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city, Jasper and Newton counties, in the Ozark region of southwestern Missouri, U.S. It lies adjacent to Webb City, near the Kansas and Oklahoma borders. It was settled about 1840 by Tennesseean John Cox, who named it for his friend the Reverend Harris Joplin, a Methodist missionary who was also an early settler. The discovery of lead and zinc ores in the area in the mid-1800s brought prosperity, and in 1873 Joplin merged with Murphysburg. When the mining boom collapsed in the 1930s, other industries were developed