When George N. Spiva bought his house in home in 1917, he created a spectacular rose garden that drew visitors from all around.
Mr. George N. Spiva was a powder manufacturer and was one of Joplin’s foremost financial and civic leaders. Originally Mr. Spiva organized the Home Powder Company, and later was founder and president of General Explosives Company, which had seven branch offices. He was chairman of the board of First National Bank, president of Old Conqueror Trust Company, president of Spiva Investment Company, and president of Liberty Building Company.
Five years after first wife Bessie Tamblyn (1874-1926) passed away at their home, George married Zella Fisher (1889-1972).
His son George A. Spiva went on to be a prominent leader in Joplin as well. Before his death, Mr. Spiva was presented with an award for his outstanding contributions to the cultural, art and civic functions of the city over a long span of years.
George A. was one of the principal contributors to the Missouri Southern college and financed construction of and donated to the city a new park at Fourth and Main streets. The park was named the Spiva Memorial park in honor of his father. When you visit the Spiva Park in the historic Sunshine Lamp District, you can see the bronze statue of Mr. George N. Spiva sitting and enjoying the park that is named for him.