Old News

From the 3rd floor
of the Webb City Public Library

Jennie and Edith Lowe started their teaching careers in Purcell and retired from Webb City

Webb City Area Genealogical Society

A few weeks ago we ran a poster from the 1943-1944 school year featuring teachers from the Webb City grade schools. Two of the teachers from Webster School were sisters, Jennie and Edith Lowe.

Jennie and Edith taught in Webb City for many years and their collection of school photos have been donated to the Webb City Historical Society.

Jennie and Edith were the daughters of Samuel and Martha Lowe. Jennie was born on Dec. 12, 1881, and Edith was born on Nov. 10, 1884, both in Greensburg, Decatur County, Ind. The Lowe family moved to Alba, in the mid-1880s and were living in Purcell by 1900. Jennie and Edith studied to become teachers, and when the Purcell School was constructed in 1910, they were some of the first teachers employed by the school.

Samuel Lowe died in 1913 and the family moved to Webb City around 1920, living at 602 S. Jefferson St.. Edith was teaching at Duenweg School around this time, but both sisters were employed by the Webb City School District by the 1920s, Edith at Eugene Field School and Jennie at the Central School. In later years, the sisters mainly taught at the same schools, Eugene Field in the 1920s and early 1930s, West Side School from the late 1930s to the early 1940s. In the mid-1940s, they were at Webster School and then Franklin School by the late 1940s. Edith mostly taught the first grade, and Jennie was usually a second or third grade teacher. Jennie Lowe retired in 1952 at the age of 71, teaching a total of 41 years in Jasper County. Edith Lowe retired in 1958 at the age of 74, teaching a total of 47 years.

Jennie Lowe died on Aug. 27, 1973, at the age of 92. She was a graduate of Kansas State Teachers College and studied at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. Jennie was a member of the First Community Church and the National Retired Teachers Association.

Edith Lowe died on Sept. 13, 1975 at the age of 90. She was a member of the First Community Church of Joplin and a life member of the Kansas State College of Pittsburg Alumni Association, where she had received a bachelor’s degree in education. She was also a member of the Missouri State Retired Teachers Association and the National Retired Teachers Association.

Both of the Lowe sisters are buried at Friends Cemetery in Purcell near their parents.

Jennie and Edith Lowe were two of the Webster School faculty in members in 1943-44 – (BACK) Miss Fern Mosby, Mrs. Lloyd Buehner, principal; Miss Pearl Venable. (FRONT) Miss Jennie Lowe; Mrs. Anna B. Hatcher; Miss Edith Lowe.

Jennie Lowe (left) and Edith Lowe (second from right) began their careers at Purcell School, circa 1910.

Jennie Lowe’s classes in 1912 at Purcell and 1948 at Franklin School.

Edith Lowe’s 1915 Purcell Class and her 1958 class at Webster School

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.