Carterville’s second Central School, located on the same site as the current Carterville Elementary School, was in use for more than 60 years.

Old News

From the 3rd floor of the Webb City Public Library

Carterville’s need for more classrooms rose and fell with the number of miners’ families

Webb City Area Genealogical Society

Newcomers may only know about Carterville Elementary School. But the city has a rich history of educating children through high school, until the Comets became Cardinals in the late 1960s as part of the consolidation movement.

On the same corner as the modern school is today was the Central School, constructed in 1883 after a cyclone destroyed the previous schoolhouse that was known as the Washington School. 

The first Central School building was a two story, wood frame building that contained four rooms.

It was located on East Hall Street.

This building was used until 1904 when it was cut into sections and moved onto two separate lots at the east end of Wilson Street to allow for construction of the new Central School building.

The second Central School opened on Jan. 9, 1905. The new school building contained 12 classrooms, a library, superintendent’s office and a large auditorium. This school was used until 1968 when Carterville consolidated with Webb City.

The 1900 Sanborn Fire Insurance map shows the location of the first Central School (top right). It was noted that the building did not have electric lights.


The 1915 Sanborn Fire Insurance map shows the location of the brick Central School Building. It is noted that this building was heated by five furnaces and had electric lights.

The North Heights School was constructed in 1889 in the northeast section of Carterville on North Pine Street. The lot was purchased from Harrison & McGregor for $600. The building contained six classrooms, a library and principal’s office. The North Heights building was used until the early 1920s. This photo was taken in 1914.

In the early 1890s, the southeast portion of Carterville began to grow and the school children living the the Johnstown area had to walk a great distance to the Central School building. The Johnstown School was constructed at the corner of Jefferson and First streets on land donated by T. N. Davey. It was completed in 1891 at a cost of $8,000. 

The Johnstown School was used until the early 1920s. Both it and the North Heights buildings were torn down in 1923, the bricks from these schools were used in the construction of a new gymnasium that was built east of the Central School building.

This photo of the North Heights School was taken in the 1920s. The view is looking south, the road running to the East is Gum Road.

Note how near the school was to the chat piles.

At right, a Google Maps image shows basically the same road  above as it is today. The water tower is now located in the general area of where North Heights School was.

We’re showing on this Google Map where Johnstown School may have been. Nearby is the old Carterville football field, with Works Progress projects still present.

Contact us if you have a better sense of where Johnstown School was.


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 second Tuesday of each month in the Geadalogy 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.