Building demo recalls loss of earlier school

Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Demolition work began June 25 on the historic 1922 Pierce City High School building. Crews for Gator Industrial of Joplin removed the buildings acquired from Camp Crowder on the northwest corner of the campus that Monday, then entered the rear of the old high school building through the later addition that housed the band room on June 26. By the morning of June 29, the east half of the building, built later to house a gymnasium and later converted to classrooms, resembled a building from a bombed World War II city. The building has not been used since the new middle school opened in 2012. Funds for demolition were included in the bond issue approved by voters on April 3. Murray Bishoff/

1911 poem reflects sentiment from loss of previous building

The 1922 Pierce City High School demolished this week replaced the Baptist Bible College building, which served as the high school until it burned on Jan. 21, 1918. That fire could not be fought due to a frozen fire hydrant.

George W. Palmer, from the Class of 1911, wrote a poem at the loss of the school, published in the Pierce City newspaper. Its thought may be echoed in the minds of its students as they watch their building fall. The poem was saved in the scrapbook Ione Miller made for her 1917 yearbook, preserved in the Harold Bell Wright/Pierce City Museum. The poem reads:

“Farewell Old PCHS”
Farewell! Alma Mater!
Our eyes with tears are red,
Thinking of the joys we had
With you in years long sped.
So long! Dear Old High, so long!
To all that's good and true;
Forever in our memories
There'll be a place for you.
We can't forget the lessons
We learned within your walls,
The echoes of the laughter
That resounded thru the halls.
From you we learned our English,
Our Latin and Chemistry,
Our Algebra and German
And Ancient History.
The master's old familiar desk,
The gong beside the door,
The winding stair — the study hall
Alas! They are no more.
No more from on the campus
Shall we look with pleasing eye
Upon your stately grandeur
As in the days gone by.
Our hearts beat fast with sorrow
As we saw the mighty blaze
Destroy the life, of you, Old Pal,
Our Friend of better days.
Of all the happy boys and girls
Who've sat within your rooms,
Some to distant lands have gone
And some lie in their tombs.
Goodby! Dear old school, goodby!
We wept to see you go.
No dearer pals than you and we
As the years would come and go.
They say another school will stand
Where you have stood so long.
And children of the future
Will sing its praise in song.
But you have stood the test, Old Pal,
And though you've had your day
Because of you, we'll dare and do
And sing your praise alway.

A photo gallery of the demolition, including the final wall on July 10, appears at:

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  • Hey what's wrong with them, they forgot to cut that old oak tree out of there like they did the rest of em that used to stand around the campus .. What are you going to tear down next?

    -- Posted by Care Less on Wed, Jul 11, 2018, at 2:43 PM
  • Do we educate any kids today that could write such a poem?....for one thing, it wouldn't talk about all the subjects this grand old poem talks would talk about learning to use electronic devices.....24/7.

    -- Posted by common-tater on Sat, Jul 14, 2018, at 9:51 PM
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