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Joplin was founded on the mining of zinc and ore. The family of J.C. Cox was instrumental in establishing the city, and profited immensely from Joplin’s mines. While it is often the Cox family that receives accolades for locating these essential mining locations, it was actually an enslaved person, a young boy called Pete, that made the important discovery while fishing with Mr. Cox at Joplin Creek. Lead and zinc often coexist in the same mine, making the discovery even more exciting. African Americans are pivotal in Joplin’s history, including its very founding in 1871.

First Discovery of Lead by a Person Enslaved by the Cox Family

563 E Spring St, Neosho, MO

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