Joplin is an unincorporated community in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It is likely named after an early white settler in Kanawha County, James Jopling. In the early 19th century, Jopling purchased land alongside the creek later called Joplin Branch, a tributary of the Kanawha River. Many of Jopling's children and grandchildren lived along the creek near the family patriarch, and gave the community its name. James Jopling was described as "a man of powerful frame, and loved adventure. He was a noted trapper, hunter, and Indian fighter, and delighted in relating his narrow escapes and wonderful feats in woods life." Jopling also reportedly killed the last elk in the region, nearby on the Elk River. 
^Hamill Kenny, West Virginia Place Names, their Origin and Meaning (Menasha, Wisconsin: Banta Publishing Company, 1945), 338.
^GEO. W. Atkinson, History of Kanawha County, From its Organization in 1789 until the Present time; Embracing Accounts of Early Settlements, and-Thrilling Adventures with the Indians, Derived from History and Aged Citizens (Charleston, WV 1876), 340