Graves of Col. George Thilenius and family get stone markers

Monday, October 9, 2006

A prominent figure of Cape Girardeau history, Col. George C. Thilenius, who was born in 1829 and died in 1910, was buried in the Old Lorimier Cemetery in Cape Girardeau. Recently, his grave and those of his wife, Margarethe, and daughter, Emma, were given grave markers.

In his heyday, Thilenius volunteered his services to the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War and rose to the rank of colonel in the militia, commanding the Third Missouri District. As a delegate to the Drake Convention in 1865, Thilenius signed the historic ordinance that abolished slavery in Missouri. He established a mercantile store, a flour mill, winery and soda water factory. Thilenius served as mayor from 1867 to 1873 and was instrumental in establishing the first public elementary school and in bringing the State Normal School, now Southeast Missouri State University, to Cape Girardeau. Thilenius also helped to secure appropriations for college improvements during his term as representative to the General Asembly of Missouri from 1898 to 1901.

Thilenius' great-granddaughter, Marjorie Thompson, resides in Cape Girardeau at the home he built in 1873, called Longview.

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