In 1900, the citizens of Webb City voted in favor of building a new school in the southeast
part of town. The vote was 108-0. Franklin School was located at 501 S. Walker near the
corners of Walker and Tracy Streets. The eight room school building was built at a cost of
$30,000. The building was expanded to twelve rooms in 1906. In 1926, there were three
teachers assigned to the Franklin School, Mrs. Maude Cannon, Bernita Lewis and Gladys Burton.
On November 8, 1938, the original Franklin building was destroyed by fire. The origin of the
blaze, which started in the attic, was not determined. Firemen fought for more than an hour to
bring the blaze under control. When the fire was put out, only the walls of the building were left
standing. At that time there were 156 pupils enrolled in the school. Pupils of the third, fourth,
fifth and sixth grades were sent to Eugene Field School and the first and second grades were
sent to church buildings in the Franklin district. The building was insured for $12,000. The
Franklin School was rebuilt in 1939 by the Works Project Administration (WPA).
Kindergarten classes were established at Franklin and Mark Twain schools in 1963.
Kindergarten students from the Eugene Field and Franklin districts attended classes
at the Franklin School and students living in the Mark Twain and Webster districts attended
classes at Mark Twain. In 1966, Franklin was designated as the district kindergarten center.
Geneva F. Craig, Cleda Robinson and Helen Stines were employed as teachers there that
In 1998 a new kindergarten, the Madge T. James Kindergarten Center, was constructed and
opened for classes in the fall of that year. Franklin Kindergarten Center was converted into a
center for special services. The Franklin Early Childhood Center currently houses three
organizations, Parents As Teachers, Title I (classrooms for 3 and 4 year olds with special
needs) and Early Childhood Development.
The Webb City Sentinel, April 28, 1989.
Franklin School's Flag
The stars and stripes now float over the Franklin school and the students of that school are proud of the
distinction that their building alone displays such a patriotic spirit. The flag is 14 feet long and is the
handiwork of the teachers of that building.
The Webb City Daily Sentinel, February 21, 1903.