About This Place
Sarcoxie is a city in Jasper County, Missouri, United States. The population was 1,354 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Joplin, Missouri Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The earliest named occupant was Chief Sarcoxie. His name has been said to mean "As Tall As He Is"--a reference to his position and perhaps also his height. It is said he settled by a spring at the base of a steep hill near what is now the town square, selecting the spot because it was never struck by tornadoes. A cavern at that spot in the limestone bluff is called "Chief Sarcoxie's Cave", and was large enough for boys to crawl into as recently as 1910; however, as limestone was quarried from the bluff, the roof of the cave gradually subsided and the entrance closed. European-American settlement began in the 1830s with the town being platted in 1840. It is the only town in the US with the name Sarcoxie— though there is a township in Jefferson County, Kansas with the same name. Sarcoxie is also the oldest town in the county.
It was once the strawberry capital of the world and still is the peony capital of the world, and home to Gilbert H. Wild, one of America's largest growers of daylilies, iris, and peonies. Sarcoxie once had its own currency that had a picture of a strawberry on one side. The town's weekly newspaper, the Sarcoxie Record, was one of the better newspapers in the state in the 1930s. Barney Finn, the editor, also served as Sarcoxie mayor for two terms.