By Wally Kennedy
Most people probably know it as the Bagcraft building.
But its history goes back to the early days of Joplin, when fortunes were being made and lost in the Tri-State Mining District.
The land for the building was purchased in 1913 by William F. Spurgin, president and manager of Inter-State Grocery Association, or IGA. Spurgin’s company, founded in 1900 and originally located at 924 Virginia Ave., was growing and needed additional space to expand its food distribution.
That space, a 122,000-square-foot, multistory warehouse, opened Feb. 19, 1915, near 10th and Main streets. More than 5,000 people attended the grand opening. It was completed at a cost of $225,000. Joplin contractors used 600,000 pounds of steel rods and 64 concrete structural columns to shore up the structure.
On the fifth floor, coffee was roasted in two large Monitor gas roasters. About 15,000 pounds of coffee were prepared daily.
The building was occupied by IGA until 1968, when a new warehouse was constructed in the Joplin Southern Industrial Park. The president of the company at that time said the old warehouse on Main Street slowed down the movement of merchandise because of its multiple floors. The move was preceded by the acquisition of IGA four years earlier by Fleming Co., of Topeka, Kan.
The Midwest Division of Bagcraft Corporation of America occupied a portion of the building in January 1971. The space was leased from Joplin Building Materials Co. Bagcraft operated in the building until June 1994, when it moved its operation to Baxter Springs, Kan.
- Joplin Metro
Longtime Democrat dies at 81
Sapp, 81, died Thursday. Funeral services were Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin. A longtime Jasper County Democratic committeewoman and volunteer, Sapp for years was secretary to the county’s central committee.
Nixon: Joplin offers 'a beacon of hope'
Two days ago, after seeing the devastating destruction in Oklahoma, Nixon said, "I believe that you are something else too, something the people of Moore need right now. A word we all remember seeing, in front of the old high school, made from duct tape: Hope.
Grant enables 20th Street Project to move forward
A $20 million grant from the Economic Development Administration, announced at Joplin's tornado anniversary event today, will enable the 20th Street Project and the building of a new Joplin Public Library to move forward.
Weather delays opening of Schifferdecker water park
Wet spring weather has delayed work on the Schifferdecker Aquatic Center, and it will not open over Memorial Day weekend, city officials said today.
Commission: Vote about curbside recycling would be only advisory
Council members, in a special meeting April 8, heard a proposal and gave informal approval to hold a special election Aug. 6 on the question of whether voters want to implement curbside recycling.
EDA awards Joplin schools funding for Franklin Tech
The grant was sought for the school district to help rebuild Franklin Technical School as part of an effort to obtain redevelopment funding for Joplin.
Reception to honor Joplin superintendent
A reception is planned to honor C.J. Huff, one of four finalists for Superintendent of the Year, chosen by the American Association of School Administrators
State MLK commission names Joplin mayor for leadership award
Joplin's mayor Melodee Colbert-Kean has been named the recipient of this year's leadership award by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. State Celebration Commission.
Worker injured at new hospital site
A construction worker injured in a fall Thursday at the site where the new Mercy Hospital Joplin is being built was reported to be in fair condition at a local hospital.
Oklahoma prison escapee caught in Joplin
The Newton County Sheriff's Department captured an escape from an Oklahoma prison today after locating him inside a house on Joplin's south side.
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- Longtime Democrat dies at 81