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In 1979, Mrs. Carol Trowbridge began teaching a class entitled Local History at Kirksville Senior High School. Instead of learning from a textbook, the class curriculum was based on developing an oral history library, patterned after the publication Foxfire.
Then, in the summer of 1980, Mrs. Trowbridge and a few students of the class took that year's work and edited it to produce a magazine, The Chariton Collector. This edition was released in December of 1980. In April of 1981, a second edition was published encompassing another year's work. Starting in the 1981-1982 school year, two editions were published, one in the winter and one in the spring.
As stated in the first issue, the class' mission was
Now, 10 years after work began on the first edition of The Chariton Collector, the work on the last edition is now finished. Our school district has been forced to make budget cuts, causing the cancellation of our class. However, even though we are saddened by its conclusion, we feel we have fulfilled the goals of the first Missouri History Class and have attempted to establish a basis for the understanding of our history.
The class changed its name from Local History to Local and State History in 1983, and then in 1986 to Missouri History. In 1982, Mrs. Trowbridge left the class and Mrs. Mary Grossnickle began instructing. The Chariton Collector was first published by the Journal Printing Company until their closing. Simpson Printing began publishing the magazine with the winter 1984 edition.
The oral history library now holds over 100 cassette tapes. More than 150 stories have been researched, written, and published in a total of 18 issues. Last year alone over 350 photographs were taken and catalogued in files. Scrapbooks of Kirksville's history, taken from the Kirksville Daily Express, have been kept since 1982. Since its beginning the magazine has enjoyed a circulation of 1,250 with eight editions sold out completely. Over 100 class members have experienced the production of a publication, interacted with the community, and, most importantly, contributed to the preservation of our heritage.
The success of our magazine would not have been possible without the help and support of you, the community. By either granting a staff member an interview, loaning materials for publication, helping us locate information, or simply purchasing the magazine, you have contributed to our understanding of our culture. In the back of this edition is a subject and title index for the 18 issues of The Chariton Collector. We hope you find this helpful in your search for the past in order to understand the present until The Chariton Collector can one day again explore our heritage.
Brian Riley, editor