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Cape Central High Photos

Ken Steinhoff, Cape Girardeau Central High School Class of 1965, was a photographer for The Tiger and The Girardot, and was on the staff of The Capaha Arrow and The Sagamore at Southeast Missouri State University. He worked as a photographer / reporter (among other things) at The Jackson Pioneer and The Southeast Missourian.

Come here to see photos and read stories (mostly true) about coming of age in Southeast Missouri in the 1960s.

Please comment on the articles when you see I have left out a bit of history, forgotten a name or when your memory of a circumstance conflicts with mine. (My mother says her stories have improved now that more and more of the folks who could contradict her have died off.) Your information helps to make this a wonderful archive and may end up in book form.

South Kingshighway Erasures

Wow, you leave town for a couple of weeks and stuff disappears all over the place. I caught these three business landmarks being erased in the South Kingshighway shopping center south of William Street.

It’s all part of a plan to expand Hobby Lobby and to create a driveway to access the center off William.

The first building to be attacked was the EZ Express Carwash on the corner. I don’t think my vehicles ever passed through there, but that’s because I consider dust to be a paint protector. You can click the photos to make them larger.

Pizza Hut being nibbled

The only memory I have of the Pizza Hut is when one night I pulled there in just as a guy pitched a bunch of fast food debris out his car window. Putting on my most benign, helpful face, I tapped on his window, handed him his junk and said, “Excuse me, sir. I think you may have dropped these.” He was so flummoxed he not only took the bags, but he thanked me.

China Town Buffet moved

A sign in the window said the business was going to move to 329 S. Kingshighway under a new name – the China Crown.

I found this blurb on a real estate site: “China Town Buffet plans to eventually move a block south of their present location according to Tom Kelsey, commercial broker with Lorimont Place, Ltd.  Kelsey said his company recently brokered the sale of the former Pagoda Gardens property at 329 S. Kingshighway to Jerry Feng, owner of China Town Grill Buffet, currently operating at 213 S. Kingshighway.

“The former Pagoda restaurant operated at the location since 1987 and closed in 2014 when the owner Sam Prasanphanich retired from the restaurant business after 30 years. Ironically, Pagoda was the first restaurant in the Southeast Missouri area to offer a Chinese buffet. Feng and his family will carry on the Chinese buffet concept at their new location. The Lorimont broker understands the new buyers will make significant renovations both inside and out at the former restaurant building and this most likely will involve several months of construction before they relocate and begin operations there.  No sales price was disclosed, but the Lorimont Place website lists the property price at $619,900.”

Gallery of vanishing businesses

Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to navigate around.

World War I Comes Home

I had heard the old Jackson High School was going to be torn down, so I wanted to see if they had started demolition yet. While there, I wandered around in City Cemetery, which is in front of the school. I was looking for graves of servicemen for a possible Memorial Day post. I found plenty there and in Russell Cemetery, but this happened to be the first I researched. It stopped me in my tracks. I’ll save the others for later. Click on the photos to make them larger.

From Page 4 of the October 16, 1918 Southeast Missourian:

Yesterday afternoon, perhaps more forcibly than ever before, the fact that we are in war was brought to the mind of the citizens of Jackson when two caskets, each draped with old glory, were taken from the Iron Mountain train at the same time. As if a hush had fallen over the city, all was still, and the large crowd assembled stood about in respectful silence.

The body of Ralph (Ray) Medley was taken to the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles P. Medley, south of the city, and was in charge of Maple Stevenson, the death soldier’s comrade in training camp. the other body, that of Arthur Winter, which was in charge of a sergeant from Fort Grady, Mich., was taken to the city cemetery, and was given a military funeral by the Jackson Home Guard, the first military funeral seen in Jackson by the present generation….

A splendid young man

The funeral of Ralph Medley was held today at 9:30 at the city cemetery, and the attendance was a large one. A mound of flowers also marks the last resting place of this young man, who gave his life to his country. Ray was a splendid young man, quiet and unassuming, a true farmer boy who combined hard work with a good education, and by this combination had begun to make a success as a farmer, when the call to arms came, and he began to fit himself for the service, only to be laid low by the dread disease now sweeping over the land.

Arthur G. Otto Winter

I didn’t know to look for Arthur G. Otto Winter’s stone, but I did find two stories about him in The Missourian.

October 12, 1918: Otto Winter, one of the young men in the army from this city, died at Fort Grady, near Sault Sainte Marie, Mich., yesterday afternoon, the influenza and pneumonia causing his death. He was sick only a few days. Otto was about (…) years old and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Gottfried Winter, both of whom are dead. One sister, Mrs. Laura Winter, lives here and another, Mrs. Ben Pletl, at Cape Girardeau. Other relatives live in Perry county, from whence the family came to this city some twenty years ago.
The young man was sent into training camp from the county during the summer months and was a private in Company A, 18th Battalion of Infantry, stationed in the fort above given. He was an employe of the milling company here from the time he was old enough to fill a position until his entrainment for camp.

October 16, 1918: (from the story above about two Jackson boys coming home): Rev. W.G. Langehennig of the Lutheran church officiated at the grave, and at the conclusion of the short ceremony, bugler Lail stepped up and sounded taps, while the men of the home guard stood at “parade rest” with bowed heads. The floral offerings were profuse and beautiful, showing that the citizens of Jackson know how to honor their soldier dead, even if they occupied a lowly station in life, like Arthur Winter, who was a day laborer before his entry into the army. Tthe flag in the courthouse yard was at half mast during the funeral.