Julie Riley tells about the early days of Carterville Saturday. William Caldwell (seated behind Riley) also provided historical information.

Carterville Heritage Expo draws a large crowd to see displays

The first Carterville Heritage Expo on Saturday could easily be considered a resounding success.

It was the first time that historic information and memorabilia specific to Carterville have been gathered and put on display.

Visitors pored over displays of photos, maps and documents in the Carterville Community Center, and there were two trolley tours narrated by town historian Julie Riley and William Caldwell, who writes a historical column for each Saturday edition of the Joplin Globe. Caldwell, originally from Purcell, graduated from Alba High School and lives in Carterville.


This postcard from the early 1900s shows Carterville had a thriving business district catering mostly to miners.

Maps, photos and personal accounts about Carterville through the 1920s take up most of the basketball court. 

The expo and tour were presented by the newly formed Carterville Historical Society and the Carterville Parks Committee.

The trolley tour began at the city limit on the west side of town, where lead was discovered. In the beginning, the city developed close to the mining activity and expanded east.

W.A. Daugherty founded the city in 1875 after buying the property from J.G.L. Carter. Daugherty’s home, on Main Street, was one of the trolley stops. He also built the Carterville United Methodist Church, which was one of many churches in the community at its peak.

Admission fees collected are earmarked toward operation and maintenance of the community center, which was originally the school gym.

The information compiled for this year’s event only goes up until the 1920s. Organizers promise to keep on digging to present more information at another time