Ancestors, Legends & Time

How Stone's Corner came to be and how it got its name

Picture of Jeanne Newby

Jeanne Newby

March 6, 2024

Let’s learn a little history about Stone’s Corner.

Ed Bailey built the first private water system in the area and named it Glen Elm. Behind Mrs. Flood’s store on the southeast corner of Stone’s Corner (Glen Elm), 1915 – 1917, was the first Private water system. The dug well provided water for the store customers, wagons, buggies, and automobiles, also for the filling station that was built after moving Mrs. Flood’s store to the south in 1921.

A service station was later built on that corner. Dr. Stone used Mrs. Flood’s store as a garage for his Ford Coupe, with Fisk tires and red top.

One block north and one block west was the home of Pat Tabor. He elevated a water tank between his house and the Webb City Road, creating the first public water system by running a pipe to the southeast-corner service station.

Tabor went to an automobile show in Kansas City and came back with the only Rolls Royce in the area, at a cost of $20,000. He was determined to outdo the Joplin merchants, who were buying Cadillacs and Packards, custom built in Detroit.

About one block east from the intersection of North Main Street of Joplin and West Fourth Street of Webb City, on the southeast corner, behind Mrs. Flood’s store, sat the 20 acres that Bailey owned. About one block south of West Fourth Street sat Ed Bailey’s greenhouse. And another 300 feet east of the greenhouse stood an enclosed, elevated water tank, and his house sat 60 feet south of the greenhouse.  He attached an elevated gasoline engine to the water tank which supplied water to the green house and his two-story house.

West Fourth Street headed west from Webb City all the way to North Main Street of Joplin. That was the main route from Webb City to Joplin, turning south on Joplin’s North Main Street that went all the way into Joplin.

Bailey raised a large garden on his 20 acres. He hired Jim Moss, whose father had just passed away two weeks earlier on March 1, 1917, (that is 99 years ago, almost to the date), to help work in the “truck garden”. Jimmy made 75 cents a day. When it was raining, “Jimmy Skunk,” as Mr. Bailey called him, would work inside in the production line with the women transplanting small vegetable plants from the vegetable bed to the wooden flats.  Bailey’s nickname was “Billy Goat,” a name he gave to himself. He had a long wooden water trough that the ladies used to wash the vegetables. He sold his vegetables to N. Marr, who had several grocery stores in Joplin and Webb City.   He raised asparagus, Howling Mob sweet corn, Mamcy Hall and Puerto Rico sweet potatoes, cucumbers he called his cukes and Irish potatoes. He raised Muscatine cantaloupes, Tom Watson and Halbert Honey watermelons. Pie squash, Ponderosa yellow tomatoes and cabbage. Jimmy put nicotine on the potatoes and lime dust on the melons to keep the bugs away.

The first day, Bailey had Jimmy planting onion sets from burlap sacks weighing 100 pounds. Jimmy complained to Bailey that his back was about to kill him. Bailey told him, “Jimmy, just forget you’ve got a back.” Jimmy made it through the 12-hour day, but just barely.

Jimmy’s claim to fame was that he got to help build the original concrete road (Webb Road) from Stone’s Corner to Webb City. He could get his Harley Davidson through the pedestrian gate at stone’s Corner and ride to within 600 feet of the concrete mixer each day. He says he drove the first motor vehicle over the first concrete road. Jimmy recalled the A.H.T.A.(Anti Horse Thief Association) Lodge Hall on the southwest corner of Prairie Flower Road and Webb Road. Jimmy said he joined that organization in 1925.  Just a bit farther west, still on the South side was a house that had rows of big maple trees about 50 to 75 years old in 1913. Between the maple trees and Poverty Creek was the Burch House. Jim Daniel (owner of the Interurban Ice Co. in Webb City) bought the house in 1929. Jim’s daughter Shirley married Dr. Scorse, and they lived in the house for many years.

Jimmy also helped build the concrete highway from Stone’s Corner going north about three miles to the Harve Dixon Corner in 1931.

More next week on Dr. Stone and the corner named for him.

Jeanne Newby

A lot of us appreciate the Bradbury Bishop Fountain, but Jeanne actually worked behind the counter making sodas while she was in high school. She knows everything about Webb City and is a member of the Webb City R-7 School Board.