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During the 1916-1917 school session, the Carthage Board of Education approved the construction of two new schools including this brick and limestone structure. (Mark Twain Elementary School on South Main Street was the other school; see Clio entry for that school's history.) Eugene Field was built on Chestnut Street between Fulton and Orchard Streets. The new structure replaced older ward schools of Washington and Irving that served the surrounding neighborhoods. The choice of the school's name was to honor Missouri poet and journalist Eugene Field as a sign of respect for literature in education which was considered important at the time.

  • 1953 8th grade (Junior High School) graduation at Eugene Field School. Photograph featured  in 175th Anniversary of Carthage exhibit at the Powers Museum in 2017.
  • 1953 program and graduation certificate for Donald Lee Millikan from Eugene Field School display in 175th Anniversary of Carthage at the Powers Museum in 2017.
  • Postcard from 175th Carthage Anniversary Exhibit at Powers Museum in 2017.
  • Digitization on CLIO part of Powers Museum's "Digital Carthage" project for Carthage's 175th Anniversary Celebration 2017-18.
  • Funding for Walking in the Wards tour made possible by a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Spring 2017.

Eugene Field School served the Carthage school system from 1917 through the 1996-1997 school year when it was closed with the construction of Steadley Elementary School on West Fairview Road. Tom Bewick was the last principal of the school. The first principal of Eugene Field School was Lula Stanley who served from 1917 to 1950 (1). The naming of the school in early 1917 came as a surprise to Cathaginians. "It was generally supposed that one of the schools would be named after the late Prof. J. M. White, who died while superintendent of schools here, and that the other [school] name would be chosen from the names handed in by the citizens. There had been so much discussion as to which of the names suggested would be fitting that the board decided to choose names which had not been suggested (2)." Like Mark Twain School, Eugene Field School was designed by Percy Simpson and constructed by P. J. McNerney contractors (3).

Powers Museum Vertical Files: Eugene Field School.

"The Board Selects Names," Carthage Evening Press, February 7, 1917, no page available (2).

Van, Gilder, Marvin. "Eugene Field School named after famous Missouri author," Carthage Press, June 10, 1997, pg. 2B (1 & 3).

Image Sources(Click to expand)

Photograph, certificate, program and postcard from Powers Museum Collection.