From the Morgue by Sharon Sanders en-us Downtown Cape's first 'skyscraper' Here are a couple of trivia questions for you: What downtown building was Cape Girardeau's first skyscraper? And what Broadway structure's exterior was scaled not once, but twice, by "human flies?" If you answered "the Himmelberger-Harrison Building" for both, you're correct. In the summer of 1906, The Daily Republican newspaper announced that Cape Girardeau was getting its first "sky-scraper," a five-story office structure to be built by the... Tue, 17 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0500 St. Vincent's builds a new school Last week in this blog, we recalled the demolition of the St. Vincent's Parochial School, located south of Old St. Vincent's Catholic Church at the corner of Spanish and William streets. The school was built in 1877 as a boys school. St. Vincent's Young Ladies Academy at Spanish and Good Hope streets educated both local girls and girls sent here from distance, boarding them. But after the latter school shuttered its doors in 1923, the boys school became co-ed. By 1948, St.... Tue, 10 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Old St. Vincent's grade school razed What was hinted at in a letter to the editor published in the Southeast Missourian on Aug. 24, 1971, became reality a few months later: Old St. Vincent's Parochial School on South Spanish Street was razed. The letter -- signed with the initials "J.B." -- warned: "Gone with the wind. Unless a miracle occurs, that will, before the end of August, be the fate of St. Vincent's Parochial School on Spanish Street built in 1877 by the historic church that has graced Cape... Tue, 03 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0500 WWI farewells took on a somber tone Last week in this space, I told you of Cape Girardeau County's "First Eight," the first group of draftees who departed from Jackson on Sept. 5, 1917, to train for the Army in World War I. An article from The Daily Republican related that seven of the eight left with "faces shining with smiles and apparently eager to go." At Jackson, "relatives and friends stood about to cheer them on their way. The boys were in fine spirits, laughing, and joking." While... Tue, 26 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Cape County's 'First Eight' In September 1917, Uncle Sam went about collecting the young men of this nation to serve in what was called at the time "the First National Army." All across the country, likely young men registered for the military draft. In Cape Girardeau County, the first of these men came to be called "the First Eight." Those eight would-be soldiers were Linus C. Morton, Emra A. Fulbright, William Hobbs, Norman Buell Proffer, Joseph C. Roussell, Hathorne H. Ranney, Lyman Steele and... Tue, 19 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Local heroes rescued fountain In the summer of 1982, water stopped flowing in the Courthouse Park (now Ivers Square) Memorial Fountain. The Cape Girardeau County Court, which was paying for the water, closed the tap. It wasn't an arbitrary decision on the part of the county judges. The pump that controlled the flow of the water wasn't circulating it properly. That led to monthly water bills amounting to hundreds of dollars. And the county didn't have the thousands needed to fix the problem. But Cape Girardeau... Tue, 12 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 The evolution of a park In June of this year, the Cape Girardeau City Council voted to rename Common Pleas Courthouse Park as Ivers Square, recognizing former slaves James and Harriet Ivers. According to research by Denise Lincoln, an authority on Cape Girardeau's black Civil War soldiers, James Ivers enlisted in the Union Army on June 18, 1863. He died of consumption on Oct. 1, 1863, while serving at Helena, Arkansas. His widow, Harriet Ivers, purchased a home at the southwest corner of Middle Street and... Tue, 05 Sep 2017 00:00:00 -0500 1953 train derailment took the life of a Lilbourn Guardsman G.D. Fronabarger photographed more than 400 National Guardsmen who escaped injury in a train derailment on July 25, 1953. The group was assembled by Lieut. Col. H.F. Wickham, commander of the troop train, and they made up Company A, Dexter; Company B, Caruthersville; Company C, Lilbourn; Company D, Charleston; First Battalion Headquarters Company, Sikeston; Company K, Kennett and Company L, Bernie. In the background can be seen the rear end of the derailed train. A total of 448 men,... Tue, 29 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Dr. A.C. Magill turned personal tragedy into triumph Dr. Arthur Clay Magill came to Cape Girardeau in September 1909, a year after personal tragedy reshaped his life. In the years that followed, he worked to obliterate the disease that devastated his family. Don Gordon, a member of the Southeast Missourian's news staff, wrote an article for the Associated Press in 1962 that told the long-time science teacher's story. Published April 27, 1962: BATTLE TO STEM TYPHOID BY DR. A.C. MAGILL; TACKLED AILMENT IN 1908 AS A YOUNG... Tue, 22 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Family search yields story of John William Daugherty Like many genealogists, I like to flesh out the facts I gather about long-deceased relatives with items from old newspaper. There's a wealth of these publications available for viewing on the Internet, on both paid and free sites. Cheapskate that I am, one of my favorite sites for exploring old newspapers is the Library of Congress: Chronicling America. The site allows you to tailor your search of digitized images by state or by the name of the publication:... Tue, 15 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0500 UPDATE: Missing Murdoch's saber isn't really missing Many of you probably read the article in the Southeast Missourian recently detailing the discovery of Col. Robert Gould Shaw's Civil War sword. Shaw, you will remember from the movie "Glory," commanded the 54th Massachusetts Voluntary Infantry, an all-black unit. Shaw carried the recovered sword with him when he led his troops in an ill-fated attack on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, in 1863. Shaw died in that battle. Fifty-four... Tue, 08 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0500 TWIKA standard became airport landmark If you were a kid growing up in the Cape Girardeau area in the 1960s and '70s, chances are you remember the tall global sign that marked the Cape Girardeau Municipal (now Regional) Airport. (G.D. Fronabarger ~ Southeast Missourian archive) In those early years of my life, my family often drove down to Scott County on weekends to visit relatives. I always knew we were close to our Cape Girardeau home, when I spotted that iconic symbol next to the highway. Originally, the... Tue, 01 Aug 2017 00:00:00 -0500 A cross for Tower Rock Tower Rock in Perry County, Missouri, is a sight to see, especially from a small boat in the middle of the Mississippi River. Big Sis and I got to experience just that in 2016 through Southeast Missouri State University's Continuing Education program and the kind folks with the Missouri Department of Conservation, who supplied the three boats that ferried our tour group up the to that big lump of limestone and back again. Along the way, we learned about the history of the river... Tue, 25 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Tarzan Jr., visits Cape Johnny Sheffield wore his Cub Scout uniform, when he appeared in Cape Girardeau in July 1942. (Southeast Missourian archive) Tarzan Jr., swung into Cape Girardeau the summer of 1942, not on strategically placed jungle vines, but aboard a Frisco passenger train. Johnny Sheffield, 11, was already a veteran actor, when he arrived here on July 21, 1942. After beginning his career on stage in 1938, he was chosen the following year from among 300 juvenile actors by Johnny Weissmuller --... Tue, 18 Jul 2017 05:00:00 -0500 War removes Cape's mayor W. Hinkle Statler (Southeast Missourian archive) When H. Hinkle Statler was elected mayor of Cape Girardeau on April 14, 1940, at age 30, he was the youngest man to ever claim that political plumb. The feat is even more impressive, when one considers that the man he defeated for the job was four-term incumbent Mayor Edward L. Drum. Elected to serve as a city commissioner with Statler that day was Raymond E. Beckman. Just two years later, Beckman would take Statler's place as... Tue, 11 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Yes, George Washington's cousin is buried at OL (Fred Lynch ~ Southeast Missourian) I had a surprise visit in June from a friend from Spring, Texas. After covering all the usual topics of family, friends and work, the conversation turned to genealogy. It was inevitable, really. My friend is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and I shared with her my own pursuit of that honor. Somehow, our talk jumped to Old Lorimier Cemetery and some of the people buried there whose graves have been marked by the... Tue, 04 Jul 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Dr. William H. Lawrie Sr. and the Booker T. Washington Theater On Dec. 14, 1916, after several failed attempts by forward-thinking white residents, Dr. William H. Lawrie Sr., a black physician of Cape Girardeau, announced plans for the opening of a movie theater in the 200 block of Broadway. Several motion picture houses operated in Cape Girardeau at that time, but all were for whites only. A small item in a November 1914 edition of The Daily Republican noted that Mary Himmelberger, wife of timber and lumber magnate J.W. Himmelberger, intended to bring... Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0500 William Brunke made the bricks that made Cape Girardeau Many of the names of the architects who designed the residences and commercial houses that litter historic Cape Girardeau have survived: Edwin Branch Deane, L.B. Blackwood, J.B. Legg, Thomas P. Barnett, E.W. Parlow, A.F. Lindsay, Fred Dormeyer Jr., Hal Lynch and John Boardman, just to name a few. But few of the names of the laborers who dug the foundations, hung the steel or framed the walls for those buildings have survived. That's why I was surprised and pleased to run across a small... Tue, 20 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0500 A house that looked the same front and back Some time in the 1840s, Cape Girardeau's premier builder of homes, Edwin Deane, was contracted to construct a residence for flour mill-owner Ben Horrell of New Orleans. Seeking to escape The Big Easy's oppressive summer heat and unhealthy fevers, Horrell picked Cape Girardeau for his summer home. For about $30,000, Deane built the residence on South Spanish Street, on the present location of the Knights of Columbus Hall. Tradition says the house's east and west facades looked the... Tue, 13 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Carnegie medal presented twice to Ruby Lindsay Hargis In April 1924, school teacher Marjorie Haines Hobbs and her 15-year-old pupil, Ruby Lindsay, were enjoying a hike in the woods north of Cape Girardeau, apparently an exercise the friends frequently enjoyed. As they started to cross a train trestle over Little Flora Creek six miles north of the city, they were startled by an oncoming work train. While Ruby stepped safely off onto a beam that projected over the creek, Hobbs froze in fear. Ruby came to her rescue, pulling her to safety, but... Tue, 06 Jun 2017 00:00:00 -0500