508 Center Street Sarcoxie Mo 64862
P.O Box 130 Sarcoxie Mo 64862
Monday - Friday 9:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 1:00pm
Our Thanks to Those Who Came Before!
The township of Sarcoxie, Missouri, was organized as the first town in Jasper County in the 1830s after being settled by Thacker Vivian of Tennessee in 1831. He was quickly followed by other families. The first store was started in 1833 by Abner Wilson. Previously, a group of Delaware Indians had camped at the springs just off today’s town square. After much discussion of a name, the first settlers in Jasper County selected “Sarcoxie” after the Delaware Indian leader. Years later a movement for public libraries in America began which was spearheaded by Andrew Carnegie. By 1900 Carthage, Webb City, and Joplin had grown large enough in Jasper County to seek donations from the Carnegie Trust for their new libraries.
From the 1870s onwards, Sarcoxie’s population hovered around 1,000 residents. About 1960, we find the beginnings of the Sarcoxie Public Library. That was the year that the Business and Professional Women’s Club (BPW) saw a need for a library facility. They conducted a drive for new and used books and asked Virginia Adams, a BPW member, to provide this small collection to the public at her insurance company office on Center Street during business hours.
In the early 1970s, the library collection moved to City Hall on the West side of the Sarcoxie square. Bessie Burks became the librarian and served the public two hours a week on Saturday afternoons.
In the summer of 1976, The Missouri Green Thumb Program for older workers hired Bessie Burks for 10 weeks to reorganize the library and process books. At this time the library was moved to a new location on 9th Street where it shared room in the ambulance building. Jeannine Wormington became a volunteer in this project.
At the end of the summer, the Sarcoxie City Council hired Bessie and Jeannine to keep the library open fourteen hours a week. When Bessie Burks passed away in 1981, Jeannine Wormington became the librarian. She obtained her librarian's degree from Pittsburg State.
Use of the library continued to grow so that in 1983 the Friends of the Library was established. In 1984, an enlarged library was moved to the former Fire Department building on the West side of the square through a generous donation in the will of John Swanson. The Summer Reading Program began with Story Hour for the younger children.
In 1993, through private donations and money from the Stebbins Memorial Fund, volunteers remodeled, moved, and set-up the library in its current location in the “Red Front Building” on the South side of the square. Television crews came to video this huge community effort as a chain of citizens was strung across the square moving books hand-to-hand to our current address. This location is the largest the Sarcoxie Public Library has ever enjoyed with 1600 square feet.
In May 2001, a permanent museum-quality exhibit for V.E. Lynch was dedicated. Mr. Lynch was a famous outdoorsman and author who is buried in Sarcoxie. Today visitors can still view his antique typewriter and mementos from a by-gone era.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2002 donated two computers, a scanner and a laser printer to the library. These are very popular with all ages and include many programs like Microsoft Publisher, Photoshop, PowerPoint, and Excel.
We continue to make advancements keeping our computers up to date through grants offered by the Missouri State Library.
Our Online Catalog is kept up to date and can be accessed by clicking the Destiny Quest tab.
The “Old Red Front” library, is a building with a long history, as it was originally a department store prior to 1878.
You will find the Sarcoxie Public Library collection totals 14,000 volumes and offers videos, books on tape, large print books, free internet access, and genealogy services.
You will find there are lots of things to do in the Sarcoxie Public Library. Our collection totals over 24,000 volumes and offers Book, videos, books on CD, Music on DVD, Computers for Patron use, Color Copies, Puzzles, and Games as well as Learning Tablets for our younger Patrons Puzzles.