About Mark Twain Elementary

outside of Mark Twain

In May 1960, members of the Webb City Board of Education toured the West Side School building on North Cedar Street.  Following the tour an informal discussion was held with Superintendent Lawrence Miner.  Members of the board agreed that the West Side Elementary School should be replaced as soon as possible as it constituted a hazard to all children attending the school as well as presenting major maintenance problems.  

A $170,000 bond issue was brought before the voters in June 1960.  It passed with a vote of nearly 4 to 1.  A committee was formed to make a study of the building needs and enrollment trends for the past eight years.  Taken into consideration was the probable impact of the new homes that would be built in the western part of the city.  The committee recommended that an 8-room school building be designed so that up to four additional rooms could be added without requiring additional kitchen, restrooms, or heating facilities.  The location of the student population at the time did not justify the construction and operation of a twelve-classroom building.  A tour of five possible construction sites was made and the board voted to build the school at 1427 W. Aylor Street.  The name chosen for the new school was Mark Twain Elementary.  M & P Construction Company won the construction bid and A. C. Esterly was selected as architect with a fee of 5% of the construction cost.

Mark Twain School opened in September 1961.  The exterior walls were constructed of Carthage stone.  The building provided 8 classrooms, auditorium, stage, cafeteria, and combination health room and teachers lounge.   One hundred eighty-seven pupils were enrolled at that time.  Members of the faculty were George W. Smith-Principal, Margaret Passmore, Ellen Buckingham, Pauline Morris, Erma Allen, and Phyllis Hatfield.

Kindergarten classes were established at Mark Twain in 1963 with students from the Mark Twain and Webster district attending classes there. Six new rooms were added to the school in 1964.  Branham Brothers Construction Company of Neosho bid $85, 617 for the construction of this addition.  Included in the bid was the construction of a kitchen and a lunchroom at Webster School.  In 1966 all kindergarten students were sent to Franklin School.

To ease overcrowding, the first grade classes were moved to Webster School in 1983.  In 1987 voters approved an $800,000 bond issue, part of which was to provide funds for an addition on the north to house seven classrooms.  These classrooms would replace trailers that were being used for this purpose.  The addition was completed in 1988.

A new sixth grade wing was added to the Webb City Junior High school in 1993.  All sixth graders in the school district were sent to classes there for the 1993-1994 school term, leaving Mark Twain with the second through fifth grades attending.   The second graders were moved to the new Webster Primary Center that opened in September 1995 and, in April of 1999, the fifth grade classes moved to the newly constructed Middle School, leaving Mark Twain with grades three and four.  In 2017, Mark Twain became a third grade only center. 

--From Jaspercountyschools.org