Three Elsberry High Schools students had the privilege this past summer to attend Missouri Girls State held on the campus at the University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg. This week long, exciting, and memorable experience gives females an inside look at how our government works. Anne Heintzelman was sponsored by the Elsberry Study Club, while Kimmie Croxville was sponsored by the Elsberry DOM Club, and Brea Johnson was sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary Post 226 of Elsberry.
MGS delegates are girls who attend high school in Missouri and have just completed their junior year. Candidates are evaluated on their leadership abilities, interest in government, service to others, and academics. Speech and debate experiences are also beneficial. The American Legion Auxiliary believes that educating our youth about the basic ideals and principals will help ensure the survival of our republic.
Missouri Girls State (MGS) was first established in 1940 as one of 11 Girls State programs in the nation. The first session was held at William Woods University (then College), Fulton, in the summer of 1940 under the direction of Lutie Long Smith. There were 213 citizens in attendance the first year and Juanita Curry was elected Governor. The citizens were divided into three counties — Scott, Price, and Barton; and there were six cities — Pershing, Koontz, Boone, Crowder, Lewis, and Clark. MGS was located at William Woods for 17 sessions, with no sessions held in 1943 and 1945 due to war. Following a fire at the college in 1959, MGS transferred to Christian College, Columbia, in 1960. In 1961, the program moved to Stephens College, Columbia, due to the need for a larger facility. The program returned again to William Woods University in 1976, where it remained until 1998 when it moved to Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg (now University of Central Missouri). Currently, MGS has 760 citizens in seven counties and 21 cities. Our cities and counties are named after famous or important people to the American Legion Auxiliary and the State of Missouri or those individuals who have contributed in some way to the success of the Missouri Girls State program.