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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.

Pecan Grove School

On the way back from shooting Dutchtown’s Beechwood Club, I stopped to take some photos of a tiny little white building on the north side of Highway 74, just east of Dutchtown. I was pretty sure it had been a school.

While researching something else, I saw a story about the 50th Anniversary of the Pecan Grove School in 1951. There was a photo that matched up with this one. Bingo.

Pecan Grove had as many as 60 students

A Missourian story from Oct. 29, 1930, said there were 25 pupils enrolled in the school. Eleven of them have had perfect attendence this term.

The 50th Anniversary story said the school was founded in 1901 and had operated in the same building for 50 years. By 1951, the school had an average of 16 pupils. At the turn of the century, as many as 60 students were taught in the one-room, 30 by 30-foot wooden building. Grades one through eight were taught there.

Otto E. Eggimann, the oldest living teacher, said he gave the school the name Pecan Grove School. It had originally been called the “Little Yellow Schoolhouse.”

Annexed into Cape Schools in 1970

A June 15, 1970, story said that Pecan Grove School had been annexed into the Cape Girardeau School District. In September of that year, the school district issued a quit claim deed to Ferd Peetz, giving him the one-acre site of the former Pecan Grove School.

Lou Muegge and the pecan tree

The Missourian reported on Nov. 24, 1943, that Coach Lou Muegge and several of his Central High grid players spent Sunday afternoon on an outing near Pecan Grove School and, of course, a football was taken along with them. The boys took turns at throwing the football in the pecan tree and kocking down pecans, while they also ran through cornfields as a form of limbering up exercise. Jack Baynham, Leon Brinkopf and Herbert Upton were the members of the squad on the trip.

8 comments to Pecan Grove School

  • Keith Robinson

    Ken, the extended Robinson family has had a few small family reunions at that location over the years as well as at the old Campster School on Bloomfield Road. The Pecan Grove School is directly across from the Fred Robinson property (one of your father’s former employees).

  • Joe Whitright-class of '45

    Ken, I remember when I was a kid , 70 or so years ago, that my dad & Earl Smith would go get pecans on the south side of 74 highway just about across from that school. There was a whole row of pecan trees and Earl would climb up with a long pole and thrash the pecans off the trees and dad and us kids would pick them up!
    I also knew Herb Upton, mentioned above, and it seems like I remember him mamking it into proffesional baseball.

    • When I read the piece about Lou Muegge having his football players run through the cornfield, I was reminded of the story about the coach would would take his prospective players out to a forest and tell them to “RUN!!!”

      The ones who smacked into the trees were selected for defense. The ones who missed the trees were put on offense.

  • Jan NagelnGuth

    Ken, My Aunt taught at Pecan Grove for years, before she started teaching at Jackson. Her name is Martha Stickler, Wayne Stickler is her son. We both graduated in 1966 from Central. I love your pictures! They bring back so many memories!

  • Memories are better than money.

    Or, that’s what I keep telling myself since I have more of the former than the latter.

  • Lisa cobb

    Just came across a book ( On Cherry Street ) in the inside say property of pecan grove school.

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