Joplin, officially known as the City of Joplin, is a city in Jasper and Newton counties in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Missouri. The bulk of the city is in Jasper County, while the southern portion is in Newton County. Joplin is the largest city in Jasper County - even though it is not the county seat, and it is the 12th most-populous city in the state. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 50,150. The city covers an area of 35.69 square miles (92.41 km2) on the outer edge of the Ozark Mountains. Joplin is the main hub of the three-county Joplin-Miami, Missouri-Oklahoma Metro area, which is home to 210,077 people making it the 5th largest metropolitan area in Missouri. In 2011, the city was ravaged by a violent EF5 tornado.
Lead was discovered in the Joplin Creek Valley before the Civil War, but only after the war did significant development take place. By 1871, numerous mining camps sprang up in the valley and resident John C. Cox filed a plan for a city on the east side of the valley. Cox named his village Joplin City after the spring and creek nearby, which had been named for the Reverend Harris G. Joplin, who settled upon its banks circa 1840.
Carthage resident Patrick Murphy filed a plan for a city on the opposite side of the valley and named it Murphysburg.