f/8 and Be There
Fred Lynch

First Downtown Clock - Sturdivant Bank

Posted Monday, June 27, 2011, at 6:00 AM

April 17, 1917 Daily Republican


Cape Girardeau's pioneer bank will now give you the time of day

Listen for its chimes Easter morn and when you hear them ring out the quarter-hour, half-hour and full hour periods of the day, remember that as the time passes this institution continues to grow in strength and ability to serve you better and better.

Realizing the need of a public time-piece where everybody can get the correct time of day, the Sturdivant Bank has erected a magnificent electric illuminated clock in front of its banking house. The time-piece has four large dials facing as many different directions, and will not only add materially to the appearance of the busiest section of the city, but will prove to be a great convenience to the general public.

The most distinctive feature of the clock, other than its unusually artistic appearance and perfection of its construction and mechanism, is the complete set of Westminster chimes with which it is equipped. These ring every quarter hour and may be heard practically as far as the clock may be seen.

The big clocks are operated by electricity from a master clock inside the building, in the main banking room. This is an especially handsome structure of bronze and plate glass construction, with a twelve-inch dial, and guaranteed to keep practically perfect time. Every minute the hands of the big clock are sent ahead one minute by electricity governed by the master clock within, the connection between the two instruments being perfect and insuring correct time on the large clocks on the outside as well as on the master clock inside.

The clock is attached to the front of the Sturdivant Bank building at a sufficient elevation to be plainly visible from all parts of the street. The clock is nine feet four inches in height, by two feet ten inches in width, of dark green bronze, with copper hood at top and bottom. All faces of the clock are alike, the dial being surmounted by the words "Sturdivant Bank, Established 1866," in large art glass illuminated letters. The dials of the clock are twenty-four inches in diameter, on pearl white art glass, with crystal glass on the outside.

Editor's Note:

The clock was moved to the H-H Building in 1939. Read about it in this previous blog.


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  • So, the original clock wasn't in the middle of the street and it had a personality.

    I guess that's the major difference between it and the new one.

    The 25-year-old clock has made so little of an impression on me that it has never been the center of interest of any downtown photo I've taken. It might show up IN a photo, but it was never the main attraction.


    -- Posted by ksteinhoff on Mon, Jun 27, 2011, at 9:23 AM
  • The original 1982 report on Downtown suggested that the Sturdivant Bank clock be located. Presumably it was lost when the bank moved to the H&H building preceeding its collapse during the Depression. Perhaps the lack of chimes cursed the new location.

    -- Posted by semowasp on Tue, Jun 28, 2011, at 4:36 PM