Allen (Main) Street south from Main (Broadway) Street.

Ancestors, Legends & Time

Changes in Webb City from 1960 – 2018

Jeanne Newby

Buildings at 211 W. Broadway in their original condition. Webb City Police Department is now located there. At left is the Safeway grocery store.

Here are a few of the changes:

1960 – Dec. 25 – Karbe Grocery Store 16th & Madison destroyed by fire.

1961 – March – The new Karbe store being rebuilt at 1510 S. Madison, same location as previously located before fire.

1963 – May – The National Guard Building (Jamison Building located behind the new Webb City Drive-in bank) was destroyed by fire.

1964 – Part of East Daugherty Street experienced a cave-in.

1965 – February – Max Glover’s law office was destroyed by fire.

1966 – July 14, Explosion at Hercules.

1969 – October – The Pick & Pay Market on Madison burned down.

1970 – August – Huge explosion at Ray’s Service station, 1202 S. Madison St., causes mushroom cloud of smoke.

1974 – April 28, Dedication of Jack Dawson’s Praying Hands statue in King Jack Park bringing worldwide attention to Webb City.

1974 – The old high school on Broadway was torn down.

1976 – May – Open House at new fire station on East Church Street.

1979 – September, Bruner Pharmacy doubles floor space at 101 W. Daugherty

1980 – Completion of the Cameron Estates at 324 N. Tom. Tallest building in Webb City, fire department had to purchase a new ladder truck to accommodate the building.

1980 – April, Webb City got its first Wal-Mart Store at Cardinal Drive and Madison Avenue, formerly known as Aylor Hill (across from Mt. Hope Cemetery). Atwoods moved into the building later.

1981 – The new Merchants & Miners Bank opened on Webb Street. The Unity Building, where the bank was previously located, was purchased by Don and Carolyn McGowen and became Pinocchio Pre School and Dance studio with apartments upstairs.

1982 – Construction of the Webb City Senior Citizen building began by The New Era Construction Company at Pennsylvania & Daugherty streets.

1982 – June – The old Salvation Army Hospital was razed brick by brick. Corner stone located

1982 – December, fire destroyed the historic Donehoo Block, south of the Middlewest Building, home at that time of the Webb City Sentinel, Cardinal Scales and the Main Street Bar. The former Empress building was lost and the south wall of the Middlewest building had to be replaced. There had been a fire in the same location 100 years before.

1983 – The Webb City Senior Citizen Building opened on the northwest corner of Pennsylvania & Daugherty streets. It is where the first frame house in town was built by Granville Ashcraft.

1984 – Restoration of Middle West Building, One South Main begins.

1984 – March – A small plane attempting to land at the airport crashed in residential area south of Highway 171. Both men aboard the plane were killed.

1985 – August – YMCA Building sold for $9,500.

1985 – September – Elder’s Shirt Factory announcing that after 66 years they are leaving town.

1986 – The Webb City Nursing Home moved into their new building behind the old Elmhurst building, which was demolished.

1987 – March – Steve Benjamin moved the Webb City Lumber and Hardware from East Broadway to 1506 S. Madison.

1988 – In an auction, the fountain at Bradbury Bishop Drug Store was sold to the Garland Center in Carthage. A group of businessmen and the Preservation Committee bought back the fountain before it ever left the building. The Garland Center burned not too long afterward. The fountain would have been destroyed – but it is still in Webb City.

1989 – The last four concrete silos of the Ball & Gunning Mill on Madison were demolished.

1991 – April The dump became a tire recycling center, but the owner couldn’t handle all the tires, which became an environmental hazard. Black smoke rose from the dump, where an estimated 70,000 tires burned.

1993 – October – Tornado hits the northwest side of town. A lot of citizens were out of town at a Lebanon football game as tornado hit. No injuries, 20 homes damaged

1994 –Mural of landmarks along Rt. 66 by local artist John Biggs was painted on the side of Bruner Pharmacy along Main Street. He painted another one in the Chamber of Commerce building at Webb Street and Broadway.

1995 – Ramey’s Grocery, in the old Foodtown building at Madison and Broadway, built a new store on West MacArthur Boulevard. It later became Price Cutters.

1997 – The old Dickinson Theatre on Main street has been given a reprieve. The building was restored by Rick and Gina Monson. Roof damage had kept the building in bad repair for many years. It eventually became the Rt. 66 Theater.

1997 – June – The 1871 Georgia City Bridge was moved to King Jack Park. Paying to relocate the bridge was actually a penalty for the city. An employee attempting to get back at the City Administrator Gordon Fish reported to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources that the city had been illegally dumping asbestos floor tile in the chats on the east edge of town. City Attorney Paul Taylor arranged the Georgia City Bridge deal, which became an asset. It is now part of the walking trail though the park.

1997 – August – Open House for new City Hall at Second and Main. The city got a good deal on the purchase of the relatively new building after Empire District Electric closed its office here in town. The building was remodeled and extended with an open room for council meetings and municipal court.

1998 – June 15, Webb City Drive In Theatre, the outdoor movie theater that provided so many memories (40 + years old) was demolished. It was on the site of the Webb City Wal-Mart Super Store.

1999 – February, Consumers grocery its doors, after 19 years, 1980-1999. Located by the first Wal-Mart store in Webb City. The store became a Big Lots and is now a NAPA Auto Parts store.

1999 – March, Wal-Mart became a 24-hour Super Store moved to new location on Madison, site of the old Webb City Drive-in Theater.

1999 – July – The police department moved to its new location on Broadway. The new location, dedicated on August 1, was a combination of the old telephone bldg. and the previous water department. Dawson Heritage Furniture Company donated the old telephone building.

1999 – November – Broadway Market closes its doors after 75 years of business.

1999 – New businesses opening on Madison Street: Taco Bell, Arby’s, May’s Drug Warehouse, Wendy’s, Commerce Bank, Walgreen’s, Atwoods. New businesses on MacArthur: Arvest Bank. New businesses on Main Street: Hunter’s Lane, Rann’s Jewelry, Main Street Outlet and Route 66 Music Theater (where the Dickinson theater was).

2000 – Marion and Bill Perry Jr. donated $200,000 to renovate and expand the Webb City Public Library. Their donation spurred a drive to collect $2.1 million. Meanwhile the library made a major move by its card catalog to a database.

2001 – The new junior high gym  was completed along with a hallway connecting the gymnasium and annex to the main building.

2003 –  Groundbreaking for the new amphitheater and community building in King Jack Park.

2003 – Southwest Center for Educational Excellence was located next to Crowder College on South Ellis Street.

2003 –  Construction of the new fire station on Ellis Street begins.

2003 –  August – The beautifully restored Webb City Bank is completed.

2004 – January 29, Grand opening of the new Mining Days Community Building (3,200 sq. ft.) and Amphitheatre (seats 250 with room for 750 on the grass.) Webb City Mining Days Committee donated $125,000 toward the community building plus the purchase of the kitchen appliances. Grant money paid for the amphitheater and the rest of the community building

2004 –   The fire department moved into its new station on Ellis Street

2005 – summer – The removal of houses began on Madison Street to make room for City Pointe shopping center. Beautiful maple trees that graced Madison Street were also removed.

2006 – City Pointe Shopping Center opened on Madison Street.  The homes it replaced were moved to lots a block west of Madison Street and a block south of Broadway.

2007 – June – City talks of working with EPA to fill Sucker Flat with area mining wastes. Creates lots of controversy among citizens.

2007– EPA Clean up of chat piles between Carterville and Webb City begins.

2012 – Construction began on the roundabout on Highway 171 and East Road.

2012 – The Minerva Candy Company reopened, with Tom and Mary Hamsher as the new owners. They did needed restoration on the buildings.

2012 – A new mural was painted on the north side of the Middlewest Building at Main and Broadway streets. Donations and grant money paid for the mural. Kyle McKenzie sketched the mural and assisted a multitude of painters in finishing the mural.

Jeanne’s new book, “The Zinc City, Webb City, Missouri” is now available at Webb City Chamber office and other local retailers, such as Maggie Jane’s Gifts, at 8 S. Main St.

Jeanne Newby

A lot of us appreciate the Bradbury Bishop Fountain, but Jeanne actually worked behind the counter making sodas while she was in high school. She knows everything about Webb City and is a member of the Webb City R-7 School Board.

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