From tiny one room schoolhouses to architecturally impressive and magnificent buildings, schools in the early 20th century can tell tales of the history of education in Missouri. Many of the buildings are still standing or have been refurbished, preserving them for future generations.
1. City Hospital and Medical School, Sedalia, 1900
This early medical school is much different than you might find today.
2. Carrington Hall at Missouri State University, Springfield
Constructed in 1908 as Missouri State University’s first building, Carrington Hall was later named in honor of William T. Carrington, the first president of the University.
3. Brookings Hall, Washington University in St. Louis
The cornerstone for Brookings (then University) Hall at Washington University was laid on November 3, 1900, and construction was completed in 1902. In 1904, it was leased to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company, who used it as the Administration Building for the World’s Fair. It then became the university’s administrative center, and was known for many years as University Hall. It officially became Brookings Hall in 1928.
4. House Springs School, early 1900s
The first House Springs School was built before 1876, and the next school building was constructed on land which was donated around 1900. It was a one-room school that eventually closed in 1948.
5. McKinley High School, on Missouri and Russell Avenues to Ann Avenue, St. Louis
Now called the McKinley Classical Leadership Academy, it is a public high school for gifted and talented students in St. Louis that is part of the St. Louis Public Schools. It first opened in 1904 as the first comprehensive public high school in south St. Louis.
6. The Missouri School of Journalism
The Missouri School of Journalism at University of Missouri in Columbia is the oldest formal journalism school in the country. It was founded in 1908 by Walter Williams, and is considered one of the top journalism schools in the world.
7. The University of Missouri High School in 1911.
This school operated between 1857 -1978 as a brick and mortar building, but is now a distance learning/online school.
8. Missouri School of Mines, Rolla 1915
The Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy (MSM) was founded in 1870 as the first technological institution west of the Mississippi, and one of the first in the nation. Originally the curriculum was focused on the state's mining industry and its immediate technological needs, but by the end of the 1920s, the program had grown to include courses of study not only in mining, but also in civil, mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering as well as chemistry, metallurgy, mathematics, physics, and geology.
9. Children choosing books from the small school library near La Forge, August 1938.
The school was a Southeast Missouri Farms school.
10. Poplar Bluff Museum, housed in the Old Mark Twain School building.
Located on the historic brick Main Street, the Old Mark Twain School was built in 1910. The Poplar Bluff Museum was started in 1988.
11. Seven Oaks Elementary School in Kansas City
It was in its own school district before Kansas City annexed it in 1913. It was named after Seven oaks in England, and was closed in 2003. It’s now being converted into a Senior Living Center.
12. St. Teresa's Academy's Music and Arts Building, Kansas City
Built in 1910, the building was recently listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The high school for girls, located at 5600 Main Street, was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
13. The Loretto, Kansas City
The Loretto is a multipurpose venue in the Westport neighborhood of Kansas City. It was adapted from a former girls' academy known as Loretto Academy, dedicated in 1904 as a "boarding and day school for girls."
14. Wheatley School, Poplar Bluff, 1900
This former school now operates as a museum.
Do you have any stories about these buildings? Did you or a family member attend any of these schools? We would love to hear from you!