117 North Moffet Avenue
American Foursquare, circa 1906
Frederick (1870-1934) and Fannie Wilbur were the first owners of this house that is
technically located in the Wilson-Hutton residential district, just three doors north of the
Murphysburg Historic District. At one time, Mr. Wilbur was a clerk for a powder
Herma died at the age of 42 in 1931, following an accidental (mercury) chemical poisoning!
When Frank died of a heart ailment in 1938, he was living at the Olivia Apartments (320 S.
Moffet.) It was common for wealthy and prominent Joplin residents to “downsize” by
moving to the prestigious Olivia.
In 1917, a library and second-story master suite were added to the house by owners Frank
and Herma (Letts) Weeks, barely one year before Mr. Weeks registered for the World
War I draft! Mr. Weeks was associated with numerous mines in Missouri and Oklahoma,
and he explored mining in Texas. Associates of Mr. Weeks regarded him as one of the most
successful and progressive mine operators in the district, and leader in developing and
improving the handling of sludge! The Weeks family enjoyed a wealthy lifestyle as
evidenced by their documented trips to Havana, Cuba and Hong Kong, China.
ARCHITECTURE – The Craftsman style wooden front door with sidelights is an exacting
reproduction. The original sidewalk bricks were used in the reconstruction of the front
retaining wall and columns.