Jasper County Place Names
To repeat what I said a year or so ago, contrary to what Moser's directory says, Blende City and Blendville were not the same community. Blende City was located a mile or so southwest of Carl Junction near what is now Highway JJ, while Blendville was located in what today is southwest Joplin. Also, there seems to be some confusion about the various names by which Blende City was known. It was originally just a mining camp called Skeeterville after lead was discovered at the site around 1880. Supposedly the man who first stuck ore there named the camp Skeeterville, suggesting the presence of mosquitoes, to try to keep other miners away. The ploy didn't work, and soon so much blende (zinc ore) was being mined from the site that the booming community was named Blende City. A year or so later, an addition to the town was built and named Lehigh, and soon Lehigh had engulfed or at least overshadowed Blende City to the point that the entire community became known as Lehigh. Under the listing for Fidelity in Moser's directory, the author notes that Fidelity was also known as Skeeterville and Lehigh. This, at least as far as I have been able to determine, is not true. Fidelity was a completely separate place (located near the present-day intersection of I-44 and Highway 71) and was never known by any other name. Apparently someone simply got Fidelity and Lehigh (or Blende City) mixed up.
Parr Hill is mentioned in Moser's directory as a Jasper County place, but the notation under the listing says that it "could not be located." For the record, Parr Hill was a mining camp/community located in what is today southeast Joplin. There is still a Parr Hill Park just a couple of blocks north of the Dillon's store on East 20th Street. Swindle Hill is also listed in the directory as a separate community, but "nothing more is known about the place." Swindle Hill was another Joplin-area mining camp located near the present-day intersection of East 7th Street and Murphy Boulevard (the Ewert Park vicinity).