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.
Granby man's body found near Joplin
An autopsy was conducted today on the body of a Granby man discovered Tuesday afternoon near a service road northwest of Joplin city limits.
Drunken driver in double fatality accident granted probation
In ordering Jeremy Johnson to perform 200 hours of community service back in August, Judge Gayle Crane suggested that he complete them in a program such as Safe and Sober, which targets underage drinking and driving.
Sunday morning fire displaces Joplin family
A Sunday morning fire that left a Joplin residence no longer habitable is believed to have been caused by an electrical short in the attic.
Driver charged with trying to hit police officer pleads guilty
A Joplin man, who was shot by a police officer when he swerved his pickup truck at him in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store, has pleaded guilty to assaulting the officer.
Murder defendant takes plea deal; teen to testify against suspected triggerman
Marcus Stephens, one of five young men charged in the Jacob Wages murder case in Joplin, has taken a plea deal that would limit his prison time in exchange for testimony against the suspected shooter, Daniel Hartman.
Council to name another commission member
A special meeting of the Joplin City Council has been scheduled for Thursday to name a replacement to the recently formed Charter Review Commission.
Construction work blamed in break of mall water line
A water outage was reported shortly after 7 p.m. Wednesday at Northpark Mall in Joplin. Christie Barnhart, external affairs manager for Missouri American Water Co., said the outage occurred when a construction crew damaged a line.
Joplin Schools holds annual back-to-school rally for faculty
Joplin Schools formally welcomed back teachers and staff members today with its annual back-to-school rally, held this year at College Heights Christian Church.
Building demolition causes one injury
The demolition Monday of a building at Ninth and Main streets in Joplin injured one construction worker, but further details were not available at noon.
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- Longtime Democrat dies at 81