The infamous outlaw Jesse James was born in Clay County, Missouri, in 1847. He later became known for his bank and train robberies and was killed by a member of his own gang in 1882.
Jasper County, Missouri, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Osage and Delaware, who utilized the land for hunting and gathering. European exploration began in the early 18th century, with French trappers and traders venturing into the region.

In the early 19th century, the United States acquired the land as part of the Louisiana Purchase and subsequent treaties with Native American tribes. Jasper County was officially established in 1841 and named after William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero. The county rapidly became an important transportation hub due to its location along the historic Santa Fe Trail and later, the Missouri Pacific Railroad.

Jasper County, like many regions in Missouri, played a significant role in the Civil War. The area witnessed several key battles and skirmishes, including the Battle of Carthage in July 1861. Union and Confederate forces fought for control over the region, leading to significant destruction and loss of life. Reconstruction following the war brought new economic opportunities, with the county's mineral resources such as lead, zinc, and coal being extensively mined.

Throughout the 20th century, Jasper County experienced significant growth and development. The discovery of vast mineral deposits led to the establishment of numerous mining operations, attracting workers and fueling economic prosperity. The county's infrastructure continued to expand with the construction of highways, bridges, and manufacturing facilities. The city of Joplin, which lies within Jasper County, became a major center for lead and zinc mining, contributing to the county's economic prominence.

Today, Jasper County remains an important industrial and commercial center in Missouri. It is known for its diverse economy, which includes manufacturing, healthcare, education, and tourism. The area's rich history is commemorated through numerous historical sites, museums, and monuments that offer insights into the county's past.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Jasper County, Missouri.

  • 1841 - Jasper County was established as a county in Missouri.
  • 1855 - The city of Carthage was incorporated in Jasper County.
  • 1861-1865 - Jasper County was deeply affected by the American Civil War.
  • 1875 - A tornado struck Joplin, causing significant damage.
  • 1888 - The city of Joplin was incorporated in Jasper County.
  • 1933 - Prohibition ended in Jasper County.
  • 1943 - Precious metal ores and lead-zinc mining activities were prominent in the county.
  • 1993 - The Murphysburg Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2011 - The Joplin tornado, an EF5 tornado, struck the city and caused extensive destruction.