This photo of Mark Twain Elementary School, taken when it was the newest building in the Webb City School District, was in the 1961 yearbook.

Old News

From the 3rd floor
of the Webb City Public Library

Mark Twain was the pride of the Webb City School District 62 years ago

The Joplin Globe featured a story on Webb City’s new Mark Twain School on September 17, 1961.

New Mark Twain elementary school, which was placed in use by 187 pupils and six teachers on the first day of the 1961-62 term, September 5, will be exhibited to the general public for the first time today during open house from 1 to 5 o’clock this afternoon.

Located at the north end of College Avenue on Aylor Street, in the northwest section of the city, the Mark Twain building replaced old West Side School on North Cedar Street, which was used more than 68 years, from 1892 through the 1960-61 term.

Voters here in June of 1960 approved a $170,000 bond issue for construction of modern Mark Twain School. The eight-classroom building was designed by A. C. Esterly, Springfield, Mo., architect, and was constructed by M and P Construction Company of Carthage. The structure of brick facing on concrete blocks has metal-covered walkways. Exterior walls of the classroom wing are constructed entirely of windows to provide maximum daylight.

The wing at right contains a multipurpose room with a stage, kitchen, boiler rooms and restrooms. The double front entrance doors open into a spacious hallway with a glass-enclosed principal’s office.

Enrollment at the new school includes 40 pupils in the first grade; 31 in the second grade; 32 in the third grade; 26 in the forth grade; 23 in the fifth grade and 35 in the sixth grade. Additional classrooms at the present time are being used for special education classwork and musical instruction.

In planning the new school, the Webb City board of education building committee recommended the eight-classroom building be designed for addition of four rooms in the future, taking into consideration a probable increase in population in that area of the West Haven and Linwood (Prairie Flower) additions.

West Haven is the subdivision that was built on the former golf course.

Mark Twain has been expanded with more classrooms and tornado shelters. It now serves as the third-grade center for students in Webb City. The current head count is 218. When they advance to fourth grade, they go to Eugene Field Elementary.

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.