Central School, Carterville’s high school, was the pride of the town when it was new in 1904. This image is on a linen postcard.

Old News

From the 3rd floor
of the Webb City Public Library

Carterville school system took a big step with construction of Central School 118 years ago

Thanks to Jerry Pryor and Julie Riley, we have a collection of Carterville school photos to share.

The brick Central School building was constructed in Carterville in 1904 after the old wooden frame school house was deemed inadequate.

Elmer Boyd, a Carterville contractor, was in charge of the construction, which cost about $26,000. It was one of the best equipped schools in Jasper County at this time. The new school was ready for students on Jan. 9, 1905. It contained 12 classrooms, a library, superintendent’s office and an auditorium that seated nearly 650 people. The bathrooms were located outside of the school, as was a water shed for drinking water. In later years, gas heat, electric lights and water fountains were installed and restroom facilities were added in the basement.  


This postcard shows views of the high school, junior high and gym. (Jerry Pryor)

In 1923, bricks from the abandoned North Heights and Johnstown schools were used to construct a new gymnasium located east of the Central building.

A new junior high school building was built between the gymnasium and the Central school in the 1920s. These buildings were torn down in 1963 to make way for a new school.

In 1968 the Carterville School District consolidated with Webb City to form the Webb City R-7 School District. The old Central school building was razed in 1971 to make way for a new kitchen and lunchroom addition for the 1963 school building.

1909 Carterville Room 6 – Jerry Pryor’s mother, Marguerite Robb, is in the fifth row back, third from the left. Hugh Hatcher’s father, Era Hatcher, is in the second row, fourth from the left. On the front row, fourth from the left, is “Dink” Garner, who was well known in Carterville for many years.

A clue of when this Carterville High School photo was taken is painted on the pant leg of the boy up front: 1909. Some boys are also sending messages on the bottom of their shoes: “Post No Bills,” (as in don’t hang or post advertisements or handbills on a wall) and “For Sale.” (Julie Riley donation)

Sentinel bound volumes are now in the Genealogy Room

The WCAGS has accepted ownership of the complete collection of bound volumes of the Webb City Sentinel, from 1983 (after the fire) until the final issue on Dec. 30, 2020.

Those issues can also be viewed on microfilm, along with much older issues.

Webb City Area Genealogical Society

WCAGS members staff the Genealogy Room on the third floor of the Webb City Public Library. Current hours are noon to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. Meetings are held at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month in the Genealogy Room.

Everything you want to know about Jasper County Missouri Schools is available at a site compiled by Webb City Area Genealogical Society member Kathy Sidenstricker.