Joplin’s First Florist

Pink rose

Thomas Green, a native of Manchester, England, was reportedly Joplin’s first florist.  He immigrated to the United States in 1867 with his wife, Caroline Hathaway Taylor Green.  The two were married on the Isle of Man and Mrs.  Taylor claimed William Shakespeare’s wife as a distant cousin.  In 1877, The Taylors arrived in Joplin and  Thomas Green bought property in “the western residence district of Joplin.” Within a few years he established flower gardens and later a greenhouse where he raised vegetables.

The glass greenhouses allegedly extended over the entire “half block between Second and Third Streets on Byers Avenue.” He could be seen “early every morning and late every evening working with his flowers.” Green hired Benjamin Crum, who went on to establish his own greenhouse business at the corner of Seventh and Jackson.  Green, it was remarked, supplied flowers for hundreds, if not thousands, of Joplin weddings and funerals.  He was undoubtedly a well known man who provided a service one might not expect in a rough and tumble mining town, but one certainly in demand with the dangers of the mines.

Sources: Joplin Globe, Livingston’s History of Jasper County

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