Joplin is the trade centre of a rich agricultural and fruit-growing district, but its growth has been chiefly due to its situation in one of the must productive zinc and lead regions in the country, for which it is the commercial centre.
In 1871 Joplin was laid out and incorporated as a town; in 1872 it and a rival town on the other side of Joplin creek were united under the name Union City; in 1873 Union City was chartered as a ctiy under the name Joplin; and in 1888 Joplin was chartered as a city of the third class.
The ores of the Joplin district, in the Ozark uplift in the Mississippi Valley, are remarkable in that they are specially adapted to mechanical concentration.
Galena is met with at all places where lead is mined; of localities which have yielded finely crystallized specimens the following may be selected for mention: Derbyshire, Alston in Cumberland, Laxey in the Isle of Man (where crystals measuring almost a foot across have been found), Neudorf in the Harz, Rossie in New York and Joplin in Missouri.
The zinc and lead of the Joplin district of Missouri are in the limestone of this system, and the corresponding limestone in some parts of Colorado, as at Leadville, is one of the horizons of rich ore.