From the Morgue by Sharon Sanders en-us 'James' Laskaris and the Coney Island In the spring of 1942 residents of the United States had only one thing on their minds: War. Practically every page of the local newspaper had some news about the conflict: Head shots of men and women entering service or being promoted to new ranks and new dangers; rationing of rubber and sugar; classes geared toward airplane mechanics or aviation; cuff-less men's trousers; scrap metal drives and war bond rallies. On March 27, 1942, a local restaurateur pledged in a front-page article in... Tue, 25 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Cape's bicycle track had a short run In early 1898 Frank Dunlap, with the help of his wife, Mary Charlotte (Van Frank) Dunlap, a Cape Girardeau native, began remodeling the Riverview Hotel on the river in downtown Cape Girardeau. They intended to convert the old hotel into a sanitarium, where the ill might come to regain their health. One of the first descriptions carried in The Weekly Democrat newspaper of Frank Dunlap was this: "Frank Dunlap... is the man who made a trip around the world on a bicycle. He is well known... Tue, 18 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Sodality pre-dates establishment of church Next year, the congregation of St. Mary's Cathedral, pictured above in the early 1900s, will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the church. Just by chance, I found an article relating to the formation of the parish that offered a few details that I had never seen before. One of those details is the fact that the cathedral's St. Anne's Sodality was actually established in 1867, a year before the church. And, if the article is to be believed, it was the women who were members... Tue, 11 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Carl Wielpuetz declares himself a loyal American The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, ushering this country into the Great War. Three days later, an advertisement on an inside page of The Daily Republican caught my eye: Immediately below this advertisement was an article that provides more information about Carl Wielpuetz and the attacks made against him. SLANDEROUS CHARGES AROUSE C. WIELPUETZ Resents Charges That He Is Not Loyal American -- Statement of Facts. The Wielpuetz bakery has an... Tue, 04 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0500 A second castle in Cape Girardeau Much has been written about the castle on Bloomfield Road: Elmwood. But did you know there once was a "castle" in downtown Cape Girardeau? It takes a bit of squinting and a lot of imagination, but the Adolph List house near the northeast corner of Broadway and Lorimier Street is described in old Missourian articles as "modeled after a castle on the Rhine." Dr. List built the impressive brick dwelling in 1888 and it stood until November 1937, seven months after the death... Tue, 28 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Old federal building demolished 50 years ago Fifty years ago this month, workers began the process of stripping the halls and rooms of the old post office/federal building in Cape Girardeau. They salvaged what was deemed usable in anticipation of the old building's demolition later that month. A story in the March 22, 1967, Southeast Missourian described the process. But it was the accompanying photographs that caught my eye. I have no memory of the old building that stood at the southeast corner of Broadway and Fountain... Tue, 21 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Matilda Rodney Block: "Her kindness to the needy was boundless" In 1915 Cape Girardeau historian and railroad entrepreneur Louis Houck published a book entitled "Memorial Sketches of Pioneers and Early Residents of Southeast Missouri." The Naeter Brothers, founders of the Southeast Missourian newspaper, produced the hardbound book. I came into possession of a copy through my mentor, Judith Ann Crow. But I wonder just how many were produced. A note at the beginning of the book indicates that the volume saw limited circulation: "For private... Tue, 14 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500 Indian Park marker dedicated I used an item in the "Out of the Past" column recently about a swimming pool the Civic Improvement Association proposed to build in 1917 at the corner of William and South Lorimier streets. That sparked an email exchange between myself and a Texas friend, who was curious about that location and the ultimate outcome of the century-ago proposal. The conversation made me curious about the history of that location, now known as Indian Park. It's clear from the 1917 articles... Tue, 07 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0600 Ever hear of the Coffee Drinkers Friendship Club? Fellow blogger Fred Lynch sent me an email recently, saying I should do a blog on the Coffee Drinkers Friendship Club. He also provided several clippings about the club and the good works it did. Easier suggested than accomplished, I have found. We have no clip file on the CDFC, but I did find a story from 1949 that indicated the philanthropic club was organized in January 1948. Its members raised money for various good causes, including the national Polio Epidemic Emergency Fund. In the... Tue, 28 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0600 Civil War executions Among the books and binders that populate the Southeast Missourian's library is one three-inch-thick black binder with the unoriginal title of "Book A." Book A, and its unremarkable companion Book B, contain handwritten historical notes by the late George Naeter, one of the founders of the Southeast Missourian. In most cases, they are items that appeared in the "Out of the Past" column, carefully categorized by such topics as schools, businesses, churches, etc.... Tue, 21 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0600 Host of new regulations, programs followed Pearl Harbor attack In the weeks that followed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Americans were faced with a plethora of new regulations and programs designed to aid the war effort. Some I had heard about or read of before, but others were completely new to me. I've gathered up a few of them in this blog. Published in the Southeast Missourian Feb. 9, 1942: When daylight saving went into effect today, shoe factory workers in Cape Girardeau went to work one hour before daylight. The above photo,... Tue, 14 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0600 Lealon Jones' first book Lealon N. Jones was supervisor of English at the old Campus School at Southeast Missouri State University for 42 years and still found time to write. During his 82 years of life, he published five novels, and his obituary in 1985 said a sixth would be published after his death. Jones' first book -- "Eve's Stepchildren" -- was published in 1942, and The Southeast Missourian noted the accomplishment with a photograph and article on Jan. 24, 1942. The above photograph... Tue, 07 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0600 Charles W. Stehr Charles W. Stehr (Southeast Missourian archive) Last week's blog reviewed the brief history of the Chero-Cola bottling works in Cape Girardeau. Prompting the write-up was a photo of an advertisement that once graced the west wall of the C.W. Stehr Mercantile in the 600 block of Good Hope. Carl "Charles" William Stehr was a native of Cape Girardeau. He was born Dec. 17, 1862, the son of Conrad and Mary Martinowsky Stehr. (In doing genealogical research on this line, I had... Tue, 31 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0600 Chero-Cola: "A tasty beverage..." In the spring of 1993, when the walls of the old Orpheum Theater on Good Hope Street came tumbling down, a vision of Haarig's past was revealed. This sign was painted on the west wall of the former C.W. Stehr Mercantile store. It was revealed when the Orpheum was razed. One of our photographers at that time, knowing I was related to the Stehr family, captured this view of the sign, and it was published in the Southeast Missourian on May 21, 1993. Chero-Cola was a short-lived... Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0600 The complicated history of the Orpheum Theater The Orpheum Theater opened on Good Hope Street in Cape Girardeau in 1917. No, wait. It opened in 1913. No, no, that's not right. It really opened in 1909, but it was originally the Grand. Confused? I'll confess, I was when I started digging into the history of the Orpheum as I prepared to note its centennial. But, in truth, the theater that eventually became the Orpheum was originally the Grand Theater. Missourian clippings indicate the Grand opened its doors in December 1909... Tue, 17 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0600 Himmelberger house damaged in fire Late in December 1941, fire severely damaged the pretentious home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Himmelberger at 325 N. Sprigg St. While the conflagration did extensive damage to the home, the occupants -- Charles and Louise Himmelberger -- were uninjured. The 1941 blaze wasn't the first time the house was damaged by flames. On Sunday, Feb. 26, 1939, firefighters answered an alarm to the house at 5:40 in the morning. While the fire was contained to a single room on the first floor, the rest of... Tue, 10 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0600 Old Lorimier home to Scripps marker This image of the Scripps marker in Old Lorimier Cemetery accompanied the 1938 article reproduced below. It was taken by G.D. Fronabarger. (Southeast Missourian archive) Among the most unusual grave markers at Cape Girardeau's Old Lorimier Cemetery is that of William Scripps and his wife and daughter. The stone, shaped like three individual grave markers, was erected in the 1820s, before there were paved streets to the old burial ground. It is likely the stone was hauled to this... Tue, 03 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0600 A trapper's story John Ackman, a Cape Girardeau County farmer of the Neelys Landing area, told the story of an old hunter, who taught him how to trap beaver and other varmints. It's an interesting tale, retold in 1940 by Missourian correspondent John Putz, that I thought I would share. Tue, 27 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0600 Christmases past In the spirit of the season, I dug up a couple of articles dealing with the way Christmas was celebrated in years past. Here's hoping you and yours have a very merry Christmas. Published Dec. 22, 1941: Tue, 20 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0600 Local reaction to Pearl Harbor attack (G.D. Fronabarger ~ Southeast Missourian archive) Last week in this space, I brought you several articles detailing the Missourian's coverage of local sailors who lost their lives in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. In researching that blog, I wondered what the local reaction to America's entry into World War II was. In the immediate aftermath of the attack, several Missourian articles dealt with the men and women who were known to be living and working... Tue, 13 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0600