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After nearly 30 years, Gene Taylor museum closes in Sarcoxie

After nearly 30 years, the museum in honor of longtime U.S. Representative Gene Taylor on the town square in Sarcoxie has closed.

The museum’s board voted earlier this month to shut down the facility after fewer and fewer visits and a struggle to find volunteers.

The Sarcoxie Chamber of Commerce will turn the space into center honoring that city’s history.

Space inside will be used for chamber meetings and other civic gatherings.

Taylor was first elected to Congress in 1972, defeating future U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft  in the primary. He subsequently was re-elected to the seven succeeding congresses, though he was nearly defeated in 1974 and 1982.

He was not a candidate for renomination in 1988 to the 101st Congress. He died on October 27, 1998, in Springfield. A number of buildings are named in his honor, including one at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin and the main post office in Springfield.

Taylor grew up near Sarcoxie.

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