From the Morgue by Sharon Sanders en-us Brown mansion destroyed in 1916 I have always found it curious that, although it wasn't demolished until 1916, I have never been able to find a photograph of the Wilson Brown mansion in Cape Girardeau. Brown, a former Missouri auditor and lieutenant governor, had the house constructed in 1840 on property now bounded by Frederick, Middle, Good Hope and Morgan Oak streets. The only image I have seen of the mansion appears on "A Capitol View of Cape Girardeau," a drawing of the town, with drawings of individual... Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Red granite church dedicated in 1941 The First Church of God, also known as Emerald Street Church of God, is a unique church structure. While most religious edifices in Cape Girardeau are built of brick and light-colored stone, the church at 500 Emerald St., sports a showy red granite exterior, courtesy of its late pastor, the Rev. J.H. Shirrell. Along with preaching the Word of God, Shirrell was a building contractor. He and members of his congregation were responsible for the work done to the church in 1941. In October of... Tue, 18 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Navy Days brought LST to Cape Girardeau in 1945 As I write this blog, my feet are still aching from all the walking and standing my sister and I did during the weekend's glorious Cape Girardeau Heritage Days. From concerts to tours and demonstrations, to colorful quilts and a touching memorial at Fairmount Cemetery, the first few days of October were everything a history lover like me could want. One of the things we skipped, though, was the tour of LST 325 (Landing Ship Tank 325, as my brother pointed out). Not because we weren't... Tue, 11 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Sorghum making a fall tradition My friend, Louise Duncan, has told me on several occasions how her father and mother, Silas W. and Mary Cardwell, operated a sorghum mill near Dutchtown. According to Louise, the Missourian did a story on the Cardwell operation, but despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to find that article. I did find the Cardwell name attached to a sorghum operation "on the Rauh farm west of Dutchtown" as early as 1943. According to Mary Cardwell's obituary in 1996, the family... Tue, 04 Oct 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Commerce lad survived the wreck of the USS Memphis In the summer of 1916, the USS Memphis -- an armored cruiser that had been launched by the U.S. Navy in 1904 -- was destroyed, when errant waves tossed the ship about in the harbor of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Internet sources such as Wikipedia note that the Memphis, which had been anchored in the harbor, could not get away quickly enough to avoid being battered by the waves. The ship rolled dramatically and began taking on water through its gun ports, ventilators and, eventually,... Tue, 27 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 St. Mary's makeover that never was Artists' concept drawings have always fascinated me. I love to compare what architects conceived for a project to what was actually built. Or, in the case of St. Mary's Cathedral, NOT built. In the spring of 1937, a scheme was hatched to re-make St. Mary's Church in Cape Girardeau (it wouldn't become a cathedral until 1956) and enlarge the grade school to its south. The Southeast Missourian carried an extensive explanation of the work to be done, as well as two concept... Tue, 20 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 A few of Frony's '41 fair photos September in Cape Girardeau can mean only one thing: The SEMO District Fair. In 1941, Girardeans enjoyed what they called the second year of the "renewed" district fair. An institution since 1855, the fair had its financial ups and downs. But in 1929 the exposition came to a screeching halt. After the fair closed its usual run on Sept. 21, 1929, the city -- which had owned the fairgrounds since 1916 -- sold off its various fair buildings: the hog house, the barns, the judge's... Tue, 13 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 1951 train derailment in Cape Girardeau Thankfully, train derailments are few and far between in Cape Girardeau. That was one of my first thoughts when I stumbled across the story of a 1951 train derailment in the Red Star district of the city. The second was, "Man, I wish we had the negatives for these photographs." Even when copied from the microfilm, the photos taken that day by G.D. Fronabarger are impressive. What's also impressive is that no one was injured in the accident. Published Saturday, Aug. 18,... Tue, 06 Sep 2016 00:00:00 -0500 1960 map illustrated early history of park area This photograph of a river overlook in Trail of Tears Park was taken by G.D. Fronabarger in 1961. (Southeast Missourian archive) Three years after the state of Missouri accepted the land in northeast Cape Girardeau County for the development of park that commemorates the Trail of Tears, The Southeast Missourian published a hand-drawn, full-page map of the park. The names of the various sites in the park that bore historic significance were labeled, and an accompanying article traced the... Tue, 30 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Sky dancers thrilled Cape Girardeau crowd The son of a good friend of mine is an enthusiastic participant in the swing dance craze. I wonder what he would think about the two dancers -- Bette and Bob -- who jitterbugged high over Broadway in November 1939, much to the delight of large, thrill-seeking crowds. The event was sponsored by a number of Cape Girardeau businesses: Libson Hosiery Shop, Buckner-Ragsdale Co., Sunny Hill Farms Dairy, Walther's Furniture Co., Bartels Mercantile Co., J.C. Penney Co., Cape Cut Rate Drugs,... Tue, 23 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Controversy accompanied construction of Naval Reserve building in Cape Girardeau This site at the entrance to Arena Park from U.S. 61 was the Navy's first choice for its new Naval Reserve Training Center in 1964. (Southeast Missourian archive) Earlier this month, the former Naval Reserve building at Arena Park was demolished to make way for a new Cape Girardeau Police Department headquarters. The training center had stood at that spot since 1969. Unlike its demise, which only elicited a few objections, the selection of a site for the center created enormous... Tue, 16 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Bergmann-Bartels dissolved partnership in 1916 Bergmann-Bartels store, 521-523 Broadway. Aside from the news out of Europe about the growing conflicts there and the excitement locally of a circus coming to town, the big news the third week of August 1916 was the dissolution of the big Bergmann-Bartels grocery and dry goods store on Broadway. The business had been around since 1902, and the proprietors -- William C. Bergmann, Alvin Bergmann and Will G. Bartels -- were among of the most respected merchants in Cape Girardeau. The... Tue, 09 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Fiberglass giant has been gone 25 years For nearly a decade, a fiberglass giant towered over Houck Stadium, welcoming Southeast Missouri State University Indian football fans on cold winter days. A 27-foot statue of an American Indian made its way from Sikeston, Missouri, to Cape Girardeau's proud football emporium on the Southeast campus early in August 1981 and remained there until the summer of 1991. The only reference to its coming was a stand-alone photograph published Aug. 4, 1981, in the Southeast Missourian. The... Tue, 02 Aug 2016 00:00:00 -0500 The disappearance of Roy E. Schneider Roy E. Schneider is a man of mystery. In fact, that's not even his real name. The native of Cape Girardean County was born Roy Ehrenschneider on Feb. 21, 1894, to George and Mary Krehbiel Ehrenschneider. At the time he entered military service in 1917, Roy shortened his surname -- for obvious reasons -- to the more conventional Roy Ernest Schneider. I've found stories about him from time to time in the pages of the Southeast Missourian. Some claimed that he was a hero pilot of... Tue, 26 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0500 1966 hangar fire Most of the time, when I start a new blog, I'll check the offerings of my fellow Missourian bloggers to make sure I'm not repeating information that has already been presented. I recently came across a front-page Missourian story about a huge hangar fire at the Cape Girardeau Municipal Airport. A check on our website showed that Fred Lynch had already done a blog on the demolition of the final World War II-era hangar at the port. He quoted a story from 1980 about the history of the... Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Jumbo's fate Published Sept. 11, 1925, this photo shows the entire Cape Girardeau Fire Department fleet of trucks. The two Robinson engines purchased in 1916 -- the Jumbo pumper and the hook and ladder trucks -- are center and far right, respectively. The vehicle at left was a smaller pumper/chemical truck the city acquired in 1925. Driving the engines are, left to right, Chief George French, and firemen P.L. Niswonger and Robert Tille. (Southeast Missourian archive) In recent weeks in this blog... Tue, 12 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0500 1916 brought Cape a motorized fire department The Cape Girardeau City Council authorized the purchase of two fire trucks in 1916. At left is the pumper truck nicknamed "Jumbo." At right is the hook and ladder truck. (Southeast Missourian archive) The year 1916 was a pivotal one for the Cape Girardeau Fire Department. In March a massive fire struck downtown Cape Girardeau, destroying three of its largest business houses: The Terminal Hotel, the Riverview Hotel and the Houck Building, housing the Buckner-Ragsdale Co.... Tue, 05 Jul 2016 00:00:00 -0500 Remembering Alex and Joe Cape Girardeau has commemorated the lives of several law enforcement officers who died in the performance of their duties, erecting monuments to the fallen at Common Pleas Courthouse Park. Personally, I think it's time we put up some kind of marker for two firefighters who lost their lives rushing to an alarm on Broadway in 1916: Alex and Joe. No last names. Alex and Joe were the strong, highly-trained, dapple-gray horses that pulled the heavy fire wagon to blazes in Cape... Tue, 28 Jun 2016 05:00:00 -0500 A few more stand-alone photos As I compile the Out of the Past column for the Southeast Missourian or research topics for this blog, I keep an eye out for interesting stand-alone photos, tucking them away in a folder for future use. I find I have more than enough to assemble a blog of the photos. Hope you enjoy. --- I've been doing a lot of research in recent days into the early fire trucks used by the city of Cape Girardeau. The truck was built here. This photo appealed to the genealogist in... Tue, 21 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0500 The sinkings of the Golden Eagle Three years after the steamboat Golden Eagle won Mississippi River glory by outracing two California boats -- the Delta King on the San Joaquin River and the Delta Queen on the Sacramento River -- Eagle Packet Co.'s queen of the inland waterways sank in the muddy waters off Chester, Illinois, on June 14, 1941. Master of the Golden Eagle, both during the 1939 race and at its 1941 mishap, was Cape Girardeau favorite Capt. William H. "Buck" Leyhe. His family owned the Eagle... Tue, 14 Jun 2016 00:00:00 -0500