Built by Henrietta Jackson Cosgrove (1849-1927) who was a mine operator, writer, civic
leader, suffragist, philanthropist and involved in real estate. One of her greatest
accomplishments was securing pensions for miners’ widows by proposing that states adopt
widow’s pensions rather than vagrancy laws, thus saving the states’ money. By the 1920s, all
but four states adopted widows’ pension laws. She was married to Aruna P. Cosgrove (1842-
1901) and they had one daughter.
In May 2014, Mr. Allen was forced to sue Mrs. Cosgrove for the balance due on his commission
for the building. In December 2014 the case was dismissed when she finally paid him the
Businesses were located on the bottom floor and offices and living quarters on the top floor. In
December 1915 while Mrs. Cosgrove slept upstairs, robbers entered the Graham Brothers’
Grocery Store downstairs and stole chewing gum, cigars, chewing tobacco, ate lunch, and kept
warm around an oil lamp!
Through the years many different companies have officed here including the City of Joplin
Commissioners and Atlas Powder Company in 1914 and the Joplin Convention & Visitors
Bureau in the 1990s and early 2000s.
To learn more about the future of this building, contact Heather Lesmeister, Executive Director,
Spiva Center for the Arts at 417-623-0183.