Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

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Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Webb City

I'm scheduled to give a presentation to the Webb City Genealogical Society tonight at the Webb City Public Library. It's the second time in recent months I've appeared at one of the group's meetings. The first time I talked about my Ozarks Gunfights book, and this time I'll talk mainly about my Newtonia book.
Speaking of Webb City, it was a pretty tough place during its early mining history. I've been doing research lately on early-day Joplin, and I keep running into newspaper accounts and court records pertaining to shootings, murders, etc. that occurred in Webb City.
For instance, during the period from December of 1906 to December of 1914, there were at least four murders in Webb City, and those are just the ones I've happened to come across. There may well have been more. As might be expected, at least one or two of the four murders I know about occurred in saloons.
Joplin has a reputation as having been a rough and rowdy place during its early mining days, but Webb City was no quiet, law-abiding place either. In fact, the whole tri-state mining district attracted a lot of rough characters, and consequently all the mining towns probably witnessed more than their share of crime during the early days.

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