Hall of Carthage Heroes announces Class of 2022
Induction ceremony planned for November 12
Carthage, MO – The Hall of Carthage Heroes Oversight Committee is pleased to announce the election of six Carthage Heroes, one a team, to the Class of 2022.
Founded in 2012, the Hall of Carthage Heroes, located inside the Fair Acres Family YMCA, is the fulfillment of a dream of Marvin VanGilder and others to recognize and honor Carthaginians whose lives or accomplishments have brought credit and recognition to Carthage, and who are worthy of emulation by today’s citizens. It honors heroes past and present, citizens of distinction, as well as outstanding athletes and teams.
The Class of 2022 was chosen by an independent selection committee of six people, representing various Carthage civic organizations, from nominations submitted by the general public.
These heroes join 90 other Carthaginians inducted to the Hall since 2012.
The Heroes of the Class of 2022 are:
Harley F. Burns – Navy Ceremonial Guard – Harley was born at McCune-Brooks Hospital in Carthage, MO on March 26, 1957. He is the son of James and Helena Burns. Harley graduated from Carthage High School in 1975 where he was a member of the basketball team. On November 10, 1979 Harley joined the service. While in the Navy, Seaman Burns was chosen to the Presidential Honor Guard, Color Guard Platoon. Established in 1931, the Ceremonial Guard represents the Navy in public and military ceremonies in Washington. They serve as Color Guard for various events in the Washington area as well as funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. Members are specially selected and assigned to the unit. They hold White House security clearances because of their duties near the president and other heads of state.
One of Seaman Burns most prominent roles as a member of the Navy Ceremonial Guard was participation in the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan on January 20, 1981. Burns was an usher and assisted seating of distinguished guests on the presidential platform at the event. Seaman Burns was very honored to have participated in the inauguration and excited to have been part of a historic event.
Elizabeth A. “Lizzie” Peiffer - Teacher, Patriot – Elizabeth undoubtedly taught more Carthaginians the value of participating citizenship than any other person in the 20th Century. Miss Lizzie, as she was known to many, was born in Clarion County, PA on August 8, 1874. She was the daughter of William H. Peiffer and Amy Amsden. The family moved to Jasper County in 1882 and to Carthage in 1892 where she resided at 1404 Grand Avenue for many years.
Miss Peiffer graduated as part of the first 4-year class at Carthage High School in 1893 and attended Springfield Teacher’s College (now Missouri State University) where she received a bachelor’s degree in education. She later did graduate work at the University of Missouri, University of Chicago, and Harvard University. Her long and distinguished teaching career began at Prosperity school in 1894, where she was later principal. After examinations, she received her unlimited teaching certificate from the state of Missouri in 1906. She also taught in Joplin and Webb City, serving as elementary school principal in both communities before joining the faculty of Carthage High School in 1924. While at CHS she taught Citizenship, History, Social Studies, Oratory, and served as Debate Coach for many years. One of her debate students in 1940, Richard Webster (Hall of Carthage Heroes, 2013), later distinguished himself as an orator in the Missouri State Senate. She retired in 1947 after 40 years of service in Carthage schools, including elementary grades.
Her life’s occupation was teaching citizenship, and for 22 years after her “retirement”, she continued to set the example of what it means to be a good citizen by actively participating as a leader and worker in many organizations. An intimate friend of many nationally known political leaders, she received personal greetings from former Presidents Hoover and Eisenhower on her 90th birthday. To again quote Mr. VanGilder, “Her purpose…was to instill in the minds and hearts of as many citizens as possible, the tremendous worth of the free ideals of America and the importance of their preservation. She succeeded so well that it truly could be said she was Carthage’s leading patriot.”
Helen Elizabeth McReynolds Rozier - Pioneering Preservationist - Dee, as she was known as a young child, was the daughter of State Senator Allen McReynolds (Hall of Carthage Heroes inductee, 2013) and Maude McReynolds. Elizabeth, as she was later known, was educated in the Carthage Public Schools and graduated from Carthage High School in 1925, where Marlin Perkins was one of her friends.
It was in Carthage that Elizabeth found her love of Victorian architecture and she soon became a strong advocate for historic preservation in Jefferson City. She served on, and created, many boards and organizations to promote historical awareness. She was a long-time member and three-time president of the Cole County Historical Society, and served two decades on the board of directors. In the late 1960’s, Mrs. Rozier initiated the campaign to save the Lohman Building, the Union Hotel, and the Christopher Maus House. She mounted vigorous objection to the demolition of these buildings, first through letters and later testifying to save them. In recognition of her efforts, the art gallery on the second floor of the Union Hotel was named the Rozier Gallery. She was also instrumental in getting many homes and buildings on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mrs. Rozier helped to organize the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation, and was honored for her efforts in multiple ways. In addition to her work in preserving history, she was a member and leader of the Tuesday Club, Jefferson City’s oldest club; the University of Missouri Arthritis Center Advisory Council, the Arthritis Foundation, and presided over St. Mary’s Guild at Grace Episcopal Church. She served on the Missouri Library Commission for eleven years, serving five years as president. Two of the significant Honor Awards given annually by Missouri Preservation to honor achievements in the field of Historic Preservation around Missouri, The Rozier Award and the McReynolds Awards are named in her honor.
Dr. Harlow Shapley - Dean of American Astronomers - Dr. Harlow Shapley was born on November 2, 1885 in Nashville, MO, just northwest of Carthage. Although he was denied admission to Carthage High School because he lacked sufficient early education he was admitted to the Carthage Collegiate Institute (on the site of what is now Mark Twain School). There he completed a six-year Latin-Scientific course of study in one and a half years. He graduated in 1907 as valedictorian. From there he went on to the University of Missouri in Columbia with the intention of enrolling in the world’s first School of Journalism. Upon learning it would not be operational until the following term, he began the study of astronomy. He graduated with his bachelor of arts in 1910 and master of arts degree in 1911. In 1913 he earned the doctor of philosophy degree from Princeton University. From there he earned many additional doctorates, at least 16 honorary, from numerous institutions of higher learning around the globe.
From 1914 until 1921, Dr. Shapley was an astronomer at the Mt. Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California. While there he introduced new methods for the determination of great stellar distances and the new concept of the size of the Milky Way Galaxy. From 1921 until 1952, he was a professor of astronomy and director of the Harvard Observatory where he worked on many projects including photometry and spectroscopy. From 1952 until his “retirement” in 1956, he was the Paine Professor of Astronomy at Harvard where worked on special projects and traveled to universities worldwide to lecture.
One of Dr. Shapley’s most important discoveries was that the sun is not the center of the universe, as had been believed for centuries, and he placed the center of the Galaxy, of which Earth is a part, at some 25,000 light years distance from this planet in the direction of Sagittarius. This point has been known as the Shapley Center.
Harlow Phelps Rothert - Multi-Sport Athlete, World Record Breaker - Harlow Phelps Rothert was born in Carthage, Missouri on April 1, 1908. Little is known of Harlow’s youth, but one only need to search online to find many articles recounting his athletic achievements in college and beyond. Harlow attended Stanford University graduating in 1931 with a B. A. in Economics. His athletic prowess was summarized when he was named one of the five greatest athletes in university history in 1978.
Harlow is the only athlete in Stanford history to be named All-American in three sports: football, basketball, and track. He scored three touchdowns in the 1930 Big Game (Stanford beat Cal. 41-0), was twice captain of the basketball team, and nationally preeminent in the shot-put. He is the first three-time champion in the shot-put in NCAA history: 1928, 1929, & 1930. He was the first collegiate athlete to break 52 feet and set the NCAA and American record of 52’-1 3/4 in. He also broke the world shot-put record in 1930. In 1930 he was 5th in the discus at the NCAAs.
While at Stanford, he competed in shot-put at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics placing 7th. After college he competed for the Los Angeles Athletic Club and was New Zealand National Champion in shot put, discus, and javelin in 1931, and won the silver medal at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games. He is a three-time inductee in the Stanford Sports Hall of Fame.
1996 Carthage Lady Tigers Cross Country Team - Class 4 State Runner-Up Harriers - The 1996 Carthage Lady Tigers Cross Country Team is the highest-ranking girls’ state team in Carthage history. They won several meets including the Carthage Invitational, MSSC Stampede, Springfield Invitational, Carl Junction Invitational, and the Neosho Invitational.
The 1994 team was the first Carthage girls’ team to win a trophy at state, regardless of the sport. Three members of the team were named to the 1996 All-State team; Allison Medlin (3rd place and Hall of Carthage Heroes inductee, 2018), Melinda Sneddon (13th place), and Margeaux Boyer (15th place). Other members of the team included Erin Williams, Natalie Coffee, Michelle Coffee, and Jenny Prichard. Alternate team members included Jessica Anderson, Danielle Lawrence, and Kelsey Lamb. In addition to state medals, Medlin, Sneddon, and Boyer were honored with All-Area first team mentions; Williams with a second team mention; and Natalie Coffee and Michelle Coffee both received honorable mention.
Not only was the team dominant on the cross-country course, they also excelled in the classroom. The Missouri State High School Activities presented them with an Outstanding Scholastic Award for a combined grade point average of 3.95 during the 1996/1997 school year. They were truly exceptional “Student-Athletes”.
For the full biographies and photos of this year’s inductees, as well as information on nominating someone for the Class of 2022, visit the Hall website at hallofcarthageheroes.org.
The installation ceremony for this year’s class will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, November 12, 2022 at the Fair Acres Family YMCA. Family, friends, past recipients, community members and media are all invited to attend. We hope to see you there!
###About Hall of Carthage Heroes
Established in 2012, Hall of Carthage Heroes is a distinctive honor for citizens of Carthage, Missouri who have exhibited the highest qualities, in both their professional and personal lives, in the betterment of Carthage and our country. The Hall has two divisions, one to recognize pioneers & citizens of distinction, the other to honor outstanding athletes. New nominations are accepted each year and an anonymous committee made of citizens from various Carthage civic groups selects the class of honorees. Learn more at hallofcarthageheroes.org and follow us on Facebook at facebook.com.hallofcarthageheroes. Gifts to support Hall of Carthage Heroes are appreciated and may be made at Carthage Community Foundation.