Some detective work determined this photo was likely taken of the second grade class of Eugene Field Elementary in Carthage in 1946.

From the 3rd floor
of the Webb City Public Library

Old News

School photo identity challenge accepted

Webb City Area Genealogical Society

June 5, 2024

One of our Webb City Area Genealogical Society members recently purchased a few school photographs at an area antique store. One of the photographs had the students’ names written on the back but no other identification, such as the year or name of the school.

We estimated this image was taken in the 1940s so we searched for these names on the 1950 Missouri census posted at

We found many of these students whose ages were 10 or 11 years in 1950. Since this photo was labeled “2nd Grade,” we were able to estimate the year as 1946. The photo was purchased in Carthage so we looked at our collection of photos from there and determined the school was Eugene Field. We found that someone had already donated a copy of this photo but the resolution of the scan was very low.  The donated photo was marked “Blake 47” by the photographer, our purchased copy was not. Blake was a Carthage photographer during this time period.

The names on the back of our copy weren’t matching the way the kids were placed on the front, according to the previously donated photo. So we determined that list was the photographer’s list of those placing an order. This ordering list was most likely written by the teacher, Miss Dilly, so now we have an accurate student roster. 

Here’s the caption that we’ve come up with. Although some of the names do not match the teacher’s roster. We’re hoping there is a reader out there who can help sort this out.

(FRONT) John Hall, Amos Hammonds, Bobby Grant, Paul Davis, Eddie Ritter, Eugene Whitehead, Ronnie Cole, Jack Sartain.

(MIDDLE) Twyla Branson, unknown, Phyllis Redmond, Shirley Reed, Linda Hensley, Shirley Cooley, Doris Marcene Lindsey?, Karen Helmer, unknown, unknown, Phyllis Ann Francisco, Carol Pringle, Pat Pringle.

(BACK) Chuck Reed, Dean Hole, Tom Cameron, unknown, Patricia Brown, Joyce Whitaker, Richard Rogers, Janelle Trimble, Norma Fern Hodge, Danny Stanley, Charles Wofford.


Harlen Hampsten took this photo of Dewey School students during the 1943-44 school year.

Another photo purchased was of the Dewey School children, taken by Harlen Hampsten, the well known Webb City photographer.

He took many of the school photos, traveling all over the countryside to do so. If each copy would sell for 25 cents, the most he could hope to sell to this particular group of students would be 15 copies… if the teacher bought one. He visited several schools per day so that may have helped increase his profit!

Dewey School was located north of Carthage near Salem Church on Baseline Road.  

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.