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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.

Advance Train Depot

Advance Train Station 06 24 1966 6 500x230 Advance Train DepotThe Advance train depot was originally supposed to be located in Lakeville, described in 1875 as a “thriving town” with a population of about two hundred and all of the necessities of life in that era: a post office, a Union church, Masonic lodge, hotel, public school, general store and a saw and grist mill.

When Louis Houck extended his Cape Girardeau Railway line through the Old Field, heading south and west, though, he balked at the $30 an acre price Lakeville owner Jacob Kappler was asking.

Land in Advance was $10 an acre

Advance Train Station 06 24 1966 2 500x336 Advance Train DepotHouck agreed that Kappler’s price wasn’t THAT far out of line, but he instructed his civil engineer Major James Francis Brooks to “advance” about a mile west near a stand of mulberry trees and lay out a new town where Joshua Maberry would sell the land for $10 an acre.

New Lakeville thrived and was later named Advance, with the accent on the first syllable. The original town dried up when it was bypassed by the railroad.

Railroad abandoned

Advance Train Station 06 24 1966 41 500x336 Advance Train DepotI shot these photos for a story that ran in The Missourian June 24, 1966. The first train trip on this line was made in 1881. The last was Nov. 30, 1965. The tracks which once carried as many as four passenger trains a day in the 1920s were being abandoned. The ties were sold to Vernon Lee of Puxico; most of the right of way became part of the property that it adjoined. (What a great rails-to-trails bike path that would have made.)

A Missouri Railroad Pioneer

Advance Train Station 06 24 1966 5 500x263 Advance Train DepotI picked up a book, A Missouri Railroad Pioneer: The Life of Louis Houck (Missouri Biography Series), when I was in Cape in the spring. I quickly set it back down when I saw it was forty bucks.

Reader, railroad buff and frequent commenter Keith Robinson highly recommended it, so I swallowed hard and bought it when I was in Cape this fall. It’s a great read about someone whose name I had heard all my life. I knew he must have been important enough to have a SEMO stadium named after him, but I never realized how key he was to the development of the Southeast Missouri region. (There might not have BEEN a Southeast Missouri State University if there hadn’t been a Louis Houck, by the way.)

Paul Corbin

Advance Train Station 06 24 1966 3 404x600 Advance Train DepotAnother reader, Madeline DeJournett said I should give local historian Paul Corbin a call. We chatted a few minutes and he mentioned that Missourian photographer Fred Lynch had published some audio recordings of him talking about the railroad and growing up in the Advance area. They’re worth a listen.

The old depot wasn’t just a place where the trains stopped. There’s a sign on the building saying that it’s the Railroad Express Agency, the way you got stuff to you in the days before Fed-Ex and UPS. I had a big box of stuff shipped by Railway Express from Cape to Athens, Oh., when I was in college. (They crushed the box and I had a devil of a time getting them to settle, but that’s another story.)

Another sign proclaimed that it was the Western Union Telegraph and Cable Office. I suspect it was a mail and newspaper drop, too. The Missourian used to put out an early edition for train delivery. It was a mishmash of yesterday’s news, today’s news and bad layouts. You had to have wanted a newspaper pretty badly to accept that one.

I’m not sure when the depot was finally torn down.

60 comments to Advance Train Depot

  • Ken Long

    Thanks for the pictures. Having grown up & living in Advance all but 2 years of my 59 I remember it well. My grandfather John Long was a conductor on the train. Although I don’t remember I have been told many times he took me for a trip to Brownwood when I was less than 2 years old. I remember many walking excursions up and down the tracks toward Brownwood. Treasures abounded odd shaped rocks, old rusty railroad spikes & other pieces of detrious that only a young boy would find worth bringing home. I even remember when the park in the center of town still had hitching posts with horse heads on top & the rings in their mouths. Heck I even remember seeing grave markers there since it used to be a cemetary. Supposedly there is a whole story about that which isn’t so nice. The old timers like my great uncle would sit at the benches in the park all day playing checkers, swapping pocket knives & telling tall tales. Who needed i-pods, texting, im’s etc. if they had existed with all those wonderful things going on. I’ll get off here but one other thing. Not only did we have the depot & mill where the Bank of Advance sits now was a movie theater & bowling alley. Thanks again Ken for the pictures.

  • These are the most clear photos I’ve seen of the old depot, Ken, and they’re the only ones I’ve ever seen of the site when the rails were being taken up.
    Of course, our records at the North Stoddard Countian office only go back to bound copies from 1993.
    Paul Corbin has a photo of the last train that went through in 1965, and Ken Carlton (who lives at Toga) remembers how they took the tracks up as they made that last trip. He says that sometimes at night he thinks he hears the whistle of the old train as it sounded when it went by his house.
    Thomza Zimmerman, an early Advance reporter, wrote about the last trip, but I’ve seen no other accounts. It’s as if the townspeople were so disappointed with the railroad leaving that they ignored it.

  • Kim Rhodes Gerlach

    Thanks for posting these pictures! I too, grew up just outside of Advance in Toga. I still remember when the train used to run thru town. I also remember my mom telling the story about the train conductor that saved everyone who worked at the Inland Shoe factory warehouse when a tornado was approaching. He saw the tornado coming and blew his horn and pointed at the twister to get everyone’s attention. I have no idea of his name but he was a hero!

  • Harold Stratton

    My father Dewey Stratton was the Frisco agent at
    Advance until he had a stroke in 1948. He was only there for a few years. He continued to live in Cape Girardeau and took a bus to work every day.

  • Keith Robinson

    First and foremost, thanks for posting the pictures. There are individuals on the Frisco.org website that will be glad to be directed to this blog for such clear pictures or the Advance Depot. Secondly, I am glad you bought the book, it is very enlightening to find out how big of an influence Louis Houck had on the development of southeast Missouri.

    Frisco records indicate the removal of the rails through Advance was completed May 6, 1966.

    Anyone seeking more information on the Hoxie Sub of the Frisco and Advance are welcome to come to the St Louis – San Francisco Railway Historical and Modeling Society’s website, http://www.frisco.org/.

    • Thanks to you for nudging me to buy the book. Louis Houck and I are cut from the same cheapskate cloth.

      It’s more than just about the man. It paints a great picture of how Southeast Missouri was developed. I wasn’t aware of how Houck probably saved Southeast Missouri State University for Cape when the original Normal admin building burned.

      And, I learned that William Vandiver, the author of one of my favorite quotes, was the school’s president.

      When vendors would come calling, I’d point the wall where I had posted Vandiver: “I’m from the land of corn, cotton, cockleburs and Democrats. Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I’m from Missouri. You’ve got to show me.”

    • Keith,

      Did you catch my piece on the last train robbery in Missouri?

      It had a photo of the Wittenberg train depot.

  • Paul Stein

    Ken — Wponderful pictures. Does the book tell you whatever happened to the Houck Railroad after it passed out of Houck hands and before it became part of the Frisco? Also, now that I know how Advance was named, your reference to Delta reminds me that I once heard the story of how that town was named but cannot remember it. Was Delta named for the split in the old highways there?

    • Paul,

      I did a quick search, but didn’t come up with the background for Delta’s name.

      The book goes into great detail in what happened to all of Houck’s branches (I think they totaled just over 100 miles), but I don’t remember the specifics of the transition.

      Keith Robinson probably knows it right off the top of his head.

  • Barbara Bowers Campbell

    My Gr-Gr Grandfather was Jacob Kappler. Born in 1833 in Bavaria, he immigrated to the Port of New Orleans in 1855. He married Emma Tropf and had 1 son, Martin, in New Orleans. The family is listed on the 1860 census in Stoddard Co. He was a farmer and lawyer. He was enrolled into the bar in 1867 and also worked as a land agent for Mr. Bollinger. Jacob had aquired about 2000 acres of land by the time he died in 1884. Land was extremely important to him. Each of his 4 surviving children inherited equal shares of land when his wife, Anna died. One of his daughters, Emma Christina Barbara Kappler Farrar was my Great Grandmother. Her son, Franklin Oaks Farrar was my Granddad. Granddad Frank had a million stories about Advance and loved to tell them. He loved the area and the people. He talked about taking the train to “The Cape” with his father to see President Taft. His cousins were the 5 Zimmerman boys. When they got together the smoke would spiral up and the stories would pour out. It was wonderful to sit close by and fall under their storytelling spell.

  • Ben Dean Lewis

    I also remember the old ice plant a short distance across the tracks from the depot. Used to go there when I was very young to enjoy the cool. Great memories. The train came through years later blowing their whistle and yelling to tell the people that a tornado was following them.

  • You hit paydirt on this blog, Ken! I am THRILLED with the number of people who posted with first-second and third-hand experience of this period of time in Advance! I’ll post a link to this blog on my blog at http://www.dailystatesman.com, and maybe I can gather up some more documentation!

  • Oh, yes — Joel Rhodes’ book on Houck is WONDERFUL! He used Houck’s own personal library and letters as a source and included many humorous anecdotes about a most remarkable Missourian! (He didn’t trust automobiles, so he supervised the building of Academic Hall on horseback!) Rhodes spoke to the Stoddard County Historical Society in Bloomfield shortly before the book came out. Absolutely fascinating material and riveting speaker!

  • Lee Dahringer

    Ken,
    thanks to you for the photos, and to all the people who commented. Growing up in Advance,one of the big grade school events was taking a trip by train for a day off of school. I admit, I did not know how Advance got its name.
    When John Denver was just getting popular, he gave a concert in Cape where he announced how glad he was to be in Cape – “Gateway to Advance.” Brought down the house.

    • I didn’t realize you were an Advance boy. When did you migrate to the Big City?

      I think the population of Advance was about 733 in those days. When you left, did you have to scratch out the population sign and provide an update?

  • Lyndel Revelle

    ken: I love to do Genealogical work and find out interesting things. When I started out doing my family genealogy on the “Revelle” family I had little to go on so I started the work about 1980. I found out bits and pieces but since my dads dad had passed away in 1966 and I never met him while I was growing up and a lot of my family members didn’t know anything more than that my grandfathers dad did live in Delta and died there too. With the advent of computers I found out more so I sent for a “Death Certificate on my Great Grandfather Alexander Revelle.
    I did get a Death Certificate and it said he was born at “Lakeville, Mo”. I hadn’t ever heard of a “Lakeville, Mo.” so I called a genealogist that lives in Dexter, Mo. named M.A. Hart. He told me that “Lakeville” was about a mile and a half east of where Advance is now. So I live in Bloomfield and found out that I live approx. 15 to 17 Miles from where my Great Grandfather Alexander Revelle was born. I foundout he was born in Jan 1856 at Lakeville and died in Delta in April 1915. So I know where he was born and I know his Mothers name from the 1880 Census but I don’t know his Fathers name at all so I hit a brickwall. But as I read how Lakeville just “Died out” and the people of lakeville were bypassed so they split and some went to a town called “Toga” (pronounced Togee) how they get that I don’t know, and the rest of the Lakevile people went to a place called “Arab” very interesting. “Advancewas first called “New Lakeville” and in 1897 the name of the town was changed to what it is today “Advance” meaning the town was advancing. So a bit of History there but you never know what you’ll uncover doing Genealogy. Thanks Much for this article.
    Lyndel Revelle

  • Lisa A. Rock

    Both of my parents and my most of family are or were residence in South East MO. Advance especially.

    Was very interesting reading. I need to print some of this for her. She really have to much to do with the internet (well, none).

    Thanks for sharing. Lisa Leadbetter (Simmers) Rock

  • Ben Dean Lewis

    My grandfather Dr. C.E. Lewis (Doc Ed)as he was called was a doctor in Advance for many years. He also practiced in Bell City for a time. My dad started a restaurant on hwy #25 in 1932 during the depression. It was a log cabin that we lived in also. This was when I was first born. The first customer had to pay in advance so dad could buy the gas to cook the hamburger. Several years later he opened Dean’s Place” a restaurant in the middle of Advance.

  • PAT CATO ALLEN

    Thanks Ken I am like a lot of the other people and have
    spent time in Advance. My mom and dad were both from this area and Paul Corbin is my uncle. He continues to write books, and articles for the Missourian even at the age of 94 or 95. Fortunately a lot of his stories have been recorded so that part of history is not lost. Keep up the good work.

  • Linda Zimmerman Eggimann

    Just an absolutely great backward glance to life in Advance. I was so sorry the depot in Advance was torn down or somehow destroyed and not preserved as the one in Puxico. To all the people who replied to the article and pictures….It is so nice to hear from people I went to school with …..Let’s keep on touch!

  • Sheri Mitchell

    My grandparents were Carrie and Corby Wiggins and most of my very best childhood memories are from Advance and my large extended Wiggins/Corbin/Goodman/Ward etc… family- many of whom are still living in the area. I am related to Paul Corbin too. I remember the trains, the Mill, Hinkle’s, Corbin’s and Ward’s stores and following my Grandmother around the town square. I also remember my Uncle Bud Wiggins collecting the tornado shoes. I went to that John Denver concert! I am now a new fan of this blog and will go through the family archives for pictures to send. My daughter, another Carrie, has become the family historian working on geneology and my brother Cameron and I are now re-habbing the 100 year old Goodman-Wiggins house in Advance which will continue to be our family homeplace. Thanks to everyone for adding all of this wonderful information about our “hometown”- the friendlist town in America!

    • You just rattled off a bunch of names I’ve heard all my life.

      When I had just barely learned how to scribble, I grabbed a counter check out of my grandfather’s store and marched down to Hinkles for some ice cream or something. It was quickly explained to me that just because you could WRITE a check didn’t mean you could use it like money.

      You probably remember the old movie theater, too, that didn’t have air conditioning, so they put hay between two screens, poured water on it and let a fan suck in “cool” air.

      At some point, the hay caught fire, either from spontaneous combustion or because someone flicked a cigarette into it, if I got my story straight.

  • Pat, your uncle will be 97 in November, and we consider him a Community Treasure!! He drives to the post office every day and to Cape every once in awhile to check on the Indian artifacts he donated to the nature center between Cape and Jackson. He also writes a column for the North Stoddard Countian every other week!

  • Sheri, where is the Goodman-Wiggins house? It’s not the one next to the post office, is it? I would love to do a story on that house!

  • Harold Stratton

    Lyndel Revelle
    I grew up with in Cape Girardeau with Don
    Revelle. If you think he is related to you let me know.

  • Kim Rhodes Gerlach

    I loved growing up in Advance. I remember Saturday afternoons when the town square was full of people. Wards Store was always busy and back then they not only bagged your groceries but carried them to your car for you! Charlie and Sis Hinkle who had Hinkle’s were my great aunt & uncle. I remember Sunday afternoons when all the teenagers would ‘cruise’ town, make the loop (about a total of 3 blocks!) and come back again. Doesn’t sound like much fun now, but we always had a blast back then!

  • Sheri Mitchell

    My grandparents were Carrie Goodman Wiggins and John Corbin Wiggins. The Wiggins house is next to the post office but my family (unfortunately) does not own that any longer. My Grandmother told us all about the Wiggins inhabitants of that house through the years though and my aunt was born there. However, the Goodman house, where my Grandparents lived is on Ruth Street, and is a large yellow frame house. It was built by my great grandfather Richard Clayborn Goodman in 1910. I have photos of the original house and its inhabitants-my Grandmother was 10 years old. My younger brother (Cameron Mitchell) and I are dedicated to restoring this house a bit at a time. When the contractors came to look at it they were amazed at how well built it was and how little major damage– other than the settling of the ground beneath– there was. They were very impressed with the work of my great grandfather and his brothers. They built many structures in the Advance area. We have had the house “jacked” (like a car but a much larger job) and a new foundation put underneath and Cameron has completed the kitchen and is working slowly but surely on the other rooms. We are preserving all the bits and pieces we find and will have family “artifacts” and heirlooms included in our re-hab project. He recently restored the original brick chimney and turned it into a work of art. We have discoverd the original doors and pieces of wallpaper, and are photo journaling the process as we go. Our goal is for the house and its history as our “homeplace” to last another 100 years. We will have an “Open House” when our work is completed and invite the whole town!

    I remember the fun of being a teenager in the 1960’s and “cruising” around town in a big square–with my cousin Brenda Ward and Karen Hinkle and how Ward’s carried my Grandma’s groceries to the car every time. I remember the year my Grandpa bought all of us cousins (there were 10 of us) Stetson hats at Corbin’s Variety and made us ride in the Labor Day parade. I still love the Labor Day parade! My Aunt Mildred and Uncle Bud still live on the family farm about 3 miles out of town and all of us would ride back and forth to town in those old days in the back of a pickup truck-dust and all! Whooee-those were the days!

  • Sheri Mitchell

    You know I have just remembered a great Advance train story. In 1904 my grandfather J.C. Wiggins rode the train from Advance to the big city of St. Louis for the St. Louis World’s Fair. He was five years old and went with his older sister Maud Wiggins Ward. That must have been a real train adventure in those days!

  • Ben Dean Lewis

    My grandfather Dr. C.E. (Doc Ed) Lewis practiced medicine in Advance for many years. He also practiced in Bell City for a short time. My father Dean E. Lewis
    first operated a service station and restaurant in a log cabin in Hwy #25. He started the business in 1932 during the depression. His first customer had to pay in advance so he could buy the gas for cooking a hamburger. He later operated ‘Dean’s Place” in down town Advance. I knew most of the older kids that grew up coming to the restaurant.

  • Barbara Leigh Brooks Weintraub

    I attended Mrs. Duckett’s 1956 first grade class in Advance, while my mother was attending college in Cape. We lived with my grandparents, Harry and Clara Sample. Harry had been a teacher and carried rural mail for many years in the Advance area. They had ten children: Fern, June, Hope, Nell, Sally, Bruce, Grant, Gail, Dixie, and Beverly. Their families are scattered throughout the country. The Samples have always gathered for any occasion, and continue to. For the past 12 + years there have been reunions in Texas, Ohio, Missouri, and more.

    I have great memories of walking to school, the post office, the grocery store for penny candy, and the drugstore for a lemon phosphate. My cousins visited in Advance most summers. It was always fun to have the store clerk’s try to guess which Sample was the parent to each of the cousins. We all looked a lot alike. Strong genes, I guess.

    Names I remember are Doc Masters, Becky Tilley, Bill Rhodes, Ann, Sue and Rita Davis, and Stephanie Strobel.

    It is great to read about so many familiar names. I hear Advance stories everytime more than one Sample is present in the same place. Thanks for writing. I am Nell’s daughter.

  • Jean Looney Lanham

    My sister Jay sent me this link – what a great story!
    Growing up in Advance, this brings back lovely memories of hot summer days, playing outside. When we heard the train whistle, we would run down to the tracks and wave and wave. I remember Mrs Long took my sister and I on a train trip to Brownwood and it seemed like the biggest trip ever- I felt like a world traveller.

    During WWII, the airport was used as a training camp for pilots. How exciting that was watching airplane maneuvers from the back yard.

    I remember all the names aforementioned – especially my growing up friend, Sally Sue Sample. We remain in touch. We were in Mrs. Ducketts class too.
    Recently I looked for Advance on MapQuest and found streets that bear
    familiar names – Samples, Duckett, Gross, Master, Tilley, Jenkins, McLane, Tropf and David among others. My father’s name was David – I’m considering it his street.
    I love Advance stories.

  • Jean Looney Lanham

    A neighbor of ours took one of my sisters and I on a roundtrip train ride to Brownwood. I felt like a world traveller.

    I grew up in Advance and all the names above are so familiar. I recently searched for Advance on MapQuest and found a map with streets named after some of the above mention citizens. Masters, Samples, Moore, Jenkins, McLane, Tropf, Davidand others. My father was David Looney so I’m imagining one is named for him.

    When we heard the whistle blow, we would run to the train track to wave at every one on board. Great fun. Nothing I do now compares to that. One of my childhood friends was Sally Sue Samples and we still correspond.

    Great story.

  • We walked to school. Even in winter. There were 10 kids in our family and we usually got gloves for Xmas. If you lost a glove, you used a sock to keep warm. Our father half
    Soled our shoes, but the shoe repair shop did the major repairs. Remember!

    I keep in touch with the class of 1949 .

    What a great life the Sample children had.

    Sally Sample Parker

  • Rhett Morgan

    Ken,
    Thanks for the great look back. Grew up in Advance and the Morgan Funeral Home (established 1929 by my family) is one of the oldest businesses. I may have missed it in the blogs, but can you tell me what stands now where the depot once stood?
    I learned a lot from this, including the origin of the town’s name.

  • Ken Long

    Hey Rhett the depot sat about where the parking lot is for the Bank of Advance Lending Center. At least in that area. I can’t remember the exact spot. In the first picture if you look at the left you can see Hensons store just above the trees. “C” highway now was where the track ran. When you came into Advance coming west on 25 you turned right into town where Rhodes is now. Only back then you crossed the tracks and went into town and up Sturdivant then out west on the origanal “C” highway. There used to be a old aireal map at city hall showing everything don’t know if it’s still there or not.

  • Rhett Morgan

    Ken,
    Thanks. Fascinating info. Makes me want to seek other pictures.

    • I have a bunch of Advance photos, including aerials I shot of the town last fall. I keep putting off posting them because I keep running across more and more of them.

      My Mother knew the Morgan family well. She talks about playing hide ‘n’ seek around the caskets at the funeral home. Her brother was the first person buried in the cemetery.

  • Rhett Morgan

    Interesting anecdote about the funeral home. Would love to see those aerials someday.

  • Steve Masters

    My goodness…such a flashback after doing a simple google search on the Advance tornado in 1963. The Joplin tornado happened two days ago and it conjured up memories of what I witnessed as a child in my basement on that horrific afternoon. My father was Dr. L.A. Masters and so many were comforted after coming up out of our basement, looking across the park and railroad tracks seeing their home destroyed as well as the shoe factory.

    I remember the train depot in the early 60’s. I, nor my friends Kenny Carlson, et al., had no clue the importance of the railroad and the significance to the beginning of Advance. To me the train was a constant in my early years. I couldn’t even tell time but always had a feeling each day that it was time for the train to pass. I vividly recall the whistle blowing on the day of the tornado and within a few minutes our basement was full of frightened people. I also remember the teasing between fathers and mothers after the tornado was gone and somehow the men and infants all ended up under furniture while the women were laying in the open.

    Even as a child Paul Corbin was a gentle soul. He had to be in order to put up with my frequent excursions and those of my friends to buy toys at the Ben Franklin. Since finding this article, I followed links and read several of Mr. Corbin’s articles and am thankful he took the time to write them.

  • Riche Walker

    Ken, I have enjoyed the depot photos and the info. I was born in Advance in 1953. Doc Masters delivered me. I visited the depot and watched the trains on a daily basis, since I lived in the upper story of the old Farm Bureau Building. This build is now the present day Amerimart Gas Station. I watch the community change over the years and will speak as the guest speaker at the Alumi Banquet this weekend. My subject matter will be that of the history and the change of Advance and the school system. I would like to talk with you sometime, since I am sort of a history buff. My family ties go back to the early 1800’s in this area, thru the Cato and the McGee families. My grandmother was Mary Jane Cato and her father was Thomas Jefferson Cato. He was the son of Simeon Cato. Just thought you might appreciate that bit of background.

    • I’m going to run more Advance stories and photos in the near future. My mother’s the one who knows all about the town. She was talking about going to the reunion, but there’s also something going on at Kentucky Lake that she might go to that weekend.

  • Gary Fakes

    Taking my dad, Jim Fakes, and son Will Fakes to Advance this weekend. My son Will, grew up in St Louis so he hss no idea about what Advance was like in the 50s. Dad ran the Frisco depot and mon was the band director.

    Know all of the stores and names from the past. Doc Masters, The old and the new doc, The Morgans, The Richmonds, Crader Tire, Jips, Mayberrys barbership,and all of the downtown stores. I thnk most of them are gone now. Spent a lot of time at the railroad depot with my dad.

    Wow was that another world.

  • It’s been awhile since I read through these comments with so many Advance names in them.

    Mother wandered all over town collecting signatures and birthdays of people in town. If you are from Advance, the odds are good you’ll recognize a lot of the names.

  • Jean Looney Lanham

    Thanks so much for posting this story again. It’s great to recognize names and to remember the train station.

    The station where my mother arrived when she came back to Advance to marry my father.

    During my teenage years, I was the baby sitter for the Master’s children and loved the opportunities I gained from being around such interesting and always engaged folks. Rusty and Eddie were my charges and playmates and they knew how to play. We had no TV to fall back on.

    I followed my sister in the job and later I followed her when she gave up her job as an usher in the theater.

    Girls in Advance seemed to have had equal employment opportunities very early on.

    One of Advance’s Military Honor Roll member would join us in play often. Lawrene Harness died much too young as a test pilot in the Air Force.

    It was a perfect job with a lot of hours for me to become acquainted and I loved my time with them.

    I went on to nursing school in St Louis and moved East after graduation. Advance is still in my blood and the memories as vivid today as they were all those years ago.

  • Ed Cline

    How neat is this site? I searched for a picture of the Advance Train Depot and came up with this site. I see a cousin and my Aunt have left comments here also. I am one of the many Harry and Clara Sample grandchildren who came to Advance every summer in the 50s and 60s. I remember exploring the countryside and going all over the town. We could pretty much run wild back in those days. I could go on and on about the great memories of Advance. My grandmothers’ weekly bridge games, the tornado that sucked whole houses up and just left empty basements. The shoes all over the county. Did anyone ever find a matching pair? Wasn’t there a “hobo” camp outside of town? Anyway, thanks for the memories and the picture of the old depot.

  • Mary Francis

    WOW!!!! Ken Steinhoff………..right now just in SHOCK at seeing all the pictures and stories…….and the names……..Gary Fakes…….knew your parents well………will write my comment later……….

    Fourth graders……..of 1954-55………tune in………

  • Mary Seabaugh Francis

    Ken…….didn’t know you had connections with Advance when I stumbled on to you with the photo of my sister Ann Seabaugh……..stepping high as Central’s High School Drum Major………..

    Hey……we still need to get together……

    Happy New Year…….2014…….

  • Brenda Ritter Hawkins

    I can remember going on a field trip to the train depot when I was in 2nd grade, I believe, and they had the telegraph machine, our class was learning about Morse code at the time. I still have an old clay marble I found under the bridge that use to be around where the city park is now. We sure had some great times playing down there and finding all kinds of treasures! Thanks for the memories with the photos!

  • Cherl Daniel Fritz

    I grew up in Advance and some of these names are so nice to hear. I remember the tornado of 63 and the shoes everywhere.

  • Gayle Holder Cantrell

    How interesting this read! I too remember some of the 50’s and lots of the 60’s! I see Gary Fakes name above and had memories flood me and my pause was great! Now I too will have to receive all the updates.

  • Donald Rhodes

    I,too, grew up in Advance. My mother, Helen Rhodes, was working in the Inland Shoe warehouse when the tornado struck. I was working at my brother’s service station. Raymond Mayberry, Wayne Voss, and I watch the tornado come and pass just south of town. Little did know at that point that the building my mother was working in had been totally leveled to the ground by the tornado. Thanks to the railroad engineer everyone got out alive and unharmed. My Uncle Ed Zimmer was the depot agent for many years. When he retired, he moved to Sikeston. My mother’s uncle, Ed Blomeyer, was Louis Houck’s construction superintendent. He lived to be almost 100 and visited my mother in Advance 2 times each year. While she prepared dinner, I sat in the living room with Uncle Ed and he would tell me many stories about Mr. Houck. I was young didn’t pay as close attention as I would today. I do remember him telling me that he and Mr Houck named most of the towns in Southeast Missouri They tried to name them after a prominent family in the area of the “new” town. The only one I remember the details of is Swinton. Mr Houck ask who the most prominent family in that area was and Uncle Ed told him that would be the Swindle family. Mr Houck replied they could not name it Swindle, nor Swindleville; those names had a bad connotation. So they modified Swindle to Swinton. Uncle Ed Blomeyer named Blomeyer (junction), which is at the intersection of highways 77 and 25, after himself. The only thing ever happened there interest was the opening of the 3 Stars (if you are old enough to remember it). I have a lot of memories of Advance. More needs to recorded about the unusual group of intelligent men whole made the little town really grow for awhile. These men were inspired by and led by Dr. E C Masters. Advance had the 6th largest shoe factory in the USA, Mirly Truck Sales was the 2nd or 3rd largest Internation Truck dealership in the USA, Elfrink Truck Lines was only existing truck line in Southeast Missouri. It had 3 farm implement dealerships, numerous businesses (approximately 100). It had 2 barber shops (totaling 5 or 6 full time barbers), an all night café and gas station (Mutt’s Place–of which many stories can be told). One could purchase almost anything in Advance. The people really worked together. The community built and still own all of the buldings formally occupied by Inland Show Mfg. Co. The town board is suppose to be incharge of the industrial corporation which manages the buldings. Bill Ward, Kenneth McFerron, Kenneth Rhodes, and I could go on hours about Advance.

  • Carole McCullough Yount

    So interesting to read about the people from my home town. Grew up in Advance – graduated in 1959 – noticed Lee Dahrenger comment — your mother was my favorite teacher in high school. My Dad, Lyndell McCullough, worked the projector at the theater in the late 40’s. Lots of fond memories of basketball games, overnight parties at Ida Tilley’s and Mr. Benjamin, high school principal. Also remember Dean Lewis’ teen town and bowling alley. In the 50’s my parents ran Flamingo then a restaurant in town my senior year. Also a big fan of Paul Corbins – remember the tornato and train story –so many wonderful memories and love getting together with classmates every year!

  • Jean Looney Lanham

    What a great venue for Advance stories. Thanks a bunch Ken. (That’s what we used to say)
    I was friends with Joyce Rhodes in high school and I remember her mother was Helen. Must be the same one. Helen was very kind to all of we teens. I liked going to her house and making fudge.
    Joyce moved to Washington D.C. area and I met up with her again as I lived here too. I still do.
    Love reading this as we wait for the next weather go-round. I remember all the aforementioned folks too.

    o many memories. My sister and I ushered at the movie theater and a classmate of mine also ran the projector. Another classmate sold popcorn. I loved that flashlight and showing people to their seat. What power. Our high school principal was Lyman Evans.

  • Karron Ellis Kidd

    Thanks for this special look back. Linda Zimerman Eggimann, Janell Shell Reutzel, and I took a train ride one day during the summer, right before the train quit running. We rode to Puxico, ate lunch and then the train picked us up and brought us back to Advance. Adventure, big time.

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