The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 9, 2012

Jo Ellis: Hall of Carthage Heroes to be unveiled Dec. 21

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A stroll down the Hall of Carthage Heroes will be a lot like one of those two-minute videos that encapsulate world history, only it will be Carthage history and it may take a bit longer than two minutes.

For the past several months, a group that grew out of the Jasper County Courthouse Preservation Committee has been working on establishing a permanent exhibit honoring Carthage’s pre-eminent residents over the span of the city’s existence.

The work will come to fruition with an induction ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21, according to Sue Vandergriff, committee chairwoman. The exhibit, created with ceramic tiles, will feature a mural of Carthage scenes, photos and information on those residents. It is to be installed in the main corridor at the Carthage Family Y, 2600 Grand Ave.

The old photos were gathered with the help of Michele Hansford, curator/director of the Powers Museum. They are being re-created on 18- by 12-inch ceramic tiles by Images in Tile.

Criteria for selection to the Hall of Heroes were based on “being worthy of emulation,” Vandergriff said. “These are the men and women who built Carthage, who can be an inspiration to the kids in the community.”

Among the early heroes chosen for the inaugural induction are Amos Caffee, physician, surgeon and druggist; Gustav Cassil, founder and first president of the Bank of Carthage; Malcolm McGregor, another founder of the Bank of Carthage; Norris Hood, the first Jasper County sheriff; Timothy Regan, the first city postmaster and the developer of Park Cemetery; Charles Harrington, owner of the Harrington Hotel who established the first fire department; and John Shirley, who owned most of the north side of the square where he also had a hotel.

The list also includes Dr. Robert Brooks and Dr. Thomas McCune, physicians who cared for the city’s population and whose generosity helped establish McCune-Brooks Hospital, forerunner of today’s Mercy McCune-Brooks Hospital; industrialist H.E. Williams, founder of Williams Lighting, currently one of the city’s largest employers; and Joseph Leggett and Cornelius Platt, who developed an innovative wire spring coil and founded Leggett & Platt Inc.

Vandergriff said she is pleased that the inductees include women and African-Americans: Annie Baxter, an early feminist and the first woman to hold an elected office in Missouri (Jasper County clerk); Emma Knell, a mortician, promoter of the Jasper County Fair and a state representative; and Col. Kenneth O. Wofford, one of the original Tuskegee airmen who served in World War II.

Six athletes are honored with inclusion: Carl Hubbell, New York Giants baseball Hall of Famer; Harry Putnam, football and track star; Bill Samuels, football; Toby Waters, wrestling; Jack Crusa Sr., golf; and Felix Wright, a National Football League player. Samuels, Wright and Waters are expected to attend the induction.

Completing the list are Ward Schrantz, an early historian; James Scott, internationally known ragtime composer; Marlin Perkins, naturalist and host of TV’s “Wild Kingdom”; and the Steadley family, whose philanthropic efforts have benefited every aspect of the quality of life for Carthage residents.

Kudos to the Hall of Carthage Heroes committee — Bill Putnam, Steve Weldon, Danny Ross, Mark Elliff and Vandergriff — for their work on this exciting project. Funding, all from private donors, is administered by the Community Foundation of Southwest Missouri. Plans call for new inductees to be added at the rate of 12 per year. Vandergriff said nomination forms are available at the Carthage Chamber of Commerce.

The public may attend the induction ceremony. So mark your calendar accordingly.

ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE to Jo Ellis, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email

Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read


A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter