Powers Museum History & Mission

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

Museum Closed for 2015 Season

Support the Museum! Click on link for information.

Since 1988, the Powers Museum has been serving Carthage and the region as a local history museum with annual 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.


Marian Powers Winchester

Marian Powers Winchester   1905 - 1981

Museum Established

The Powers Museum is a gift from Marian Powers Winchester. 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).

In addition the museum's annual exhibits, the museum's Local History Reference Library and archival holdings are available by appointment.

Carthage Missouri Book

Among the archival holdings are oral history interviews with local military veterans and homefront workers originally created for the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/vets by Carthage students. At Search Collection page, enter Powers Museum as contributor to find our interviews.

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.

Powers Museum Digital Collection showcasing selected collection, archival and reference library holdings can be found at this Website.

Museum Shop On Site

Carthage souvenirs and books, family tree charts and Route 66 items are sold on site along with a limited line of books and Route 66 products sold at Oldies & Oddities, 331 S. Main Street (open Mon.-Sat.,10 am to 5 pm, Sun. 12-5 pm, closed major holidays). Mail order is available from the museum by consulting this link.

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. 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 use this form and send checks to Powers Museum, P.O. Box 593, Carthage, MO 64836. All contributions are tax-deductible.

Now looking for exhibit and program underwriters for FY 2016-2017!  Contact Museum or Board Members 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
Museum Staff Heather Soat & Jan Maldonado
2016 Project Volunteers

Special Projects Coordinator: Michele Hansford

Carthage Find-a-grave Project: Nancy Brewer

Collections Project: Michelle Montague

Computer Tech & Digital Projects: Matthew East

Currently looking for additional volunteers to do scanning and indexing for our various collection & research projects. Also need volunteers to meet & greet during mid-day hours. Call or email museum for further information. Some scanning & indexing projects can be done off-site.

Academic Interns & Other Special Project Coordinators


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

Scouting and other community service project workers are welcomed, too!  We are looking for volunteers to help with care of the museum grounds at various times of the year. May qualify for Master Gardener and/or Master Naturalist hours.

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

John O. Phelps



Henry Robertson, Jr., Barbara Harris Johnson, Dr. Angela Firkus, Dr. Steven Wagner, Teresa & A.D. Henry, Richard & Dixie Vacca, Kimberly & Timothy Fisher, Lynda Homa & Steve Leibbrand, Marti Pittman, Sally Armstrong, Judy Byers Deatherage, Thomas & Majorie Rogler, Tom & Gail Higdon, Dale & Karla Rush, Linda & Larry James, Jane Crawford, Dale & Bev Mermoud, Claudia Mundell, Jeanne & Michael Goolsby, Lynn & Don Campbell, Daniel & Arrona Comer, Geri & Wynne Krell, Donna Newton, Michele & Gary Hansford, Stephen Adams, and John & Neva Gray.

FY 2014-15 In-Kind Support & Artifact Donors to date are: Carthage Community Foundation (archival reboxing project), J & L Sales (Jim Loomis), Teresa Henry, Michelle Montague, Michele & Gary Hansford, Lee Foster, Helen Hunter, Lori East, Chuck Pauly, Kay Abbiatti, Wennoma Shumaker, Ozarks Gateways Master Gardeners, Barton County Historical Society, Nevada Quilt Guild, Missouri Humanities Council/State Historical Society of Missouri Speakers Bureau, and History Museum of Springfield/Greene County.


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

HVAC Replacement support in FY 2012-13 came from Tom Hilton, Bruce Vaughan, Barbara Harris Johnson, Judy Byers 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/or participated in the Anniversary Silent Auction and May Rummage Sale events.

Major support for the 2012 HVAC project also came 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 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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