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History Norwood

Norwood History

by Norwood School 6th grade students

The History of Norwood Town
By Kat

In 1881 a railroad was built in Norwood which started a population of people and a new little town. The Kansas City, Fort Scott, and Memphis railroad was built through Wright County, Missouri. Norwood's first school was built in 1883, a few years after the new town was founded. 

Norwood's early newspaper was called Norwood Index which ended in the late 1940s. In the early 1950s there was a new newspaper that was called  Norwood News.
Norwood 1881 Map
Norwood in 1881. Map by Faith Aldridge.
Click to see the full-size version

This new little town was soon what was to be called the biggest town around! It had three drug stores, two banks, two cafes and several other individual businesses! From looking at the map of early Norwood, a great difference can be seen between today and back then in 1881. It was a much larger city then. Obviously coming into town back then there were a lot more businesses than there are today. 

When I look at the city of Norwood, I notice that some of the same businesses are still standing and still there from the early 1880's, like the hotel and our city library. When I look at the locations of the businesses, I see where the Ryan's Bank was back then and our post office is today. The telephone exchange is in the same place also.

It must have been so different in Norwood then. I try to picture it in my mind and wish I could go back and see it the way it is laid out on the map. It's a good town and it will grow again to be a place for visitors to come to live. We could make it a place that people in the future will picture and want to come see and move their family to live there. 

By Emily

Norwood was first founded in the early 1880s when the railroad came through. The railroad was used for trade and transportation. The railroad didn't make much money because there were no people to ride it. So they made a town, yet they didn't have a name for it. The town was soon named after a popular novel of the day called Norwood by Henry Ward Beecher.
Norwood Historical Timeline
Historical Timeline by John Gray
Click to see the full-size version

One of the papers that was in Norwood was called the Norwood News.Some of the articles were very interesting, such as "amateur contest," "what Nixa did so can Norwood" and "Horse Shoe Contest." It's very neat that they had contests and competitions with other towns. 

Norwood had a town board and in 1951 the board was Elmer Tharp, Roy Johnson, Lester Jones, Ralph Hammock, J.S. Jackson, Nova Sears, Clyde Jones, Fay Van Noy, Heral Quillon, Bert Hilton and Melvin Coffman. 

Things were very cheap. You could subscribe to the paper for one year in Douglas County or anywhere out of Wright County for $2.00 or if you were in Wright County it would be $1.50. Now days you would have to pay $2.00 or more for one paper, not a year's supply, but each day. 

Norwood might not be the biggest town but it certainly is a very good one. There is a neat little hotel museum in town. It has old pictures and it is the original hotel that used to run earlier in Norwood's history. It has the original floor tiles and everything. 

Norwood is a well-run town with a lot of history. The old bank used to be where the post office is now. Norwood has changed a lot over the years, but it will always stay one of the most beautiful towns there has ever been. The old saying "don't judge a book by its cover," well in our case you probably could. You would see it as a beautiful, well run town, with a nice, not too crowded, population.