made beds out of timer from along the creek, and covered with hay, straw, boughs, etc.  In some of the tents there are huge beds big enough for six or eight men.

Robt. E. Jones ”

Source: History of the Second Regiment

Joplin Goes to War: 1898 – Letters Home

The Post Office for the camp.

Previously, we told you about the men of Joplin who marched off to war as Company G of the 2nd Missouri Volunteer Infantry.  Today we bring you the first of three letters from those men.  The first comes from Fred Hinkley, who wrote from Camp Thomas, Chickamauga, Georgia, dated June 19, 1898 to the Joplin News Herald:

“As this is Sunday and all drills are dispensed with I will inform the Joplin people of the doings of the Second Missouri, at Chickamauga.  We had the most rigid inspection by Major-General Slocum Monday that the Second has undergone.  It was for the purpose of determining if the Second should go to the front or stay here; also to condemn guns.  We will receive our new guns tomorrow and our ordinance supplies in a few days.

The Major in conversation with Col. Caffee said that out of nine regiments inspected there were two very good, the Second being one of them, and further, that if his word went for anything, the Second should be the first regiment out after the South Carolina men which will go first as Gen. Lee asked the War Department to have that regiment assigned to his command.

The new recruits are arriving now in squads of twenty-five, the first to reach here being the detail from Springfield which arrived Friday morning.  The next detail to arrive was from Sedalia with 22 men, and the Joplin recruits arrived this morning 32 in number.

The men are distributed among the companies.  Company G now having seven recruits, but none from Joplin.  The recruits are taken charge of by the First Sergeant, shown the rules and regulations of a regular, then turned over to the cooks who have them carry a little water and wood just to get used to it.

One of the new men assigned to Company G fell in for mess call and when the cooks gave him black coffee and bread without butter he turned to the boys and said, “Boys, I wasn’t raised in a castle, but I cannot drink coffee without milk or eat bread without butter,” and he handed his dinner to one of the men, but this morning he was noticed going back the second time for more “bare-footed” coffee.

The health of the regiment and especially of Company G, is fine, they not having a man for the hospital this morning.

Men of Company G


Sergeant Watson and Kid got leave of absence this morning for six hours, and went blackberrying.  About 2 hours later they returned with a tomato can about half full and said they would take an oath that they had to walk 10 miles for them, but later the boys found out that they had got lost and gave a farmer 20 cents to haul them back to camp.

Sergeant Tschappler is one of the busiest men in camp and when not on duty he is very busy writing a book.  He writes about 40  pages, puts it in an envelope, sends it to Carthage, and it doesn’t go to the book bindery either.

The Joplin recruits brought Private McCullough’s pet coon with them.  It has been in camp about 9 hours and has bitten only 9 of the boys.

On account of the fracas at Lytle last Sunday no one is allowed to go to Lytle without a written permit signed by the colonel.

Lytle Depot

Sergeant Sansom has been on the sick list for several days but is a great deal better tday.

The boys were all pleased to see “Cholly” Burnham but were greatly disappointed when he was assigned to Company A of Carthage.

Private Dunwoody and Eckhart are two of the sickest (love-sick) men we have in camp.

Corporal Kelley is now one of the proudest men in camp.  He has a beard of the strawberry variety that would make a New York policeman leave his beat in disgust.

One of the men in our company concluded that it was too warm to drill Saturday morning so he hied himself to the Y.M.C.A. tent about drill time but Sergeant Tschappler happened to call the roll and he was hunted up and given 12 hours in the guard house and six day’s extra duty.

A Chicago corporal got himself in the guard house by getting gay when Gen. Brooke approached.  The corporal had a vague idea that when so distinguished an officer approached he should be complimented by a general salutation of the guard.  His order should have been, “Turn out the guard for the commanding officer,” but he became disconcerted and just as the general reached his tent, the corporal bawled out, “Turn out de push and duck: here comes de main guy.”

You can tell the Joplin people to look out for soldier’s letters, as everyone is broke and stamps are at a premium.

Fred T. Hinckley”

Source: History of the Second Regiment, Joplin News Herald

Joplin Off to War: 1898

In 1898, the U.S. engaged in what U.S. Secretary of State John Hay described as a, “splendid little war.” Thousands of men from across the country volunteered for military service. Only a few actually engaged in combat in Cuba, the rest were stuck state-side in camps across the South.

The Second Regiment of Misssouri Infantry was comprised of companies from Pierce City, Lamar, Nevada, Clinton, Carthage, Joplin, Butler, Sedalia, Springfield, and Jefferson City, Missouri. The regimental headquarters were located in Carthage where it was designated, “Second Regiment of the Missouri National Guard.” The regiment then mobilized at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis on May 6, 1898, and were mustered into service a few days later. The total strength of the regiment when mobilized was 1,031 officers and men.

Shortly thereafter, the regiment was sent to Chickamuaga, Georgia, and was brigaded with the Ninth Pennsylvania and the First New Hampshire in the Third Brigade, Third Division, First Army Corps. At this time the regiment’s strength increased to 1, 337 officers and men.

Lytle Depot near Chickamauga, Georgia, where Company G was located.

Company G was from Joplin and was made up of the following officers and men:

Captain — Robert A. Spears.

First Lt. — E.L. “Lee” Shepherd

Second Lt. — E.E. Duckett

Captain Spears, Leiutenant Shepherd, and Lieutenant Ducket.

First Sgt. — A.S. Tschappler

Sgts. — C.W. Calvin., A.M. Kidd, F.W. Sansom, D.D. Watson, H.D. Mears

Cpls. — E.J. Boggs, Wm. Jones, Jas. Kelly, A.S. Owen, C.A. Warren, L.M. Ingraham, R.G. Boreing, David  Garrison, Frank Smith, F.T. Hinckley, T.F. Clary, Wm. St. Clair

Musicians — W. Axton, Ben Ebling

Wagoner — Charles Monson

Artificer — C.W. Sloan

Privates: Jesse Axton, J.N. Baily, J.T. Bean, Chas. Bierman, Wm. Botkin, R.E. Barnett, E.E. Brubaker, Jerry Butts, Jas. Clary, Will Clary, C.M. Chenoworth, E.E. Colier, Ben Cory, E.J. Crampton, Jay Dunwoody, Chas. E. Dewitt, Claude Flemming, Jason Fellows, M.P. Fox, G.K. Freeman, Roy Greer, Chas. Gould, Jas. Gilmore, Y.A. Hays, Wyle Hodshier, H.H. Hoback, Clyde Hites,  Logan Horner, J.T. Howard, Henry Helm, A.J. Halterman, Wm. Johnson, R.E. Jones, C.D. Johnson, Jos. Jirauch, S.H. Jones, Fred Kinner, Fred Kerr, Lester Loy, Walter Laud, A.O. Lanyan, H.H. Lewis, Jeff D. Long, Dennis Landon, Harley McCullough, Percy Mylius, L.R. Nugent, J.E. Nischwitz, H.W. Neff, Otto Nickoleson, Norton Oliver, Harry Plimmer, J.D. Penrose, Frank Reha, C.J. Rhoads, Wm. F. Rice, Chas. E. Rice, Thomas Rogers, E.S. Riseling, H.W. Ryan, J.E. Smith, Chas. Shafer, Henry Saulesbury, C.V. Spyres, H.S. Shyrock, C.H. Smith, Nick Spore, Patrick Spore, Newel Short, Frank Treganza, G.A. Thompson, Thos. Thomason, A. Woodward, Melvin Walls, Walter Wilkes, Louie Watzdorf, and Geo. Zietler.

Company G - click to access larger version.

The regiment suffered one fatality: Private E.E. Brubeker died September 20, 1898 of typhoid fever.

C.W. Hudson and George M. Eckhart were transferred to the Hospital Corps and Walter Ladd was discharged for disability.

Below are more photographs of life in the camp where Company G was located:

The Mule Corral

The American Tobacco Company arrived in camp to offer "the boys" some "Battle Ax" and "Dukes Mixture" tobacco.

Sunday Morning Inspection

The Guard House with the men entrusted with guarding the encampment.

Some prisoners at the Guardhouse, hopefully none from Company G.

Source: History of the Second Regiment

A Splendid Monument of Joplin Enterprise

On March 24th, 1901, visitors flooded into the newly opened home to the Joplin chapter of the Young Men’s Christian Association.  Located at the intersection of Fourth and Virginia streets, the three story building was an achievement for the YMCA, if limited.

Established in February, 1891, the Joplin YMCA had 49 active members and 94 associated members.  Elected as the first president was J.H. Dangerfield with C.H. Adams as his secretary.  By its seventh year, the organization had opted to purchase and build a home for itself in Joplin in April of 1897.  The selected site was the then location for the Haven Opera House, which sat on the northwest corner of Virginia and 4th Streets.  For the near prime 4th and Main Street location, the YMCA paid $4,500 and allowed the opera house to continue operation until the end of the theatrical season.  It was a necessary wait, as the YMCA did not yet have the funds to begin the construction of their new building.  Nor did it believe it would raise such funds swiftly, as it entered into a contract to lease the property to the Studebaker Manufacturing Company.

The Joplin Globe stated at the time, “In purchasing the Haven opera house they have selected the best location in all the city for such a public building, and they have a nucleus of such a substantial nature that success is a foregone conclusion in securing the much needed new building.”

Gartang & Rea's plan for a 5 story YMCA building.

It was just shy of a year later that plans for the building were formally released for the public’s consumption.  The Globe boasted of the proposed design, “The building will be large and costlier than any association building ever erected in a city the size of Joplin and will surpass in elegance an convenience most of those erected in cities of greater size.  It will be, when completed, a splendid monument of Joplin enterprise and of its fostering care toward the young men of the city.”

The architects behind the design were Joplin architects Charles Edward Garstang and Alfred W. Rea, of Garstang & Rea.  The men presented a five story building which was to feature a gymnasium located on the 4th floor with a ceiling which stretched up into the 5th floor where a viewing gallery was situated.  Other proposed features were locker rooms for members and guests, as well as sleeping quarters, a camera room with dark room, a reading room, library, and a members and guests correspondent rooms.  Not to be neglected, a small barbershop was also planned for the building.

Groundbreaking occurred on September 29, 1900, and at a cost of $150,000, the YMCA’s home was built, including the cost of furnishings.  The aspirations of the YMCA had been restrained with only a three story building as the finished product.  Never the less, the Globe commented, “If no religious fervor toward the uplifting and saving of young men’s souls fills your heart even then you will be proud of their quarters as a building and a credit to Joplin, for it is certainly a beautiful place.”

The article on the opening described a rotunda located at the top of a stairway which lead from the main entrance.  The floor was tiled linoleum with dark wooden pillars about the room and chairs of the same color to match.  To the right of the rotunda a parlour, and beyond it a kitchen and dining room.  On the third floor, a visitor discovered another rotunda which offered access to a room dedicated for railroad men, as well a boy’s room for pastime and a game room for men.  The men’s game room was equipped with checkers, chess, and a fireplace.  White marble was used in the bathing apartments, which featured both plunge and shower bath arrangements.

The YMCA was not denied a large gymnasium, though instead of being found on a proposed fourth floor, was located on the second.  It, too had a balcony for viewing on the third floor.  Also on the third floor, was a stage, opera chairs, and space for meetings.  Two stain glassed windows showered the stairway to the third floor in colored light, while a electronically controlled gate prevented access to the gymnasium to those who failed to possess bathing privileges (this was overseen by a watchful secretary and a button which raised or lowered the gate).

The home of the Joplin YMCA from 1901 to 1918. Note: Future owner, the Joplin Globe, is visible just around the corner on the right.

From 1901 to 1918, the building housed the YMCA until the organization built its current building on Wall Street (a future post will cover this building’s history).  When it did so, it sold its former home to the Joplin Globe for $40,000, which promptly expanded from its original location into its neighbor.

Sources: Charles Gibbon’s “Angling in the Archives”, Missouri Digital Heritage, and the Joplin Globe.

City Celebrates Newman Building’s 100th

Last week the Joplin Globe ran a story on the 100th birthday of the Newman Building, present home to the Joplin city government.  This week, on November 16th (Tuesday), the city will be hosting a celebration of the event starting at 11 am.  The news release offered the following activities:

“Some people may have various pieces in their closets that can work for an outfit — with a little creative thinking and design. If nothing else — scarves with pendants were a big hit during that time — as were HATS!! So if wanting to participate these options might be a little easier and not too hard to find the items.

In addition, vintage cars will line 6th street for viewing and will make a nice backdrop if you would like to get a photo taken by a downtown photographer. These pictures could make a nice holiday gift for friends and family. The cars will be here from approximately 10 a.m. to 12 noon or so. The Newman Building is located at 602 South Main.”

Here’s to another 100!

Joplin Metro Magazine – Issue 6

This Month's Cover - click on the Image to Read the Issue

We recently offered an approving review of the Joplin Metro Magazine for its coverage of topics of local history.  The coverage continues with the 6th issue of the magazine designated as a Halloween / Fall issue.  The issue focuses on Joplin’s resident Spooklight, though perhaps not delving as much into the past attempts to figure out the mystery behind the light, as well the earliest encounters.  It’s still a good primer to anyone unfamiliar with the spooklight.

The best part of the issue concerned the survey of haunted sights and places in the Joplin area, which included short histories behind the locations.  Such places included the old Freeman Hospital (with photograph), Carthage’s Kendrick Place (with photograph), as well Peace Church Cemetery, where one of Joplin’s most notorious murderers now resides in an unmarked grave.  It’s articles such as this one which help show how fascinating the history right around one’s corner can really be.  Last is an article about haunted Ozark battlefields.  If you haven’t had a chance to read Issue 6 of the Joplin Metro Magazine, you might be able to still find hard copies located around town or you can read it online at this location (click here!).

Joplin Globe Coverage of the Newman Building’s 100th Birthday

In case you missed it, last Saturday the Joplin Globe ran an article on the 100th birthday of one of downtown’s most illustrious surviving buildings, the Newman Building.  The article, by Debby Woodin,  offers both a brief history of the Newman retail business and the building.  Additionally with the article are some nice era photographs of the interior of the building when it was at its height.  Now the home of city hall, the building is one of the shining examples of why it’s so important to preserve Joplin’s past.

The Newman Building circa 1913.

Source: Joplin Globe, Historic Joplin Collection