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City Data for Carthage, Missouri

Carthage is a city in Jasper County, Missouri, United States. The population was 12,668 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Jasper County and is nicknamed "America's Maple Leaf City. "

Carthage is part of the Joplin, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area.


Jasper County was formed in 1841. Carthage was chosen as the county seat, the area cleared and the town platted in 1842. By the time of the American Civil War, there were over 1000 residents, a brick and stone courthouse and several businesses.

The area was divided over slavery, and almost all of the African-Americans in the county at the time were slaves. The Battle of Carthage, fought on July 5, 1861, was a clash between Union troops from St. Louis and Confederate troops led by the pro-Southern Missouri Governor, Claiborne Fox Jackson. The "Second Battle of Carthage" occurred in October 1863 when Union troops confronted Confederate troops north of town and forced them to return to Arkansas. The town experienced minor skirmishes and attacks throughout the war; pro-Confederate guerrillas burned most of the city (including the courthouse) in September 1864. Historical accounts, such as Jasper County, Missouri in the Civil War (1923) by Col. Ward L. Schrantz, document the regional warfare.

The area grew rapidly following the Civil War. The Missouri Western Railroad arrived in 1872. Town residents started a foundry, furniture factory, woolen and grain mills, a plow works and numerous liveries and other businesses. http://www. powersmuseum. com/exhibits/pastexhibits/carthagein1800s. html Leggett & Platt, now a Fortune 500 company still based in Carthage, was founded in 1883. Nearby lead mines and limestone quarries also contributed significant wealth and Carthage became one of the most prosperous towns in the area. Residents poured their money into ornate Victorian-style homes, many of which are now part of the Carthage South District, which was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. The Jasper County Courthouse, also on the National Register of Historic Places, was built of Carthage stone in 1894-95. There is a mural inside the courthouse depicting the history of Jasper County.

Numerous local buildings, in addition to the courthouse, were built in the late 19th and early 20th century out of stone from local quarries. The stone is hard enough to be polished into "Carthage marble" and was used in both the interior and exterior of the state capitol building in Jefferson City, Missouri. The quarries known today as the Carthage Underground, a commercial space that utilizes but a small portion of the extensive uncharted quarries nearby.

In 1925, Ozark Wesleyan College merged three Methodist colleges into one institution and built a campus in the center of town. The college operated only a few years before closing. The campus was home to Our Lady of the Ozarks College from 1944-1971 and now houses the Vietnamese-American Catholic religious Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix. This Vietnamese order of priests and brothers came from Vietnam to settle in Carthage in 1975, immediately following the Vietnam War. http://ncronline. org/NCR_Online/archives2/2004c/092404/092404j. php In the monastery of this Vietnamese congregation the controversial archbishop Pierre Martin Ngô ?ình Th?c died in 1984.

U. S. Highways 66 and 71 came through town in the 1920s, and for a time the town saw a stream of cross-country traffic. Route 66 intersected with U. S. Route 71 at the present intersection of Central and Garrison Avenue. Route 66 was eventually re-routed, and then replaced in the 1960s with Interstate 44 running south of town.

In the late 20th century, the town began actively courting tourism, emphasizing its history (the Battle of Carthage, Victorian architecture, and Route 66), as well as its proximity to the Precious Moments hotel and store, along with the popular country music destination Branson, Missouri.


Carthage is located at (37. 167773, -94. 314958). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9. 6 square miles (24. 8 km²), of which, 9. 5 square miles (24. 7 km²) of it is land and 0. 04 square miles (0. 1 km²) of it (0. 42%) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 12,668 people, 4,813 households, and 3,157 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,328. 2 people per square mile (512. 7/km²). There were 5,217 housing units at an average density of 547. 0/sq mi (211. 1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81. 46% White, 2. 39% African American, 1. 05% Native American, 1. 59% Asian, 0. 21% Pacific Islander, 6. 65% from other races, and 4. 94% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 18. 27% of the population.

There were 4,813 households out of which 30. 9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49. 5% were married couples living together, 11. 9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34. 4% were non-families. 30. 0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16. 4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2. 49 and the average family size was 3. 04.

In the city the population was spread out with 25. 4% under the age of 18, 10. 9% from 18 to 24, 27. 4% from 25 to 44, 18. 6% from 45 to 64, and 17. 6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 95. 2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89. 7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,557, and the median income for a family was $37,927. Males had a median income of $29,315 versus $21,442 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,281. About 12. 7% of families and 19. 2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23. 5% of those under age 18 and 13. 0% of those age 65 or over.


Major area employers include Leggett & Platt, a Fortune 500 corporation manufacturing household durables, which is headquartered in the town, Williams Lighting (a manufacturer of home electric lighting implements), Otts Foods, Schreiber Foods, and Goodman Manufacturing (all producing various food products) and the Carthage Underground, formerly a quarry, which now serves as a storage area with climate control for various products. Carthage was well-known in the early 20th century for the fine-grained, extremely dense grey limestone, "Carthage Marble," which came from that mine and was used for numerous public buildings throughout the nation, including the Capitol Building in Jefferson City and the Jasper County Courthouse.

Carthage has several food manufacturers and processing plants in and around the city. These plants produce a great deal of slaughterhouse waste. Changing World Technologies and its subsidiary Renewable Environment Solutions built the first operational commercial thermal conversion plant in the United States to take advantage of the large amount of feedstock for the thermal conversion process made available by the many food rendering plants in the area in 2003.

In Jan 2008, a new city-owned hospital, McCune-Brooks, is scheduled to open and the old facility to be given to Missouri Southern State University, which will relocate some of its programs there from current space in nearby Joplin. campus of the Congregation of the Mother Co-Redemptrix.

Carthage is also the home of the Precious Moments Park and Chapel, a tourist attraction with paintings and oversized depictions of the popular porcelain figurines.

Histories of Carthage include Ward L. Schrantz's Jasper County Missouri in the Civil War (Carthage, Missouri: The Carthage, Missouri Kiwanis Club, 1923), History of Jasper County, Missouri (Des Moines, Iowa: Mills & Company, 1883) and Images of America: Carthage, Missouri (Chicago, Illinois: Arcadia Publishing, 2000).

Victorian era homes of Carthage are featured in It Wasn't A Dream, It Was A Flood, a 1974 autobiographical, 16mm short film about poet Frank Stanford.

Composer James Scott, regarded as one the three most important composers of classic ragtime, lived in Carthage from 1901 to 1906. Scott attended Lincoln High School and worked in the music store of Charles L. Dumars. Demand for the music of Scott, who began to compose while living in Carthage, convinced Dumars to publish Scott's "A Summer Breeze" in 1903.

Notable natives

  • Emily Newell Blair (1877–1951) was an American writer, suffragist, national Democratic Party political leader, a founder of the League of Women Voters and feminist.
  • A. P. (Ace) Borger, businessman associated with Texas (1888-1934)
  • Jann Carl, Entertainment Tonight correspondent (b. 1960)
  • Frances Crowe, peace activist (b. 1919)
  • Carl Hubbell, baseball player (1903-1988)
  • Janet L. Kavandi, Astronaut (STS-91, STS-99, STS-104)(b. 1959)
  • Preston Lacy, part of the Jackass cast
  • Marlin Perkins, naturalist and host of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (1905-1986)
  • Belle Starr (Myra MayBelle Shirley), Wild West outlaw (1848-1889)
  • Bertha Teague, basketball coach, member of the Basketball Hall of Fame (1906-1991)
  • Felix Wright, NFL Football Player (1985-1992)
  • Gallery


    Image:Gazebo in Central Park in Carthage. jpg|Photo of the Gazebo in Central Park

    Image:Fountain in Central Park in Carthage. jpg|Photo of the fountain in Central Park


    Homes for sale in Carthage, Missouri

    This city information was provided courtesy of Wikipedia