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Jasper County, Missouri
Jasper County Courthouse in Carthage (August 2008)
Map of Missouri highlighting Jasper County
Location in the state of Missouri
Map of the U.S. highlighting Missouri
Missouri's location in the U.S.
Founded January 2, 1841
Named for William Jasper
Seat Carthage
Largest city Joplin
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

641 sq mi (1,660 km²)
638 sq mi (1,652 km²)
2.8 sq mi (7 km²), 0.4
 - (2020)
 - Density

Congressional district 7th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Coordinates: 37°12′N 94°20′W / 37.20, -94.34

Jasper County is located in the southwest portion of the U.S. state of Missouri. As of the 2020 census, the population was 122,761.[1] Its county seat is Carthage,[2] and its largest city is Joplin. The county was organized in 1841 and named for William Jasper, a hero of the American Revolutionary War.

Jasper County is included in the Joplin Metropolitan Statistical Area. The Jasper County Sheriff's Office has legal jurisdiction throughout the county.


Portrait of an Osage warrior, painted by George Catlin in 1834.

Osage Nation[]

Before European contact, the area that today makes up Jasper County was the domain of the Osage Native Americans, who called themselves the "Children of the Middle Waters" (Ni-U-Kon-Ska).[3] A Siouan language tribe, they had migrated west and south centuries before from the Ohio Valley.

They were powerful and dominated a large territory encompassed the land between the Missouri and Osage rivers to the north, the Mississippi River to the east, and the Arkansas River to the south. To the west were the Great Plains, where they hunted buffalo. By the late 17th century, the Osage were calling themselves Wah-Zha-Zhe. [4]

The earliest record of European-Osage contact is a 1673 map by French Jesuit priest and explorer Jacques Marquette. He noted the people he encountered as the Ouchage, his way of pronouncing the sound of the name with French spelling conventions.[5] A few years after the Marquette expedition, French explorers discovered a Little Osage village and called it Ouazhigi.[6] French transliterations of the tribe's name settled on a spelling of Osage, which was later adopted by English-speaking European Americans.[7]

In 1682 Robert de La Salle canoed down the length of the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico, claiming and naming the entire Mississippi basin as “La Louisiane” in honor of King Louis XIV. In 1699 Louisiana was designated as an administrative district of New France. The European colonists and nationals (France, England and Spain) considered this to be French territory. The French divided the Louisiana district into upper and lower parts, with the Arkansas River as the dividing line.

After France and Spain's defeat by Great Britain in the Seven Years' War in 1763, France ceded Louisiana to Spain and most of the rest of New France, on the east side of the Mississippi River, to the British. They exchanged Cuba with Spain and took over east Florida. For a few decades, the Spanish District of New Madrid, containing present-day Jasper County, was the southernmost of the five Spanish districts comprising Upper Louisiana. France regained control of Louisiana through the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1800, but in 1803, following defeat of his troops in an effort to retake the colony of Saint Domingue in the Caribbean, Napoleon Bonaparte I decided to sell his North American territory to the United States in what is known as the Louisiana Purchase.

The Osage began treaty-making with the United States in 1808 with the first cession of lands in Missouri in the (Osage Treaty). The Osage moved from their homelands on the Osage River in 1808 to the Jasper County area of southwest Missouri. In 1825, the Osages ceded their traditional lands across present-day Missouri, Arkansas, and Oklahoma (then known as Indian Territory). They were first moved onto a southeastern Kansas reservation in the Cherokee Strip, on which the city of Independence, Kansas developed. In 1872 they were forced to move again, south to Indian Territory.

Missouri Territory[]

Map defining borders of Missouri Territory, 1812.

The Upper Louisiana Territory, including the Jasper County area, was renamed as the Missouri Territory on June 4, 1812, to avoid confusion with the state of Louisiana. This had joined the Union in 1812. The new New Madrid District became New Madrid County, Missouri Territory. Old Lawrence County was established in 1815 from New Madrid County west of the St. Francis River and north of Arkansas County. It originally consisted of all of present-day southwestern Missouri and part of northwestern Arkansas.

Three years later (1818), Lawrence County was combined with part of Cape Girardeau County and renamed as Wayne County. By 1819, Arkansas Territory had been created; Wayne County lost some of its area but still consisted of most of southern Missouri: from present-day Wayne County west to the Kansas State Line and bordered on the south by the Arkansas State Line.

In 1820, all of Missouri Territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Missouri. In 1831, with increased population in the region, Crawford County was carved from the original Wayne. This new division covered all of the southern part of Missouri and included Jasper County in its boundaries. This alignment was also short-lived; in 1833 Greene County was organized from Crawford County, and extended from the Niangua River west to the Kansas State Line.

On January 5, 1835, a big piece was cut out of Greene County and organized as Barry County. In 1838 Barry County was divided into four parts called Barry, Dade, Newton and Jasper counties. At this time Jasper was not a full-fledged county but was attached to Newton County and it would not be until 1841.

County organization[]

File:First Jasper County Courthouse.jpg

Log home of George Hornback, used as the initial Jasper County Courthouse in 1841. It has been preserved and can be viewed on the grounds of the Old Cabin Shop at 155 North Black Powder Lane in Carthage.

On January 29, 1841, the Missouri Legislature enacted a bill authorizing formation of Jasper County; it was named in honor of Sergeant William Jasper, a hero in the American Revolutionary War.[8][9] The Jasper County Court initially divided the area into three townships: North Fork, Center Creek and Marion. Later it was organized as 15 townships, which continue as unincorporated jurisdictions.

The county court, as a temporary seat of justice, was established on February 25, 1841, in the home of George Hornback. It was a 12×16 foot log cabin, one and a half miles northwest of Carthage on Spring River. The officers of the court were Charles S. Yancey, judge, and Elwood B. James, clerk. Mount Vernon attorney Robert W. Crawford was appointed circuit attorney pro tem. John P. Osborn, the first sheriff, gave public notice that the county court of Jasper County would meet in the home of George Hornback until the permanent seat of justice was established. The first session of the court was two days; the proceedings covered four pages of record.

A permanent county seat was chosen in March 1842 and designated by the name of Carthage. The courthouse, a one-story single-room wooden structure with a large door in the south, was completed on June 29, 1842. It was located on the north side of the present public square in Carthage. This courthouse was later replaced by a larger two-story brick-and-stone structure that was completed in 1854; it also had facilities in the building for the county jail. At the second term of the court held in October of the same year, attorneys Robert W. Crawford and John R. Chenault were cited for contempt and fined the sum of ten dollars for "fighting in the presence and view of said court during the said sitting."[10]

At the March 1861 Secession Convention held in Jefferson City, Chenault represented Jasper County while Crawford represented Lawrence County. Possibly for their own self-preservation, and to buy time to make preparations in Southwest Missouri for the war, the two former adversaries voted in favor of keeping Missouri in the Union. Missouri was the only state whose secession convention resulted in voting to stay in the Union.[11]

Cave Spring School, the site of Jasper County circuit court in 1865, is located at 4323 County Road 4 near La Russell.

At the outset of the war Chenault, by then a circuit court judge, moved with his family to Texas. Following the Battle of Carthage, on July 12, 1861, Crawford was elected Lieutenant Colonel of the 13th Missouri Cavalry Regiment and 5th Missouri Infantry, both of the 8th Division, Missouri State Guard. They were part of the Confederate States Army (CSA), although Missouri remained with the Union.[12] After leading the 13th Cavalry Regiment into numerous battles, in a command that included two of his sons in first lieutenant and quartermaster ranks, Crawford moved his noncombatant family to Texas for safety.

He served as a recruiter for the Confederate Army in Missouri, a post he was nominated for by Waldo P. Johnson, formerly a United States Senator from Missouri in a letter to Missouri governor-in-exile Claiborne Fox Jackson dated October 24, 1862.[13][14]

By the start of the American Civil War in 1861, there were several small river mill settlements, some mining camps, and about nine or ten towns (seven platted) in Jasper County, Missouri. The county seat of Carthage, Missouri had an estimated population of between four and five hundred at that time. The newer brick courthouse was used as a hospital during the American Civil War and was destroyed by fire during fighting in October 1863. By the end of the war, Carthage had been evacuated and completely destroyed, and much of Jasper County laid in ruins. Other than military tribunals, no courts were held in Jasper County between May 11, 1861, and October 10, 1865.

By order of the Governor in 1865, the courthouse was relocated to the pioneer schoolhouse at Cave Springs (near present-day La Russell, Missouri), with John C. Price of Mount Vernon appointed as the circuit court judge. Price later (before?) served as treasurer of the United States under President James Buchanan.[15] The county court operated in other temporary locations within the county until the current Jasper County Courthouse was constructed on Carthage square in the mid-1890s.[16]

The county adopted an official flag in 2001, which was unveiled during the county's 160th birthday celebration. The flag depicts the county courthouse surrounded by 15 stars, representing Jasper County's 15 townships. The center blue and red stars memorialize the struggle in Jasper County during the Civil War years, including the Battle of Carthage in 1861 and second battle in 1863.

Towns established prior to the Civil War[]


Current Town Name Accepted Date Founded Official Date of Plat Notes
Sarcoxie 1833 1840 The first settlement in Jasper County Missouri, initially known as Centerville. The first settler was Thackeray Vivion in 1831.
(Old) Jasper 1840 1842 Was located northeast of Carthage and no longer exists. Later, another settlement named Jasper existed southeast of Carthage. The present town of Jasper, Missouri, north of Carthage, is a different community previously known as Coon Creek settlement or "Midway."
Carthage 1841 1842 Historic Carthage was planned from the start with the purpose of being the Jasper County seat and was promptly rebuilt after being completely destroyed during the Civil War. The current Jasper County Courthouse was erected in the mid-1890s.
(Old) Sherwood 1846 1856 First called Rural and was located near present-day Webb City. It was not rebuilt after being destroyed during the Civil War and no longer exists.
Oronogo 1848 1856 Known as Minersville around the time of the Civil War, it evolved from early mining camps and had other names such as Leadville Hollow. The Post Office had also used the name Center Mines.
(Old) Medoc 1848 After the Civil War Started as an old Indian trading post near the Kansas state line, it was destroyed during the Civil War and later resettled, but the plat was abandoned by the 20th century and the town no longer exists.
Avilla 1856 1858 Founded by merchant-landowners as a business center on the edge of the frontier in the mid-1850s. The citizens of Avilla formed a town militia for defense at the beginning of the Civil War and the site later served as a Union Army garrison (Enrolled Missouri Militia), subsequently prevailing intact and undamaged after the war. The town's growth was ultimately stunted after being bypassed by the railroad in the latter 19th century and it remains a small village in the 21st century today.
Fidelity 1856 After the Civil War Considered to have been founded by William Cloe about the same time as Avilla for similar reasons (mirroring it in some ways), Fidelity was not platted until after the Civil War.
Waco 1857 After the Civil War, 1878 Started as an old trading post first known as Loshick
(Old) Preston 1859 1860 A village northwest of Carthage, plat abandoned and town no longer exists.


President Barack Obama greets a tornado survivor on May 29, 2011, in Joplin.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 641 square miles (1,660 km2), of which 638 square miles (1,650 km2) is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km2) (0.4%) is water.[19]

On Sunday, May 22, 2011, Jasper County was struck in Joplin with a catastrophic EF5 multiple-vortex tornado. The 2011 Joplin tornado ranked as the seventh deadliest in America's history.

Adjacent counties[]

Major highways[]

  • I-44 (MO).svg Interstate 44
  • I-49 (MO).svg Interstate 49
  • US 66.svg U.S. Route 66 (1926–1985)
  • US 71.svg U.S. Route 71
  • MO-37.svg Route 37
  • MO-43.svg Route 43
  • MO-66.svg Route 66
  • MO-96.svg Route 96
  • MO-171.svg Route 171
  • MO-249.svg Route 249


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1850 4,223
1860 6,883 63.0%
1870 14,928 116.9%
1880 32,019 114.5%
1890 50,500 57.7%
1900 84,018 66.4%
1910 89,673 6.7%
1920 75,941 −15.3%
1930 73,810 −2.8%
1940 78,705 6.6%
1950 79,106 0.5%
1960 78,863 −0.3%
1970 79,852 1.3%
1980 86,958 8.9%
1990 90,465 4.0%
2000 104,686 15.7%
2010 117,404 12.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[20]
1790-1960[21] 1900-1990[22]
1990-2000[23] 2010-2020[24]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 117,404 people, 45,639 households, and 30,202 families residing in the county. The population density was 164 people per square mile (63/km2). There were 50,668 housing units at an average density of 71 per square mile (28/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 88.24% White, 1.93% Black or African American, 1.51% Native American, 0.99% Asian, 0.25% Pacific Islander, 3.89% from other races, and 3.18% from two or more races. Approximately 6.84% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 45,639 households, out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.7% were married couples living together, 12.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 33.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 24.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.05

In the county, the population was spread out, with 27.17% under the age of 19, 7.4% from 20 to 24, 25.11% from 25 to 44, 22.24% from 45 to 64, and 12.14% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.1 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,323, and the median income for a family was $37,611. Males had a median income of $28,573 versus $20,386 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,227. About 10.40% of families and 14.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.20% of those under age 18 and 10.30% of those age 65 or over.


Public schools[]

  • Avilla R-XIII School DistrictAvilla
    • Avilla Elementary/Middle School (K-08)
  • Carl Junction R-I School DistrictCarl Junction
    • Carl Junction Primary School (K-01)
    • Carl Junction Primary School (02-03)
    • Carl Junction Intermediate School (04-06)
    • Carl Junction Junior High School (07-08)
    • Carl Junction High School (09-12)
  • Carthage R-IX School DistrictCarthage
    • Columbian Elementary School (PK-04)
    • Fairview Elementary School (PK-04)
    • Mark Twain Elementary School (PK-04)
    • Pleasant Valley Elementary School (PK-04)
    • Steadley Elementary School (PK-04)
    • Carthage Middle School (05-06)
    • Carthage Junior High School (07-08)
    • Carthage High School (09-12)
  • Jasper R-V School DistrictJasper
    • Jasper County Elementary School (K-06)
    • Jasper High School (07-12)
  • Joplin R-VIII School DistrictJoplin
    • Memorial Education Center (PK)
    • Cecil Floyd Elementary School (K-05)
    • Columbia Elementary School (K-05)
    • Soaring Heights Elementary School (K-05)
    • Eastmorland Elementary School (PK-05)
    • Irving Elementary School (K-05)
    • Jefferson Elementary School (K-05)
    • Kelsey Norman Elementary School (K-05)
    • McKinley Elementary School (K-05)
    • Royal Heights Elementary School (K-05)
    • Stapleton Elementary School (K-05)
    • West Central Elementary School (K-05)
    • East Middle School (06-08)
    • North Middle School (06-08)
    • South Middle School (06-08)
    • Joplin High School (09-12)
  • Sarcoxie R-II School DistrictSarcoxie
    • Wildwood Elementary School (PK-05)
    • Sarcoxie High School (06-12)
  • Webb City R-VII School DistrictWebb City
    • Franklin Early Childhood Center (PK)
    • Madge T. James Kindergarten Center (PK-K)
    • Bess Truman Primary Center (K-01)
    • Webster Primary Center (01-02)
    • Carterville Elementary School (PK-04)
    • Eugene Field Elementary School (03-04)
    • Harry S. Truman Elementary School (02-04)
    • Mark Twain Elementary School (03-04)
    • Webb City Middle School (05-06)
    • Webb City Junior High School (07-08)
    • Webb City High School (09-12)

Private schools[]


  • Missouri Southern State University - Joplin. A public, four-year university.
  • Ozark Christian College - Joplin. A private, four-year college associated with the independent Christian churches and churches of Christ.

Public libraries[]

  • Carthage Public Library[25]
  • Joplin Public Library[26]
  • Sarcoxie Public Library[27]
  • Webb City Public Library[28]



The Republican Party completely controls politics at the local level in Jasper County. Republicans hold every elected position in the county. In 2016, Hillary Clinton received 21.9% of the vote in Jasper County, lower than any Democratic presidential candidate in the county's history.

Jasper County, Missouri
Elected countywide officials
Assessor Lisa Perry Republican
Circuit Clerk Melissa Holcomb Republican
County Clerk Charlie Davis Republican
Collector Steven E. McIntosh Republican
John Bartosh Republican
(District 1)
Tom Flanigan Republican
(District 2)
Darieus K. Adams Republican
Coroner Rob Chappel Republican
Prosecuting Attorney Theresa Kenney Republican
Public Administrator Angela Casavecchia Republican
Recorder Charlotte Pickering Republican
Sheriff Randee Kaiser Republican
Treasurer Denise Rohr Republican


Past gubernatorial election results
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 69.11% 33,436 27.36% 13,236 3.53% 1,710
2012 53.78% 24,218 43.21% 19,457 3.01% 1,356
2008 58.61% 27,764 39.42% 18,676 1.97% 932
2004 74.54% 33,293 24.30% 10,853 1.16% 519
2000 65.31% 24,335 32.75% 12,203 1.94% 721
1996 56.55% 18,977 40.63% 13,637 2.82% 946
United States presidential election results for Jasper County, Missouri[29]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 37,728 71.81% 13,549 25.79% 1,262 2.40%
2016 35,070 72.57% 10,572 21.88% 2,684 5.55%
2012 31,349 69.33% 12,809 28.33% 1,060 2.34%
2008 31,667 65.67% 15,730 32.62% 822 1.70%
2004 31,846 70.64% 13,002 28.84% 237 0.53%
2000 24,899 66.43% 11,737 31.31% 845 2.25%
1996 18,361 54.39% 11,462 33.95% 3,938 11.66%
1992 17,592 49.04% 11,727 32.69% 6,553 18.27%
1988 19,934 63.92% 11,159 35.78% 94 0.30%
1984 23,066 71.36% 9,259 28.64% 0 0.00%
1980 21,664 62.49% 11,953 34.48% 1,049 3.03%
1976 17,086 53.15% 14,910 46.38% 153 0.48%
1972 22,482 74.61% 7,652 25.39% 0 0.00%
1968 16,794 54.24% 10,987 35.49% 3,181 10.27%
1964 15,481 46.18% 18,045 53.82% 0 0.00%
1960 21,804 59.30% 14,962 40.70% 0 0.00%
1956 20,414 60.36% 13,404 39.64% 0 0.00%
1952 23,065 61.00% 14,665 38.78% 82 0.22%
1948 14,593 48.52% 15,404 51.21% 81 0.27%
1944 17,301 56.77% 13,111 43.02% 63 0.21%
1940 18,755 50.54% 18,249 49.17% 107 0.29%
1936 14,440 41.75% 19,822 57.31% 323 0.93%
1932 11,788 39.82% 17,349 58.60% 467 1.58%
1928 20,587 70.85% 8,292 28.54% 180 0.62%
1924 13,701 55.11% 9,176 36.91% 1,983 7.98%
1920 17,074 58.42% 11,006 37.66% 1,145 3.92%
1916 9,358 44.48% 10,513 49.97% 1,166 5.54%
1912 4,571 27.36% 6,789 40.64% 5,344 31.99%
1908 9,143 49.02% 8,130 43.59% 1,379 7.39%
1904 7,851 50.53% 6,006 38.66% 1,680 10.81%
1900 8,747 45.91% 9,658 50.69% 647 3.40%
1896 4,835 40.39% 7,026 58.69% 111 0.93%
1892 5,369 44.19% 4,805 39.55% 1,976 16.26%
1888 4,522 48.90% 3,684 39.84% 1,042 11.27%




  • Airport Drive
  • Avilla
  • Brooklyn Heights
  • Carytown
  • Duquesne
  • Fidelity

Unincorporated communities[]

  • Belleville
  • Bowers Mill
  • Dudenville
  • Galesburg
  • Kendricktown
  • Knights
  • Lone Elm
  • Maple Grove
  • Maxville
  • Medoc
  • Parshley
  • Preston
  • Prosperity
  • Scotland
  • Tuckahoe

Former community[]

  • Oakland Park


  • Duval
  • Galena
  • Jackson
  • Jasper
  • Joplin
  • Lincoln
  • Madison
  • Marion
  • McDonald
  • Mineral
  • Preston
  • Sarcoxie
  • Sheridan
  • Twin Groves
  • Union

See also[]

  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Jasper County, Missouri


  1. ^ {{cite web|title=2020 Census Demographic Data Map Viewer|url= 16, 2021|
  2. ^ a b "Find a County". National Association of Counties. 
  3. ^ "Osage". Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. 
  4. ^ "Osage |". 
  5. ^ "Today in History: January 29th". Library of Congress. 
  6. ^ "History of the Osage". 
  7. ^ "Osage Culture". Minnesota State University. 
  8. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off.. pp. 168. 
  9. ^ Eaton, David Wolfe (1916). How Missouri Counties, Towns and Streams Were Named. The State Historical Society of Missouri. pp. 178. 
  10. ^ The History of Jasper County, Missouri: Including a Condensed History of the State, a Complete History of Carthage and Joplin, Other Towns and Townships. 1883. 
  11. ^ "Civil War Moments: Missouri to hold secession convention" Script error: No such module "webarchive"., Springfield News Leader, March 7, 2011.
  12. ^ List of Field Officers, Regiments and Battalions in the Confederate States Army, 1861-1865. 1912. 
  13. ^ Waldo P. Johnson letter (October 24, 1862), Miscellaneous Correspondence, Peter W. Alexander Collection, Columbia University: C. F. Jackson letter, October 24, 1862, Miscellaneous Correspondence, Peter W. Alexander Collection.
  14. ^ Banasik, Michael E. (2010). Confederate Tales of the War in the Trans-Mississippi Part One: 1861 edited by Michael E. Banasik. ISBN 9781929919222. 
  15. ^ McGregor, Malcolm G. (1901). The Biographical Record of Jasper County, Missouri by Malcolm G. McGregor. 
  16. ^ Livingston, Joel Thomas (1912). A history of Jasper County, Missouri, and its people, Volume 1. 
  17. ^ "M.A. Thesis "Place Names In The Southwest Counties Of Missouri" by Robert Lee Meyers, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1930". 
  18. ^ ""Directory of Towns, Villages, and Hamlets Past and Present of Jasper County, Missouri" compiled by Arthur Paul Moser". 
  19. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. 
  20. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. 
  21. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. 
  22. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. 
  23. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. 
  24. ^ "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. 
  25. ^ Breeding, Marshall. "Carthage Public Library". 
  26. ^ Breeding, Marshall. "Joplin Public Library". 
  27. ^ Breeding, Marshall. "Sarcoxie Public Library". 
  28. ^ Breeding, Marshall. "Webb City Public Library". 
  29. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". 

External links[]

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