Welcome to Powers Museum

Museum Building
Powers Museum at 1617 West Oak Street (old Route 66).

Digital Collection project online

Carthage 1940-1990 photo book still available

Civil War Sesquicentennial Online 2011-2015



Since 1988, the Powers Museum has been serving Carthage and the region as a local history museum with rotating annual exhibits from the post-Civil War period to the 20th century. Traveling exhibits and special programs related to Missouri or Ozark regional themes are presented, too.

In 2014, we will highlight the Powers Family and items from the Winchester Estate/Founding Collection as well as selected donations to the museum's collections during 26 years of operation.

Marian Powers Winchester

Marian Powers Winchester   1905 - 1981

Museum Established

The Powers Museum is a gift from Marian Powers Winchester to the City of Carthage.  At her death in 1981, Mrs. Winchester left a bequest "for the establishment and operation of a museum for the citizens of Carthage and the surrounding area."  She requested the museum's name honor her parents Dr. Everett Powers (1869–1954) and Marian Wright Powers (1880–1969).

Since 1988, the museum has presented hundreds of public exhibits and programs. Staff is available to talk to school and adult groups about these activities and "behind-the-scenes" work with the collections at the museum. Click here to see our Speakers Bureau offerings.

Other Museum Services

The museum's small Local History Reference Library is available for self-directed research the same hours as the museum's public schedule. (Appointment necessary for off-season access mid-December to mid-March.)  Use of additional research resources housed elsewhere (such as archival collections, photographs and vertical file materials) requires an advance appointment at any time of the year. 

Tip: Those engaged in genealogical work should consult the resources at the Carthage Public Library or the Jasper County Records Center first. The museum does not have birth/death/marriage records, census records, or local newspapers.

Carthage Missouri Book

The museum also conducts oral history interviews, particularly with military veterans and homefront workers for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/vets. For more information on this project, click here. We thank Carthage High School retired teacher Jeanie Sneddon and her students for their assistance to this project over the past several years.

Digital exhibits include Riches from the Earth: the Geological and Industrial Heritage of Jasper County, 1865 -1965, part of the Missouri Digital Heritage project sponsored by the Missouri State Archives and the Missouri Secretrary of State. Other small digital exhibits can be found here.

Digital Collection Website (currently in Phase Three of 3 year project)

Museum Shop On Site

At the museum is a Museum Gift Shop featuring Carthage souvenirs and books, family tree charts, Route 66 and Jefferson Highway items and seasonal holiday items. The museum also sells a limited line of books and products downtown on the historic square at Oldies & Oddities (open Sun. - Sat. 10 am to 5 pm, closed major holidays) located at 331 S. Main Street. Mail order is available by consulting this link.  From time to time, the museum also offers items on Amazon.com and Etsy.com.

Four-state tourism brochures, Missouri state tourism guides and Route 66 driving instructions for Carthage, Jasper County and the tri-state region are available at our mini-info center, too.

Museum Support & Administration

The museum is administered by a board of seven volunteers appointed by the Mayor of Carthage. The board meets monthly at the museum, usually on the third Monday evening of the month. Public notices are posted at Carthage City Hall. Visitors are welcome to attend. The Powers Museum receives no tax support and is operated through donations, museum shop revenue, fundraising projects, and grants along with the original Winchester endowment. If you would like to donate to the museum, please send checks or money orders to Powers Museum, P.O. Box 593, Carthage, MO 64836.

Now looking for exhibit and program underwriters for 2015-2016!  Contact Director Michele Hansford for further information.


President Kimberly Fisher
Vice-President Teresa Babcock Henry
Secretary/Treasurer Angela Firkus, Ph.D.
Board Members

Milt Wick, Dixie Anderson Vacca, Karen Trotter, and Steven Wagner, Ph.D.

City Council Representative Brady Beckham
Director/Curator Michele Newton Hansford
2014 Project Volunteers

Carthage Find-a-grave Project: Nancy Brewer

Collections Project & Data Entry: Ann Haggard and Michelle Montague

Website & Digital Projects: Matthew East

Currently looking for additional volunteers to do scanning/data entry for phase 3 of our digital collections project during fall-winter.

Academic Interns

Carol Waters, Pittsburg State University; Spring 2014 Graduate History Student Intern (Research & Exhibits)

Kendall Barclay, Missouri Southern University; Summer/Fall 2014 Intern - Registrar & Collections

Academic credit can be earned through local colleges. Contact museum for further information. Now accepting for Fall and Winter semesters.

Winchester Estate Advisor & Advisory Committee Member to the Board of the Powers Museum

John O. Phelps

The Powers Museum's endowment/investment account is managed by United Missouri Bank.

FY 2013-14 Financial & In-Kind Equipment Support has come from the Bowman Family of Joplin, Southwest Missouri Bank of Carthage (Southtown branch), Matthew East, William Boggess, Ed Pike, Dr. Steven Wagner, and Dr. Angela Firkus. 

HVAC Replacement support in FY 2012-13 came from Friends of Powers Museum donors Tom Hilton, Bruce Vaughan, Barbara Harris Johnson, Judy St. John Detherage, Chuck & Ann Taylor, Dr. Steven Wagner, Dr. Angela Firkus, Mr. & Mrs. Dale Looney, Mr. & Mrs. James Newton, Glenita Browning, Ivan Hager, Dorothy Fulks, Henry Robertson, Jr., various annonymous donors and all those who purchased 2012 Carthage Route 66 Calendars and participated in the Anniversary Silent Auction and May Rummage Sale events.

Major support for the HVAC project also come from the Kent Steadley & Mary Steadley Memorial Trust for which the Powers Museum Board is most grateful.

Support for the museum's Online Collection/Digitization Project FY 2012-2013 (First Phase) came from the Carthage Community Foundation who presented a grant to the museum for the purpose of purchasing software to facilitate the project.  A sub-set of this project is a digital presentation of Civil War artifacts, archival items and reference books made possible by a Brownlee Research Grant from the State Historical Society of Missouri.

Thank you to all these organizations and people for their support!

Copyright © Powers Museum
1617 West Oak • P.O. Box 593 • Carthage, MO 64836
museuminfo@powersmuseum.com |  phone: 417-237-0456
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