f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

Harris Motor Car Co. 1930s

Posted Monday, October 19, 2009, at 11:50 AM

A 1937 Ford approaches Lorimier Street in the flash-flooded 200 block of Broadway during the late 1930s in Cape Girardeau.

The building is the Harris Motor Car Co., Cape Girardeau's agent for Dodge cars. Our librarian, Sharon Sanders, found some information about the business in the Southeast Missourian archives.

The building was constructed in 1915. It was later expanded 50 feet on the east side. A brick annex was constructed at the north end in 1934 for storage of new automobiles.

In 1937, Harris Motor Car Co. bought adjoining property at Broadway and Lorimier, formerly the Dr. Adolph List house, erected in 1888. The house was razed.

June 12, 1919

Dr. Adolph List, oldest dentist in Cape Girardeau and one of pioneer residents of city, dies at his home at corner of Broadway and Lorimier; Dr. List was born in Germany on March 11, 1844, and emigrated to America in 1870; he was in this country only briefly before being called back to serve Germany in Franco-Prussian War; he eventually returned to Cape Girardeau where he practiced dentistry until last November, when he became ill; he is survived by his wife and two sons.

A 1920 city directory lists Harris Motor Car Co. (prop. Thomas G. Harris), 232 Broadway; Mrs. Annie LIst, 234 Broadway.

A 1925 city directory lists Harris Motor Co., 232; Mrs. Annie List, Albert Sperling, Mrs. Grace Adams, Mary Brumback, 234.

April 4, 1937

Mrs. Anna List, widow of Adolph List, died.

May 15, 1948

Large corner store quarters of new Harris Building, Broadway and Lorimier, in final states of completion, has been rented to L.O. Townsend, who will have opening next Friday of Cape Girardeau store of Townsend Furniture Co.; Townsend also operates stores in Oran and Caruthersville.

A 1949 city directory lists Harris Motor and Cape County Auto License Bureau, 230-232; Townsend Furniture, 236; Harris Building, Cape Broadway Cab Co., Capaha Yellow Cab, various offices, 236-8.

March 12, 1951

Cape Girardeau County Selective Service Board, which this afternoon dispatches its March contingent of 23 men to St. Louis for induction into Army, will move Thursday to new quarters on first floor of Harris Building.

A 1951 city directory lists Harris Motor and License Bureau, 230-232; Selective Service, 234; C&W Electric Supply, 236; Missouri Division of Employment Security, 238; Harris Building, various offices, 238.

March 6, 1959

The Harris Motor Car Co., 232 Broadway, has been given the franchise to handle the Jeep family of four-wheel drive vehicles.

Oct. 9, 1968

Charmin Paper Products Co., which is building large industrial plant north of Cape Girardeau, has leased temporary office space in two buildings in 200 block of Broadway; company has rented former Harris Motor Car Co. building and earlier had rented rooms in Harris Building at Broadway and Lorimier.

Feb. 16, 1972

Cape Girardeau Civic Center, Inc. has taken 30-day option on property in 200 block of North Spanish; property is 245 by 25-foot lot, containing large building of brick and concrete construction; it is now owned by General Baptist Church, and is located on west side of Spanish, across driveway north of church; it formerly housed Harris Motor Car Co., truck division.

May 10, 1974

Instead of tearing down buildings no longer usable by congregation of General Baptist Church, two other groups will utilize historic downtown landmark and nearby recreation building, which was formerly owned by Harris Motor Car Co.; contract has been made by Free Will Baptist Home Mission Board for purchase of church at 200 Broadway, which had been used by Baptists for worship since construction in 1893; Cape Girardeau Civic Center, Inc. last night approved steps toward renovation of building beside church at 201 N. Spanish, to be used as community recreation and education facility.


Harris building converted into apartment complex by Vernon Rhodes.


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  • Oh, oh! What a wonderful photo!!

    -- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Dec 8, 2009, at 6:58 PM