Similar to millions of other people who are isolating during this deadly pandemic, you have probably been going through your house and garage donating or selling items that are no longer needed. In addition, you may be finishing or starting projects that you previously didn’t have time to tackle.

Museum societies are taking a similar approach. Although most museums remain closed, volunteers continue to compile information and photographs, update the building and work on displays. Volunteers also place new photographs and information online.

Check the websites of museums and historical societies located in the areas where your ancestors and relatives lived. You may discover new material that will be helpful in your family search.

Volunteers of the McDonald County Historical Society are taking that approach. Although the museum is closed, the building is being updated and new displays developed. New photographs, documents and other materials have been added to the website at

One of the recently added sets of materials is the society’s School History Project, led by Phyllis Chancellor. With help from several other volunteers, three huge volumes have been compiled on schools in the county. After interviewing numerous people and checking directories and school records, information has been compiled on 75 schools. Photos of school buildings, school staff and students are online at the society’s website.

Some school names are inspirational: Success, Enterprise, Love and Liberty. Others have names that spur our imagination as to their origin: Buzzard Glory, Possum Trot, Klondike, Lone Star, Lone Dove, Rocky Comfort, Eagle and Belmont Cucumber College.

Other names relate to the type of area: Locust Grove, Oak Hill, Prairie, Poplar Hill, Hill Top, Bunker Hill, Pleasant Point, Bear Hollow, Pineville, King’s Valley, Greenwood, White Rock, Round Grove, Star Valley, Tiff City and Shady Grove.

A few names relate to the location: Southwest City, Center Point and West Point. Some are named after nearby waterways: Indian Springs, Spring Hill, Honey Lake, Elk Springs, Brush Creek, Beaver Springs and Cave Springs. Many are named after the families who donated the land for the school: Horton, Love, Coffee, Fox, Wade, Williams, Barlow, Bannock, Moss, Morrison, Roark and Puckett.

If you find school records and school photographs as you declutter your home, contact the historical societies, museums and county record centers in those areas.

If your material relates to McDonald County, email or call 417-223-7700. The society can also be contacted at: P.O. Box 572, Pineville, MO 64856.

Comments or suggestions? Contact Frankie Meyer at

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