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The History of Jollification MO

Updated on June 23, 2012
The Jolly Mill Dam. Seven acres of fishing pond are available at the mill. (Lee Price, SMFF Conservation Liaison)
The Jolly Mill Dam. Seven acres of fishing pond are available at the mill. (Lee Price, SMFF Conservation Liaison)

George Washington Carver in Newton County

Southwest Missouri

In Newton County in the SW corner of the state sits a town now called Capp's Creek. It was once named Jollification, Missouri. Near the current town is the Jolly Mill and the Jolly Mill Park that surrounds its as a tourist attraction.

Cap's Creek is a fighing waterway upon which Jolly Mill Park is built and is included in the Joplin Metropolitan Area. Jolly Mill is about 42 miles east of Joplin, between Joplin and Springfield, Missouri. The nearest town to Jolly Mill Park is Pierce City.


Capps Creek is found by driving west on Route 60 away from Springfield,Missouri. After the Route 97 intersection near Monett, begin looking within a few miles more an intersection and turn left on County Road 1010. Be on the lookout for a Jolly Mill sign. The mill is downstream along Capps Creek from County Road 1010.

At the Jolly Mill Dam, there is a man-made waterfall. Upstream on the creek from the mill about half a mile is a springs. Waters up- and downstream from the mill stocked with white and brown trout and fishermen may catch four fish daily, but only one brown trout among them.

The George Washington Carver Monument is located 2 miles from nearby Diamond.

High Taxes Can Lead to Death

Jolly Mill is a National Historic Register site in a park at this time. in 1848, it was built on the waterway called Capps Creek and used as a grist mill and Isbell's Whisky Distillery. These provided the major economy for the township of Jollification. Landowner Isbell's slaves built the mill. As Conestoga wagon trains and other travelers went by the distillery, they stopped to rest and the town of Jollification established itself, Jollification suggesting that travelers revived themselves with the whisky, food, and rest. After the Civil War, the distillery closed because of tax problems and the mill simply ground flour.

The township was leveled during the American Civil War and rebuilt during the Reconstruction Era, but it declined economically, because the railroad bypassed it. Jolly Mill and Park are operated by 1) The Friends of Jolly Mill and 2) The Ozark Highlanders. It is family friendly and a good vacation spot for natural sightseeing, trout fishing, and picnicking.

Just after the Civil War, Newton County and Southwest Missouri were overrun with lawlessness in the face of poverty and high taxes. Citizens formed a vigilante group known as the Bald Knobbers (thought o be Northerners). After pulling criminals from jails and lynching them, the vigilantes went after all sorts of people whose actions they disapproved, from "loose women" to "drunks" to whomever they did not like. They burned down many towns, including Jollification. The Anti-Bald Knobbers formed to battle them, but the mayhem and murder lasted all the way until 1899, having destroyed some areas of rural SW Missouri. Some historians limit the Bald Knobbers activities to Taney County, but others see evidence that Newton County was also affected. What began as a movement against crime turned into a form of terrorism in some areas.

Inside Jolly Mill

Top 10 Job Listings

These are the leading job openings listed on the major job postings board for the Jolly Mill/Newton County and surrounding area near Joplin, Missouri.

The leading jobs listed are not a match for the fastest-growing jobs indicated in the left-hand column.

  1. Registered Nurse(RN)
  2. Physical Therapist
  3. Occupational Therapist
  4. Authomotive Service Tech
  5. Assistant Mgr, Retail
  6. Retail Salespersons
  7. Other Assistant Managers
  8. CNA/Nurse Technicians
  9. Store Manager
  10. Business Analyst

Economy and Jobs

The Joplin area of Southwest Missouri was traditionally supported by agriculture adn agricultural manufacturing like that occurring at Jolly Mill. Tourism and Travel actually began to develop with the advance fo the stagecoaches and wagon trains passing through to the West.

Today, the Top 10 High Demand Jobs in the Metro Area are:

  1. Network Systems and Data Communications Analysts
  2. Computer Software Engineers, Applications
  3. Animal Breeders
  4. Environmental Engineers
  5. Animal Trainers
  6. Audio and Video Equipment Technicians
  7. Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians
  8. Customer Service Representatives
  9. Advertising Sales Agents
  10. Pharmacists

Jobs Increasing in Joplin Metro Area

Largest Employers Posting the Most Job Openings

Out of over 5500 job openings in the area, the following are the

Top 10 Hiring Employers:

  1. St. John's Regional Medical Center
  2. Voyage Healthcare
  3. Freeman Health System
  4. Critical Connections - Healthcare
  5. Nurse Options USA
  6. Community Health Systems
  7. Medical Connections, Inc.
  8. AT & T
  9. St.John's Health System
  10. Integris Health

Higher Education

  • Baptist Bible College - Springfield
  • Central Bible College - Springfield
  • Crowder College - Neosho
  • Drury University - Springfield
  • Evangel university - Springfield
  • Forest Institute of Professional Psychology
  • Messenger College - Joplin
  • Missouri Southern State University - Joplin
  • Missouri State University - Springfield
  • Ozark Christian College - Joplin
  • Ozarks Technical Community College


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    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 8 years ago from India

      Interesting bit of history for a good holiday destination.

      Thanks for sharing.