Historic Carthage building fire being investigated by State Fire Marshal

Joplin News First

The historic black school was converted into apartments. It has also been a potato chip factory, law office, church etc., over the years.

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Just before 10:45 PM Emergency Dispatch 911 began receiving alerts of a structure fire in Carthage, 525 N Garrison.

Mercy EMS, Carthage Police and Carthage Fire Department responded.

Upon arrival Carthage Fire Department report, “Heavy fire and smoke showing, tone for more personnel.”

The 3-story structure is known as the Lincoln School Apartments.

BUILT AS A SCHOOL FOR BLACKS IN 1881, NOW AN APARTMENT COMPLEX.

“The Carthage Board of Education practiced segregation and provided a school for black students starting in 1869 in several short-term locations. By 1880 representatives of the African-American community petitioned the board for better care of their school and the board’s response was to build a new building. Land was acquired at the southwest corner of Garrison Avenue and High Street and a new school building made from locally-fired brick was erected. Opened for the 1881-1882 school year under the guidance of teacher B. F. Adams, the school was named Lincoln in honor of the late president. The building consisted of an entry hall way and two classrooms, originally one for boys and one for girls. Lincoln School continued at this location, being used for both elementary and high school classes, until 1915, when over crowding initiated the need for a larger school with better equipped classrooms for higher levels.”

POWERS MUSEUM CARTHAGE (CLICK FOR LINK)

Due to the fire an unknown number of residents were displaced as utilities were disconnected from the structure.

The State Fire Marshal was summoned to investigate overnight, arriving around 1:00 AM. Carthage Fire cleared the scene at 2:35 AM.

We will have more information as it is released from the Carthage Fire Department.

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