The Architectural Legacy of Garstang & Rea: Carthage High School

Carthage High School

In 1904, at a cost of $105,000, Carthage received a new high school to replace its predecessor from 1870. The building received an addition in 1951 and a renovation in 1956. Further additions followed, one as late as 1988. However, the high school transitioned to a junior high school in 2009, when a new high school was built elsewhere. A visit down Main Street Carthage will show the 108 year old building in its current in use condition.

Carthage High School Reception room

Carthage High School Reception room


Carthage High School auditorium

Carthage High School auditorium


Carthage High School present day.

The Carthage High School building is today a junior high.

The Architectural Legacy of Garstang & Rea: Earnest B. Jacobs House in Carthage, Missouri

Earnest B. Jacobs House in Carthage Missouri

Earnest B. Jacobs House

The next photograph in our Alfred W. Rea portfolio series is the Earnest B. Jacobs house in Carthage, Missouri. A History of Jasper County, Missouri and Its People, by Joel T. Livingston, has this to say about Mr. Jacobs:

Life is a voyage, in the progress of which we are perpetually changing our scenes. Ernest Jacobs has now arrived at a port where he can stop a while and look back at that part of the voyage he has already successfully made. He has seen the good and the evil that are in the world,—the ups and the downs, and he has learned to be uncensorious, humane. He has learned to attribute the best motives to every action and to be chary of imputing a sweeping and cruel blame. He has no finger of scorn to point at anything under the sun. Along with this pleasant blandness and charity there is a certain grave, serious humor. From this same port he can see an expanse of waters covered with a mist. If there are rocks ahead he cannot see them; if there are whirlpools he hopes to be able to avoid them with the aid of the same pilot that has guided him heretofore and by steering with the same steady hand that has up to this port kept his course straight.

Launched on the sea of life July 20, 1858, in the port of Chicago, Illinois, Ernest B. Jacobs set sail. To leave metaphor for a while, his father, John W. Jacobs was born in New York state in Watertown. He was educated there and studied for the ministry. He entered the Methodist church, his first charge being in his native state. Then he was stationed in Chicago, Illinois, where he was very well known on account of his eloquent oratory and his earnest, conscientious work. While he was still living in New York he married Lucy Young, a native of Ohio. After the death of her husband in Kansas City she went back to New York, where she is living with one of her children.

Ernest B. Jacobs went with his parents from Chicago to Carthage when he was very young. He went to the public and high schools in Carthage. Upon leaving school he taught for a number of years. Although he was a successful teacher, he did not intend to make teaching his life work. In 1877 he was tendered the position of assistant postmaster in Carthage; he accepted the office and held it for eight years, at the end of which time he became associated with the First National Bank of Carthage.

Desiring to learn the banking business thoroughly in all its branches, he started in at the bottom of the ladder, but quickly mounted the rungs until he became cashier. He has held this position for a number of years and is considered one of the veteran financiers of Carthage. During the twenty-six years of his connection with the First National Bank there have been a number of panics, but in that period the bank has never been obliged to borrow a dollar, nor has it been in financial straits at all. He is a director of the banks at Alba, Reeds and LaRussell and it is a significant fact that all three banks have been in a flourishing condition since his connection with them.

In 1884 Ernest B. Jacobs drifted into the matrimonial sea, taking with him Miss Carrie Farwell, belonging to an old Carthage family. The course was steered clear of the breakers which impede the progress of so many sailors in the same sea. They have two children Ernestine, born in Carthage, January 3, 1895, has just (1911) completed her course at the Carthage high school. Jay W. Jacobs, born in Carthage January 7, 1899, is attending the grammar school.

Image via Find A Grave.com


Mr. Jacobs’ connection with the Masons has been a very pleasant one. He is a member of the Carthage Blue Lodge, a Royal Arch Mason, a Knight Templar and a Shriner. He is a member of the Elks Club at Carthage. He is a Republican and by reason of his position and his wide circle of acquaintances is very influential in the political world. Brought up in the Methodist faith, he has continued with the same beliefs. He encourages his wife in her desire for continual self culture and most heartily approves of the literary club of which she is a prominent member. Mr. Jacobs believes that everybody must work and may play; he throws as much enthusiasm into the one as into the other.

He is an ardent and successful sportsman. He is a member of the Carter County Hunting & Fishing Club, of the Miami, Oklahoma Hunting & Fishing Club and of the Vernon County Field Club. When he takes a vacation he generally employs it in the indulgence of one or the other of his favorite pastimes, hunting or fishing. Whether in business, the world of sports or private life Mr. Jacobs is very popular and has the confidence of all who know him.

On December 12, 1927, the widowed Earnest Jacobs passed away from a stroke. Upon his death, Knell Mortuary oversaw funeral arrangements. Five years later, in 1932, Knell Mortuary purchased the Jacobs House and has since remained at the corner of West Chestnut and Garrison Avenues.

Earnest B. Jacobs House today.

Architectural Legacy of Garstang & Rea: Elks’ Clubhouse in Carthage, Missouri

Carthage Missouri Elks Clubhouse

Our next photograph in the Alfred W. Rea portfolio series is the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks clubhouse in Carthage, Missouri. The clubhouse was built in 1901 at an expense of $8,500, or approximately $220,000 in 2010 dollars. The Carthage Lodge No. 529 was founded sometime before 1900 and became defunct sometime before 1947. Presumably, the clubhouse was torn down at some point.

A Town Is Born (The First and Nearly Last Nice Thing Carthage Said About Joplin)

Joplin, 1872

In 1871, the Carthage Weekly Banner had this to say:

“There is a new town in Jasper County. Its name is Joplyn. Location fourteen miles southwest of Carthage on the farm of our friend J.C. Cox. It is young, but thrifty. Has lead in unlimited quantities underneath it. Numerous miners are there going for the lead. The sound of the shovel and the pick is heard daily in the bowels of the earth. Board shanties have sprung up like mushrooms. There is a scene of business within its borders, and even in the region round about for a mile or two. The lead exists in richly paying quantities, and some of the miners are making small fortunes every week. The fame whereof has spread abroad even to Carthage.

In mining as in any other business, or profession, if one man succeeds, and does well, a dozen are ready to go into the same speculation. Hence men out of employment, from this city, invest a few dollars in a pick and shovel, fill a haversack with rations and go for the mines. We saw one of our neighbors ‘lighting out’ the other day for the front thus duly outfitted. We asked him if he was going to work on the railroad? ‘Railroad be hanged! I’m going to strike lead,’ was his ready response.”

Among those of our citizens who have struck lead, are Col. O.S. Picher, who has rich deposits – being worked – on his farm. Mr. D.H. Budlong has a farm in close proximity upon which lead blossoms like the rose, and the probabilities are that he will exhume a lead mine, that may make his everlasting fortune, which if it does we shall not begrudge him his luck, one iota, for he is a worthy man, and an excellent citizen, besides being an uncompromising Radical.

We also had a farm in that vicinity about a year ago, but fortunately we traded it off for Mr. Benham’s interest in the BANNER, or we, too, would be troubled with visions of fabulous wealth, and pass sleepless nights worrying about it.

Mr. T.G. Powers, from this place, has had excellent success in lead mining, and is on the highway to wealth.

There are others, but we cannot call them to mind. Joplyn is a lively place. Everybody out of employment ought to go there and dig. That is better than doing nothing, and it may lead to certain fortune. We shall not worry about it if some of our citizens make their hundreds of thousands by it – with which charitable sentence we will close this sentence.”

 

The Lawyers

The scene of undoubtedly many a colorful exchange between Joplin's lawyers. It later burned to the ground.

We have covered desperados, sinful sirens, and other ne’er do wells in the past. We have yet, however, to discuss the lawyers who were called upon to defend their clients over the years. There are biographical sketches of many judges and lawyers in the various Jasper County histories, but nothing quite brings the local bar to life like the address the Honorable John H. Flanigan delivered before the Jasper County Bar Association on March 1, 1941, the one hundredth anniversary of the Jasper County Circuit Court. Although we cannot reprint the entire speech in its entirety, we can share some of the more colorful stories he related to his audience.

One of the most vivid tales Flanigan shared was one that he had heard from the venerable Samuel McReynolds:

“One of the old time lawyers in Carthage was Bill Green. He died in the State Hospital [Insane Asylum] at Nevada. For years before his confinement there his mind had been failing, but the failure was so gradual that many were unaware of his condition. Samuel McReynolds told me that on one occasion his firm had been requested by a law book concern to make collection of an account against Bill Green. The firm was unable to make the collection and thus the matter stood until one day a salesman from the law book concern called at the office of McReynolds & Halliburton on a sales trip. Learning that the Green account had not been paid, he asked Judge McReynolds if there was any objection to his undertaking to collect. McReynolds agreed that the salesman might try it.

In a few minutes, the salesman came back white as a sheet and quivering like an aspen leaf. He said:

‘Mr. McReynolds, I have had a perfectly horrible experience. I went up the stairs, found Mr. Green’s door, walked in, and found a very large man lying full-length on the floor. The floor was covered with papers and documents. The man had a large past pot on the floor and a paste brush in his hand. Without preliminary, the man said, “This is my filing system. For years I have been unable to find lost papers. Now I take a paper, put paste on it with this brush, slap it on the wall and there it is until the end of time. I am going to patent this invention.”

He then rose to his full height and asked me to state my business. I told him I had come to collect the account. Green had a peculiar glitter in his eye. He said, “Sir, I am possessed of supa’ powers. You see this long knife with its keen blade. With this knife I am able, sir, to separate your head from your body, remove your head, place it on the floor, and replace it on your shoulders without injury to you, and sir, I am going to perform that miracle on you right now.” I don’t care if we never collect that account.’

According to Flanigan, “Tom Connor [of Connor Hotel fame] disliked Judge Malcolm G. McGregor, but said he was willing to trust McGregor to decide any case because, ‘Even though he is a damned Scotchman, he is absolutely honest.’”  He added that when McGregor arrived in Jasper County, he had walked from Ft. Scott, Kansas, to Lamar. After taking a brief rest, he walked the rest of the way from Lamar to Carthage.

Judge John C. Price, it was recalled, had a fondness for alcohol and tobacco. Flanigan said of Price, “When he was riding the circuit he would retire at night in the primitive hotels of the period, a giant ‘chaw’ of tobacco clamped in his jaw. When seized with the desire to expectorate he would spit a steam of tobacco juice straight in the air above his head and would then quickly draw the covers over his head so that they might catch the fall, thus ‘saving his face.’”

Once Al Thomas was participating in a trial at Carthage and, as usual, “shouted his argument in penetrating tones that carried far beyond the court house square.” His opponent in the courtroom that day, Lon Cunningham, stood up and replied:

“Gentlemen of the jury, I read an article in the encyclopedia which interested me very much. It stated that some scientists had gone to the upper reaches of the Amazon far into the jungles of South America to find out what sort of animal was capable of making a tremendous noise described to them by the natives who reported that when this noise was heard the cockatoos and the wild bird would fly from their perch and flit from tree to tree, hyenas would take to the deep undergrowth, and panthers would retreat to their dens. After weeks of search[ing], the source of this noise was found. It was a harmless beetle which made the noise by the tremendous beating of its wings. This noise was the beetle’s only defense against attack. Al Thomas reminds me of that beetle. He is all noise and noise is his only defense.”

Cunningham was also known for winning a court case over water pressure. One of the parties in the case was required to provide enough water pressure that a stream of water would reach the fourth floor of the Keystone Hotel. Cunningham argued that the contract was invalid because of the required water pressure was not provided. In closing arguments, Cunningham recalled that growing up on the family farm, he remembered boys would “usually gather around a large apple tree behind the barn and each in turn would attempt with Nature’s own water pressure to throw a stream to reach the big limb of the apple tree.” According to Cunningham, he knew from experience “there were boys in the family who could furnish more pressure than the defendant had furnished under its contract.”

Perhaps in 2041, we’ll be greeted with just as colorful recollections of today’s lawyers.

A Joplin Football Outing

By the 1890′s, both Joplin and Carthage had been bit by the football bug. Naturally, the two engaged in an intercity rivalry with teams from one traveling to play the other. In the above, the Joplin team has engaged a “four horse tallyho” to carry them to the proverbial battle ground, a field located on the east side of Main Street between Sixteenth and Seventeenth Streets. It was known as the Joplin Bicycle Track. It’s unknown if the local boys won the match, but we’ll just assume so. After all, their opponents WERE from CARTHAGE.

Source: Joplin Daily Globe.

Carthage Christmas Homes Tour

For those of you who missed the announcement in last Sunday’s Globe, it was announced that the Carthage Historic Preservation, Inc., will be running a historic home tour next month (click on the link for descriptions of the featured homes).  The tour will run from 10 am to 4pm on December 4th for a price of $20 at the door, but buying a ticket in advance will save you $5.  A tea will also be available for $6, and Christmas/Winter themed paintings by regional artists will be available for purchase.  It’s a great chance to enjoy history quite literally from the inside out.  For those of you who love turn of the century homes and just don’t get the chance to visit them often enough, next Saturday will be an opportunity not to be missed.

Carthage Points Out Joplin’s Wrongs

In years past, Carthage and Joplin have had an unspoken rivalry. Sometimes this rivalry would manifest itself in spirited jibes published in the papers, but more often than not it was the Carthage Evening Press that took swipes at Joplin, rather than the Globe or News-Herald that tried to besmirch Carthage’s reputation. The following article is one of hundreds of news items that the Evening Press ran over the years about incompetent, lawless, wicked Joplin.

“Lawless at Joplin. Many Robberies Occur Between the two towns – Police Protection Needed.

‘Kid’ Holden, who runs a gambling device in the Barbee building [Note to Readers: House of Lords] and lives on the corner of north Mineral and Hill streets, East Joplin, was robbed on Broadway, between East and West Joplin, Saturday night, while on his way home. The robbers were secreted behind the bill-boards on Broadway, between Virginia and Pennsylvania avenues, and as Holden approached he was clubbed into unconsciousness – the robbers taking a gold watch and pocketbook which contained $7. It is reliably reported that an attempt was made to ‘hold-up’ Holden some time ago, but he ran his assailants away with a revolver.

This audacious robbery has occasioned much talk in East Joplin, and has brought out the fact that there have been upward of a dozen attempts at ‘hold-up’ and robbery between the two towns within the past two or three weeks. A citizen of East Joplin says: ‘Crooks are to be seen almost nightly between Main street, on the west side and the bridge and its vicinity on the east side, where they are either skulking about the lumberyard, railway crossing, hiding about freight cars, the dives or shanties in the vicinity, or the bill boards.

‘Not long since,’ he continued, ‘an east town lady, while purchasing groceries on the west side, displayed a rather full pocket book in her rounds, she had not gone far on her way home before a robber approached her. But just then a car came gliding down the hill. She at once ran toward it, and the thief made a hurried break in the opposite direction, and was almost instantly out of sight.’

‘It would be a very easy job to ‘pull’ these ‘crooks’ and break up the robbers roost between the two towns, but no attempt has yet been made to afford any relief whatever. The crooks are actually safer between the two towns than any other part of the city.[Editor's Note: The area between the two towns probably refers to the area known as the Kansas City Bottoms.] The police, or its chief, evidently consider it the duty of the force to remain about the crowded streets, and protect the saloons, and ‘pull’ those who patronize those institutions ‘too freely,’ and thus swell the city’s funds while leaving the various outlying thoroughfares of the city of Joplin utterly unprotected.’

‘It is claimed that if three picked men were taken off the police force, the remainder would not be worth a snap of the fingers. The force is the most incompetent in the history of the city. The recent east town shooting affair – when two policemen in attempting the arrest of an unarmed crippled boy over a twenty-five cent game of cards in a saloon, shot him down at close range – is an illustration.”

Source: Carthage Evening Press

Globe Coverage of Powers Museum Lee Grant Exhibit

We previously mentioned the impending opening of the traveling Lee – Grant Exhibit, but wanted to bring to attention some coverage of it by the Joplin Globe.   The article includes a nice list of events happening in relation to the exhibit such as lectures, and reminds us, the exhibit is only around until the 20th of this month!  Also touched upon is Amanda Shurlds, the wife of General Grant’s brother-in-law.  With the impending 150th anniversary of the Civil War about to begin next year, now is the time to refresh yourself with the generals who helped brought about the war’s end.

Carthage Attorney Charles Wild: Defying the Odds

Although he was a citizen of Carthage, Charles Wild’s story is worth mentioning on Historic Joplin.  As a young boy growing up in Sarcoxie, Wild suffered a bout of scarlet fever.  He was left crippled and unable to walk.  Wild, however, was undeterred.

Although he could not play baseball or swim in a country stream, Charles Wild focused on his studies.  It was said that as a mere boy he took over as the bookkeeper and business assistant in his father’s nursery in Sarcoxie.  Later, when he was older, Charles attended St.  Louis Law School (now called St.  Louis University).  After graduation he opened a successful law practice in St.  Louis before he returned to Sarcoxie in 1906 and became the law partner of H.T.  Harrison of Carthage.

What made Charles Wild unique was that although he was unable to walk, he still managed to travel all over town with the aid of a cart that was described as a, “small box-like affair hung between two large rubber-tired wheels resembling those of a bicycle.  The box of the cart is just large enough to admit his body and in this, when he desires to move around, he is strapped.  Then, leaning forward, he propels himself by pulling himself along with his hands.  He carries wooden blocks which he uses to preserve his hands.”

Charles Wild, Carthage Attorney in his cart and at desk

A sketch of Mr. Wild in his cart, as well seated at a table.

Wild could travel faster than the average pedestrian unless there was snow on the ground when “it is almost impossible for him to make any progress.” In addition, “rough roads and in wet and muddy weather” were a hindrance.

Despite his physical challenges, he was an accomplished author and attorney, with some of his work published in contemporary publications such as Harper’s and Century Magazine.  He was noted as “an advocate of great ability before a jury.  His physical condition is no handicap to his prowess as a speaker.” Wild would often ask to be taken from his cart and seated in a chair, “his head barely showing above the edge of the table” when he delivered “some of the most highly polished arguments and addresses ever hard in a tribunal of justice in this county.”

Wild, it was noted, “was respected by everyone, a friend to whom one can go in time of need, he is not only one of the most able but one of the most beloved men in Carthage.” He depended “upon his own abilities for making his way in the world” and he certainly did.

Source: Joplin Globe